Eighteen years ago I sat with bated breath in front of my little TV and watched the premier of a new show that was getting a lot of buzz and attracting tweeners like me. It was a show about spoiled rich kids in Beverly Hills with a funny name that I thought I’d never be able to remember, “Beverly Hills: 90210.” Geez, I could barely remember by own zip code at age 12. It was controversial because it showed teenagers in a whole new light. I sat riveted hoping to get a glimpse into the secret life of a teenager, being on the verge of teenagehood myself. Kids who have money, their own cars, sex lives, addictions to weight loss pills (how many cults did Kelly join?) and the like. That first episode would be considered extremely benign compared to what I saw last night.
The spinoff of “90210” debuted last night and I couldn’t believe what I saw in a 7:00 time slot. Within the first 15 minutes it was insinuated that one of the male characters, who was portrayed as a nice guy throughout the rest of the episode, was receiving a blow job from a girl who was not his girlfriend (not that that was the most surprising/alarming part of the scenario) in the front seat of his car, before school, in full view of his fellow students. Um, hello! People were up in arms when Brenda lost her virginity to her long-time boyfriend Dylan in the original 90210 and nothing was shown of the virginity losing. Let alone a girl popping up from the lap of a boy sitting there clearly enjoying himself.
Now, I wouldn’t call myself a prude. I regularly talk very candidly about sex with young women in an almost church-like atmosphere and nothing really shocks me. I read Dan Savage every week, so there is no sex stone left uncovered. I guess I was just taken aback by how much times have changed in the last 18 years. (And mentioning that it was 18 years ago that the original 90210 debuted and I was fully cognizant at that time makes me feel very old). I just don’t think teenage blow jobs belong on a show shown at the 7:00 hour of television. My 7 year old is still awake and I don’t really want her asking me what those two were doing if she happens to catch a glimpse of it while flipping channels.
I don’t live in Beverly Hills and so I don’t know how grown up those kids are, but I found the whole show unrealistic. One of the characters, Naomi, was celebrating her “Not so very Sweet 16” birthday party and the relationship she had with her boyfriend Ethan (the bj receiver) was too adult to be had by 16 year olds. Does anyone remember what high school was like? I half expected them to pull out their laptops and start quoting stock prices and debating the merits of which mortgage rate would be best for their house. And was it just me, or does every girl on that show belong in an eating disorder clinic? I have never seen skinnier girls in my life. If you look too skinny on TV and the camera adds 15 pounds, seek help immediately.
And another thing that stuck in my craw, one of the support characters I never bothered to remember the name of (the token emo kid with a face full of dark hair and tight black clothes) has a father who’s the biggest producer of porn in the universe and they have a porn set at his house. (Really? He’s not rich enough to afford a studio…he’s gotta shoot porn at his house within a few feet of his teenage son?) This kid knew all the porn actresses and there were pigs on set. I don’t want to know or even think about why there were girls in robes (apparently naked underneath) with three pigs waiting nearby going to be used in a porn movie. Can we say “ewww” and throw up in our mouths a little bit? In attempting to be cool and hip, 90210, you just made me toss my cookies.
There are two things, however, that I appreciated about the show. One, Rob Estes is total eye candy and I’ve been needing a fix since that hapless show “Silk Stalkings” went off the air. Let me pause for a moment and think about sexy Robby. Hmm…………Okay, I’m back. Second, they portrayed adoption as a normal thing. The aforementioned saliva-inducing Rob and his wife Becky from “Full House” adopted an African American son, and although i
t’s obvious he was adopted, they had a totally normal father/son relationship and there is no question who “Dixon’s” parent’s are (and they didn’t make a big deal out of the adoption either, it’s just normal). Also, Robbykins apparently knocked up his high school girlfriend and she placed their son for adoption. It will be interesting how that storyline plays out since she just waited to tell him now about the whole bearing of his fruit instead of going to “the clinic,” now that their bio-son is an adult. Interesting how they never said the word “abortion,” she just said she didn’t go to “the clinic,” but Ethan can be seen receiving fellatio. Hmm. You’re right Bob Dylan. Times they are a-changin’.
There you go. There’s my totally mindless brain fodder for the evening. Take it and spread joy throughout the land.