Thursday, January 14, 2010

Beverly Hills 90210: Blind Spot

Okay, I'm cheating. 90210 was never on ABC Kids. But you guys, think about it. What sort of self-respecting 90's nostalgia blogger would I be if I didn't recap at least one episode of this awfulawesome TV series?

(In case you're wondering, awfulawesome is a word I just made up. It combines the words 'awful' and 'awesome' and describes something or someone that is so bad it's good, or the other way around. It also describes something that you thought was really great back in the day, but when you look back on it now, you can see some fatal flaws. Example: Captain Planet is the epitome of awfulawesome.)

As you probably know, 90210 followed the daily lives of eight teens living the high life in sunny Beverly Hills. (If you really want to get the most out of this recap, I'd recommend putting on that Weezer song right about now.) You all know the characters, but let's re-meet them anyway:

Brandon Walsh (Jason Priestly) -- one of the Walsh twins. The male one, in case you need me to spell it out. Brandon was a headstrong, political individual who loved writing for the school newspaper and spent way too much time at his place of work, the Peach Pit. I never realised this growing up, but Brandon was clearly the favourite child. Like, no contest, Jim and Cindy. Way to be impartial.

Brenda Walsh (Shannen Doherty) -- the other, less male Walsh twin. Brenda often got on her high horse about issues for one episode and then forgot all about them the next. In the first couple of seasons, Brenda was totally my favourite, but then I realised (later than most) how goddamn annoying she actually was. I swear she wasn't like that at the start.

Kelly Taylor (Jennie Garth) -- the rich, skanky blonde. Kelly supposedly went through a change after meeting Brenda -- she stopped being the school slut -- but that didn't stop her from making numerous moves on Brenda's boyfriend and soulmate, Dylan. It is interesting to note that as Brenda's likeability went down, Kelly's appeal skyrocketed, despite all the boyfriend-stealing and out of the blue eating disorders.

Dylan McKay (Luke Perry) -- the rich, emancipated surfer dude. Dylan was Brenda's one-and-only in the first couple of seasons, before Kelly decided that she wanted him instead. Luke Perry, despite looking old enough to be married to Cindy Walsh, still doesn't take the prize for the oldest-looking cast member. That title belongs to...

Andrea Zuckerman (Gabrielle Carteris) -- the serious, glasses-wearing student who was adopted into the fold by Brandon. (Don't worry, she eventually ditched the glasses.) Despite being far, far too old to play a high-school student, Call-Me-Ahndrea managed to stay a virgin until college and eventually got married and squeezed out a kid all in the one season.

Steve Sanders (Ian Ziering) -- the macho, too-cool-for-school popular boy. Steve was a joker, a lover, and Kelly's soulmate. Yeah, you heard me. Steve and Brandon were usually busy one-upping each other, dating Kelly or battling it out for the title of Lorelai's Favourite 90210 Character. (You had your chance, Brenda!)

Donna Martin (Tori Spelling) -- the ditzy dunce. While some people found Donna's dumb blonde moments hysterical, I found her grating. Really. We all know why Tori Spelling got the job (*cough*producerfather*cough*) and she just pissed me off. There's only one character I actually hate more than her, and that's...

David Silver (Brian Austin Green) -- the "cool" nerd. Silver was by far the lamest character on the show. In the beginning, his quest for popularity was endearing, but when he actually became Steve's friend and part of the cool gang, Silver got weird. From being a DJ to a recording artist to a drug addict to a classical pianist (?), Silver remained completely repulsive to me, and does to this day.

Time for the recap, bitches. Since Cordee over at Gourmet Scum and Other Fun Stuff is doing such a good job with the earlier seasons, I've taken my episode from season four. It's a "big issue" episode, with homosexuality, blindness and boxer shorts. There's quite a bit of Silver, but he doesn't say much, so it's okay.

We begin the episode with Silver playing the piano. As much as it pains me to admit this, he's actually really good. Ugh, I feel dirty just saying that. Stop with the piano thing, Silver; I hate praising you. There's one part Silver can't quite get (loser! Heh, I feel better) and Donna suggests getting a piano teacher to help him out. What a totally unnecessary, judgemental thing to say. I don't see Donna playing sonatas like there's no tomorrow. Just sit there and play with your dog, Donna.

Steve and Brandon are on their way to a Dodgers game when their car breaks down. Because we're in the big scary 90s world of No Cell Phones, they have to go to a nearby coffeehouse and use their payphone so Brandon can call for help. While he's off doing this, Steve looks around and soon realises that this is a gay coffeehouse. Which is something I've never heard of, but hey, I don't live in Beverly Hills. I mean, I've heard of gay bars (I do live in the western world), but not gay coffeehouses. Steve freaks out when he sees the president of his fraternity (KEG house) there, and ushers Brandon out of there lickety-split.

