90210 S2E1: 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.

New credits! They are much more campy and fun, consisting of “action” shots of each character followed by a Sears-portrait-studio moment. Nice.

Now, one of the things I remember crystal-clearly about 90210 is Brenda taking a pregnancy test and her results color being a mix of the two possible outcomes, as well as her saying something along the lines of, “I wait to have sex with a guy I really love, I use protection, and I’m purple.” Obviously that struck a nerve with my young self. I also remember, even as a child, recognizing the same extras over and over again. Like one scene in the hallway at school where the same floppy-haired blonde guy walked by no less than 4 times. The brain is a funny thing, my friends.

As we open, it is the last day of school. Wow. I miss that feeling. Brenda and Donna are taking an acting class during summer school. Brenda tells the girls that her period is late. Brandon talks to Andrea to “clear things up” before summer starts. She says its no big deal. He asks, “It’s no big deal that we almost became a couple?” Um…they didn’t. They almost had sex. Is Brandon honestly not supposed to recognize that it’s not the same thing?

The girls buy a home pregnancy test for Brenda. Donna says abstinence is 100% effective and Brenda replies, “Thank you Donna, but I think it’s a little too late for that now.” The test should be blue for positive, red for negative … and Brenda’s results are green. And here’s the line: “I wait to have sex with a guy that I love, I act responsibly, I take every precaution, and I’m green.” She tells the girls she doesn’t think sex was worth it.

Business at the Peach Pit dies down in the summer, so Brandon gets a job at the beach club. Brenda tells Dylan that sleeping with him was a mistake. He says this is his problem too. At the gynecologist, when Brenda goes to give her urine sample, she sees that she’s gotten her period so she leaves without having an examination. As they leave, Dylan suggests she ask the doctor about putting her on the pill. Brenda storms off.

I was shocked when 90210 blew past the actual moment of Brenda losing her virginity, but they sure are heaping on the doubt and regret now. Cindy finds Brenda’s pregnancy test while sorting the trash for recycling, and the Walsh parents are surprisingly calm. Afterwards, Jim is disappointed that he sounded just like his own father, who he swore he wouldn’t be like.

In a rather heartbreaking ending, Brenda breaks up with Dylan because she can’t handle the new pressures of their relationship. I’m 99.9% sure the original episode had Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game” playing instead of whatever upbeat drivel this is. It kind of ruins the moment.

[NOTE: I was wrong, the original song was apparently “Losing My Religion” by R.E.M. Also, in researching this I discovered that entire scenes have been cut from the DVD version because they couldn’t get the rights to the music. For example: a scene in a later season 2 episode in which Kelly makes up new lyrics to Robert Palmer’s “Addicted To Love” is now gone. Understandable, but sad.]

Anyway, it’s the first drama class of summer school and Brenda, Donna, Andrea, and David are all students. An attractive young teacher comes in, and Andrea and Brenda both eye him like they’re lapsed vegetarians and he’s a thick, juicy steak. After class, Brenda runs into Dylan and he says that because of her, he stopped being a loner. They both cry. OMG! I wish you guys could hear the guitar riff after Brenda says, “Goodbye, Dylan.” It belongs in an REO Speedwagon song.

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