The Good

What person between the ages of 20 to 45 isn't going to be excited about the release of this show on DVD?

The Bad

I wanted more extras!

To say that I was elated to get Beverly Hills 90210: The Complete First Season to review would be an enormous understatement. This show was a seminal viewing experience for me when I was a Junior in high school. Following the exploits of Brandon, Brenda, Kelly, Dylan, David, Steve and everyone else, this movie spoke to a generation because of how it dealt with being a teenager. While I can't say that I related to their experience all that much, it was more about getting caught up in it. Beverly Hills 90210 is essentially a soap opera for younger people. It has all the backstabbing and backbiting that we have come to expect from those types of shows, yet it always remained cool and accessible. At least, it started off that way. In fact, I can think of few shows from the 1990s that were as ahead of the curve as this one was.

We begin with the Walsh Family moving to Beverly Hills and from there see Brenda have problems getting her driver's license, Kelly dealing with her alcoholic mom, Dylan and Brenda beginning their relationship, and even seeing the kids get exposed to such issues as AIDS and dyslexia. While I can't say that this show doesn't look dated, and certainly doesn't seem as hip as I remember it being, I really did enjoy getting back into this world because as cheesy as it might seem, Beverly Hills 90210, was a show about a life I think we'd all wished we'd had.

Features

Commentary Tracks

Creator Darren Star serves as our companion for these commentary tracks as he talks in our ear down memory lane. He tells us how the show came into existence, the way the ideas for the stories came up, what his goal was with a specific episode or character, and what he thinks of the actor's performances. I liked this but I wished that some of the actors would have joined him because that's really who the fans want to hear from. This isn't meant as an insult but Mr. Star isn't a name that a lot of people are familiar with, so it seems like this special feature might not seem that special.

"Beginnings with Darren Star" Featurette

90210 Behind the Scenes and Meet the Class of West Beverly High

These similar featurettes look at this show and the effect that it had not only on the people watching it, but on TV in general. Before Beverly Hills 90210, I don't ever remember there being a show like this available for kids my age. Sure, I watched soap operas when I was younger, but I didn't get into them because I didn't understand what was going on. Why this show worked is because the actors and all the other creative types knew that this was a show for a certain generation. They knew that if they put honest emotions on screen than people would respond. And boy did we ever! It also examines the characters and how they evolved and grew both on screen and off.

Video

Full Screen. This show looks really good on DVD. 16 Years may sound like a long time ago but compared to the age of other TV on DVD releases that really isn't long at all. The picture quality is solid, it seems like there was a lot more pink on this show than I remember their being, but the thing that struck me the most was the acting style. Still spilling over from the 1980s, the actors on this show are never hamming it up or winking at the camera. As a result, all their situations play with an interesting reality.

Audio

Dolby Digital 2.0. The moment the opening notes of the Beverly Hills 90210 theme song come through your speaker system, you will be very hard pressed to look for audio flaws. I didn't find any but that might have something to do with the fact that I didn't look that hard. As long as I can hear the show and I don't have to turn up my set that loud, I am fine. Paramount seems like they have leveled these discs in such a way that all the audio is in service of the dialogue spoken. Now that is something that not only makes the viewing experience greater, but quite refreshing as well.

Package

The cast of this show is pictured on this bright front cover which I guess is meant to depict the shining lights of Southern California. Above them is the 90210 logo that instantly told interested viewers just where and what this show was. The back cover features some images from the show, a description, a Special Features listing and technical specs. All 6 discs are neatly housed inside this packaging which contains more artwork, episode indexes, and descriptions of where these shows and the special features are on these discs. All in all, this packaging is pretty much what you might expect for this show, but then again I don't think there was a need for much more.

Final Word

How can you argue with a show that ran for 10 years?

Truthfully, I only followed Beverly Hills 90210 for about the first 2 or 3 seasons. I don't know what happened after that except I think Dylan and Kelly eventually became an item, and Donna and David did as well. Beyond that, I just remember a story my friend told me about Luke Perry coming back to the show to reprise the iconic character of Dylan McKay. Apparently, since he'd left the show he'd aged a bit but when he went back as a person in his early 20s (in the show), he was very honest about not having any work done to make himself seem younger. Almost as if he knew that no matter what this show was going to be the piece of pop culture that it was, so why try and make his return be anything more or less than it was.

All in all, I wish there were more extras but other than that Beverly Hills 90210: The Complete First Season is spectacular fourth quarter release.

Beverly Hills, 90210 was released .