Nineties nostalgia is at an all-time high. The Spice Girls have reunited. The Lion King is back (albeit with mixed reviews). And apparently we should’ve held on to our crop tops, acid-wash jeans and Doc Martens, because they’re all back in fashion (Cher Horowitz plaid, on the other hand, never went out of style). But we have officially hit peak nineties nostalgia with the 90210 reboot, complete with original cast (save for the late Luke Perry, may he rest in peace).
For those of us who came of age during the final decade of the 20th century, Beverly Hills 90210 was more than just a television show. It was the realization of our wildest teenage dreams and dramas as shown through the trials and tribulations of naive newcomers Brenda and Brandon Walsh, bad boy heartthrob Dylan McKay, popular but misunderstood Kelly Taylor, chaste and clueless Donna Martin, ultimate bro Steve Sanders, nice guy who finishes last David Silver, and straight as an arrow Andrea Zuckerman. Every adolescent girl knew whose team she was on (Brenda or Kelly) and which hunk she wanted to make out with (Brandon or Dylan). The fashion, the feuds, all the feels — we were here for it.
Sure, we Minnesotans enjoyed the Land of 10,000 Lakes references, like the Walshes growing up in Wayzata and Brenda returning to the North to briefly attend the U of M. But the show had such incredible appeal beyond that, tackling hefty topics from dyslexia to date rape to dying parents (unless they aren’t really dead, à la Jack McKay). We grew up as Brenda and Brandon grew up. And as surely as Donna Martin graduated, we did our best to graduate beyond our 90210 fixation when the show aired its final episode in 2000.
Except that we didn’t. Which is why when, earlier this year, the reboot was announced, we die-hards collectively lost our minds. We marked our calendars for August 7 (a Wednesday night, obvi). We scheduled our viewing parties. And we secretly wondered: Would the six-episode limited series live up to our unreasonable expectations?
And did it? Of course not. The uber meta pilot was like a high-school reunion: Just because you gather your long lost friend and your old flame in the same place doesn’t mean it’ll be the same. Because it can’t. You’ve changed. They’ve changed (except for Ian Ziering, who looks exactly the same).
But will we all still be watching the next five episodes unfold? Of course. To quote Tori Spelling (not Donna Martin, to be clear) from last night’s episode, “Maybe going back is just what we all need to move forward.” At least we’ll always have Paris.