Beverly Hills 90210: Forever

An in-depth examination of one of television's most magnificent programs.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Karaoke rules! But only sometimes!

Today's episode was pretty marvelous. Mostly because it included KARAOKE! KARAOKE! KARAOKE! (most of which was sung by Jim Walsh), some major drama, a season one character comeback, and minimal screen time for both David and Andrea (yes).

First off, Brenda and Kelly are taking an aerobics class which is actually called Cardio Funk (how hip), and some goof keeps checking Brenda out which is kind of confusing because how are any of these spandex-clad gents straight? Well, apparently this one is. So anyway, dude starts flirting with Brenda and it turns out he's Pre-Med and his name is Tim Matthews (Uh-oh). So anyway, it takes a good amount of charm and courting before Kelly finally does her twisty mouth thing which prompts Brenda to tell Tim that she's got a bee-eff, (Dylan, who just happens to be in AA at the moment, but more on that later). So after Tim goes back to his cool dorm to study Pre-Med or whatever, Kelly confronts Brenda and Brenda retorts with "Kelly, I'm here to exercise, nothing more." Whatever Bren, you know you want Tim the remarkably straight Cardio Funk Pre-Med goofball, right?! Whatever.

So Dylan's hanging out at AA like the responsible former alcoholic he is, listening to a speech (since when do they have microphones at AA meetings? And why do they take place in auditoriums? Oh wait, it's California, anyway-) by none other than SURF BETTY! That's right, Sarah the alcoholic broad who almost drowned first season if it hadn't been for Brandon and his strong Minnesota arms and even stronger Minnesota lungs. Anyway, Sarah's been sober for 12 days or something like that, and she just got out of an abusive relationship or something like that. She also hasn't been surfing in awhile (how sad), and really wishes she could get back out on the waves.
After her speech, Dylan and Sarah have a great little talk:
Dylan: "How you doin'?"
Sarah: "Better than the last time you saw me."
Dylan: "You were pretty wasted."
Sarah: "Yeah I'm pretty good at that."
Girl's a real charmer.

So sometime after all this Brandon's setting up a sweet karaoke system at the Peach Pit and Dylan's been sober for 90 days (Yay!), and he invites Brenda to a great, romantic night at . . . Alcoholics Anonymous? Why not?

This is where it all starts to go downhill. Dylan takes Sarah surfing and there was a lot of surfer lingo at this part so I don't really know what happened but there was a pretty great surfing montage made all the more awesome by some killer guitar riffs, and then Sarah complained about how people don't "get" alcoholism and then she touched Dylan's hair and invited him to the movies. Girl, back off. Anyway, Dyl-o declined but failed to mention Brenda. Dyl-an.

Now, here comes the KARAOKE! KARAOKE! KARAOKE! Jim Walsh certainly can't wait to get his hand on the mic. And all the gang will be there! Awesome! But wait, before everyone's out the door, Tim calls Brenda. Wait what? She never gave him her number. So . . . oh, he's stalking her. And that's perfectly fine with everyone. Sure. Cool.
Anyway, Jim opens the magical KARAOKE! KARAOKE! KARAOKE! night with that "Doo Wa Diddy Diddy Dum Diddy Doo" song that, even though I know 90210 is old, I still think they could've bought the rights to something more modern. Whatever, everyone else sings this song too, at different points in time (because this is the only song the Peach Pit has so far apparently), and it's all awkward and giggly and Cindy Walsh gets totally embarrassed but it's like, get over it Cindy everyone's having fun and business is booming!

But after all of this television magic, Dylan gets a message from the alcoholic broad about how she really needs a drink and a friend and of course good ol' Dylan has to come to her rescue. Bad move, brother. It turns out there's a drunk guy sleeping on her couch. And he's got a couple burns up his sleeve. For example, he calles Dylan "the Sobriety Patrol". Oh man, he did not just go there! Anyway, Dylan removes him with ease from the apartment because the guy's drunk and can't really walk or anything but Sarah is still so terrified and starts clinging at Dylan's neck sobbing, "please don't leave me, please don't leave me." Cool it, already.

I don't really know what happens here but Jim Walsh sings into a banana and Tim calls again (HELLO, WHY HASN'T ANYONE MENTIONED THAT TIM MATTHEWS IS STALKING BRENDA?!) But whatever, Jim was singing into a banana.

Eventually, we learn that Dylan spent the night at Sarah's (on the couch) and she brings him a great breakfast that only a recovering alcoholic could make. (Mmm, Pepsi for breakfast? Thanks!) Somehow she manages to kiss Dylan because he hasn't seemed to mention the fact that he's um, DATING BRENDA, and he's all, "you don't even know me," and Sarah is like, "You surf and you're sober, what else do I need to know?" Now that's a woman with priorities. Finally, Dylan tells her that he has a girlfriend and then he gets the heck outta there.

