On May 17, 2000, Beverly Hills, 90210 aired its series finale, the 27th episode of its 10th season. All in all, the show aired nearly 300 episodes, which is a lifetime in today’s day of thirteen episode seasons. David Silver and Donna Martin tied the knot, Dylan McKay and Kelly Taylor ended up back together, and Brandon Walsh went onto become President of the United States. Okay, that last part was just how I would’ve written it.
Almost thirteen years to the day, the spin-off, simply titled 90210, featuring a new generation of spoiled teenagers also closes shop. There is very little lineage that exists to the original series. Erin Silver, simply called Silver, David and Kelly’s little sister is the only character who made it through the entire five year run who also had ties to the original.
The show was more fast paced, more like Gossip Girls, and more frustrating to watch. The original show’s charm didn’t carry over. The story lines weren’t digestible. There was never really a truly memorable moment. There’s no, “I choose me.”
It wasn’t until the third season that it hit its stride and the show’s stories started to have the cliff-hanger momemts that made you want to watch week to week. But it wasn’t enough as the ratings for the show never took off like they could’ve. The pilot opened strong, but by the end of the first season, the overall rating was less than half. Season five opened to the lowest ratings of the series run and early in 2013, The CW announced that they would not renew it for a sixth season.
Summary of the characters
The show was originally built much like the original; a fish out of water family from Kansas (rather than Minnesota) comes to Beverly Hills. Harry Wilson played by Rob Estes (who was on Melrose Place, cousin of Beverly Hills, 90210) brings his family to California to live with his mother so he can run the local high school. His wife, Debbie, was played by Lori Loughlin, better known as Aunt Becky from Full House. Shenae Grimes plays daughter Annie. Tristin Wilds from The Wire plays adopted brother Dixon. Their were lightly shaded as Brenda and Brandon.
Silver, played by Jessica Stroup, never wavered. Stroup was generally excellent all series long. AnnaLynne McCord was the sassy socialite, Naomi Clark, written as a Paris Hilton type. Michael Steger played Navid Shirazi, a Persian character whose father ran an adult movie company. Matt Lanter, as Liam Court, came in later as the Dylan McKay of the show. Trevor Donovan played Teddy Montgomery who later came out of the closet, yet still wanted to have a baby with Silver. And finally, the greatest (and when I say greatest, I really mean the character I am most attracted to) of all the characters, Jessica Lowndes’ Adrianna Tate-Duncan who turned from vindictive to lovable more times than a WWE wrestler turns from good to bad. I really need to meet this woman.
By season three, Harry and Debbie were divorced and most of the adult characters were gone. Shannon Doherty, Jennie Garth, and Tori Spelling all came back to reprise their original roles to increase awareness of the new show. Jason Priestley, Luke Perry, Ian Ziering, and Brian Austin Green never showed, though Garth’s Kelly Taylor did have a child that was said to have been Dylan’s. The great Joe E. Tata was still running a new version of the Peach Pit, but it didn’t last long. Kelly and Silver’s mother Jackie had an arc which ended up with her passing away from breast cancer.
The last three seasons were particularly good. The stories were still crazy, but they were better written. Particularly, the last two to five minutes of each episode was the best part of the show. They put a cap on each storyline before ending the show on top of good music. While the first 55 minutes was on speed, the last five was gentle and comforting.
And now, here’s a recap of the series finale (in time capsule form):
We All Fall Down
0:00 – During the penultimate episode, Silver, whose mother passed away from breast cancer and who had a scare of her own needs to go back to the doctor after finding another lump in her breast. Add that to the fact that the her surrogate (necessary because baby daddy/sperm donor Teddy (who is gay) doesn’t want her to carry the child) lost her baby. Why does she want a child? Because she doesn’t think she’ll live that long. Silver had a rough series.
0:07 – During the same penultimate episode, Adrianna was performing on stage and the stage collapsed and caught fire. Everyone got out of dodge, except for Adrianna. Navid, her on-again/off-again and now on-again boyfriend is the only one who searches for her. She’s caught underneath the rubble and ridiculously, the firemen couldn’t find her. Did she not scream? Navid better save my wife!
