Happy 25th Anniversary Beverly Hills, 90210

Happy 25th anniversary Beverly Hills, 90210

On October 4, 1990, the pilot episode of Beverly Hills, 90210 aired. Let’s revisit it.

When a TV show hasn’t been on the air for 15 years, all you have left is the reminiscing. And reminisce I have been doing, such as celebrating the 20th anniversaries of “Donna Martin graduates,” and “I choose me.” And in a month, we’ll remember the great Antonia “Brandon! They killed her!” Marchette. RIP.

This time, we get to reminisce about the beginning. Beverly Hills, 90210 began as a pilot called Class of Beverly Hills. While most of the show stayed the same, there are some things that are different. You’ll notice that the outside of the Walsh home is different. Dylan McKay doesn’t come aboard until the second episode. Steve Sanders is missing his white-man fro. Wait, that’s incorrect. He always had the white-man fro.

One thing I’ve always found interesting is that the pilot was very similar in storyline to the very first episode of Happy Days. In Happy Days, Potsie (very Steve Sanders-ish character though Sanders visually looks more like Ralph Mouf) sets Richie up with Mary Lou Milligan who has a reputation for going all the way and Richie embellishes about their date. In the pilot of 90210, Brandon’s Mary Lou is Marianne Moore, played by Leslie Bega who was previously best remembered for playing Maria on Head of the Class. So she went from being in high school to being in high school. Brandon also embellishes about his date. I wonder if Darren Star was a Happy Days fan? I’d bet on it.

Alright, it’s time to hear that familiar jingle.

Wait, that’s not what I remember. Bah, that gnarly guitar riff didn’t start until season two.

If you want to follow along, CBS’s YouTube page put up the pilot.

As MC Hammer used to say, let’s get it started.

(As a quick reminder, the Walsh family leaves Minnesota for Beverly Hills. Brandon and Brenda are the fish out of water twins.)

:45 – If you wanted to know the first dialogue ever uttered on the show, you’ve come to the right place.

Brandon: First day of school, strange city, new house, no friends. I’m psyched.

He wasn’t really psyched by the way.

1:38 – First mother/daughter talk is complete. Brenda doesn’t have the right clothes for the first day of school. Cindy Walsh, played by the great Carol Potter, tells her that she can make a wonderful first impression. I have a feeling that Brenda is going to give Cindy lots and lots of gray hair.

(By the way, my new favorite podcast, The Blaze With Lizzie and Kat just interviewed the great Carol Potter. As you can imagine, the great Carol Potter is great.)

Brandon's Chevy Chevette

Kind of looks like this

4:46 – Brandon and Brenda park at West Beverly High. Yet, he’s not driving Mondale. Instead, he’s driving some crappy brown Chevy Chevette. And he’s parking amongst auto royalty. Nope, Brenda’s not embarrassed at all.

4:56 – It’s the first ever shot of the license plate of Steve’s Corvette. I8A 4RE.

6:28 – Kelly Taylor alert! Nose job alert! Steve Sanders foot in his mouth alert!

This got me thinking. Out of all ten seasons, how would I stack rank the women of the show based simply on attractiveness? Does Kelly make the top five? Let’s see.

5. Brandon Walsh
5. Janet Sosna
5. Lucinda Nicholson
5. Claire Arnold
4. Kelly Taylor
3. Valerie Malone
2. Gina Kincaid
1. Antonia Marchette (RIP)

So there, Kelly does make the list.

By the way, Tracy Gaylian came in last.

9:08 – David Silver and Scott Scanlon (RIP) are freshman and roughly 5’5.

9:49 – So how did Kelly and Brenda’s friendship start? Well, Kelly didn’t want the chubby girl to sit next to her in lab because then they’d be lab partners for the entire year. She told chubby girl that the seat was taken and when chubby girl asked by who, Brenda walked in. What a beginning of a beautiful friendship.

11:23 – Of course, Andrea is the only one to understand the Spanish teacher speaking in Spanish in Spanish class. She powerfully raises her hand to say so.

13:38 – Speaking of 29-year old Andrea, her introduction to Brandon is essentially calling him a male chauvinist and making fun of his lack of Spanish knowledge for being in Spanish class. So mean.

15:54 – Marianne Moore has a plane fly a message on the first day of school. It says, “Back 2 School Jam Friday 150 Summit Lane.” And then it says, “No Freshman.” Poor David and Scott.

She will soon fall under the BWalsh love spell.

18:02 – Kelly and Donna pick up Brenda to go to Marianne’s party. Brenda only knows Kelly. Also, some girls named Kathy and Michelle are in the car, never to be seen again.

Brandon's mullet

Brandon’s mullet

20:00 – Kelly lays her eyes on Brandon and says that he’s cute. That’s some kind of foreshadowing.

By the way, we should celebrate Brandon’s great mullet from the pilot. It’s soft, well-kempt, and the sideburns haven’t gone out of control yet. Happy anniversary, mullet.

22:51 – Brandon walks over to Marianne Moore, only he doesn’t know it’s her. He tells her how he’s the new kid in town and he asks her story. Her response? “You’re sexy.” That’s the power of BWalsh.

And I’m now wondering if I should put Marianne Moore in my top five. She’s easy on the eyes.

23:08 – In some non-foreshadowing, she asks him to dance and he actually accepts! He would deny so many young lasses in years to come.

Marianne Moore 90210


24:40 – Marianne pulls a total Beverly Hills move when she gives Brandon her phone number by pulling out lipstick and writing it on his arm. He better memorize it quickly.

