20 February 2012

0 solving problems with 90210: "you can't just seduce a girl in her car... can you?"


let's talk about sex. ie. the classic, unfortunately titled 90210 episode "everybody's talkin' 'bout it". 

dude, MAJOR controversy!!! the dastardly california liberals wanna conduct a sex survey at west beverly hills high!!! can you believe it?


the parents can't. they are in uproar!!! their uproar involves carrying unimaginative signs.


where do the walshes stand on this important issue? they're just super excited to see brenda and brandon on tv.


maybe they should be more worried? because brenda and dylan are, like, big-time carnal.


which is really awkward for brandon and ahhhhhhndrea, who are sharing the couch with them.


the west beverly parents are successful and the dastardly liberals are thwarted! it's a win for social conservatism! no sex survey for west beverly hills high! 

ahhhhhhhndrea and this josh dude (who we've never seen before but who has apparently been an unsung, integral part of the west beverly blaze editorial team all along) are pissed. 


steve's pissed too because the sex survey was going to get him out of english lit class and now he's got to read brave new world. curses!



brenda: "it's like they don't even give a damn what we think."

word.

so hey, remember how last week was steve's episode? one of the maybe five episodes over the course of the show's 10 seasons where steve got a chance to shine? yeah, "everybody's talkin' 'bout it" is ahhhhhhndrea's show. her chance to convince us that she can shine. 

to pick up where i left off last week in railing against the 90210 gods who decided that ahhhhhhhndrea should have the worst character arc of the show, ahhhhhhndrea's chance to shine is DREADFUL. no, like, really, really, really bad. she has to shine as The Last Virgin In The World, which basically boils down to her being an uptight bitch. oh and in the process of "shining", she makes at least a million sour faces. like this one:


ahhhhhhhhndrea: PEOPLE ARE DYING, BRANDON!!!

everybody's pissed because the sex survey's been cancelled and PEOPLE ARE DYING!!! rather than protest with bad signage they opt to attend the school board meeting.


at the meeting, ahhhhhhdrea goes rogue and, straying from their policy platform, requests CONDOMS IN THE SCHOOLS! the beverly hills school board = SHOCKED. but they approve the measure to consider it and ahhhhhhndrea is victorious. this is her sneaky victory face:



nat is in favor of contraceptives. brandon declares him a "jungle-stud".

(your mission for the day: call someone a "jungle-stud".)

so the whole condoms in the school issue precipitates an emergency west beverly parents meeting at the walshes house. enter felice martin, the villainess of 90210.


over the course of the series, felice martin will oppose all fun. she will be anti-sex, anti-drinking at prom, anti-david's being donna and kelly's college roommate, anti-donna and david sleeping together, anti-donna not being a debutante, anti-donna dating a dude who lives on a boat, anti-donna's not being a rose bowl queen, anti-donna's owning a cow-print couch. 

of all the parents on the show, she is the one consistently against everything. 

so what do the other west beverly parents have to say about condoms in the schools? this douche doesn't want his kid to be able to "walk up to the school nurse and say 'give me a condom.'"


these people have been imported from 1976.



felice martin: condoms aren't the answer. ABSTINENCE IS THE ONLY ANSWER!

because felice martin is the character advocating this approach, we automatically know that abstinence is not the only answer. donna and brenda know this too.


as do the walshes... (who are clearly going to be indulging in sexy times later on. for reals, check out jim walsh's sexface.)


donna's so pissed by her mother's close-minded view that she speaks out, deploying a powerful (and extremely complicated) swimming pool metaphor.


donna: "you're overlooking two very important things. one, a lot of kids are having sex and two, they are kids. it's like you have a swimming pool in your backyard. you can tell the children not to go into it [...] but if you know they're going to find a way to go into the water, don't you think you ought to teach those kids how to swim?"


felice martin obviously does not want to be teaching kids to swim.


only important subplot: david wants to have sex with donna. like, rightnow. he is concerned that ahhhhhhndrea will not be able to get the condoms in the schools fast enough. he wonders if they are sold in stores. 


david: do you think i should make a move?


ahhhhhndrea is speaking to the press about condoms in the schools. this pisses off mrs. teasley, who then unloads all her administrative worries on brandon, a student in his junior year.


oh yeah, so kelly's mom and david's dad are dating. which is all awkward because last season david was way uncool and the taint of his prior uncool still lingers to an extent that kelly doesn't want to be associated with him. nonetheless, they are all eating sushi together. kelly's mother thinks everything tastes bad (foreshadowing!). 



kelly: all i've been hearing about for days is ahhhhhhndrea zuckerman and her mighty condom crusade. 


omg, david silver's got condoms. two of every kind. he offers one to steve... but steve doesn't need condoms right now because he's not with kelly and is, instead, pining and undersexed and preparing to die alone.




now kelly's pissed (apparently when you talk about nothing but sex, you will be pissed off all of the time) because ahhhhhhndrea and her mighty condom crusade have asked that people write essays about their sexual exploits for publication in the blaze. which pisses off brandon, because ahhhhhhndrea never mentioned a word of this to him. he advises kelly to turn down the opportunity. 



kelly: ahhhhhhndrea zuckerman doesn't always take no for an answer. now she wants us to go hand out condoms in the street!

dylan and donna are worried. 


brandon is mad as hell.


he confronts ahhhhhhndrea by the cold drink machine and tells her that he's upset by her secrecy and refusal to follow protocol.


she thinks this is incredibly stupid because PEOPLE ARE DYING!!! there is no time for protocol. 



brandon calls ahhhhhhndrea out on her lack of sexual experience and her tendency to alienate people with her in-your-face political tactics. 


brandon: love is not a public health issue.


brandon: maybe you should get a life of your own before it's too late.

