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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Beverly Hills, 90210 - The Second Season
Beverly Hills, 90210 - The Second Season
Paramount // Unrated // May 1, 2007
List Price: $54.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Jeffrey Robinson | posted April 23, 2007 | E-mail the Author
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The Second Season

Beverly Hills, 90210 first aired in 1990 and ran for ten seasons. It was a popular series that had a huge influence on pop culture in the 90s and made actors/actresses Jason Priestley, Shannen Doherty, Luke Perry, Jennie Garth, Tori Spelling, David Austin Green, and Ian Ziering famous. The series is credited as a soap opera and it is filled to the brink with melodramatic content. However, this season, like the first, is not nearly as "soapy" as the later seasons. The content focuses on the Walsh family, specifically the kids Brenda and Brandon, and their lives and friends in Beverly Hills. For more details about this series, please refer to DVD Talk's review of season one.

In Beverly Hills, 90210's second season, the appeal and format remain unchanged. And it does not come off as too over-the-top (even though it is pretty thick.) The show continues to offer melodramatic content surrounding the Walshes and their closest friends. In this season, one of the biggest events is the departure of reoccurring character Scott Scanlon. This episode stands out because it addresses accidental shootings in the home. Other big stories include David and Kelly's parents dating, Brenda and Dylan's relationship (breaking up and getting back together again), Brandon's wild new girlfriend Emily Valentine, and more.

As previously mentioned, one of the most dramatic episodes this season surrounds the departure of Scott Scanlon. In the episode "The Next 50 Years", David tries to get the gang to attend Scott's birthday party. But of course, no wants to go. Eventually, he convinces people to attend, but the party turns out to be a failure. Everything goes south when Scott finds a gun and tries to impress David by twirling it. Scott accidentally shoots himself and dies. Afterwards, David starts to feel guilty about his relationship with his former best friend. Over the last year, he has neglected their friendship to spend time with the cool group. The tragedy hits David hard, especially when his superficial peers at school start to act like they cared about Scott. This episode is very melodramatic and a serious development for David to deal with.

Another important plot point addressed throughout the season is Brenda and Dylan's relationship. In the season premiere, Brenda realizes the seriousness of her actions. By having sex with Dylan, her relationship has gotten more intense than she is capable of handling at such a young age. Brenda believes she might be pregnant, and in the aftermath decides it is best to breakup with Dylan before it goes any further. Throughout the season, their relationship goes back and forth, and by the end of the season they are madly in love again. And Jim Walsh forbids Brenda to ever see Dylan again. Oh, my the drama!

A fun turn of events this season involves Kelly and David's parents. In the episode "Play It Again, David", Jackie (Kelly's mom) and Mel (David's dad) start dating. The situation adds some comical drama to the show, as Kelly's reaction to the thought of being related to David is great. They have a fun chemistry together. And when Jackie and Mel decide to tie the knot, it gets better. The relationship itself has plenty of drama, which includes a pregnancy conceived out of wedlock!

For Brandon, he has a lot going on this season that ranges from relationships to school to work. In the realm of love, a new reoccurring character Emily Valentine (Christine Emily McCarthy) is introduced in the episode "Wildfire". She comes to West Beverly and catches both Brandon and Dylan's eyes. Brandon woos her, which works out well, except for a few kinks. In "U4EA", she tricks Brandon into taking drugs, which ends their relationship. In the aftermath, Emily goes a little crazy about Brandon not wanting to see her and ends up in a psychiatric hospital. Other dramatic endeavors Brandon takes includes "A Competitive Edge", where Brandon and Andrea learn that the track team is taking anabolic steroids, and "The Pit And The Pendulum", Brandon fights to keep the Peach Pit from going belly up.

In "Halloween", a serious issue of rape is addressed. While at a costume party, Kelly wears an outfit that reveals far too much. It grabs the attention of a good looking college guy, who tries to rape her. Thankfully, good friends like Steve are there to help her. Kelly also begins her taboo relationship with Melrose Place's Jake Hanson in "Mexican Standoff" and "Wedding Bell Blues". Jake is a friend of Dylan. He is hired to build something for Jackie's wedding. Upon meeting Kelly, sparks fly and they have a fling, which produces complications because of the age difference. This relationship is tied into the beginning of the spin-off series Melrose Place.

As for the remainder of season two, there are plenty more melodramatic storylines and issues for the gang to deal with. The content is dramatic and soapy, but it is done very well. In comparison to the first season, it feels much the same, with slightly stronger pushes with eye-rolling drama, but it is not to the point that it is ridiculous. Instead, the season two melodramatic content comes off enjoyable and it will leave you wanting to see what happens next.

