Well, my opening statement definitely has to be: 90210 is one of the dumbest shows I have ever seen. So, so, so very dumb. It was like watching aliens masquerading as pretty people for five seasons. The show is supposedly set on Earth, but you just have to wonder if the characters are living in a reality where the laws of logic simply don’t apply.
This show (and actually the entire franchise) is, as Google can attest, not very diverse. The CW casting policy appears to be vanilla ice cream with chocolate sprinkles.
I’m just sayin’.
I have to give 90210 some props, though. Season 1 is one of my favorite seasons of television ever. It was just so hysterically bad and fucking hilarious at the same time. I watched it all in about three days because it was so good. Like cheap fries and chicken wings good.
I mean, look at this hair:
I was going to try and divide my post into seasons but in all honesty, the writers have probably combined at least 45 years of life experience into five seasons. My brain did not remember most of it.
Instead, I’m going to focus on Liam who, as the title says, was my temporary TV brother from another mother.
Sure, I can’t relate to having Bieber hair, glistening abs or parading around shirtless but…he was the only character with a modicum of common sense. I knew that it wouldn’t last, but his downfall was still painfully tragic for me when it came. He was good with tools, but…not the sharpest tool in the shed.
The problems started during the second season when Liam built a boat. While I admired his creativity, I also knew that when characters build things, it’s usually a precursor to it being damaged somehow. Lo’ and behold, it was set on fire by the blackmailing boyfriend of Annie who, despite killing a man, spent most of the season whining about how her boyfriend (who, incidentally, was also nephew of the man she killed) was ruining her life.
Okay, so maybe she had a point. Boyfriend was a little loco. There was that time he pushed another character down the stairs for a reason I cannot remember. Is it bad that I laughed at this?
Somehow, all of that endeared Liam to Annie (well, he didn’t know about the whole death thing at first. so…actually, either way, he’s stupid) and they started dating.
The cracks had begun to appear but still, Liam was the resident grouchy character who wisely commented on the other characters stupidity. He and I were as tight as a person and a fictional character can be. He sort of broke up with Annie and left town for three months to work on a fishing boat.
I had high hopes for him. High, high hopes.
Roll around to season 3 and he turned up unannounced and proposed to Annie. Unfortunately for him, Annie had become independently wealthy, which is TV code for ‘don’t need a man right now‘. So, that didn’t work out. Liam wasn’t too put out by that and instead, he shacked up with the widow of a friend of his that died on the fishing boat. When it turns out that the widow was pregnant, he was all in. Before they could live happily every after – the dead husband turned up and he was – wait for it – ALIVE! Does that make Liam the Sam Winchester of 90210 or is Sam the Liam of Supernatural? Answers on a CW Bingo Card, please. I’m convinced that is part of their writing process.
Anyway, after fighting with the not-so-dead husband, Liam watched as the not-widow and not-dead husband got back together and thankfully left the show. Following that, he was at his wits end. He owned a bar — oh, right, yeah, so after the failed proposal, he got really drunk and bought a bar – and unlike most TV characters, was openly struggling with the fact that he had no idea how to run a business. At some point, he became a model known as ‘Ab man’ in order to raise money for the upkeep.
Fast forward to the end of season 3, and he was racing to save Annie from leaving town with her very rich John (yeah, there was a whole college prostitution story line. It was all very dramatic) – on his motorbike, because you know, it was easier for someone to run him over that way.
Anyway, he was knocked over and almost died. He then went on to befriend and date the person (Vanessa) that ran him over and lied about it. He lets Vanessa change his bar and basically take over his life. When Annie points out that she has a bunch of fake IDs, he doesn’t seem to mind.
At this point, I was wondering why I ever identified with a character on the CW in the first place.
Eventually, he decided to go into acting. He became a huge star after doing a movie called ‘Corporate Invaders’. Vanessa used blackmail and other shifty activities to keep his career afloat, and he was okay with girlfriend’s ways until he suddenly wasn’t. He dumped her but…she didn’t seem to get that. After she told everyone that they were engaged, Liam was outraged. So outraged that when she ended up falling over a balcony, he called the cops but was like, ‘nah‘ halfway through when he saw that the tide had supposedly washed her away.
While this was happening, he was hooking up with one of his best friend’s ex/on/off girlfriend…who was vulnerable because she had the breast cancer gene.
After this point, I welcomed every bad thing that happened to Liam. Especially because he consistently refused to take his own advice.
There was the whole sleeping with his college professor story line, which only ended when a sex tape of them was released at a Sci-Fi convention, and she split due to shame.
He managed to attract a stalker, who wanted to ship him to South Mexico in a wooden box. Oh, and bonus – she was a disgraced cop/rabid fan who had a tattoo of his face on her back. The worst part was that she just showed up and claimed that she was sent by the film studio to offer him protection. He believed her just like that without calling the studio at least make sure.
Like I said, not the sharpest tool in the shed. At all. He was the bluntest.
The stalker also shot Annie, but I wasn’t really mad about that.
Shortly after all of that, he knowingly started an affair with a married woman (Sydney) but only seemed to care when he saw that her husband had cancer. And even then, it was less about the cheating and the fact that she used him.
After a pep talk from a character that’s probably only marginally dumber than he is, Liam decided to give Sydney another chance. They both decided to move to Australia. He then ‘found’ the ring he used to propose to Annie and remarked that it ‘wasn’t even two years ago’ that he proposed. This was about two episodes before the series finale, so I’m guessing the writers decided that the wrath of the shippers would be too much of they didn’t randomly reignite this pairing.
Following all of that, he tried to make Annie buy his bar (she’s rich, so she can buy anything! whee!) then lied about not being able to find the previous owner when there was problem with the paperwork. That was followed by him saying he couldn’t go to Australia. And then was going. And then he wasn’t going. Rinse. Repeat.
He changed his mind more often that Justin Bieber quits his various social media accounts.
It took a convenient explosion and pep talk from Sydney to get Liam to finally go after Annie. Which he did. By bike. All the way to a plane runway. He literally chased the plane. By bike. Apparently, this was the ending that she wrote in her book. Ugh. Yuck.
Side note: Annie, who despite being rich, decides to allow publishers to turn her blog about prostitution (and her life) into a book. Oh, but she insists on being anonymous! So anonymous that she calls the main character Annabel and doesn’t change any of the details apart from her fairytale dream ending.
Following that blah, blah, blah, he proposed and she said yes….despite the fact that he was literally about to run off with his
formerly married lover. If that ain’t a Deceiving Ourselves Ever After, I don’t know what is.
I kind of hope that she leaves him for the butler one day.
This is just one character and literally a snapshot of all of the dumb shit that he’s done.
The rest of the characters are even worse.
For instance, Yale-educated Jen Clark sleeping with her teenage sister’s boyfriends (yes. plural) for reasons that I refuse to comprehend. Adrianna swapping out Silver’s bipolar medicine because her boyfriend cheated on her (with Silver no less, but still!). Adrianna stealing a dead pop star’s songs because she wanted to be famous. Adrianna in general, to be honest.
I actually sat down and watched this 90210 4ever special they did when the show ended. The actors do acknowledge the ridiculous things that have happened on the show, so there’s that. They also seemed like down to earth people but I know all about the CW’s How To Act Like A Human Being With A Soul 101 classes. I am not falling for that shit again.
Overall, the show did deal with some serious issues and often in a way that surprised me. You could say that it was 99% ridiculous and 1% relatable in some way.
And 100% terrible, but hey, it’s The CW.