From the Archives: the Times’ Original Review of ‘beverly Hills, 90210’: Cliches and Stereotypes Galore

Note from the editors: The debut of “Beverly Hills, 90210” aired on Fox on October 4, 1990. In honor of that milestone, we’re republishing the Los Angeles Times’ initial verdict on the show.

You’ve been holding your breath, waiting for this breathtaking scene, right? Fox’s new drama “Beverly Hills, 90210” finally premieres tonight and “explores the truths and mythology of socioeconomic strata in Beverly Hills.”

Unlike Tarzana, that is.

You’ll feel like you’ve been watching “Beverly Hills, 90210” for 90 days after watching tonight’s 90-minute premiere (airing on Channels 11 and 6 at 8:30 p.m.; the show’s usual time slot is Thursdays at 9 p.m.).

Okay, here’s the deal: A family uproots from upstanding Minneapolis to go to the more corrupt environs of Beverly Hills. In the first episode, 16-year-old twins Brandon and Brenda Walsh (Jason Priestley and Shannen Doherty) struggle to fit in with their wealthy, privileged, and hedonistic peers at West Beverly High.

beverly hills 90210 season 11

That depends on whose beliefs prevail. At first glance, things don’t look good for Brandon and Brenda, but as the saying goes, “you can take the kid out of the Midwest, but you can’t take the Midwest out of the kid.”

Even if the twins in “Beverly Hills, 90210” face moral dilemmas, we all know they’ll make the right choice in the end—after all, they’re from Minneapolis and that’s where good people live. When Brandon, embarrassed that he spread a lie about having sex with one of his attractive female classmates, announces on the school radio station that “nothing occurred” on their hot-tub date, the narrative runs off the rails.

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Meanwhile, West Beverly High is the type of school where you want to throw a cream pie at the spoiled brats and future Zsa Zsa’s that attend there. The school’s BMOC asks, “What did I do to deserve meeting a dork like this?” after a first-year student wrecks his expensive car. I can relate to how you feel as the last credits roll.

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