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Arts and Entertainment

Every Day is Brenda Day

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If you missed 90210 the first time around, it's hard to explain. It was an instantaneous, un-self-aware camp classic. It was absolutely unwatchable while demanding that you HAD TO WATCH. Tori Spelling, before becoming the wronged daughter, the wedded-and-babied reality show chick, was simply a spoiled, freakishly untalented actress -- who was cast, in her daddy's show, as the eternal virgin (eew!). Ian Ziering, before he danced with the stars, played the cool guy -- until the producers noticed that everyone hated him, and they made him the buffoon.

The producers never noticed how much audiences hated Brenda. Or if they did, they ignored it. Soldier on, they thought, and barged ahead with classic episodes like the time when Brandon's evil girlfriend dosed everyone with Euphoria.

See, it was so camp, they couldn't say even "ecstasy" -- they had to come up with another word meaning "rapturous delight" that also began with an E. Imagine all the doctoral thesis on simulacra that followed. Or don't. We're talking about hating Brenda here.

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Her stupid bangs. Her self-centered outbursts. Her strange penchant for wide collars and prim outfits. Her indecision about Dylan. Her whining. Her teeth. Her dumb dark lipstick (wait, the dark lipstick was cool). Anyway, she was so hate-able that the early zine geniuses behind Ben Is Dead started putting out a newsletter called I Hate Brenda.

The producers might not have noticed, but Shannen Doherty, the woman who brought Brenda to life, did. She tells Entertainment Weekly that she still harbors insecurities from all the hate. But a newsletter -- that wasn't all. Not nearly.

As one fans tells it, the I Hate Brenda newsletter morphed into a CD, "Hating Brenda," eight whole songs worth. It was put together by a bunch of friends of the magazine, all LA musicians, many from bands that seemed to be in the middle of breaking up.

The best track was soon recorded again by a not-broken-up band that included the songwriter, which hadn't performed it on the official hateful CD (long story). You may never get the song -- or vision of the bass player in his dress and wig -- out of your head. To celebrate the revival of "Beverly Hills, 90210," -- which we wouldn't even watch except for that kid from The Wire* -- here is "Every Day is Brenda Day."

* We are so lying. We'll watch anyway. We might have some Euphoria nearby to ease the pain, but we'll watch.

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