Beverly Hills 90210: Season Two – DVD Review


Available at Amazon.com

Creators:
Aaron Spelling
Darren Star

Cast:

Jason Priestley ………. Brandon Walsh
Luke Perry ………. Dylan McKay
Shannen Doherty ………. Brenda Walsh
Jennie Garth ………. Kelly Taylor
Tori Spelling ………. Donna Martin
Ian Ziering ………. Steve Sanders
Brian Austin Green ………. David Silver
Gabrielle Carteris ………. Andrea Zuckerman
James Eckhouse ………. Jim Walsh
Carol Potter ………. Cindy Walsh
Joe E. Tata ………. Nat Bussichio

The Show

Before there was Dawson’s Creek or The O.C., there was the “teen-drama” show that started it all. Set in sunny Beverly Hills, California, Beverly Hills 90210 followed the lives of a group of teenagers who seemed to be in high school for years. It created and perfected the “teen drama” genre of television.

The second season of Beverly Hills 90210 follows the same formula as the first season. Almost every episode features an issue dealing with American teenagers. They range from racism to abstinence to child abuse to rape to drug abuse among many other issues. Brandon, Brenda, Dylan, Kelly, Donna, Steve, David, and Andrea are all back for the second season, and it is during this season that they really began to focus more on the relationships between this core group of friends.

By the start of the second season, Brandon and Brenda have pretty much adapted to life in Beverly Hills, California after moving there from Minnesota. Brenda seems to break up with Dylan in every other episode during this season. Brandon starts dating a new addition to West Beverly High named Emily Valentine (Christine Elise). Too bad that she’s a little unstable. But really everyone has their own issues to deal with. The only stable thing on this show is the good parenting from Jim and Cindy Walsh.

This show was very unique for the time and why it’s considered the “grandfather” for all other shows like it that followed. Of course, you could complain that the show was too unrealistic and not very consistent. Plotlines from one episode didn’t always carry over to the next and despite all of the serious things these kids had to deal with, they somehow managed to get through it and move on to the next issue the very next week. As I said, though, that was unique for the time.

The other major complaint for this season of the show is the music in it. During the original network run of the show, there were lots of musical talent lending their songs to the show. Hit musicians of the time including Seal, R.E.M., Monie Love, Garth Brooks, Chris Isaak, Roxette, Robert Palmer, Janis Joplin, The Bangles, Color Me Badd, The Pretenders, among others were featured in the original airing of these episodes. However, none of this music made it to this DVD set. That disappointing to say the least.

Despite the lack of music on this DVD set, it’s still one of the better seasons of Beverly Hills 90210. It did copy a lot of the same issues from season one, but it also focused more on the love triangles and relationships among the kids at West Beverly High. That was a good thing, because after season two there seemed to be no other issues to talk about.

Episodes:

Disc One:

Episode 1 – Beach Blanket Brandon
It’s summer and Brandon breaks news to Nat that he is quitting his job at The Peach Pit to work at the Beverly Hills Beach Club to raise money for a new car. Donna, Brenda, Andrea, and David decide to spend the summer in an acting class. Brenda gets uptight about a pregnancy scare, and faces breaking up with Dylan.

Episode 2 – The Party Fish
Brandon has his eyes on another Beach Club worker and later gets an offer of a dream car, if he changes jobs. Brenda’s adventures in acting cause her to relive part of her childhood.

Episode 3 – Summer Storm
When a surfing accident leaves Dylan injured, sympathetic Cindy invites him to stay at the Walsh house much to the dismay of both Jim and Brenda. Meanwhile, Kelly and her mother enjoy scoping the beach for men. Kelly is insulted when her attractive date won’t make a move until a startling revelation makes everything clear.

Episode 4 – Anaconda
Jim suggests that Dylan go to Hawaii and visit his mother. Steve and Brandon organize after dark poker games at the beach club, but a burglary points the accused finger at Dylan, who has now lost all of his money. Brenda and Donna go sunbathing, but Brenda falls asleep, and burns her back.

Disc Two:

Episode 5 – Play It Again, David
Andrea persuades Brandon to hang out with a young boy – and discovers a possible child abuse case. Mel Silver and Jackie Taylor meet when Jackie breaks a tooth… and start dating, much to the chagrin of their children. Brenda can’t keep Dylan out of her thoughts while he is in Hawaii.

Episode 6 – Pass, Not Pass
Brandon has finally saved enough money to get his dream car, and buys it against his fathers advice. Unfortunately for Brandon, the car breaks down minutes after leaving the dealership. Jim is both angry and disappointed in his son’s impetuous decision and debates over whether to help his son. Meanwhile, Brenda and Andrea both develop feelings for their acting teacher, sparking a fight between the two girls when he shows interest in Andrea.

Episode 7 – Camping Trip
The gang decide to go on a camping trip, but both the weather and quality of cabin aren’t what they expected. The newlyweds next door share their problems. Dylan’s drinking problem returns, but not before he saves Brandon’s life when he dangles helplessly over a cliff.

Episode 8 – Wild Fire
New student Emily Valentine arrives at West Beverly and makes a big splash with the guys… especially Brandon and Dylan. Brenda becomes jealous of the attention Dylan shows Emily and realizes she might want Dylan back after all. Meanwhile, Scott returns from Oklahoma and finds that his friendship with David has considerably cooled.

Disc Three:

Episode 9 – Ashes to Ashes
The Blaze finds a new staff photographer, Robinson Ash III, who is delighted about getting the job, but not as thrilled with his welcome to Beverly Hills. Meanwhile, the Walsh family try out a ‘state of the art’ house alarm system, which is more of a nuisance than a help.

