Saturday, March 22, 2008

Beverly Hills 90210: How It Showed Us The Way: A Nevin Barich Blog Experience

Recently, I watched an episode of Beverly Hills 90210. If you watch the show today, it's ridiculously dated but ridiculously hilarious. Here's a recap of the episode I watched, from Season 1:


Steve and Brandon are trying out for the basketball team. Steve, being the spoiled brat that he is, thinks he's a shoo-in for the team even though he sucks. Brandon, meanwhile, who doesn't even get to participate in the tryout until almost the end, plays really well because, you know, he's from Minnesota and Minnesotans believe in hard work.


Kelly is trying to convince Brenda to sneak out of the house ON A WEEKNIGHT () to go to some concert with a couple of rich kids who are renting a limo.

Kelly: Puh-lease???

Brenda: Kelly, I can't. I'll never pull it off. I'm the worst liar.

Kelly: (huffing) Fine.

And then she retreats to Brandon and Brenda's shared bathroom, where Kelly spies on Brandon playing basketball in his room. Brandon eventually sees her, and Kelly gives him a knowing smile.


This leads me to Tangent 1: Why didn't my sister have hot friends like Kelly to spy on me in my bedroom and give me knowing smiles while I was growing up? I would've reflected on my childhood with a lot more reverance.


Speaking of hot girls like Kelly, I singlehandedly have to thank Beverly Hills 90210 for getting girls out of that "baggy sweater" phase that dominated the late 80s and early 90s. I mean, no offense, but that look just was not sexy. But when 90210 came along, girls like Kelly dressed in more revealing clothing, and girls who watched the show followed suit, making high school and college better for guys like me. Thank you, 90210, for your contribution to society.


Steve gets cut from the basketball team while Brandon is still alive. Steve then goes on a tangent against the black people of the team. I have a feeling these racial undertones will be setting the tone for the rest of the show.


Brandon and Brenda are having dinner with parents Jim and Cindy, and Jim is giving Brandon the typical "father-son" sports pep talk:

Brandon: It's really tough, Dad.

Jim: Don't psyche yourself out, son. If you work hard and have a winning attitude, good things will come. Just do your best, son. That's all anyone can ask.

Brenda and Cindy roll their eyes, but Brandon and I hang on every word. It's a father-son thing.


Oh hell yeah!! Dad Jim is bustin' out his photos from his high school basketball team.

Jim: Rollins was a great shooter, Simpson was quick as a bug, and I wasn't so bad myself. We weren't the greatest bunch of players in the world, but we played as a team. And that's why we beat Franklin to win the state championship. We didn't have the most talent, but we had a lot of heart.

Again, Brandon and I are hanging on every word.


Brenda decides not to sneak out to go to the concert. However, during the night Kelly calls.

Kelly: The guys puked in the limo. You have to come get me.

Brenda: You know I don't have my California driver's license.

Kelly: Please? You're my best friend.

Brenda: I am!?!

Brenda then steals Brandon's car and starts driving to Melrose. Wow, didn't see that coming.


I think Steve hates blacks now.

Steve: I was at the Lakers-Celtics game last night.

Brandon: Oh man!! How was Magic? (black)

Steve: Magic was Magic, but Bird (white) was awesome. And McHale (white) was unstoppable.

Brandon: Wait, I thought you were a Laker fan.

Steve: Us Irish guys have to stick together, pal.

Yep, Steve hates blacks.


Brandon made another cut for the basketball team, and now it's down to him and a black guy. Brandon is suspicious.

Brandon: You go to class?

Black Guy: Up yours, whitey!!

(note: I'm paraphrasing, but you get the idea).


Brenda has run out of gas.


Jim is about to bust out another inspirational sports speech, which leads me to:

Tangent 2: Why couldn't my dad give me these inspirational talks during my sports days? I can think of a time or two when a "Bob Barich busting out the pictures of his old high school sports glory days" moment would've helped.


Brandon apologizes to black guy. Black guy accepts. Brandon is no longer racist. That's good.


Brenda starts walking to find a tow truck guy (this is during the pre-cell phone era), finds one, and then finds out the car was stolen when she comes back.

Brenda: And I don't even have my license!!

Tow Truck Guy: These things happen.

Brenda: You don't understand: My parents will kill me.

Tow Truck Guy: These things happen.

Gotta love 1990s dialogue.


The black guy beats out Brandon for the team. I saw that coming.


Steve still hates blacks.

Steve: Don't let those guys get to you, Brandon. This is our school.

Brandon: No Steve, this is everyone's school.

Black guy hears all this, and gives Brandon a smile. Racial harmony music plays.


Brandon tells father Jim that he didn't make the basketball team.

Jim: You did your best, son, and that's all that matters. I'm proud of you. And if you work hard, next year we'll make it.

Me and Brandon hang on every word.

No wonder this show was on for 10 years!!


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