Beverly Hills, 90210 made it through 10 seasons and nearly 300 episodes. It hasn’t been on air in over 14 years. It’s been celebrated thanks to fake holidays like September 2, 2010 (9/02/10) when all the blogs put together lists based on the show, such as the one I did at my old stomping grounds, roheblius.net. Bill Simmons and Matthew Berry did not one part, but a two part podcast about the show.One of the most memorable episodes happend just over 20 years ago. The show was in its third season. By the end of the season, all of the main characters would graduate high school. The viewership for season 3 was the second highest in the entire run. On May 13, 1993, the episode, titled Something In The Air would be better known by a three-word exclamation; “Donna Martin graduates!”
Setting The Scene
The end of the senior year is near. Kelly Taylor fainted in the bathroom at The Peach Pit because of taking too many diet pills (and probably not eating). She was in rehab, but her mom let her out of it by saying that maybe they can just talk to someone. Kelly’s self-image wasn’t at its all-time worst, but it was bad. Dylan was writing his memoirs for the school newspaper and wouldn’t let her read it. She claimed that he only wanted to sleep with her and didn’t respect her for her mind. She was probably right, but he disagreed. And Steve made a half court shot at a Lakers’ game to win $10,000.
Every once in a while, they would veer from the storyline and show an episode that didn’t really mean anything to the 90210 universe. Two episodes before our famous one, ditch day coincided with Nat hosting a Burt Reynolds meet & greet for fans. Only, Reynolds didn’t know that he had anything to do with it. Ginger conned Dylan, Steve, and Brandon and walked away with the money. The only thing to come out of the episode that meant anything is that Andrea found out that Donna and David hadn’t had sex yet while chickening out on roller coasters at an amusement park, and Steve and Dylan rekindled their friendship after Steve’s was jealous and rude towards Dylan because he wasn’t over Kelly.
Finally, on the prom night episode, these things happened:
– Andrea and Brandon attend a school board meeting in which the board passes a dress code for the next year and an extreme punishment for anyone who is drunk at the prom; not graduating. Donna’s mom is at the forefront of these changes.
– Brenda was possibly missing the prom, partly because guys were afraid to ask her and partly because she wasn’t quite yet over Kelly and Dylan. But she accepts an invitation the day before and finds the perfect dress the day of.
– Brandon was also without date (but only by his choice of course) and finally decided to ask Andrea to go but she turned him down because she was going with someone else.
– Andrea calls up Brandon at The Peach Pit on the day of the prom to tell him that her date was sick and he had a tuxedo ready in no time.
– Donna puts on the slimmest dress in the world, tells her mom she hasn’t eaten in days so she would fit in it (did she learn nothing from Kelly’s diet pill situation?), which gives us some foreshadowing as to what would happen next.
– Mel Silver, David’s father hosts a pre-prom party at his bachelor pad and serves the kids some champagne. To show that he’s not a terrible parent, he makes sure Steve’s not driving before saying yes to allowing him to drink some bubbly.
– Donna is a bit nervous because she and David are supposed to be doing the wild thing after prom. That nervousness makes her drink and in addition to not eating, she becomes horribly drunk.
– The entire prom is built around trying to get Donna sober and then out of the hotel so she doesn’t get caught as a drunkard by the chaperones. Of course she’s caught. What a light weight.
And now, our time capsule recap to the famous episode.
Suspend Donna, suspend us all.
0:00 – How fantastic was the season three intro? Let’s watch it again.
3:00 – In one of the most awkward sequences ever, Andrea tells Brandon that she hasn’t called him because she’s embarrassed that she tried to jump his bones in the hotel room after prom. She started it and Brandon stopped it. Like the great man he is, he told her that the only reason he stopped it is because they are friends and he doesn’t want them to do something they’d later regret. Andrea said that she’s very horny, though not exactly in those words. She wants her some BWalsh badly.
8:38 – Donna is suspended for A) being drunk at prom B) not remembering anything and C) not lying to save her butt. The board meets later in the day to determine her fate.
(The Martins are tremendously rich. They should just flash some cash or something.)
12:00 – Felice Martin, Donna’s mom wants her to wear something dignified to the hearing. I’m guessing her prom dress wouldn’t be right for this occasion.
13:26 – We don’t see the hearing, but Donna lost the hearing, she’s suspended, she won’t be able to graduate, she has to go to summer school and get this, she has to go to rehab!
17:57 – Mel Silver (David’s dad) goes to the Martin’s to apologize. Felice won’t let him in the house and won’t accept the apology. Donna doesn’t understand why her mom won’t appeal the case and reminds her mom that she once made a mistake and had an affair at the same hotel that Donna was caught. She made a mistake. Donna made a mistake. Donna’s mindfuck worked. Her mom will now appeal.
21:05 – Andrea is using a typewriter!
21:46 – Teacher Gil Meyers tells Brandon to put together a demonstration in support of Donna. Brandon doesn’t buy that it will work. Gil says he thought Brandon was a leader. Another mindfuck! And it worked!
23:26 – Brandon told Jim Walsh he was thinking about doing something for Donna. Papa Walsh’s advice was, “Don’t get yourself arrested.”
24:30 – Brandon tells Andrea that they should walk out right in the middle of finals. Everyone in the crew is down with it except Dylan. Dylan is the only one not down with the cause.
28:00 – The junior class is down with the cause. All they want is for them to add dumping the proposed dress code. Ah, that foreshadowing from the previous episodes.
30:20 – Operation BWalsh commences! At 10AM during finals, the entire senior class walks out. Dylan is the only one who stays back, but decides that if he can’t beat them, he’ll join them.
31:04 – Donna Martin graduates!
34:30 – After Donna gives a speech about why she would like to graduate, the class of marchers reaches where the school board is meeting. Donna Martin graduates!
35:50 – Andrea speaks in front of the super intendent and reads a statement. It ends, “Suspend Donna, suspend us all.”
37:08 – Felice screams at Brandon and the mob saying that it’s not helping and can only hurt her.
(Felice is like the reverse of foreshadowing.)
39:07 – The super intendent writes a note to Brandon that says if he tells everyone to go home, they won’t call the police. Dylan says to tell the super intendant that summer school registration is going to break records.
40:32 – They charge into the meeting. Donna Martin graduates!
43:19 – It goes to a vote and Donna Martin graduates by a vote of 3-2. Donna Martin graduates!
At least I know what I’m wearing for Halloween next year.