It’s sad to remember how high my hopes were for CW’s 90210 last summer. I love Fox’s original series, Beverly Hills 90210 (though bad dialogue and one-dimensional characters make for a rocky relationship) and I love Rob Thomas (of Veronica Mars), who was supposed to be writing this thing and making it awesome. But he backed out at the last minute to work on stupid Cupid , leaving us with a badly acted, poorly lit, script-challenged mess.
I thought it’d at least be worthwhile to see Shannen Doherty
reprise her role as Brenda Walsh, but not even one of my favorite
characters ever could keep me watching for more than 3 episodes.
I gave it another shot for the sake of research, and what I found out was…it’s still not good. But it had a good moment. You might even
call it a feminist moment.
Okay, okay, I realize that it’s hard to apply everyone’s favorite “F” word to a show populated by anorexia-faced girls who seem to lack the requisite calories for expressing basic emotions.
Just bear with me. Adriana’s pregnant, but the whole school thinks she’s hooked on drugs again, even though she just got out of rehab. (Notice how the promo makes a point of teen pregnancy being WORSE than hardcore drug addiction?) This causes her to faint at school and worry about what her new boyfriend will think. Rightly so, because he breaks up with her as soon as he finds out she’s carrying someone else’s baby.
By the time our fallen Adriana said, “I’m 16, I’m having a baby, so that makes me a walking statistic” with just 3 calories worth of sadness, I was all set to blog about the show’s sexist, anti-choice portrayal of unwed pregnancy. But then Adriana’s friend Naomi said something wonderful (with at least 5 calories worth of resolve): “If you wanna have this baby, I’ll go with you to Lamaz class. If you don’t wanna have it, I’ll go with you to the clinic. If you can’t decide, I’ll sit with you until you can.”
Kind of amazing, right? Even if the uneven approach to choice is just a bi-product of messy writing, it’s still great that millions of teen viewers got to hear someone on TV acknowledge that THERE IS A CHOICE. Most teen dramas either dance around that fact or don’t mention it at all. (Not that Adriana will end up making a choice either way. I’m willing to bet that this’ll go the way of so many fictional teen pregnancies before it and end in a miscarriage.)
Anyway, thanks for the one minute of watchable television, 90210!