31:18 – A drunk Steve, who is wearing white shorts and a blazer, is unable to drive home. Drunk Steve was often the best Steve. His new young friend David Silver becomes his designated driver, only he doesn’t have his driver’s license. David has Scott’s hat that Scott left at the party. They nearly get pulled over by a cop because young David forgets to turn his lights on. No, wait, that was my son. I think young David was just paranoid that the cop would recognize how young he is, so he throws on Steve’s football helmet and pads in a matter of seconds and the cop just smiles at him and drives by.

David drops Steve off at his house, but mistakenly puts the car in reverse instead of park and it rolls back down the driveway and crashes. Young David books it.

34:58 – Scott Scanlon is wearing a sweet James Worthy cartoon t-shirt.

40:00 – Second mother/daughter talk is complete. Brenda tells Cindy that kids don’t have curfews in Beverly Hills. And then she won’t tell her mom where she’s going to be. Lastly, she tells her mom she can borrow her makeup any time, insinuating the great Carol Potter needs makeup. Apox on Brenda Walsh.

This is how Jim and Cindy probably felt for 99% of the time Brenda was awake.

A photo posted by Ian Ziering (@ianziering) on

41:15 – Brenda, Kelly and crew all try to get into a nightclub and only Brenda’s fake ID works. The doorman, played by Djimon Hounsou, is checking IDs at the door and tears Kelly’s up.

42:00 – Since I’m watching the DVD version of the pilot, there must have been a music clearing issue here. What’s playing while the people are dancing in the club is a knock-off of Nelly’s Hot In Herre which wouldn’t come out for another 12 years.

42:43 – “Relax, I’m not gonna bite,” doesn’t sound like the best pick-up line. Sounds like Brenda is about to get roofied, some years before Valerie Malone would. Watch your drink Brenda! Don’t let him roofie that banana daiquiri.

46:53 – Brandon’s date with Marianne consists of taking her dad’s motorcycle for a spin and making out in the hot tub. In the middle of a make out session, Marianne exclaims, “Let’s take off all our clothes!” Brandon tells her he’s not going anywhere. She’s taken aback that he just doesn’t want to sleep with her. What a good guy.

Brenda and Roofie guy

Brenda and Roofie guy

52:14 – Creepy roofie guy takes Brenda back to his place, puts on some early 90s R&B (which we’re still a few years away from – come on music clearance), starts making out with Brenda, tries to remove her clothing, and then is stopped. Brenda hasn’t yet told him that she’s sixteen and still a virgin, but he agrees to take her home, which he believes to be near the UCLA campus. She deftly has a cab coming to get her right as she’s dropped off at a sigma house. She’s kind of street smart.

54:15 – Jackie Taylor makes her first appearance, only, she’s the fake Jackie Taylor. Ann Gillespie would brilliantly play Jackie Taylor soonthereafter.

58:20 – Marianne Moore has flowers delivered to Brandon’s Spanish class. Steve thinks this means that Brandon knocked boots, and well.

62:30 – Brandon is cornered by some guys on the cross country team and they ask what he did to get roses delivered by Marianne. He said that all he can say is that he did something with her that most guys couldn’t handle. He then tells them to use their imagination. He immediately regrets saying that and is slapped on the back with congratulations for knocking boots. Well, he’s not perfect.

63:00 – Not only does West Beverly High have a radio station, but they also have a segment called the Wild Thing report. Brandon and Marianne make the list. I have a bad feeling about this.

65:02 – Marianne finds Brandon and slugs him in the gut and says she thought she had a friend. He tries to deny but he can’t really deny. She’s kind of hot when she’s mad.

68:10 – Since young David ran off, Steve’s been trying to find the guy who crashed his car. He doesn’t remember the night, so he doesn’t remember that David drove him home. David left Scott’s Lakers’ hat in Steve’s car and they try to get it out before he finds it since it has Scott’s name on it. They break into his car, which sets off the alarm, and he catches the rugrats. He decides to lay off Silver after Silver tells him he knows someone who might be able to fix the car for cheap.

Who puts their full name on their hat?

74:30 – Brandon takes to the West Bev High airwaves to refute the rumor from the Wild Thing report.

78:40 – Brandon’s strategy may have backfired. He was hoping Marianne would give him a second chance, but instead of going out with him on Friday night, she’s going to stay in for once. He c-blocked himself.

Lying Andrea

Lying Andrea

82:05 – Brandon catches Andrea lying about her address after following her home from school. Why? He just wanted to prove to her that he’s not the guy she thinks he is. He’s back to being a good guy. Well, a good guy who c-blocks himself.

85:05 – Brenda finally comes clean with roofie guy. He’s appalled and wants to sue her parents. Hmmm. Not sure he’s going to get far with that one.

88:00 – Roofie guy is very upset with Brenda until she tells him that she was going to let him be the first person to sleep with her. Even though, he’d be sleeping with a minor, he all of a sudden finds compassion for her and isn’t angry anymore. He then wants to walk her to the door. He surely hasn’t met Big Jim Walsh yet.

89:00 – Third mother/daughter talk is complete. Brenda is sorry that she lied to Cindy. Cindy is sorry that she let Brenda do everything and stopped parenting her. Big Jim tried to ask what was going on and his shot was stopped by the goalie.

91:12 – The episode wraps up with a creepy conversation Brenda and Brandon have about whether or not they had sex during their encounters. Who knows, maybe Marianne and the roofie guy ended up together.

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