90210: The Pilot
Hi everybody! This is Lancer, 90210 aficiondado at your service, and ready to relive the glory days of West Beverly. I'm excited to be part of the team at Serial Drama; EBT and PI have set the bar pretty high around here, so if you're expecting their level of humor and wit...go read their posts. As for us, we'll be going through every episode of Season 1: from the pilot to the Spring Dance to the almost-move back to Minnesota for the Walsh Clan- and everything in between. Some episodes we'll do in running diary style (starting at the 0:00 mark on the trusty RealPlayer DVD thingie and working our way up), some we'll do by character, some we'll do by Top 10 Best/Worst Moments; and our editors are demanding at least one entirely from the perspective of James Eckhouse's bald spot. In any event, we'll have some fun, and all comments are welcome. And now, without further ado, let's travel back to that time long ago, wayyyyy back to October 1990, when the girls wore leggings, the boys rolled up their tshirt sleeves, Lancer was in the third grade, and there was a Bush in the White House fighting a war in Iraq...
Season 1, Episode 1: The Pilot (Part 1)
0:05 Um, hold the phone. Furious. Where's the "Da na na na, da na na na...POW POW' music? Where are the opening credits of missed high fives and Gabrielle Carteris trying to get Jennie Garth to notice her? And that's not the Walsh house exterior that we know and love. What the hell is going on here?
0:14 Trivia question- who is the very first character we see in 90210 history, and what is that character doing? No, it's not Kelly sniffing the white stuff (Editor's note: she's doing that off camera, with her mom). It's Brandon and he's sleeping and boy does he have a lot of hair!
0:50 First dialogue is Brandon, right after his alarm clock goes off: "First day of school: strange city, new house, no friends...I'm psyched." That's right folks; he's half asleep and the series isn't even a minute old, and our hero is already preachy.
1:00 Next character makes an appearance. She's throwing boxes, kicking piles of clothes, and generally looking disgusted with herself and her life. Don't worry, it's just Shannen Doherty being herself and playing Brenda Walsh at the same time. In this business, thats what we call life imitating art. By the way, it's taken a good 15 minutes to get through the first minute, and the pilot has about 1 hour and 32 minutes of running time. At this pace, Lancer will finish this episode on Thursday and season one in around 2009. Glad to be with you.
1:16 Jim Walsh sighting! Jim Walsh sighting! The greatest TV dad short of Mike Brady is at the kitchen table, drinking his morning java, reading his morning newspaper, sporting his morning suspenders, and frowning his morning frown. Don't worry Jimbo, soon you'll have a hot young secretary who worships you to get your mind off your troubles.
1:35 Brenda asks Cindy if she can go shopping today, and then start school tomorrow. An awfully reasonable suggestion, especially considering she "doesn't even have the right hair." Strangely, Cindy turns her down. Don't worry Brenda, soon you can move with Dylan and he has lots of money, which you can spend to your heart's content as long as you sleep with him on the night of the school dance. Wait, we're getting ahead of ourselves.
2:13 Um.....Brenda jumps in Brandon's bed to wake him up, and implores him to help her pick out something to wear. In turn, Brandon suggests that she's cute enough to be homecoming queen. Did someone forget to tell Jason and Shannen that they're supposed to be brother/sister in this show? Did this scene play well with southern focus groups or something? Is anyone else freaked out by this?
2:34 Even the interior shots are all wrong. People, the Walsh kitchen does not have that many windows. Did Amazon.com send the wrong DVDs?
2:45 Here it is! "Da na na na...da na na na POW POW!" WE ARE BACK IN THE GAME BABY!
2:54 Brandon's car, our old friend...who remembers the car's name? We are going to have a LOT more to say about this later on once the name is revealed; we're giddy with excitement about this, and have planned many jokes that probably won't be funny since it's political humor, but we'll try anyway.
4:20 We have just seen a fine montage of various and assorted fashion faux pas worn by the students of West Beverly. Can't even begin to describe them all, but many include mullets, plastic sunglasses, rolled-up tshirt sleeves, and skateboards. There may or may not have been a Vanilla Ice cameo somewhere too. Meanwhile, the name Douglas Emerson just flashed on the screen, meaning we'll soon have our first Scott Scanlon sighting. Or maybe he died already, our editors can't recall.
4:56 Steve Sanders roars into the school parking lot in his 'vette, looking for the legacy key.
5:31 Kelly Taylor pops onto the screen, and Lancer instantly falls head over heels for her all over again. This is immediately followed by young David Silver walking to school, wearing blue jeans (cuffs rolled up), white sneakers, tight yellow button down, brown blazer with two big buttons on the left lapel, sunglasses, and slicked-back hair. Lancer would like to wear this to work tomorrow, but he does not know where the nearest Salvation Army box is.