0:21 – Silver explains to Annie that Liam, once her love (there’s a real Dylan/Kelly thing going on here) who is ready to move to Australia with his milfy gold-digging girlfriend, was worried about her. Annie also plans to go to Paris to start over. Annie suggests that Liam was worried about everyone. Annie has gone from being a hit-and-run driver and killer to a call girl to an author of her call-girl exploits. Liam went from a moody and misunderstood student who was abused by his father to moody and misunderstood actor and bar owner (even though I’m not even sure he’s 21). They were made for each other!
Oh, by the way, Silver’s advice for Annie is, “Everything happens for a reason.”
0:26 – Adrianna, who is now stuck under the rubble with Navid since they can’t leave the scene per fireman’s orders, calls Silver to let her know how sorry she is that her surrogate lost the baby. You see, Adrianna was once pregnant, but gave up the child to adoption because she was a party girl into drugs. To add insult to injury, Silver once dated the father of Adrianna’s once child after he broke up with the mother, though Silver didn’t put two and two together. These two have been through it all together. Best friends…better enemies.
0:27 – Seconds after hanging up with Adrianna who is underneath rubble and could catch on fire at any minute, Silver gets the call from her doctor. She has cancer. Talk about a wild roller coaster of emotions. In a matter of a day, she learns that the surrogate mother lost her baby, she watches her friend nearly die, and now she has cancer. Life sucks.
0:31 – Brother Dixon lets Liam know that Annie still has a torch lit for him and Liam now has to decide whether to go to Australia with the gold-digger or stick around with the call girl turned author. Tough decision there.
0:33 – The Goo Goo Dolls perform at Naomi’s rescue relief fund event which she put together in all of a few minutes. She must have good contacts. This event is so Beverly Hills that while Navid and Adrianna are stuck in rubble waiting to be saved by the slowest firemen in the world, Navid streams the concert on his phone. He ain’t worried about not having any battery left in case of emergency?
0:34 – Naomi’s rescue effort, which is done mostly to help improve her image, is impeding the efforts by the firemen as there is a gas leak and they need to get underneath the building. And PG&E didn’t know the line was there. Damnit! They better not let my girl Adrianna burn into a crisp.
0:44 – In a span of ten minutes, Naomi called off the concert which helped the firemen save Adrianna and Navid. She then made $500,000 on an interview in which she gave up gossipy details about a Prince who overdosed, and she gave the money to the Red Cross. You see, she’s not all about herself.
0:45 – The gold-digger figures out that Liam’s love for Annie is too strong and flies the coup, leaving Liam all for Annie. Ten bucks says that Liam has to chase Annie before she leaves for Paris.
0:47 – This show has come full circle. Dixon tells Silver that even though her surrogate lost her baby, adoption is still an option. You see, Dixon was adopted. (Also, Adrianna gave up her kid for adoption, but he doesn’t bring that up. Best friends…better enemies.)
Nope, that wasn’t Mickey telling Rocky that he hasn’t heard the final bell. That’s Dixon telling Silver that she has to fight cancer and that’s all that life is; one big fight.
Hmm, maybe that is the memorable line of the series.
0:53 – Annie reluctantly is on her way to Paris, but Silver reminds her about Liam.
0:55 – Liam shows up to look for Annie. Dixon tells him he’s too late. Annie gets on the plane with Naomi and her boyfriend. Naomi tells Annie that Liam is an idiot for letting her go. Liam races to the airport on his motorcycle, somehow getting to the runway and races the jet and Annie gets the jet to stop on a dime. He then proposes to her. And you owe me ten bucks.
0:58 – Yes, yes. I will!
And, they live happily ever after.
But wait, it isn’t over! AnnaLynne McCord put together a YouTube video of how she wanted to see her character’s storyline arc end. She was married to the nerdy Max at the end of season four and they divorced in the middle of season five. She wants him back!
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