Kelly and Donna are at the Peach Pit with Pregnant!Andrea. We know she's pregnant because she's eating a lot. The other girls make fun of her for it, because eating disorders are cool right now, I suppose. Donna and Kelly mention that their sorority is putting together a charity calendar and asking various California University hunks to pose in their boxers. Dylan claims he doesn't want to be objectified, and once again, I want to punch him in the side of the head. You know, Dylan, you used to be so cool and mysterious before you started talking all the time. Kelly signs Brandon and Steve up instead.

Silver goes to his piano lesson, and discovers that his teacher is blind. I can't remember her name, but since she's blind and plays the piano, I'm going to call her Beethovina. Silver starts playing the sonata he's stuck on, and Beethovina helps him by giving him the most bizarre advice. First, she tells him to "let the music play you", which is poetic and all, but not exactly practical. You play the music, Silver. Make that music your bitch. Then what she says next is so random, I have to quote it for you verbatim:

"You're waterskiing on a lake in the mountains. Feel the spray on your face,
feel the wind in your hair."

Watersports, Beethovina? Is now really the time? As someone who had piano lessons for nine years, I feel qualified to tell you that no piano lesson ever goes like that. My last piano teacher would've died laughing if he'd heard that shit. (He was so cool.) Technique is important, Silver. Don't let Beethovina tell you it's not. Wait, why do I even care if Silver sucks or not? He's lame and repulsive. Did I mention repulsive? Because he is.

At the KEG house, in-the-closet president Mike asks Steve if he "wants a cappuccino." That's innuendo, you see. Steve claims that he's never "had a cappuccino" in his life. Mike gets confused, because he totally saw Steve cappuccino-ing it up with some dude at the gay coffeehouse the other day. Mike wanders off to have a conversation with another brother about some sorority girl he's boned, to overcompensate for all the "cappuccinos" he's been "drinking."

The Walshes are getting ready for dinner, and Brandon's angsting about the calendar. He says, and I quote: "I just don't think standing around in his underwear is something Bill Clinton would have done." AHAHAHAHA! Retrospective burn! There is no emoticon or stupid netspeak word for the hilarity that is that quote. Steve ends the amazingly relevant Clinton-with-his-pants-down conversation by telling Brandon about how the KEG president is gay. Steve's not sure he wants to keep Mike's secret, and he's actually really homophobic in this scene. Steve, mate. Homosexuality is clearly not something new for you -- you hang out with David Silver. I think what annoys me most, even more than Bigot!Steve is the fact that Brandon's reverted back to his Bart Simpson hair.

Back at his apartment, Silver is having another piano lesson with Beethovina. Apparently all her bullshit teaching methods are working, because Kelly and Donna (who come in halfway through his sonata) are both very impressed. Donna is less than impressed, however, when Silver introduces her to Beethovina as merely his roommate. Damn, Silver! You are a douche and a half.

Brandon, Mike and D'Shawn are about to play a game of basketball. You remember D'Shawn, don't you? He's the black guy they brought in, assumedly to make the show more multicultural. Like most 90s attempts at multiculturalism, it fails epically, seeing as how D'Shawn only ever remained a tertiary character whose one and only personality trait was being good at basketball. Anyway. Brandon and Mike talk about Mike's burning queerness. It's not interesting. I just wanted to mention D'Shawn, to be honest, because he's about to become important.

Donna is talking to D'Shawn (told you!) about being in the Alpha calendar. He tells her he'll do it if she'll go out with him. Even though he's joking, Donna agrees. D'Shawn is confused, because he thought she had a boyfriend. Something something, a woman scorned, something something. You know the drill. I do have to say that I'm pretty sure this is the first scene D'Shawn and Donna have ever had, but I'm totally into their chemistry. I'm actually looking forward to seeing Donna again this episode. That's never happened to me before.

At the Alpha house, the calendar boys are at an underwear-fitting. Steve's have duckies on them. Duckies. Seriously. See for yourselves.

One of the KEG jerks (whose name I also don't remember and will hereafter be known as KEG Jerk) starts making fun of Steve relentlessly for no reason. He questions Steve's sexuality, which we all know Steve doesn't like on account of him suddenly being a homophobe. KEG Jerk's taunting is totally ridiculous and over-the-top, but I must get over it, because it's a plot contrivance. To stop all the bullying, Steve lets slip that Mike is a butt pirate who frequently "has cappuccinos." KEG Jerk and some of his jerk friends back out of the calendar shoot because they don't want to be associated with a fairy. It's pretty full-on...oh wait, this is 90210. It's not full-on at all. It's awfulawesome, is what it is.

Steve, Brandon, Kelly and Donna are at the Peach Pit, talking about how Steve outed the KEG president. They all think he's selfish. Want to know why? In the words of Kelly, "That's great. Your masculinity is secured for another 24 hours, and we don't have a calendar." Yeah, Kelly. How selfish of Steve to only think about himself right now. Steve maintains that he's not a homophobe, even though I'm pretty sure that he is. Steve's letting me down something fierce this episode.

