1 9 9 0 – 2 0 0 0 (USA)
The surprise hit series of the 1990 television series was Beverly Hills, 90210, which was produced by the prolific television and film producer, Aaron Spelling.
Beverly Hills, 90210 was an hour-long drama series that originally centred on the 16-year old Walsh twins, Brandon and Brenda, whose family had moved to Beverly Hills (zip code: 90210) from Minnesota when their father, an accountant with the firm of Powell, Gaines and Yellin, was transferred to Southern California.
The twins’ attempts to fit in with their new, much more sophisticated crowd of friends at West Beverly High led to numerous problems.
Immediately popular with teenagers all across the United States, and later with viewers all over the world, Beverly Hills 90210 dealt with such sensitive subjects as premarital sex, alcohol and drug addiction, and many other subjects of concern to teens.
Jason Priestly played 16-year-old Brandon Walsh, and Shannen Doherty played his twin sister Brenda (she was four minutes older than him). Carol Potter and James Eckhouse played the twins’ parents, Cindy and Jim Walsh.
Among the other regular characters who became popular with viewers – and often became the focus of weekly episodes – were Kelly Taylor (Jennie Garth), Brenda’s snooty friend and the daughter of a recovering alcoholic mother; Steve Sanders (Ian Ziering), the adopted son of a television star mother and abusive father; Andrea Zuckerman-Vasquez (Gabrielle Carteris), the brainy editor of the school newspaper; insecure David Silver (Brian Austin Green); Brandon’s ever-sullen surfing buddy Dylan McKay (Luke Perry), who was also Brenda’s boyfriend; the dyslexic Donna Martin (Tori Spelling) and Scott Scanlon (Douglas Emerson) who was killed in a shooting accident.
As the series continued to be popular, many new performers joined the cast, and several of the show’s cast members went on to appear in other TV shows and films.
Cast members had strict instructions not to reveal their ages, so as to not to destroy the high school illusion, and Fox had a big stake in preserving the images of Perry and Priestly, two young men who were largely unknown to the great ageing mass of Americans but whose public appearances drove pubescent girls into a libidinous frenzy.
Since girls like bad boys best, Perry got the most fan mail, about 300 letters a week. His Dylan McKay was the eternal boy with the troubled soul, the kind of boy who stirs young women to believe they can make his pain go away, the kind of boy who, with his swept-back, sandy-coloured hair, inevitably recalled James Dean.
Kelly Marlene Taylor
Donna Marie Martin
Brian Austin Green