Episode 10 – Necessity is a Mother
Dylan’s mother, Iris, makes a surprise visit to Beverly Hills, to try to start a fresh relationship with Dylan. The strain of their relationship drives Dylan, once again back to the bottle, which lands him in trouble at a local pool club. Donna and Steve experiment with the stock market, but Kelly disapproves and accuses Donna of wasting her money.

Episode 11 – Leading from the Heart
A cute wheelchair-bound Walsh cousin comes down to stay with the Walsh family, and Kelly enquires about his availability. Brenda finally gets her driving license, but remains wary of driving on her own. David becomes interested in Donna.

Episode 12 – Down and Out (Of District) in Beverly Hills
Andrea’s success in a news article competition exposes the fact that she may be living out of district, which is further complicated as she discovers that her grandmother isn’t prepared to lie to keep her at West Beverly. Meanwhile, Steve’s new girlfriend may be more interested in his money than in him.

Disc Four:

Episode 13 – Halloween
Brandon goes for a walk with Emily and her two young cousins; who get lost along the way. David and Scott consider taking part in a possible egg fight. Kelly almost gets raped at a Halloween party, but is saved as Donna and Brenda walk in.

Episode 14 – The Next Fifty Years
During Scott’s surprise birthday party, an accidental shooting turns fatal. Meanwhile, Andrew grows jealous of Brandon’s attention to Emily and the gang grieves when one of their own dies.

Episode 15 – U4EA
The gang go off to a ‘not-so-legal’ underground club, and Emily introduces Brandon to the world of drugs. Brandon’s car goes through another stage in its life cycle.

Episode 16 – My Desperate Valentine
Emily cannot, and will not, accept breaking up with Brandon. Brenda and Dylan want to try something different – and decide on a classical concert.

Disc Five:

Episode 17 – Chuckie’s Back
Steve’s adoptive mother needs him to befriend her old co-star, Chuckie – which proves to be not so easy. His suspension from school peaks his desire to meet his real birth parents.

Episode 18 – Walsh Family Christmas
Steve takes a trip to Albuquerque to track down his biological mother, while the Walshes have a magical encounter with a man who just might be the real Santa Claus.

Episode 19 – Fire and Ice
Brandon makes a connection with an aspiring figure skater that could melt ice, but is banned from seeing her by her overprotective coach.

Disc Six:

Episode 20 – A Competitive Edge
Andrea launches a campaign to create awareness about AIDS and other STDs at West Beverly and finds herself going up against some powerful opponents.

Episode 21 – Everybody’s Talkin’ ‘Bout It
Kelly’s loose lips let slip an explosive secret that almost destroys her mother’s relationship with Mel.

Episode 22 – And Baby Makes Five
Dylan’s attempts to help a friend through AA puts a serious strain on his relationship with Brenda.

Disc Seven:

Episode 23 – Cardio-Funk
Brandon joins the track team and discovers a sinister world of steroid abuse amongst West Beverly’s athletes.

Episode 24 – The Pit and the Pendulum
Brandon’s father becomes involved in a lucrative real estate deal until Brandon discovers that if the deal goes through, Nat will lose the Peach Pit.

Episode 25 – Meeting Mr. Pony
A robbery at the Peach Pit leaves Brenda more traumatized that she’s willing to admit especially when she must identify her attacker in a police lineup.

Disc Eight:

Episode 26 – Things to Do on a Rainy Day
The gang heads to the Bel Age Hotel to meet Color Me Badd, and Donna makes an unexpected discovery.

Episode 27 – Mexican Standoff
Brenda deceives her parents and runs off to Mexico with Dylan only to get trapped on the wrong side of the border.

Episode 28 – Wedding Bell Blues
It’s a cliffhanger climax when Brenda’s father forbids Dylan from seeing his daughter anymore.

The Video:

The video is given in fullscreen color with an aspect ratio of 1.33:1. Transfer is good with minimal distortion. The quality is the same as it was for the season one DVD set, which isn’t a bad thing since that was fairly good for an early 1990’s TV show. The same thing goes here.

The Audio:

The audio included is available in English Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo sound. There are subtitles available in English. Again, it’s pretty standard quality for a TV show and the same as it was for the first season. The dialogue comes out crisp and clear. However, be warned that some of the music has been changed from the original network version of each episode. That’s a shame as generic songs replace hit songs from the 1990’s.

The Extras:

“Meet the Walshes” Featurette
This featurette talks to Carol Potter and James Eckhouse, who played Cindy and Jim Walsh on the show. They were the stable parents to everyone in Beverly Hills and not just Brandon and Brenda. It’s pretty funny actually to hear them talk about the show and their characters.

“Our Favorite Valentine” Featurette
This featurette was all about the new addition to the cast named Emily Valentine played by Christine Elise.

“Everything You Need To Know About Season 2” Featurette
John Aboud and Michael Colton from VH1’s Best Week Ever show give you a funny recap of what all happened during this second season. They touch on the real serious issues of Beverly Hills 90210, which include its melodramatics and “stuck-in-the-90’s” fashion sense. This is pretty entertaining and funny and it’s really an affectionate roast of the show and this season in particular.

THE INSIDE PULSE

For any fan of teen drama, this is the show that started it all. If you loved this show, you have to get this DVD set despite the lack of music on it. That’s the only complaint. There could have been cast commentaries as that would have bumped the rating up more for this show, but there are still some solid extras this time around. At a rent is worth it, but it’s a buy for most people who love this kind of TV.

The DVD Lounge’s Ratings for Beverly Hills 90210: Season Two
CATEGORY
RATING
(OUT OF 10)
THE SHOW

9.5
THE VIDEO

8
THE AUDIO

5
THE EXTRAS

7
REPLAY VALUE

10
OVERALL
9.5
(NOT AN AVERAGE)