Every Thursday in 9th grade was pop quiz day in my biology lab. It was also burger day in the cafeteria, and volleyball day in gym class. But all of these things were topped by the biggest event of all every Thursday: it was Beverly Hills, 90210 day.
In the mid ’90s, no one drank frappucinos, no one sang and danced down the hallways. But we found glamour in Brenda and Brandon, the Peach Pit, and “Donna Martin Graduates.” My bedroom walls were covered with posters of Dylan and Kelly, and at weekend slumber parties, we played the Beverly Hills, 90210 board game while our VCRs rewound that week’s episode.
I tuned in to the premiere of the new 90210 last week, and apparently I wasn’t the only one! With almost five million viewers, it was the most-watched debut show that the CW network has ever seen. If you saw it and you’re anything like me, you weren’t disappointed. Brenda is back! Kelly has a son! And the new generation of students is sassy, funny, and tragic in all the best ways.
Just what is it about the zip code that makes people want to watch? While the new show is updated in some obvious ways (What’d you think of the new Peach Pit?), it’s similar enough to be comforting. Annie (the new Brenda) is sweet and naïve, but smart enough to stand up for herself when she needs to. Dixon (the new Brandon) is the curious journalist with a mysterious past. Naomi (the new Kelly) is spoiled and snooty, but hints of a conscience are evident if you look long enough.
So despite the changes and updates, the underlying themes of the new 90210 are just like that of the original: it’s about a group of teens just trying to figure out who they are, and what they stand for. Only they’re doing it against a backdrop of palm trees and troubled families.
If you were one of the five million viewers last week, what’d you think? Which character do you relate to most?
— Morgan, Scholastic Staffer