At Silver and Donna's, the doorbell rings, and Silver goes to answer it. You'd better believe that it's D'Shawn, ready to take out his girlfriend, brandishing a bunch of flowers. Ouch, Silver, you want some cold water for that BURN?! Donna and D'Shawn leave Silver to ponder his repulsiveness, and all is revealed -- their 'date' is all an act to get Silver back for taking Donna for granted! Yay for evil schemes! Donna takes D'Shawn bowling anyway, as a friends thing. God, I love these two together. If Donna had any brains in her head, she'd ditch gross Silver and marry D'Shawn as soon as she possibly can.

Back at the frat house, KEG Jerk and his friends paint Mike's door pink. Because he's gay, you see. Mike decides to quit the frat and yell at Steve some more. Steve feels badly for Mike, a fate which may have been prevented had Steve not actually outed him in the first place. Seriously, Steve, I'm liking fucking Donna more than you right now. Fix this immediately.

Silver takes Beethovina to the Peach Pit and flirts with her. Aargh! Fuck you, Silver! Fuck. You. I can't help but notice that Beethovina's fingernails are really long, which is a big huge no-no in piano playing. My awesome piano teacher and I were constantly at loggerheads over the length of my nails. Anyway. Beethovina tells Silver that he's not in love with her, just with her music. Dude, I'll vouch for that -- I would do unspeakable things to Richard Ashcroft from the Verve, despite him being crazy ugly, simply because of 'Bittersweet Symphony'. Silver realises he loves Donna for reasons the world hasn't invented an explanation for yet.

Donna and D'Shawn get home from bowling, and D'Shawn gives her some anecdotal advice on exactly what she's going through with Silver. How convenient. Honestly, though, these two are made for each other. Donna, think of what you're going back to if you leave D'Shawn hanging. I mean, David Silver? He reminds me of nineties Peter Andre, and nineties Peter Andre was even grosser than present Peter Andre. Donna and D'Shawn decide to become friends, which hopefully means that they'll get more scenes together in the future. Donna and Silver make up. Blecch.

The KEGgers hold a meeting to decide whether Mike's homosexuality ought to get him kicked out of the frat. At the eleventh hour, Steve decides to be not homophobic anymore, and makes an impassioned speech to the brothers about how it shouldn't matter what race or sexuality a person is -- brotherhood is brotherhood. It's awfulawesomeness at its best. Some guy called Keith seconds Steve's motion to keep Mike on as el prez. Yay, go Keith! I don't know who you are, but it's pretty cool that you got a name! Beethovina's probably crying into her sheet music about it.

The episode finishes with the calendar shoot, like you knew it would. Two guys back out, so Dylan and Silver (shudder) have to fill in for them anyway. What's that, you say? You want screencaps? Well shucks, I guess I could do that for you:

It's not exactly Clintonesque, but alright.

Do you see what you're missing, Donna?!

I feel so cheated by this.

Way to downplay your sexuality, Mike.

What happened to the duckies? WHAT HAPPENED TO THE DUCKIES?

Some random extras to keep you warm at night.

and of course...

Ew! Oh God, my eyes! That's just...aaaagh!

End of awfulawesome episode. Hold on. Wait juuuust a second. I have another screencap for you. I left it til last because it's the funniest/most disturbing thing I've ever seen. Are you ready. ARE YOU? Alright. Meet Mr. October:

So inexplicably sad and creepy.


  1. Just wanna say, I had the hots for Brian Austin Green...

    Tales Of A Fourth Grade Nothing

  2. I always did, too, Ally. Why'd Megan Fox have to end up with him?! She ruins everything.

    I always thought it was odd that Steve was SO homophobic. He's grown up in CA...his mother's an actress, his father's a producer (I think?). He's hung out in night clubs, and yet he's shocked to meet a real life, actual factual gay person?

  3. I've never seen this episode, sadly, but the screencaps helped a lot in making up for that. As did the great recap. Boo for Bigot!Steve, though.

  4. Ally and Sadako -- it's not your fault. It was the nineties. We all liked embarrassingly greasy-haired, earringed boys at one point of another. Speaking of which, one of my good friends is in the US at the moment and met Andrew Keegan at a 7-11. They talked about gum.

    Julie -- Bigot!Steve was so random. He seemed to get over it pretty quickly, though.

  5. Dude. Duuuuuuude. I love DeShawn Hardell. Like, a lot. (Like, so much that I know his last name.) I was always pissed that the writers didn't let Donna hook up with him. She can date abusive pumpkin farmers and overly hair-gelled wannabe DJs, but not a black man? The frig?

    Also, that calendar makes me want to forget that February ever existed.

  6. Sada -- there we go, now someone's making sense! Also, any comment where the phrase 'abusive pumpkin farmers' comes up is awesome.

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