slate takes a moment to reflect on the "revolutionary" genius that was beverly hills, 90210 with the release of its first season on dvd. as you probably already know, i was a huge fan of bev, from its beginnings when i was in junior high to the later years, when i was a senior in college. although most critics would disagree, i dare to say that the show got better with age, like a fine wine. say what you will about friends, or dawson's creek, or any of the other shows that purported to speak to our generation, bev was the original: the clothes, the hair, the angst, the musical guests, david silver.
not to mention the earnest parade of teen issues through every episode. for example, in the first season alone there was "shoplifting, long distance relationships, language barriers with your Hispanic maid, cheating, drugs, adultery, AIDS, teen pregnancy, sex ed in schools, breast cancer, fear of heights, date rape, and affirmative action." fear of heights?! this shit was real! (that episode rocked)
and that's just in the first 22 episodes! off the top of my head, future seasons wrestled with such themes as diet pills, underage drinking, gun control, gambling addiction, cutting, corruption, murder, drunk driving, heroin, cocaine, crystal meth, LSD-spiked punch, stalkers, lesbians, lesbian stalkers, regular (non-date) rape, abusive relationships, bulemia, and about fifty donna martin haircuts that stung the eyes.
but to look at this, it seemed like one big dance party.
and by the way, that's why i love slate. they're not afraid to get a little lowbrow and throw bev on their front page and call it revolutionary, without a touch of irony.