Thoughts on 90210…

I only commit to watching what I consider to be great TV. Take Buffy or Battlestar Galactica, two of my personal favourites. TV is such a commitment, hours of your life spent in front of a computer screen, that you’d better be sure you’re spending it productively.

I started watching 90210 under the belief I was watching the cult nineties series. It only occurred to me midway through season one that this maybe wasn’t the series I thought it was. But it was too late, I was addicted to finding out what happened next in this overly dramatic fictional universe.

SPOILERS BELOW

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Is it just me or were these people as bitchy as hell? The conniving, cheating and general slut-shaming that goes on in 90210 makes me look like an angel. And what is with American High School? I don’t know what I find so fascinating about it all, maybe the differences, the fact ‘West Bev’ is bigger and better than my English University or possibly the allure of the City of Angels.

My main problem with 90210 was the incestuous friend circle. Who would wind up dating someone who dated two of their closest friends? It just wouldn’t happen, or if it does happen, it’s not something that happens multiple times within the same circle of friends. Wouldn’t being caught in bed with your mutual best friend be a kick in the teeth for your ex? Apparently not, because the message in 90210 is ‘friendship wins through’ and it really does shine when given the chance.

It was wonderful to see how the characters transformed from high school students to young adults on the verge of entering a scary new world. The ending of the series left me happy, but not elated like I was expecting. Yes, Liam and Annie were engaged (finally) but most of the other characters were at terrible points in their lives. I thought Naomi was more relatable than Annie. Annie’s issues arose from external problems, but Naomi was a complex character with internal issues. Max and Naomi were meant to be together and my heart broke for her when Max left her. Although I didn’t relate to her at all on the wealthy event planner front she was by far the most relatable character because of her internal issues. A lot like Ivy, who didn’t hang around that long but I also found quite relatable.

That’s the problem with writing. You can’t bring in a character at the end to replace a character like Max whom we’ve known for half the series and expect us to love him just as much. We’re guaranteed to love the characters we know better more. A combination of internal and external problems are important but I think the most interesting stories arise from internal flaws.

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