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|:HOME:|:RANTS:|:SEPTEMBER 22, 1999:
"You Better Work" [ironic, innit?]
SEPTEMBER 22, 1999

A word to the wise: watching a new episode of 90210 with a severe head cold certainly doesnít make either thing any more appealing or bearable.

That said, here we go.

Why was every scene, every antic, every plot, every "twist" obvious from 100 miles away? Why do they even try to convince us that these are new episodes, that this show is actually doing something new? I think the only thing that surprised me is that I liked Donnaís hair.

Why is I-on producing this episode? Is that why we got treated to extra too-long Stevie Doofusy shots and over-the-top dumb-shit Daddy-to-be paranoia?

Why did we have to be treated to a heavy-duty dose of Spastic Stressed-out Donnantics? The whole "aneurysm" line was a shout-out if I ever heard one. I only wish xix was still doing Wrap-Ups so he could give us the exact count of the number of times aneurysm has been used in previous Wrap-Ups.

Pia, honey, the "pop a few charming pills" line was too cute, too trť LA, but I think women on this show and women because of this show have enough issues as it, so why not leave the drug thing alone for a while... or at least until thereís another car accident or something, okay? And why would anyone expect the TV Viewers to believe that, of all the peopleÖ MICHAEL STIPE would be on Donnaís guest list?! At least make it plausible and say, oh, Keanu Reeves or Charlie "Charles" Sheen or Pam and Tommy or some other publicity-whore-type. [Why is this show so enamored of Michael Stipe and REM anyway? How many REM songs are necessary as background music? Leave REM alone, dammit!]

Hang on... gotta blow my nose....

Ah, better.

Donna, instead of "sitting around... recording stupid sounds" in Davyís DJ booth, why werenít you, uh, at least making a few back-up outfits in case of emergency? That ainít unheard of in the world of fashion. And you shouldíve learned your lesson after the Gwyneth wine-spilling deal last season.

Why were we once again treated to a barrage of Testoteroni (the Beverly Hills treat) stereotypes re: masculinity. Of COURSE a Man like Stevie Sanders wouldíve spent the weekend watching Manly Man stuff like the Nature Channel... thus coming up with a sensitive and touching (yet not too wimpy) identification with the mighty King (Emperor?) Penguin as a metaphor for taking part in pregnancy and anticipation of fatherhood. Of COURSE now that Stevieís going to be a "husband and father" he needs to brush up on his, oh, I donít know, HANDYMAN skills (Ďcos when The Husband-Type Man and I decided to get married, I put my foot down: "Not until you can check your OWN oil and put together your OWN do-it-yourself furniture and fix your OWN toilets, dammit! Otherwise, youíre not a Real Man!") Wotta man wotta man wotta man wotta mighty fine man. Gak.

Davy, why do your moronic radio antics cause me, once again, to remind you that, try as you might, you are no Adam Carolla. "If youíre not sleeping with her, then you shouldnít be paying her rent." How macho. No wonder Donna canít get you out of her system. No wonder youíre MEANT to be together. And Noah... close the PPAD already.

Why why why why why oh why have we been subjected to Matt "Faux Brandon" LawyerBoy?! I mean, Brandon was bad enough... but now we have to deal with an even more boring (if such a thing is possible) more annoying (if such a thing is possible) knock-off of Brandon Walshís Hillster King Schick. First Kelly sets it up with the heavy-handed pointing out (because otherwise we mightíve missed it) of LBís being "exactly where he wants to be" by moving to Cali because he "hated winters" (how Minnesota Transplant of him) and opening his own law firm because he didnít want to work for the bigger firms (How enterprising! How self-sufficient! How Pulling-Himself-Up-By-His-Bootstraps of him!) Why, Lawyer Boy is as successful as Brandon Walsh! Iíll bet Lawyer Boy even won Dryer Fellowships and was Student Body President at his own college! He is so perfectly Brandon in the way he consoles Big Doofus Stevie Sanders about Janet and fatherhood. And then we are bombasted with Matt doing the right thing and insisting that Kelly and Val Mach II, uh, Gina, patch up their differences and be friends. And self-righteously demanding that Gina right her wrong with Mr. Chronicleís invitation by insisting that she "find him" was a masterful touch of Brandonesque control, power and forcefulness.

