The Only Good Episode of 90210 Ever In Which Luke Perry's Girlfriend's Dad Doesn't Kill His Daughter Trying To Kill Luke
It was season one.
The only one I saw.
I remember tuning in for when Dylan laid Brenda, not to mention the SHOCKING conclusion in which a crying Brenda dumps HIM, but then it went on for about seven more years and I don't remember any of them except the one in the title of this blog.But I saw a great episode from the first season last night, and remember seeing it when I was in the seventh grade. I had a hard on for Kelly of course, Donna hell no, Brenda most definitely, but something I never noticed was how FINE Andrea can be.
Remember Andrea? (AHN-Drea)? Well in the episode I saw last night, I saw something interesting I want to tell all you good people about. Gabrielle Carteris looked really good in it. The key is put her in a position where she has to really, truly act horrified and nervous.
The thing that strikes you about this corny show is the opening credits. It's been forever since we saw it without the NA-NA-NA-NA...NA-NA-NA-NA (tt-tt) NA-NA-NA-NA
These earlier credits feature a saxaphone, and feature that short friend of David Silver's with the Lakers cap in need of brim-bending, Tori Spelling seated like a motorcycle punk bagging on some teacher before challenging another in the parking lot, and a mom in Carol Potter who looks like the ultimate scary, moronic mom. Yeah we're in Beverly Hills and you're still shoveling snow. Great character.
So then to the show. Brenda's having a slumber party. Everyone's all in a freaking FIT over the idea that seventh graders have slumber parties why are WE having slumber parties it's so LAME ohmagod we're gonna be in our PAJAMAS?! And doing our HAIR?! Whatdafunk Bren? But Brenda's trying to tell them in so many words that she's the alpha bitch. Brenda's like "if I was a guy, and this was a gang, I'd be cool enough to subject you to a night of watching Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. You'd find it ironic, and me even cooler for suggesting it. And the great thing is -- Brenda will let them know this very thing later on!!!!!!
As it turns out, Kelly's worried because she has a friend she's hanging out with that night, and she doesn't want her to get the impression that on Friday nights, rather then blowing frat guys like Amanda plans to do, she's attending a slumber party thrown by a 17-year old girl. This friend of Kelly's is named Amanda Peyser, and Kelly invites her to Brenda's thing. What happens next makes it 90210's best written episode ever.
It was written by Darren Star, the creator of both this and Sex in the City many years later. Like David E. Kelley, Darren Star wrote a lions share of the episodes on his show as well as all the first season's episodes. This is Darren Star's first great moment in the TV world, because while Amanda Peyser appears in only one episode, no woman in America who is 28 years old and over has ever ever ever ever ever forgotten Amanda Peyser.
So the slumber party at Brenda's house. There's Brenda, Kelly, Donna, and AHN-drea, They're in shirt-and-pants pajamas, and they've got Nillas and Bedder Cheddar boxes bulging out from under their armpits. Donna is mixing ice cream with popcorn and blending it in so we're looking at a bunch of nasty piss-yellow snowballs.
So Amanda comes over, and Amanda, on her way to a fraternity party, is instead oddly dressed like a screenwriter on a way to a pitch meeting. She had a sport-coat, blue jeans, and a pair of orthopedic snowboots. And the first thing she does is bag on the Amish pajama-ware these underage girls are having in their parents' house while the parents are in the next room.
Amanda's being a brat. She looks at her watch and notices it's almost midnight, "What's wrong?" Brenda says. "Do frat boys turn into pumpkins?" And so Andrea inexplicably busts out the Ouija board. Brenda and Donna express 100% loyalty to Andrea and her passions. Kelly's allegiance is clearly divided. Amanda disses Andrea throughout the Ouija proceedings as they look for Andrea's grandmother (how interesting, god what a dumb show for 12 year olds this was). And ohmagod, it looks like she might be here! And then there's camera flashing and the girls get scared, but it's David Silver and that friend who accidentally shoots himself in a later episode. The girls get mad, go to the window, take the camera, and that ends that.
But Amanda has now lost whatever gap it was until midnight. It's something like a quarter after by now. Amanda could have just gone to the thing but knew she didn't have a shot without Kelly. Kelly being hot has been the only reason Amanda's tolerated things thus far. Now she's through with it. She's going to wreck their night.
They play Skeletons In The Closet. The second that Amanda suggests this, they cut to Kelly who looks thoroughly deflated and brow-beaten. She's been here before.
Kelly goes first. The girls are to ask her questions. Donna, being such a genius, goes "what's your favorite color?"