Episode Guide

1. Beach Blanket Brandon: A pregnancy scare prompts Brenda to break things off with Dylan, while Brandon gets a cool new job at the Beverly Hills Beach Club.
2. The Party Fish: Brandon begins to realize his new job might harbor unexpected hazards when a budding friendship with an influential sports promoter becomes more complicated than Brandon ever could have foreseen.
3. Summer Storm: Dylan, injured in a surfing incident, stays with the Walshes during his recovery-until Jim Walsh kicks him out for kissing Brenda.
4. Anaconda: After an illegal late-night poker game, Brandon and Dylan clash over a break-in at the beach club.
5. Play It Again, David: Kelly is mortified when her mother starts dating David's father and plots to break up the new couple, while Brandon, who is mentoring a local boy, discovers that his "little bother" may be hiding a dark secret.
6. Pass, Not Pass: Brenda and Andrea clash over their mutual interest in their hot acting teacher, whose interest in one of the girls surprises them both.
7. Camping Trip: The gang heads up to Yosemite on what turns out to be a totally doomed camping trip. Stuck in the rain, the gang makes some unexpected friends-and encounters some unexpected danger.
8. Wild Fire: Brandon and Dylan both make a date with the same girl-wild new student Emily Valentine-and Brenda's jealousy prompts her to rethink her feelings for Dylan.
9. Ashes To Ashes: An effort to create a neighborhood security patrol goes horribly awry, resulting in race hate and violence.
10. Necessity Is A Mother: When Dylan's long-absent mother moves back into his life-not to mention into his home-things come to a head, forcing Dylan to confront his issues not only with his mother, but with himself as well.
11. Leading From The Heart: Brandon and Brenda's paraplegic cousin Bobby is visiting Beverly Hills-and Kelly finds him extremely interesting!
12. Down And Out (Of District) In Beverly Hills: Andrea wins a high-school journalism contest, but her victory is marred by a school district investigation. Meanwhile, at the Peach Pit, Steve gets a girlfriend-but Kelly's sure she's just after his wallet!
13. Halloween: The gang goes to a Halloween party, but things take a turn for the worst when Kelly's seductive costume catches the eye of a college student whose intentions are less than honorable.
14. The Next Fifty Years: When a tragic accident takes the life of Scott Scanlon, David struggles with the pain of losing his friend.

15. U4EA: Emily invites everyone to a secret party at an underground club-where she does something that could end her relationship with Brandon forever!
16. My Desperate Valentine: Emily refuses to accept the fact that Brandon no longer wants to see her and spirals out of control-and Brenda's the only one who might be able to talk her down!
17. Chuckie's Back: Steve's life is turned upside-down when his childhood nemesis (and his mother's former sitcom co-star) transfer to West Beverly High.
18. Walsh Family Christmas: Steve takes a trip to Albuquerque in search of his biological mother, while the Walshes have a magical encounter with a man who just might be the real Santa Claus.
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.
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.
21. Everybody's Talkin' 'Bout It: Kelly's loose lips let slip an explosive secret that almost destroys her mother's relationship with Mel.
22. And Baby Makes Five: Dylan's attempts to help a friend through AA put a serious strain on his relationship with Brenda.
23. Cardio-Funk: Brandon joins the track team and discovers a sinister world of steroid abuse amongst West Beverly's athletes.
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.
25. Meeting Mr. Pony: A robbery at the Peach Pit leaves Brenda more traumatized than she's willing to admit-especially when she must identify her attacker in a police lineup!
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.
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!
28. Weddings Bell Blues: It's a cliffhanger climax when Brenda's father forbids Dylan from seeing his daughter anymore!

The DVD

Video:
The video is given in 1.33:1 ratio full frame color. The picture quality is not great and ranges from poor to decent throughout the season episodes. Sometimes, the episodes look fine and other times they do not. In general, there are noticeable visual distortions and some problems with color representation. When the picture is at its worse (usually high motion) it features significant aliasing and a grainy/blocky image that looks like a video that has been compressed too much. I think the problem is a mixture of the video compression and a poor quality source transfer.

Audio:
The audio track included with this release is English 2.0 Dolby digital stereo sound. The sound quality is decent with dialogue consistently audible. It is an average TV on DVD audio track, dialogue driven and is pretty flat with little use of the stereo sound. Music is also very flat and bland.

This release does not come with subtitles, but it is closed caption enabled.

Extras:
For extras, there are three featurettes.

  • Meet the Walshes (7:06): stars Carol Potter and James Eckhouse talking about being the Walshes. They talk about their experiences post-90210 in regards to the fame, what it was like being on the show and related experiences, and the effect that the issues the Walsh family deals with.
  • Our Favorite Valentine (5:20): features Christine Elise. She talks about her character, impact on her career, experiences on season two, working with Jason and Luke, etc.
  • Everything You Need to Know About Beverly Hills 90210 Season 2 (17:40): is all about the show's second season. It stars John Aboud and Michael Colton, who provide a fun commentary about season two. The opening sequence alone, a mock-up of the show's opening sequence with Aboud and Colton in costume, is a great reason to watch it.

Final Thoughts:
Similar to my impressions about Beverly Hills, 90210's first season, the second season is rich in content. The season two episodes continue to provide engaging drama that range from common and not-so-common teenage angst to soapy melodrama situations. The end result is an intriguing collection of twenty-eight episodes that fans will not want to miss.

Please note that the DVD covers claim "Music has been changed for this home entertainment version. Some episodes may be edited from their original network versions."

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