I'm always a bit embarrassed to admit what I really watch on television and what kind of movies I watch when I'm bored. Contrary to how I usually make it out to be, I don't always sit back and relax with a good Almodovar film unless, of course, it has Gael in it. I mean, I do enjoy a good arty sort of film every once in a way with subtitles provided that they aren't making me do eye aerobics, to put it politely. But that is a rare occassion, especially these days when I'd rather just watch some mindless entertainment. (Emotional aatyachar is high up on my list currently. Boy, I'm tainting my reputation and I couldn't give a damn!)
What I have watched (religiously?) is 90210. I started watching it just to see what the big deal was about. I was born in the generation a little after Beverly Hills 90210, so I was never really a part of all that hype - though I secretly thought Jason Pries(t?)ly was kinda cute in a backstreet boyish sorta way. 90210 is a spin-off, but I'm yet to find its Jason Priestly.
90210 is a drama, centred around the lives of a bunch of high school kids in California. They started out with about five but they keep adding characters that I'm losing track. I don't know if its supposed to be realistic, but if this is what the lives of kids in Beverly Hills were like, I'd be a bit worried. I'm going to run you through each of the characters- just so you get what I mean. There are spoilers, and so if you're not up to date with the seasons you might get mighty annoyed. But don't say I didn't warn you.
I'll begin with Annie. She was supposed to be the equivalent of Brenda Walsh- new kid who moved to new school, sweet, nice- basically pretty blah. In the first few seasons her biggest problems were how to get people to like her, make friends, get a role in a play which was all really boring and I thought was a waste of precious screen time. But then, she got interesting. She killed a guy, was accused of messing around with her best friend's boyfriend, had a nude picture of herself sent around school, got a stalker boyfriend who was the nephew of the guy she killed who tried to kill himself as well, and now she's selling her eggs. (What does that mean? I'll find out next Tuesday.) Then there's Dixon, Annie's adopted brother who is an African American. He started out slow like Annie, but then got himself a mental girlfriend Silver (who I will discuss later) who took a porn video of them and screened it to a large audience after which he dumped her and pretended to be older to date an older girl, who pretended to be pregnant to get him back once they'd broken up. Then on the side, he found his birth mother, fought with his adopted mother, gambled away his father (seriously!), and I think he's HIV positive now. This next episode is going to be explosif. Oh and in the meantime, their parents have split up because the mother kissed some guy and the father lost his job as principal- which is why they moved in the first place.
Turning our attention to Silver. She was dating Dixon but I think she kissed some other guy so they broke up. Or maybe it was because of the screening. I really have forgotten. Anyway, she's bipolar so she switched to a catholic school, but that couldn't really help much. She lives with her sister who's never present and her mum just died of breast cancer. Then she dated this guy Teddy who used to be a player but then totally (yes, totally!) fell for her but now he's gay. Apart from all of that, she's a pretty together young lady, hosting charity benefits for breast cancer and hoping to win a pulitzer prize for journalism. I think she's the only one who actually has some aspirations. She's off and on (friends, that is) with this girl Naomi who I'm going to analyze next. Naomi is super rich. But she has a really mean sister. Her mean sister took away all her money, but now that Naomi's 18 she got it back. Her mean sister also slept with the love of her life, Liam. (who Annie happens to have a thing with now- him and his half brother, but thats another story in development). Of course, Liam couldn't tell Naomi that and so Annie was accused of it. (This is all before Liam and Annie actually happened, now they've been given permission by Naomi, so thats all okay.) But Naomi got him back, only to realize that he wasn't the love of her life. In between, when they were dating, she lost him because she pretended to be sexually assualted by this teacher- who, by the way, eventually got his revenge by actually raping her. She was also the one who sent the nude text of Annie around. I guess they're even now (since Annie has systematically stolen two of her boyfriends) and that's why they're still best friends. Its kind of sweet actually.
Adrianna is the last girl who completes the quartet. She used to be a drug addict who got pregnant and had to give up her child but now she's alright because she's a big pop star. I thought it usually happens the other way around. She's dating Navid, on whom (lets be honest), I have NOTHING! (Apart from the fact that he's a rich iranian??) In the middle they broke up and she went through a 'no man is better than Navid' phase so she dated a woman instead. Then she dated an international pop star before dumping him to go back to loser low-life Navid. The international pop star then died in a car accident, while Adrianna was in the car and just after he told her that she'll never make it as a musician and that all the awesome songs of the world were in his secret book. She then stole his songs and has proceeded to being blackmailed by his uncle.
Apart from the girls, the other main characters I'm missing out on are Ivy and Liam. They're both pretty bad ass. Ivy's a surfer chick who's mum is a music agent person and she's cool and says things like dude and she wears baggy t shirts, but she's still kind of hot (to Dixon). Liam's this broody hunk who we don't know too much about. He's kind of mysterious and trouble seems to follow him wherever he goes. He stole some coins from his step dad's collection, who kicked him out. He built a whole boat in anger and he used to be a drag queen. No sorry, I mean a drag racer. Though if he was a drag queen I'd totally understand why he's so broody. He has a terrible temper. But he's smart.
The last semi-prominent character is Mr. Ryans. He's the english teacher, sports coach, token cool-teacher-that-connects-with-the kids in these high school soap operas rolled into one. I kind of see why the kids are messed up when they have such a terrible example. He got drunk/stoned on prom night (I think) and set the school on fire by driving off in some school bus thing. He also got Naomi's big mean sister knocked up and she won't let him near her. But that failed, because now she can't move. Interesting...they'll make her a paraplegic, perhaps. The show still needs to explore physically handicapped characters, which would be a divergence from the usual crazy (read: mentally incapactitated) people.
Actually, come to think of it, 90210's complicated plots, strong women, intense drama makes it not too drastically different from Almodovar's films. (YUH, SUE ME for saying so.) It just lacks subtitles, coloured filters, decent cinematographers... and a transvestite. (Do I speak too soon?)
But even in 90210 all the women are on the verge of a nervous breakdown.