Finally Andrea realizes that her being the actual smartest one in the room means that she has a responsibility to get this moving forward. So she says to Kelly "what was your first sexual experience?"
Very good, Andrea.
So Kelly tells a happy little story about banging Steve Saunders up in his room while his mom was being interviewed by Entertainment Tonight. And all about how he had this grin on his face the whole time when they interviewed him. Ha ha. Great story, Kel.
Yeah, says Ms. Peyser. Great story, Kel. Now why don't you tell us what really happened?
And so Kelly launches very sullenly and slowly into a story about this junior varsity football player who just ravaged her in the woods and spit her out like a bear would an e-coli-laden steak on a vacant campsite. To compound the insult, Amanda makes sure that the other girls are listening to this story with the visual image of a Kelly who's not as beautiful as the one they're looking at now. In this version, it's PNJ. What's PNJ they ask? "Pre Nose Job" Amanda smirks.
And so the next one is Andrea. Andrea is not the least bit scared because Andrea has never laid anyone before. There are no secrets as far as she's concerned because she's been cobweb girl up to this point, being studious and editing that school paper and such. Andrea has always fancied herself as someone who's not loose and easily thrown off after a lay like Kelly and the other girls. But what Andrea doesn't know -- is that the whole reason she's at this party is because Brenda thinks it's really cool and flattering that this fantastic person is into her brother.
And Amanda will bring it up as slowly as she can...
"Why do they call you AHN-Drea?" asks Amanda.
"Yeah," agrees Kelly. "It is a little pretentious."
"Well I just wanted to be different," Andrea said. "Andrea's kind of boring."
This makes Brenda feel better for accidentally putting Andrea in such a vulnerable spot with such a skanky bitch.
First she asks if Andrea's ever been with anyone sexually. She says no, but immediately turns to Kelly the slut and says "but I mean I would, totally." This makes Kelly feel better.
So Andrea's just winning people over one by one by one, shooting down one bogus attack after another. So Amanda asks who you'd lay if you could. Andrea....takes some time, and looks so hot as she's blushing....and Kelly suggests that it's Brandon to be a bitch. Andrea says no, and Brenda is shocked to the point where we can see she's almost...crushed?
During this whole sequence, Andrea is looking so hot.
So Amanda says "oh come on, the whole school knows you want Brandon. Not that they care."
And Andrea is now embarrassed and humiliated. All in one breath. But she's so fine you just wanna smack ugly Amanda.
"Yeah," she says. "Okay. So it is Brandon."
And Brenda now feels terrible. She didn't know that Andrea was living in this mental entrapment where she didn't think she had a shot in the first place. Brenda knew that herself and the other girls were always holding back who they liked, but they always anticipated getting with that guy. They withheld their true passions out of fear that the other girls would try to snag them. They were waiting patiently to make their moves with guys like Dylan and Brandon. Andrea on the other hand...was simply trying to not get hurt. And Brenda feels terrible.
But Andrea cheers up. She's good like that. And fine.
And so they go onto Donna, who's impossible to crack because she has no secrets.
Donna tells everyone when she farts.
And so Amanda's really really turning up the heat, calling Donna a loser and a nobody because she has no secrets.
Brenda then steps in, innocent and virginal as she still is, and tells Andrea that's not true. And so Amanda tells Brenda -- Oh you have no secrets, huh? That's not what I've been told."
And then we cut to a commercial break, because we think it's going to be something against Kelly.
But Kelly has a confession. She tried to get with Dylan like the second day Brenda was with him. Brenda is all ready to snap and insult. And she's awesome. "Did you go out with him?" "No," Kelly replies. And Brenda calms herself down and says "Well then clearly he wasn't that interested." HA!!!!! And then Kelly's like I was just trying to be honest and so Brenda LEAPS UP and shouts "You were trying to get with my boyfriend, ho!"
And they almost scrap.
But Brenda isn't Chuck Norris. She's better then Chuck. She's Batman. And she goes right at the source of all this misery -- not Kelly, but AMANDA.
She puts Amanda on the spot.
Amanda won't say anything. She leaves, and does it with such awkwardness she doesn't even pick up her purse.
One of the girls takes her purse, and then trying to walk up one single stair, trips like an idiot and all these diet pills fall out.
We got you, Amanda!
But Amanda says "I was fat and now I'm a bitch. You discovered my secret." And she starts to cry and all this stuff. And the girls are so happy they don't have to deal with this chick anymore so they all become friends.
And they all end up hugging and getting along.
Meanwhile Steve and Brandon are out getting their car stolen. Steve has the street smarts of the oldest son in 7th Heaven. I swear.
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