Back at Cardio Funk, Tim tries to get the dirt on Brenda from Kelly because, like I mentioned before he's a stalker. He even tells Kel that he's "relentless". Yeah, and a creep, and a borderline psychopath, but I guess 'relentless' works too, dude.

Whatever though, because there's MORE KARAOKE. Some old broad is singing and David says, "someone put her out of her misery." Funny thing David, because I could say the same thing about you! Anyway, more Jim Walsh rockin' the mic!
A few moments later, Dylan and Brenda show up while Tim is there, (Uh oh! Wait, why is Tim there? Oh right he's stalking Brenda), and an awkward introduction follows. Then Dylan has to "make a phone call" so Tim invites Brenda to sing "Wild Thing". Um no, why don't you just sing the number one hit "I'm Stalking You (And I'm A Creep)"?
Dylan's gotta go check up on Sarah or something so Tim offers to give Brenda a ride home. Geez. Tim, just get a grip.

Dylan gets to Sarah's and she's drunk (Oh no, so much for sobriety, Surf Betty!), and Dylan is so disappointed. Sarah decides to blame her drunkeness on Dylan because he didn't want her unstable, emotionally wounded, sorry ass, and then the Drunk Guy comes up with Awesome Burn no. 2, calling Dylan "Mr. Clean". Oh, Drunk Guy, huzzah! Anyway, Drunkard tries to punch Dylan but misses, so D punches back and doesn't miss because he's great at everything. This really ticks Sarah off and she makes Dylan leave and get out of her life. Whatever dude, good riddance.

Then comes this little miracle:
Brenda: "Thank you for taking me home."
Tim: "I'll take you home any night of the week." Yeah, to my home. In a garbage bag. With your hands and feet bound. SERIOUSLY TIM, COOL IT.
Brenda is so mesmerized by this doofus that she kisses him. Augh, Brenda, how could you? What about Dylan? Wait, why am I worrying? There are like, 8 minutes of the episode left. Everything will be fine.

Wait a minute, more KARAOKE! KARAOKE! KARAOKE!?! Oh yes. But now everyone hates it. Oh no. Oh well, as Robert Frost once said, nothing gold can stay. And apparently David thinks there are things more annoying than him (Highly unlikely). And the gang is going to boycott the Peach Pit if they don't get rid of the karaoke machine because old people keep coming in and then they sing old people songs. I wonder why? Oh, maybe because Aaron Spelling created this show and he was about 294 when this episode was taped and he wanted to hear some bonnie old jigs from the Golden Age. Yeah, that's why.

So FINALLY, Brenda turns down Tim at Cardio Funk because she realizes Dylan is her Knight in Shining Armor or . . . a denim jacket. Whatever. And Tim is all mopey, but 0.5 seconds later he starts flirting with Kelly because he is a "relentless" sociopath with no emotions. Yay!

In the end, Brenda and Dylan have a serious talk where they both confess that they kissed other people but they are so over it and breathe in some deep sighs and then cuddle and it is so great because the final scene involves Jim Walsh wearing headphones while rocking out on his keyboard.

I love when everything works out!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Andrea: Revolutionary? No, I didn't think so.

Today's episode of 90210 may have been the longest in television history, or at least seemed like it, due to way too much screen time for both Andrea and David. However, you can't always get what you want, and being the patient viewer that I am, I waited it out. And let me assure you (despite being extremely gross at times), it totally paid off: in the form of an overdramatic after-school special about AIDS. Yes.

The episode opens with most of the gang gathered at the Walsh's, including Mom and Pop Walsh, as they watch the news because apparently Andrea and Brandon are on for some protest about sex. What? Yeah whatever. So Brandon ends up not even getting any air-time and he gets totally jealous which comes back later to totally ruin everything ever for about 5 seconds.

Later on at school, Kelly is so upset about seeing Donna and David together (don't worry, me too. Vom.), since it reminds her that her mom is dating David's crazy dad.
Kelly: "What can she see in a guy whose idea of a good time is a gum massage?"
Brenda: "Kelly, he's a dentist."
And that shuts her up. Wait, what? No, that doesn't make any sense Brenda. Just because he's a dentist doesn't mean anything. Dentists have social lives too. C'mon.

Later on the gang meets outside, where Steve, flustered, arrives asking Andrea "what happened to the sex survey?" Apparently it's been cancelled Steve! Your parents don't want you skipping class to answer questions about sex. Don't you understand anything? No. This really ticks off Steve, since now he has to go back to class and actually read Brave New World. Oh, quit whining, at least you don't have AIDS, like the 3,484,756 people in America, or whatever statistic Andrea apparently has memorized because she has nothing better to do.
Then there's some awkward scene where John Griffin, this nerd who's not actually a nerd, who likes to use big words and wears ties, shows interest in Andrea (um, again, what?) and she totally snubs him. (AGAIN, WHAT?) Andrea, you're 37. Take what you can get.

