Better a Witty Fool than a Foolish Wit

Inner Workings of My Twisted Mind.

Reflections on (Re)Watching 90210

Like I said a few days ago, I’ve been on a 90210 binge for the past week or so.  This is the show that made me love television, the show that everyone my age was completely addicted to, the show that shaped certain desires of mine that have yet to go away.  90210 went on the air in 1990, when I was approximately 7 years old.  Prompted by my best friend at the time, one Sarah Jones, I started watching the show mid way through season 1 and never looked back.  Of course, the cheesy dialogue and moral messaging was lost on my younger self.  I do, however, remember vividly the exact plot lines of all the major characters through the first 7 or 8 seasons.  What a strange and mysterious creature memory is?

What strikes me now is not merely the moral stronghandedness that permeates every episode, but the political awareness that is so prevalent among our favorite group of students at West Beverly.  It seems like every other week Andrea Zuckerman was leading protests determined to implement a condom distribution at West Beverly High, or the gang was leading a picket proclaiming the innocence of their best friend when she got drunk at prom and was forbidden to graduate (who can forget the ubiquitous chant ‘Donna Martin Graduates’?).  The political activism that ran like a carotid artery through the series would never ever make it on t.v. today.  Which begs the question, have teenagers become less political or does television just not portray it anymore?  It’s a chicken or egg question, but one that begs consideration.  
As much as the politicization of the West Bev gang is somewhat jarring when they are viewed with modern eyes, the most depressing? interesting? thought-provoking? themes and issues 90210 touched on are ones that would be completely relevant in any modern television show.  They talk about fighting against abstinence-only education in school and the potential harm that could cause.  They mention recycling and not using aerosol spray cans, so as to not cause harm to the already fragile environment.  They talk about taking care of veterans from a different Iraq War, but an Iraq War all the same.  If you lost the early 90s clothing that we all wish we could forget, the show would play today, and I’m pretty sure it would be just as popular as it was then.  The CW is banking on it.
Peace, Love and Random Thoughts,

June 9, 2008 - Posted by | Culture, Hollywood, Politics, Television |

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