Many bloggers out there chronicle personal challenges, you know, The Julie/Julia Project-types (cook your way through Julia Child’s cookbook, a recipe a day, and write a blog about it… for those of you who haven’t discovered the blog, the book, or the movie). Well, I unintentionally set out to complete a challenge of my own nearly a year and half ago. I haven’t chronicled it in a blog for a number of reasons: 1) I didn’t have a blog at the time. 2) Who would want to read about this challenge (you’ll see)? 3) What kind of wit and wisdom could this challenge produce?
Well, I successfully completed my challenge this past Friday and now honestly feel compelled to share it with you. I did learn a number of important things and made many interesting observations and I’m sure many (at least one) of you will benefit.
The Challenge: Watch every episode of Beverly Hills, 90210, Seasons 1—10 in chronological order.
The Purpose: Because I wanted to. And because my parents never let me watch Beverly Hills, 90210 when they started airing 1990. (My parents didn’t let me watch a lot of things as a child… Dirty Dancing, The Simpsons, In Living Color…)
The Methods: Netflix, later SoapNet, and one time, www.bigvidpro.com when my DVR neglected to record one of the last episodes last week. (Thanks to this site, crisis averted and the Swedish subtitles were only moderately annoying).
The Deadline: None specified. (The challenge started out slow but as soon as I gave up being employed and subscribed to DirecTV, watching really picked up).
1) Brunettes are bad news. Brenda was forever whiny, Valerie was trouble, Claire was a little vixen, and Gina, well, she was the worst parts of all of them with no personality. Oh and let’s not forget that crazy Emily Valentine. She may have frosted her short ‘do but those roots were pure brunette. And she was pure bad news. Anyone who burns down the gang’s homecoming float and spikes Brandon’s drink with Ecstasy is bad news.
2) Blondes are virtuous. Sure, they started out by depicting Kelly as a tramp but soon transformed her into a lovable do-gooder and friend. Donna was virtuous from the start, being virginal for seven seasons.
3) As long as you have Brandon on your side, everyone will keep giving you second chances. I could never understand how Valerie could wrong everyone in the gang and yet she was still invited to parties and holiday get-togethers but then discovered the reason in Season 9 following Brandon’s departure. The gang tolerated her and her shenanigans because of Brandon’s adorableness. No one wanted to upset Boy Scout Brandon and constantly forgave Valerie’s many indiscretions. I guess that I would, too, if it meant having that hunk on my side.
4) If you’re an alcoholic and later (in Season 9), you become addicted to heroin, then you are free to drink all the alcohol you want and no one cares, because you have a new addiction. When Dylan returned in Season 9, he was welcomed back with a celebratory drink. Um, you gave a drink to an alcoholic? Wow, he really has been gone for a while. Maybe everyone knew that he’d be addicted to heroin in a few episodes and Dylan would have even bigger personal demons to battle.
5) What goes around, comes around. It’s never a good idea to cheat with your best friend’s boyfriend. Yeah, I’m talking to you, Kelly. If you only knew that hooking up with Dylan while he was with Brenda would subject you to a life of dating cheaters (even good guys, Brandon and Matt), I bet you’d second guess that night at Paradise Cove.
6) Don’t go to raves. People ALWAYS spike your drinks. Emily spiked Brandon’s drink in Season 2, Amy spiked Matt’s drink in Season 10… both while they were at raves. Come to think of it, Valerie’s drink got spiked, too. Not at a rave, but at the After Dark. Maybe it’s just best to stay away from the nightlife in LA.
7) People from LA are so corrupt and vain but within weeks, a mid-western family can impart some necessary values and structure. I hate to think what would’ve happened to Kelly, Donna, David, Steve, and Dylan had the Walsh family not moved into the zip code. Andrea would’ve been fine. She is actually from Van Nuys.
8) It’s really easy to start your own successful business. Steve and Valerie did it with the Peach Pit After Dark, Donna did it with her store Now Wear This, Brandon and Steve did it with The Beverly Beat and Kelly did it with Kelly Taylor Public Relations. The rich get richer.
9) Big name acts will always perform at a small club in LA that is attached to a diner. Where else can you take in a performance by Christina Aguilera, SWV, or Duncan Sheik and then walk next door for some peach pie? I’d totally spend all of my evenings there, just like every character does on this show.
10) Life becomes outlandish, out-of-character, and repetitive after you graduate college. Will Kelly choose Dylan? Will David and Donna get together? Did Steve do something stupid? Is Dylan going to rehab? Is it Season 5 or Season 10? Doesn’t matter. The storylines are the same. Except for the ones where people are completely out of character like Brandon cheating on Kelly and Donna jumping in the sack with Noah. If you’ve never watched Beverly Hills, 90210 before, save yourself some time and stop when they graduate college.
The Outcome: A sense of accomplishment partnered with a sense of fear. What will I do between the hours of 11am and 1pm now?