Tuesday, February 12, 2013

20 Things You Didn't Know About Beverly Hills, 90210

This reeks of 90s.
  1. Beverly Hills, 90210 was originally titled The Class of Beverly Hills. That shit just ain't catchy, and now 90210 is the most-recognized zip code by both Americans and foreigners.
  2. Jennie Garth was the first actor cast in the series, landing the role of the spoiled and beautiful Kelly Taylor after five auditions. (Bullshit! Bitch should've gotten it when she walked through the door!)
  3. Despite urban myth to the contrary, Tori Spelling insists that producers were well aware that she was the daughter of series creator Aaron Spelling when she auditioned, though she did use a fake name in hopes of avoiding special treatment. Tori originally tried out for the role of Kelly, but was instead cast as Donna, a role specifically created for her. When the series began, she only had a few lines per episode. It wasn't until the second season that audiences were subjected to her so-called acting.
  4. Luke Perry, who originally auditioned for the role of Steve Sanders, was cast as Dylan McKay for a two-episode arc. Aaron Spelling liked him so much that he made Luke a series regular, despite the Fox network's reluctance.
  5. Beverly Hills High School would not allow the show to use its name or location, thus producers created West Beverly High and filmed at Torrance High School, which was also used for Buffy the Vampire Slayer, She's All That, and Bring It On. Filming for the exterior scenes of the fictional California University took place at Occidental College.
  6. Originally, the family-oriented drama depicted twins Brandon (Jason Priestley) and Brenda Walsh (Shannen Doherty) and their parents as they adjusted to the move from Minnesota to Beverly Hills, and each episode was a sort of a lesson of the week. Midway through the first season, however, the show began targeting a younger audience and focused more on the twins' group of friends. The first of these teen-driven episodes aired in February 1991, when other networks had suspended creative programming to cover the Gulf War. (At the time, Fox didn't have a news department. Wish they still didn't!) The show's new tone compounded with the temporary elimination of its competition led to a surge in ratings.
  7. Starting with the second season, Fox capitalized on the show's success and ordered extended seasons of the show, airing as many 32 episodes per season instead of the traditional 22-24. Beverly Hills, 90210 often aired summer episodes, which no other show at the time was doing, thus attracting even more viewers. By this time, the show had solidified itself as a youth-driven soap opera, forever abandoning the original family-friendly concept.
  8. Douglas Emerson, who portrayed Scott Scalon, was the first actor to be let go from the series. Both he and Brian Austin Green portrayed dorky underclassmen, but only Green caught the producers' eyes and received real storylines and more screentime. Emerson's character was killed off in the second season, a decision that reportedly stemmed from the network pressuring producers to cut costs.
  9. Both Aaron Spelling and the Fox network wanted to make the high school years last as long as possible. Though the characters refer to themselves as juniors in the first season, the second season later became their official junior year, and from then on, the first season was retconned as sophomore year. Much to Spelling and Fox's chagrin, executive producer Charles Rosin constructed the third season as senior year in real time (college applications in the fall, prom in the spring, etc.). It wasn't until he agreed to send the characters to the same college that Spelling and Fox stopped protesting the transition out of high school.
  10. Though Shannen Doherty's highly publicized personal troubles and onset squabbles with her costars, particularly Jennie Garth, are often cited for reasons behind her getting fired at the end of the fourth season, producer Larry Mollin says that the straw that broke the camel's back was when she cut her hair halfway through filming the season finale, thus throwing off the continuity of the scenes that had already been shot. At the cast's urging, Aaron Spelling released Shannen from her contract, though he later cast her in Charmed, from which she was also fired.
  11. Tiffani Amber Thiessen, who joined the cast as Valerie following Shannen's departure, was dating Brian Austin Green at the time. Brian was not happy about the casting, as Thiessen's promiscuous character was often getting it on with the other male cast members. Several actresses were offered the role of Valerie, including Alicia Silverstone and Drew Barrymore. All I can say is praise Baby Jesus that Drew fucking Barrymore wasn't available to mumble Valerie's lines out her side mouth.
  12. The gang's hangout spot, a diner called the Peach Pit, is modeled after the Apple Pan, an actual restaurant located in West Los Angeles.
  13. Gabrielle Carteris was 29 when she was cast to play 16-year-old Andrea Zuckerman. When bitch got knocked up, reluctant producers had no choice but to write the pregnancy into the script. By this time, the age difference between Gabrielle and her co-stars was becoming increasingly apparent. Additionally, producers weren't satisfied with the performance of Mark Damon Espinoza, who played Jesse, Andrea's baby daddy. For these reasons, neither actor's contract was renewed after the fifth season.
  14. Aaron Spelling was incredibly dedicated to protecting Tori's reputation, and by extension, the Donna character's as well. For this reason, Donna remained a virgin until her college graduation in the seventh season, despite the fact that Tori was a noTORIous slut behind the scenes. Additionally, audiences wrote in and called the character an idiot for staying with an abusive boyfriend, Ray (Jamie Walters), in the fifth and sixth seasons. Though Jamie was signed for an additional year on the series and the writers had planned to redeem his character, Aaron demanded that he be written off as soon as possible in order to protect Donna's character.
  15. Dylan's father, Jack McKay (Josh Taylor), was killed off in a car explosion in the third season, but the scene was shot in a way so that the revelation of his survival could be used later on. However, Luke Perry left the show in the sixth season and the storyline was delayed until he returned at the end of the series. By this time, none of the writers who had implemented the original plot were on staff and the "Jack McKay is back from the dead" storyline was butchered and contradicted earlier events in the series.
  16. The Brenda/Dylan/Kelly love triangle is one of the show's most iconic storylines and one of the most apparent. It spanned the entire ten seasons of the series, even after Doherty and Perry's departures, and continued into the current CW reboot.
  17. While Shannen Doherty's departure led to a mild ratings decrease, it wasn't until both Jason Priestly and Tiffani Amber Thiessen left during the ninth season that the show experienced a major blow to its viewership, prompting Fox to make the tenth season its last.
  18. By the end of the series, Jennie Garth, Ian Ziering, Brian Austin Green, and Tori Spelling were the only remaining members of the original cast. However, not a single actor appeared in all 296 episodes of the series.
  19. Among the various Beverly Hills, 90210 spin-offs, Melrose Place (1992-1999) is the most famous. Its drastic and soapy tone proved immensely popular, and it overtook its parent series in success for most of its run. The show cemented Heather Locklear's status as a television superstar, and launched the careers of other actors, including Marcia Cross, who later brought her own brand of OCD craziness to Wisteria Lane on Desperate Housewives.
  20. In 2008, 90210 premiered on The CW. The show is a reboot of the original and focuses on a new generation of West Beverly (and later, California University) students. One character, Erin Silver (Jessica Stroup), appears in the original series as the toddler half-sister to Kelly (Garth) and David (Green). Additionally, Garth, Doherty, and Spelling have all reprised their roles on the show. But besides a few characters and half a title, the new show has little in common with Beverly Hills, 90210. Seriously, watching them is like night and day.

2 comments:

Taylor Tanton said...

Why did he decide to cast Shannen again! People need to learn from their mistakes!

Madeleine Wills said...

It was originally a "family-oriented drama" that taught moral lessons? Gross. I'm picturing a southern california-themed Full House, and it's making me sick. Granted, San Francisco-themed Full House on its own makes me sick, too.