Before "The O.C.", there was "Beverly Hills, 90210", which launched in 1990 to almost instant success, turning its actors into stars overnight. The series ended its run in 2000 and, since then, "90210" has been one of the most requested shows in terms of shows that hadn't been released yet on DVD.
The series was often focused on twins Brenda (Shannen Doherty) and Brandon Walsh (Jason Priestley), two teens (who looked like they were in their 20's), who found themselves in Beverly Hills when their parents, Jim and Cindy (James Eckhouse and Carol Potter), moved the family from Minneapolis to Beverly...Hills, that is.
The series quickly introduced and integrated Brendon and Brenda's set of friends, including troubled rich girl Kelly Taylor (Jennie Garth), David Silver (Brian Austin Green), smart outsider Andrea Zuckerman (Gabrielle Carteris), Donna Martin (Tori Spelling, whose character was, according to the commentary track, not originally planned to be a main character), rebel Dylan McKay (Luke Perry) and Kelly's ex-boyfriend, Steve Sanders (Ian Ziering).
The show focused on the group as they faced their ups-and-downs, including teen issues like alcoholism, dating, grades, drugs, rape and more. While I've certainly never been concerned with fashion, it's fairly interesting to watch the series after all these years and see some very loud and scary-looking fashion on display. While the look of the show has become somewhat dated, the performances still remain enjoyable after all these years, as it's obvious that the series was cast superbly, both in terms of its leads and in terms of its supporting/one-episode players. While there were some changes in the show over the course of its run, the cast seems comfortable in their roles from the opening of the series.
23. 2- 1 11 Jul 91 Beach Blanket Brandon
- A pregnancy scare results in Brenda breaking off her relationship with Dylan, while Brendon gets a new job at the beach club.
24. 2- 2 18 Jul 91 The Party Fish
- Brendon realizes a friendship with an influential sports promoter has become more complicated than he'd expected.
25. 2- 3 25 Jul 91 Summer Storm
- Dylan is injured in a surfing accident and stays with the Walshes until Jim gives him the boot for kissing Brenda.
26. 2- 4 1 Aug 91 Anaconda
- After a late-night poker game, Brandon and Dylan clash over a break-in at the beach club.
27. 2- 5 8 Aug 91 Play It Again, David
- Kelly is horrified when her mother starts dating David's father and plots to break up the new couple, while Brandon realizes that the boy he is mentoring may have a dark secret.
28. 2- 6 15 Aug 91 Pass/Not Pass
- Brenda and Andrea clash over their acting teacher, whose interest in one of the girls surprises them both.
29. 2- 7 29 Aug 91 Camping Trip
- The gang heads to Yosemite on what turns out to be a doomed camping trip that includes both danger and bad weather.
30. 2- 8 12 Sep 91 Wildfire
- Brandon and Dylan make a date with wild new girl Emily Valentine, and Branda's jealousy results in her rethinking her feelings for Dylan.
31. 2- 9 19 Sep 91 Ashes to Ashes
- An effort to create a neighborhood security patrol goes poorly, resulting in race hate and violence.
32. 2-10 26 Sep 91 Necessity Is a Mother
- When Dylan's long-absent mother moves back into his life and his home, things come to a head, forcing Dylan to confront his issues.
33. 2-11 10 Oct 91 Leading From the Heart
- Brandon and Brenda's paraplegic cousin Bobby is visiting Beverly Hills and catches the interest of Kelly.
34. 2-12 17 Oct 91 Down and Out of District in Beverly Hills
- Andrea wins a journalism contest, but the victory is followed by an investigation.
35. 2-13 31 Oct 91 Halloween
- Things take a turn for the worse at a Halloween party when Kelly's seductive costume results in unwanted attention from a college student.
36. 2-14 7 Nov 91 The Next 50 Years
- When a tragic accident takes the life of Scott Scanlon, David tries to cope with the pain of losing his friend.
37. 2-15 14 Nov 91 U4EA
- Emily invites everyone to a secret club, where she does something that could end her relationship with Brandon forever.
38. 2-16 21 Nov 91 My Desperate Valentine
- Emily refuses to believe that Brandon no longer wants to see her and spirals out of control.
39. 2-17 12 Dec 91 Chuckie's Back
- Steve's life is turned upside-down when his childhood nemesis transfers to West Beverly.
40. 2-18 19 Dec 91 A Walsh Family Christmas
- Steve takes a trip to Albuquerque in search of his biological mother, while the Walshes have an encounter with a man who just may be Santa.
41. 2-19 9 Jan 92 Fire and Ice
- Brandon makes a connection with a skater, but is banned from seeing her by her coach.
42. 2-20 23 Jan 92 A Competitive Edge
- Andrea launches an AIDS/STD awareness campaign at West Beverly and finds herself going up against some powerful opponents.
43. 2-21 6 Feb 92 Everybody's Talkin' `Bout It
- Kelly lets a secret slip that may ruin her mother's relationship with Mel.
44. 2-22 13 Feb 92 Baby Makes Five
- Dylan's attempts to help a friend through AA puts a strain on his relationship with Brenda.
45. 2-23 27 Feb 92 Cardio Funk
- Brendon joins the track team and discovers a world of steroid abuse among West Beverly's athletes.
46. 2-24 19 Mar 92 The Pit and The Pendulum
- Brandon's father becomes involved in a real estimate deal - until Brandon discovers that, if the deal goes through, Nat loses the Peach Pit.
47. 2-25 2 Apr 92 Meeting Mr. Pony
- A robbery at the Peach Pit leaves Brenda more traumatized than she's willing to admit, especially when she must identify the robber in a line-up.
48. 2-26 23 Apr 92 Things to Do on a Rainy Day
- The gang heads to the Bel Age hotel to meet Color Me Badd (!!??) and Donna makes an unexpected discovery.
49. 2-27 30 Apr 92 Mexican Standoff
- Donna deceives her parents and runs off to Mexico with Dylan, only to get trapped on the wrong side of the border.
50. 2-28 7 May 92 Wedding Bell Blues
- Brenda's father forbids her to see Dylan again.
Note: Music has been changed for the DVD edition, due to rights issues. Additionally, the back cover notes that "some episodes may be edited from their original network versions."
VIDEO: "Beverly Hills 90210" is presented by Paramount in 1.33:1 full-frame, the show's original aspect ratio. The presentation quality is passable, but the series does look its age and quality varies throughout. Sharpness and detail are average, as while many scenes look crisp, others appear noticably soft and even hazy at times.
Some concerns are spotted throughout the episodes, including some minor-to-mild wear & tear in the form of some slight specks and occasional marks. A few instances of artifacting were also seen on occasion. Colors often looked decent, appearing natural at times and looking rather flat in other scenes. Overall, these presentations were - like season 1's - pretty uneven, and I'm still a little surprised that the series (which isn't that old at this point) doesn't look a bit more fresh.
SOUND: The stereo soundtrack offered crisp, clear dialogue. Keep in mind that music has been changed for this DVD release, almost certainly due to expensive rights issues.
EXTRAS: Three featurettes: "Our Favorite Valentine", "Everything You Need to Know About 90210 Season 2" and "Meet the Walshes".
Final Thoughts: "90210"'s second season arrives on DVD and while the show's fashions are a bit scary (and a little funny), the series still works as well as it did when it first became a phenomenon. The DVD set does offer fine extras and reasonably good sound, but hopefully the video quality of future seasons will get better.