Friday, July 11, 2008

Law & Disorder: The 90210 Edition


I was a huge fan of Beverly Hills 90210 when it first began airing. The characters were sophomores in high school, as was I at the time. As the years passed by many of my young adult milestones such as getting a driver's license, taking the SAT, going to prom and graduation were played out in a glamorous and idealized fashion on my tv screen, oftentimes just days or weeks before they happened in real life.

Recently, I've become addicted to the show's reruns on the SoapNet cable channel. My fascination started up again while the network was reairing the college years. Watching those episodes brought back so many memories ......... of my closet!

Floral print dresses and skirts? check
Baggy jeans worn w/ a bodysuit? check
Plaid shirts? check
Clunky mary jane shoes? check
Faux Doc Martens? check
Black velvet chokers? check
Dark brown lipstick (btw MAC ruled this dept.)? check

I swear there was one episode I recently watched where Kelly Taylor was wearing the exact same skirt I once had. I couldn't decide if that was a good or bad thing. :-/

I continued to watch the show faithfully until the post-college years. As ridiculous as the storylines were before college graduation, the show started its freefall into cancellation territory when Noah Hunter, boatman revealed to be billionaire, became a regular character. That was roughly at the same time that Kelly Taylor suffered from amnesia as the result of a drive-by shooting, David Silver became a musician, Donna Martin got a job in fashion design within the blink of an eye, Steve Sanders started a newspaper and Brandon Walsh became even more self-righteous than previously thought possible. See? Way too over the top. I know that Valerie Malone is missing from that recital of characters, but she was merely just carrying on in her skanky scandulous ways. Nothing new to report there.

A few weeks ago, the reruns moved into Season 8, the first post-college season. Like the first time around I began to lose interest. But as I was scrolling through upcoming episode descriptions on the DVR, something caught my eye. There is an episode titled "Law and Disorder"!




The primary storyline in this episode is Valerie's accusation of date rape against Noah. The DA refused to file criminal charges, so Valerie has brought a civil suit against Noah. wtf? it has been merely a week since the incident. A WEEK! there is no way in hell ANY trial starts up that quickly after an incident. and certainly not a civil trial. legal ridiculousness. The episode opens up with her testifying about being "roofed". what ever happened to roofies? you just don't hear about them the way you used to in the 90s. is ghb the date rape drug of choice these days? As she testifies, the rest of the gang roll their eyes in skepticism. As the trial progresses, defense counsel asks all sorts of objectionable questions concerning Valerie's past. Of course, her attorney never objects. Not that it really would have made a difference as the judge is totally weak and lets both lawyers get away with tons of inappropriate courtroom behavior. more legal ridiculousness. if i can't get away with that shit then neither should the actors playing lawyers. Defense counsel also calls Brandon, Kelly, Steve and Valerie's boyfriend David to the stand as character witnesses for Noah. having her boyfriend subpoenaed was fucked up yet brilliant at the same time. All of their glowing testimony is overshadowed by some damning words from Noah's own brother. The testimony from Noah's brother establishes that Noah was last seen heading to the Peach Pit After Dark's backroom with a drunken Valerie after Noah had served and handled her glass of wine.

Meanwhile, the secondary storyline revolves around SweetVirginDonna's transformation into DruggieDonna. Within a week of hurting her back in a car accident, Donna has blown through an entire bottle of Vicodin and is strung out in a major way. She tries to bum more drugs from Noah's brother. When he says "no", she attempts to get a refill at the pharmacy. The pharmacist actually does his job and won't give her a refill, stating that a new prescription would be needed. She pleads with him to no avail. It's all very Neely-esque from Valley of the Dolls. On a mission for pills, DruggieDonna heads to the clinic where her dad, Dr. Martin, works. She almost gets caught breaking into the medicine cabinet, but instead manages to charm her dad into prescribing a few additional pills. She quickly downs 4 pills at one time as opposed to the 4 pills per day as she had been instructed. Obviously she runs out of pills again, can't function while at her job and ends up stealing her co-worker's designs, submitting them as her own original fashions. BadDruggieDonna!

There is a third storyline involving David, the band he was playing keyboards for, a smarmy record producer and David's promotion from keyboardist to frontman. I had to fast forward through these scenes. They made my ears hurt.

Back at the courthouse, the jury has deliberated and is ready to announce its verdict. the jury is dressed WAY too nice. i have never seen a male juror in my county wear a collared shirt, tie and blazer. ever. is this how jurors roll in la county? we're happy if they are just wearing something clean without cuss words. The jury finds in favor of Valerie! Following her victory she utters the memorable line, "One minute I'm a slut, the next I'm Joan of Arc."


While everyone else is at the courthouse, DruggieDonna heads to Noah's boat and franctically searches through his brother's belongings for painkillers. She finds the painkillers. And then she finds a package of roofies! Josh walks in, followed shortly by Noah and the truth comes out: Josh had planted the drugs in Valerie's drink intending to date rape her, but Noah intervened instead when she began to feel poorly and ended up reaping the "benefits".

The episode wraps up with Noah heading over to the Walsh home to tell Valerie and the rest of the gang what really happened. It appears that no one really cares based on the lack of reaction. Noah then heads over to Donna's place. When there is no answer at her door he looks in through the window and sees her lying motionless on the floor with an empty bottle of pills and a glass of wine on the counter. Vicodin and alcohol is no joke.

So that's the 90210 version of Law & Disorder. I deleted the episode as soon as I finished watching. Season 8 really is as bad as I recalled it to be and this episode, despite the awesome title, did not persuade me otherwise. And it's only downhill from here to the end. I think I'll just wait until they get back to seasons 1 through 7. I don't think I'll be watching the show's reincarnation this fall either. Some things are just best left in their original form.





1 comment:

WeezerMonkey said...

This may be my fave post of yours yet. You crack me the eff up!