SNAP. so what we're learning in the process of having 90210 solve all our problems is that brandon walsh is often a sayer of unkind things. like really hurtful, callous, unkind things. he has now stood in the hall of his high school calling out ahhhhhhndrea for being The Last Virgin In The World

this is how that makes ahhhhhhndrea feel:


brenda and dylan are gloriously in love (seriously, would you want to be that close to your twin sister when her boyfriend is sticking his tongue down her throat?)


david and donna are gloriously in love. 


ahhhhhhhndrea is going to die alone.


she's so afraid of dying alone that she can't see that john totally wants to do her.


feeling like The Last Virgin In The World, she flees to the bathroom, where brenda is exercising a commendable devotion to dental hygiene and flossing her teeth.



brandon hunts down ahhhhhndrea and attempts to apologize for calling her The Last Virgin In The Worldh but his efforts are met with a frosty reception.


now that brandon thinks she's The Last Virgin In The World, the wind has gone out of ahhhhhndrea's sails. she no longer cares about condoms or the school board or the fact that PEOPLE ARE DYING. she is chastely sad.


the school board denies the motion to put condoms in the schools. 

triumphant, felice martin makes major bitchface.


what she does not know is that david silver is scheming to sleep with her daughter. 



david: what kind of ID do you need to rent a hotel room? you can't just seduce a girl in a car... can you?

let's pause here because this question is LOADED and yields a lot of insight into the impending tragedy that is david silver's sexual plight. 

the use of the word "rent" raises many issues. was david planning to deflower donna in a room that could be rented by the hour? or is he simply unaware that hotel rooms are a thing you book rather than rent? 

also, please note that he would be seducing said girl in her own car. that is because david silver doesn't have a car. because david silver cannot drive. because david silver is 15. 

so yeah. 

brenda and dylan, havers of hot sex, have been curiously silent thus far in this episode where all anyone talks about is sex. do not fear! they're talking about it too.

awhile back brenda had a pregnancy scare. she wants to write about it for the blaze. dylan doesn't want her to because, he declares with valor, "i don't kiss and tell." they fight. life is dark and sad.


brenda relents and doesn't publish the piece. they get back together. life is jolly good. (why in god's name is brenda wearing black gloves???)


david tells dylan he's hatched a plan for seducing donna.


this is david silver thinking he's going to get some...


this is dylan mckay's response...



back to the drama of ahhhhhndrea and john. so john has written an essay for the blaze's special sex edition on being the last virgin on earth. it is cleverly entitled "the last virgin on earth." he gives it to ahhhhhhhndrea to read only ahhhhhhndrea doesn't know he wrote it and she doesn't want to read it because she's mad at brandon for making her feel like The Last Virgin In The World and this essay entitled "the last virgin on earth" seems a cruel mockery of her unsexed plight. 

ahhhhhhndrea is a bitch to john. way more of a bitch than anyone wearing a cowboy culotte set has any right to ever be. 


ahhhhhndrea: if i ever hear the word 'condoms' again, it will be too soon.

ahhhhhhndrea refuses to join the gang in passing out sex information on the street. kelly leaves her chemistry book in the blaze office and, returning to get it, finds ahhhhhhndrea looking sad. she confronts ahhhhhhhndrea and spills the beans on her sordid sexual past. 


ahhhhhhdrea feels MUCH better about her own lack of a sexual past because, obviously,  having no sexual past is far better than having a sordid one. 



because ahhhhhhndrea isn't going to pass out sex ed pamphlets, john doesn't want to go either now. ahhhhhhndrea confronts him and reminds him that PEOPLE ARE DYING!!!


the big reveal: omg, john totally wrote that essay about being the last virgin on earth. 


which means ahhhhhhhndrea isn't The Last Virgin In The World

this pleases her to no end...


this is the condom that fell out of david silver's wallet as he went to give donna money for their pizza:


this is donna seeing the condom sitting beside her dinner. 


this is david silver attempting to have sex with donna:


this is donna telling david she doesn't believe in sex before marriage. 


this is david's face upon hearing the news that he's going to have to put a ring on it to get laid:


jackie taylor's pregnant. OMG.


the end.



[full disclosure: i've got some problems with this one. having done absolutely no research, i'm going to assert that this episode was the 90210land response to the announcement that magic johnson was HIV positive. which was big, and it's impressive that a show like this in only its second season would make the leap to attach itself to such controversial current events. 

that's admirable. i get that. respect. 

BUT, while it's heart (and, yes, i do think this show has a heart) is in the right place, the execution is a little off. so much is going on here. too much, really. and all of it has to do with sex. 

it's as though the writers knew they were going to take flak for touching upon the issue of teenage sex so they crammed in every available vaguely objectionable sexually related plot-twist to kill all birds with one stone. 

as a result, there's almost- dare i say it?- too much sex in this episode. an odd thing given that it's an episode in which no one actually does have sex. maybe it would be a better episode if someone did. regardless, somehow david silver's effort to buy condoms and have sex with donna feels gratuitous when situated within the larger context of contraceptive freedom and the distribution of contraceptives in schools. it shouldn't- because david silver getting laid is the cornerstone of david's character arc for the next three seasons- but it does. 

in "everybody's talkin' 'bout it," sex truly is all everybody talks about. turns out, that's a little boring after awhile.]  

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