So the Walsh's decide to have a meeting of the Parent's Association at their house to discuss handing out condoms at school or something equally serious and absolutely unspeakable, and the pressure totally gets to Cindy Walsh because she is always so flighty and can't deal with anything.
After a bunch of arguing and probably some hors d'oeuvres, Donna's mom gets up and gives this really awkward speech about how awful it was growing up in the 60's and that parents these days need to lay down the law about abstinence.
This causes Donna, of all people, to speak up, to which Bill Sloan replies with "what is this, a student council meeting?" Oh Bill! Have another drink, already!
So Donna goes off on some crazy tangent about abstinence and AIDS and it involves a swimming pool analogy, and Andrea is all "I couldn't have said it better", which no one would want you to anyway Andrea, go clean your glasses; and then this dark, brooding bongo music starts playing because the scene was way intense.

Later on Brandon is all "whoever thought Andrea Zuckerman would be leading the next sexual revolution?" NO ONE, BRANDON. DON'T EVEN TALK ABOUT THAT, PLEASE.

For some reason, later on Brandon and Andrea are arguing in some empty stairwell and Andrea is getting all huffy about how everyone ever is going to get AIDS if she doesn't continue her march for human rights or whatever this has turned into, and she's all "this thing has momentum, it's got a life of its own," to which Brandon replies "well maybe you should get a life of your own," and Andrea does this weird twisty mouth thing like "Brandon, how could you?" and basically he tells her she's "inexperienced" which just totally kickstarts THE END OF THE SEXUAL REVOLUTION, even though it never even began.

So they end up having this thing where people vote on whether or not the school should talk about sex, or honestly I have no idea what's going on. The votes are against them and everyone is ticked about it. So Donna, again Donna, of all people, has this great idea to pass out pamphlets about AIDS and illegitamite children to random people in the street because obviously that's not weird at all. And everyone totally agrees but Andrea doesn't even care anymore and Kelly thinks it's way too strange (well yeah), and decides that she'd rather go shopping because it's "helping the economy".

Meanwhile, while all of this is happening, David is trying to plan a romantic night with Donna (augh, gross), which causes him to buy enough condoms to fill a wheelbarrow. Somewhere, while all of this is happening, Dylan comes to visit Brenda and he finds some article on her bed about that time she thought he was pregnant and he's all, "Bren, what is this?" and she's all nonchalantly like, "it's for the school newspaper," which just outrages Dylan because he's such a sensitive and private guy. So he starts yelling at her but it's not really yelling because he's only capable of hoarsely whispering, and then they make up after 3 seconds and she probably throws the article in the garbage or something. Who cares.

The next day at school, Donna tells David that her parents are in Aspen, so they can "watch the MTV special at her house." GREAT! Wait a minute. There seems to be an undertone here. Yes, there is, because Dylan just raised his eyebrow and there was a wild guitar riff in the background. David, what are you thinking? Oh no.

So everyone's going to hand out the pamphlets except Andrea because by the end of everything she's a total bitch and she's probably going to kill herself because she's just alienated everyone in about a day and a half just because she's a bitter 48 year-old virgin. And for some reason Kelly forgets her chemistry textbook in the newspaper room, oh right, because she's an idiot, and comes back to find Andrea staring at a desk or something because I'm pretty sure she's going to kill herself. This leads to a big talk and Kelly starts doing her weird twisty lip thing too because being a slut has made her life so hard and Andrea is like "you don't understand, you can get any guy you want!" and I don't really care what happens next.
Eventually John Griffin comes back all mopey because he doesn't fit in with the gang and doesn't want to hand out pamphlets anymore either and somewhere in between all of this he tells Andrea he's a virgin. So, finally, Andrea asks him to the movies because I mean, she's a desperate old maid, and he accepts which . . . isn't really understandable but it's t.v. so I'll let it slide.

In the home stretch, the audience is greeted by David dancing in his seat which is just awful and I hate when he dances so, so much, and he's trying to get Donna in the mood which is also awful but Donna just wants to eat pizza.

Finally, after 55 minutes of basically nothing, Kelly is sitting on her bed, talking on the phone with probably Brenda, and her mom comes in her room and she's all "gotta go, mom's here," and her mom sits down and does a weird twisty mouth thing too and she's like, "KELLY, NEVER, EVER HAVE UNPROTECTED SEX, EVER," and Kelly's all laughing and she asks her, "Mom, what are you talking about?" to which Mom responds, "KELLY, I'M PREGNANT."

And people wonder why I watch this show.