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Arts and Entertainment

DVD Review: Beverly Hills 90210 - The Second Season

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by special guest reviewer, Carolyn Kellogg

Watching the second season of 90210 is Euphoria. Make that Ecstacy. Make that U4EA. Aw, heck, put that DVD in and let's go.

When it comes to TV series about bratty So Cal high schoolers, 90210 is OG to The OC. Season one started with a classic hook: normal teen bro-and-sis from Minnesota find themselves attending Beverly Hills High when Dad gets a new job. Realism it wasn't -- the teens, Brendan (Jason Priestly) and Brenda (Shannen Doherty), were twins, and instantly popular -- but it sure made for fabulous eye candy, showing the early '90s in all their high-waisted, front-pleated, shoulder-padded glory. Plus it launched Tori Spelling's career!

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There were also the moral lessons: Brenda kicks off season two with a pregnancy scare -- and she's only had sex once! Kelly (Jennie Garth) throws at herself at a guy -- and he says no! (Gay, of course. It's not about you, Kelly!) David (Brian Austin Green) rejects his uncool childhood friend -- and the guy blows his brains out! On accident, kinda! David feels bad but gets to social climb without his geeky buddy hanging around! And you know where that ends (Tori Spelling, of course).

So when, in season two, Brandon's new girlfriend (Christine Elise) drags him to an underground club and doses him with a happy-making drug, it goes by the laughable pseudonym U4EA. "I think it's THE BEST episode of all the 90210 episodes combined," Elise says in the DVD extras. "I think it's hysterical."

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It is hysterical, Elise. It demonstrates that 90210 can make what would be the jump-the-shark episode for any other show into just another delicious leap in a series that's all about jumping the shark.

Feeling euphoric yet? Ecstatic? How about these fabulous '90s nuggets from the DVD set to get you going?

- "If it weren't for these VCRs, I might never get to catch up with my programs," says Henry, the beach club manager.
- Kelly's car phone: bigger than a breadbox!
- Extravagant tanning!
- Floppy disks!
- Tori Spelling's perky size As!

If that's not enough, consider Ian Ziering. He must have really pissed off the costumers: the floppy purple tank top and yellow dolphin shorts were one of the more palatable outfits they let him wear.

At some point, even the glorious camp of 90210 can start to feel as strained as mama Walsh's smile. Which is when it's time to tune in to the Colton & Aboud commentary. Their acid take on the candy-colored Beverly Hills of 90210 -- from a set built to look frighteningly like the Peach Pit -- might just give you the strength to go back for more.

Carolyn Kellogg is the editor emerita of LAist and currently blogs at Pinky's Paperhaus and is the founding editor of Metroblogging Pittsburgh