6:37 Steve spots Kelly in the parking lot, and after wondering why she didn't return his 300 phone calls (memo to Steve: Kelly really really hates you. Find someone else), realizes that she got a nose job. Kelly smiles a big smile, and replies "Yeah, I did." Steve then points out that they 'cut about a foot off' (second memo to Steve: don't say things like this to girls. Even Lancer knows this and he's inept when it comes to the fairer sex), at which point Kelly remarks that she now remembers why they broke up. You'd figure that she would have remembered once she saw his mullet and orange leather jacket, but it takes Kelly a little while longer to think things through (reason #472 why we love her).
7:20 Andrea just got off the bus that takes her from her home somewhere in West Virginia to school in West Beverly (shhh, don't tell anybody, Andrea shouldn't be going to school at here because she doesn't live in the district). In other news, nobody cares about Andrea except Brandon, and that's just because Brandon is nice to everybody. Luckily, she'll get hit by a car soon, and then we can all relax.
7:45 Walking in the halls, Brenda implores Brandon to have lunch with her later, and Brandon replies by putting his arm around her and giving his "sister" a tight squeeze. Gross. Can someone PLEASE tell Jason and Shannen that they're related when the cameras roll?
10:00 Kelly meets Brenda in science class, with the former inviting the latter to be her lab partner so the former wouldn't be stuck with some big-ass ugly fat chick who was about to sit down before the latter entered the room and was beckoned by the former to sit down quickly. Did you follow that? Also, Kelly is wearing the most beautiful orange shirt/black polka-dot vest of all-time.
10:46 Brandon walks in late to Spanish class (one of three times he does something wrong the entire series) and finds the last empty seat located next to...Steve Sanders! Isn't it lucky that the shows main characters all have chance meetings like this? Otherwise, the producers would have had to hire different actors for leading roles, like the aforementioned big-ass ugly fat chick.
11:36 First sighting of Brandon walking the hallways with a pencil on his ear. He's about to walk into...
13:40 ...the West Beverly Blaze offices, home of the number one ranked school newspaper in the whole country (or maybe it was California, we weren't paying attention because Andrea was talking, and, you'll recall, no one cares about Andrea). Brandon quickly fails Andrea's fool-proof 'do you want to cover the toxic waste in chem labs story, or the girls water polo team' quiz she gives to prespective male reporters, but it's obvious she is smitten with this new boy Brandon. They don't make 'em like that in West Virginia, or wherever she lives.
14:43 Lunchtime. Brandon eats alone, Brenda and Kelly randomly sit down to lunch next to...Donna Martin! Just uncanny, these ironic happenstances involving the main characters. By the way, Donna will hereafter be referred to as DMG! (Donna Martin Graduates!) for the remainder of our time here.
15:17 Some hooligan in a varsity letter jacket throws a football at young Scott Scanlon, causing him to drop his lunch tray. Soon, Scott Scanlon will die a terrible death, and, like every scene involving Andrea, no one will notice.
16:19 The announcement of the back to school 'jam' at Maryann Moore's house comes via one of those airplanes you see at the beach that carry messages. It then says 'No Freshman' when it obviously means to say 'No Freshmen.' Ha! That pilot wouldn't last two minutes at Andrea Zuckerman's Blaze, the number one ranked school newspaper in all of...well, really, who gives a damn.
18:15 Friday night; party time. Cindy escorts Brenda outside where Kelly and DMG! are waiting in Kelly's convertible. Oh, to be in Kelly's convertible. Cindy informs Brenda of her midnight curfew, which, in a fit of passion only Cindy Walsh can muster, is then extended to (drum roll please...) 12:15! Brenda is of course mortified by all of this, while Cindy is oblivious to the world. Can't you see this is Bevery Hills, Cindy? Don't be so Minneapolis. This would remind Lancer of that time he went to a party in high school, except he stayed home that night to do his U.S. History homework.
19:14 Brandon and Steve arrive at the party; Brandon in a jean jacket, Steve in a black blazer with white shorts and white sneakers. Yours truly is speechless. You can't make this stuff up, kids.
21:03 Young David Silver sneaks into the party with Young Scott Scanlon. Young Scott Scanlon is wearing a pinstriped white shirt, a tie tucked into his pants, and a purple Lakers cap. Young David Silver has a crush on the gorgeous Kelly Taylor, the girl who Steve Sanders can't get over, though he tells Brandon that it was HE who dumped HER. Drama abounds!
21:30 Another hooligan pushes Young Scott Scanlon into the swimming pool. This will likely necessitate a trip to the dry cleaners for Young Scott Scanlon, who, by any measure, is having a tough week.
22:53 Brandon moseys around, until he finds a girl by herself at the 35 degree longtitude mark of this rather big house. He does not yet realize that this is actually Maryann, and that he will actually be in the hot tub with her before too long, and they will actually engage in some adult behavior, but again, we're getting ahead of ourselves. Anyway, the following conversation just ensued:
Brandon: "So, what's your story?"
Girl who will later be revealed to be Maryann: "You're sexy."
22:54 Lancer pauses the DVD, wonders why this sort of thing never happens to him.
23:07 Brandon and girl who will later be revealed to be Maryann begin dancing, even though A) there is no music and B) Brandon is supposed to hate dancing.
