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 on the 1st season set, 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 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.
Some of the highlights of the third season include: "Misery Loves Company" (in the season opener, Brenda lies to her parents in order to keep seeing Dylan), "Too Little, Too Late" (Brenda and Donna arrive in Paris, while Dylan's father plans to gain parole from prison), "The Back Story" (Brenda gets in trouble with her friends after being interviewed for a tabloid TV show), "Presumption of Innocence" (Scandal erupts at West Beverly over an allegation including a student and faculty member), "Destiny Rides Again" (Steve tries to break into the school computer to change his grades), "The Game is Chicken" (Steve and Brandon become involved in dangerous drag racing), "Perfectly Perfect" (Kelly's obsession with her weight turns dangerous), "A Night to Remember" (It's prom night and Donna becomes seriously drunk), "Commencement" (the season finale sees the group graduating from high school and pondering their future.)
51. 3- 1 15 Jul 92 Misery Loves Company
52. 3- 2 22 Jul 92 The Twins, The Trustee, and The Very Big Trip
53. 3- 3 29 Jul 92 Too Little, Too Late/Paris 75001
54. 3- 4 5 Aug 92 Sex, Lies and Volleyball/Photo Fini
55. 3- 5 12 Aug 92 Shooting Star/American in Paris
56. 3- 6 19 Aug 92 Castles in the Sand
57. 3- 7 9 Sep 92 A Song of Myself
58. 3- 8 16 Sep 92 The Back Story
59. 3- 9 23 Sep 92 Highwire
60. 3-10 7 Oct 92 Home and Away
61. 3-11 21 Oct 92 A Presumption of Innocence
62. 3-12 4 Nov 92 Destiny Rides Again
63. 3-13 11 Nov 92 Rebel With a Cause
64. 3-14 18 Nov 92 Wild Horses
65. 3-15 25 Nov 92 The Kindness of Strangers
66. 3-16 16 Dec 92 It's a Totally Happening Life
67. 3-17 6 Jan 93 The Game Is Chicken
68. 3-18 13 Jan 93 Midlife...Now What?
69. 3-19 27 Jan 93 Back in the High Life Again
70. 3-20 3 Feb 93 Parental Guidance Recommended
71. 3-21 10 Feb 93 Dead End
72. 3-22 17 Feb 93 The Child Is Father to the Man
73. 3-23 3 Mar 93 Duke's Bad Boy
74. 3-24 24 Mar 93 Perfectly Perfect
75. 3-25 7 Apr 93 Senior Poll
76. 3-26 21 Apr 93 She Came in Through the Bathroom Window
77. 3-27 28 Apr 93 A Night to Remember
78. 3-28 12 May 93 Something in the Air
79. 3-29 19 May 93 Commencement (1)
80. 3-30 19 May 93 Commencement (2)
Note: as noted on the back of the box, "Music Has Been Changed For This Home Entertainment Version. 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 just watchable, but the series does look its age and quality varies throughout. Sharpness and detail are average, as while many scenes look crisp, other scenes could look noticably soft.
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 generally looked bright and nicely saturated. Overall, these presentations were uneven, as while some scenes looked better than others, I supposed I expected the series to appear a bit fresher than it does here.
SOUND: The stereo soundtrack offered crisp, clear dialogue.
EXTRAS: Only a few brief featurettes: "7 Minutes in Heaven", "The World According to Nat" & "Everything You Need to Know About Season 3".
Final Thoughts: While at this point the show's fashions are a bit scary (and a little funny), "90210"'s drama in this third season 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 show improvements. Still, recommended.