23:26 Brandon realizes that the girl who will later be revealed to be Maryann is revealed to be Maryann.
24:06 Maryann: "Just because I'm popular doesn't mean I have to like everybody."
24:07 Lancer nods his head solemnly.
24:48 Maryann writes her number on Brandon's forearm in lipstick, kisses him on the cheek, and tells him not to smear it. This, in a nutshell, is why Brandon Walsh is a legend.
25:30 Steve is drinking adult beverages and looking depressed, even though his outfit is slammin. This will not bode well for Steve in a few minutes.
27:22 Another chance encounter between main characters, this time between Steve and Young David Silver, where Young David Silver realizes that Steve is the sun of the infamous Samantha Sanders, who was, like, the PERFECT mom on some show called the Hartley House. Some time later, we will learn that Steve is adopted and Samantha Sanders is actually a lesbian. Perhaps the latter was when 90210 jumped the shark, but that's a debate for another day.
28:33 In a storyline to be repeated several times over the years, Steve Sanders is too drunk to drive home. Ironically, following chance encounter #17, Young David Silver is pressed into service, even though the state of California has not yet licensed him to partake in such activity. Uh oh.
31:13 Young David Silver drives a toasted Steve Sanders home...and does a great job! They pull up the long, hilly driveway, park the car, and...uh oh...Young David Silver has left the 'vette in neutral on top of the hill. UH OH. I DON'T THINK HE SHOULD HAVE DONE THAT. OTHERWISE, THE CAMERA WOULDN'T HAVE FOCUSED IN ON IT LIKE THAT. SOMETHING BAD IS GOING TO HAPPEN. THAT'S CALLED FORESHADOWING OR SOMETHING.
31:46 The camera again shows the clutch in neutral. This amount of foreshadowing is off the charts. Someone give Aaron Spelling an Emmy.
32:30 And it happens...just when Young David Silver was feeling good about his freshman self, the 'vette rolls down the driveway and smashes into a parked car. Young David Silver panics and runs away, as the camera fades to black and Scott Scanlon meets his untimely demise! Well, not yet, but soon enough.
33:06 Brenda informs an insecure Brandon on the way to school Monday morning that Maryann 'would be lucky to have a date with you.' Please stop, guys. Lancer dares you all in Internet World to name one other brother/sister combination that talks like this, aside from Angelina Jolie and her brother.
33:50 Steve arrives at school in his smashed up 'vette, wearing brown leather motorcycle gloves to go along with his orange leather jcket and ever-present mullet. Then, he joins Danny and the other T-Birds inside.
35:38 Quick shot of Kelly making fake ID's during science class (with a pencil) as an amazed Brenda watches in amazement at the amazing amazingness of it all.
36:02 Kelly's Monday morning outfit: black sneakers, purple socks, blue leggings, polka dot shorts, purple shirt, pink jacket, white purse. Also, her long blonde hair dances in the sun-splashed courtyard, as birds chirp, flowers dance and Lancer's heart soars like an eagle against the bright blue sky of dreams.
36:58 Brandon spots Maryann eating lunch in the courtyard all by herself...with his tshirt sleeves rolled up! Victory!
39:30 A forlorn Andrea tells Brandon where he should take Maryann to dinner on Saturday night. Andrea really likes Brandon. Brandon really likes to roll up his tshirt sleeves.
40:35 It's Saturday night. Brenda again manipulates Cindy into a 12:15 curfew. She's sly, that Brenda. Maybe she should just move out.
41:45. Brenda's fake ID works. Kelly's does not, despitre her exhortation for the gentlemanly bouncer to 'do the addition.I'm 21.' Kelly, come to Lancer's house. The party's here tonight. Care to, you know, blog together?
44:07 Brenda meets Jason, a strapping young lawyer fellow at this hip club who is cruising around looking for 'babes.' In a span of two minutes, Brenda orders the first banana daquiri in American history (funky), informs Jason that she attends UCLA (lie), and that her whole sorority moved there from Minnesota (big lie, though with a glimmer of truth since, she does live in a house with Minnesota expatriates). Close call, Brenda! Is it any wonder this show lasted 10 years?
46:20 Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Brandon and Maryann go for a motorcycle ride, during which Maryann engages in some teenage-level petting while Brandon steers. In the next scene, we see the two lovebirds imbibing some champagne and lounging in a hot tub. Maryann has on a revealing bikini to match the sultry look in her eye, while the B-man looks devilishly cool as he futilely attempts to keep his hair out of his face and not think of his sister. Which brings us to...
...the end of Part 1! (Editor's note #2: to be more specific, nothing really ends here; we're simply halfway through the 1 hour, 32 minutes, and 40 seconds of The Pilot. Indeed, we stopped mid-scene. Apologies all around. But it is very late, and Lancer is very tired, not to mention overcome with emotional exhaustion at the prospect of doing this for 290-something episodes, even though he is having way too much fun). To find out how The Pilot ends, tune in tomorrow!