And speaking of Gina, who, incidentally, has GOT to be the most inanely boring "bad girl" in the history of television (looooved the swirly pretzel not-quite-Leia hair, hon), why would ANYONE use a huge bottle of epoxy and a paintbrush to seal invitations? And why would you go through the trouble of making the postman wait while you address and seal an invitation, then taking it back and LIGHTING IT ON FIRE?! I know, so that you can accidentally set the store on fire with a flammable substance, yet the sealed, addressed, somehow-not-even-burnt invite can survive the blaze and eventually find its way to Mr. Chronicle (thereís another Big Fat Hairy Whatever!). I was also impressed by how you emphatically doused the fire by spraying the clothes with the fire extinguisher as opposed to the actual fire itself. Of course, and thereís a whole Ďnuther set of "why"s to come from Ginaís sudden turnaround to Staunch Supporter of Donna by the episodeís end.

And Donna, why didnít you, um, PICK UP THE CLOTHES OFF THE FLOOR SOMETIME BEFORE MID-MORNING THE DAY OF THE SHOW TO ASSESS THE DAMAGE? For that matter, why didnít you try taking some of the clothes to one of the ten billion dry cleaners in LA and pay for overnight service? Lots of those places do repair work as well. Certainly that mightíve been more plausible than, say, RECREATING THE WHOLE FUCKING MENíS LINE WITH THE SO-CALLED HELP OF A HALF-DOZEN NUDNIKS WHOíVE NEVER EVEN USED A SEWING MACHINE IN THEIR LIVES! Funny, but I canít believe that the Hillsters could manage to whip up a set of napkins with a matching tablecloth in 8 hours, much less an ENTIRE FAUX-COUTURE LINE OF SPECIALIZED CLOTHING, with only Donnaís Barbie Sewing Machine! I mean, if Gina can manage to find and hire someone to be a fake Girl Scout to get that invite to Mr. Chronicle, surely you couldíve at least consulted the Yellow Pages for a few actual trained tailors/seamstresses to help out with the lined suits, set collars and natty accessories, huh?

I suppose that since none of the hastily whipped-up clothes were able to be fitted to the actual models is why they all fit so badly. And I suppose "Donna Martinís Man" = mismatched separates.

Why did we once again have to suffer through the trite and oft-used Hillsters As Models motif (i.e. Donna last season, i.e. the CU swimsuit calendar, etc.)... having to suffer through Hillster Boyz Runway Antics (Davy, Lawyer Boy, Iím looking at you specifically) did nothing to ease the pressure in my head. (Dammit, Contact Severe Cold Formula, KICK IN!) The only thing missing was the usual Donnaís So Talented and Successful conclusion. Lucky for us, the New York buyers "already have a line just like" Donnaís. So guys, be prepared... those mismatched, ill-fitting separates are coming to a Saks or Macyís near you! Of course, Kelly and Donna are "here to stay" according to fashion critics. Yeah.

Which reminds me, what was up with Donna and Kelly with fake moustaches dressed in menswear coming out (ahem) together at the end of the fashion show? I mean, how homoerotic can you get?! Thereís some real slash-fiction possibilities from that one scene, huh?

BTB, I like how this is suddenly Kelly and Donna as equal partners in fashion.

Cherise, why were you even on the show? Oh, well, okay, to make us realize that Donna and Noah REALLY LOVE EACH OTHER (until she, predictably, realizes she REALLY LOVES DAVID)... but, thatís beside the point. When you said "We can bring a mix tape" to Noah, why did you emphasize "tape" not "mix"... were you mocking Dylanís "Iíve got peppermint candy CANES" intonation from many seasons before? Wrong syl-A-ble, dears.

And speaking of previous seasons, it was nice to see some threads continuing from last season, and references made to previous 90210 episodes... like Donnaís menswear line, begun last season. And mentioning "Carlyís kid" from several seasons back. And, of course, Davyís touching story about Dylan from the freshman year season, where Dylan showed up at his house with a stack of books and gave him a lecture on not being a quitter and helped him get two midterm papers written....

Books and midterm papers, drugs down the toilet and search warrant, whatís the difference?

And speaking of Dylan, WHAT THE FUCK WAS UP WITH THE WHOLE DEMANDING THAT CU ACCEPT HIS APPLICATION EVEN THOUGH IT WAS LATE BULLSHIT?! As if that would EVER happen at the average community college, much less a so-called University?! Not the way to impress the admissions board, Dyl-head. And, let me just throw another Big Fat Hairy Whatever out at the fact that KELLY TAYLOR WROTE DYLAN A RECOMMENDATION! Uh, Dyl, honey, most colleges donít even want letters from, like, old family friends who might be alumni or your employers, MUCH LESS SOMEONE WHO JUST GRADUATED TWO YEARS AGO instead of, say ACTUAL QUALIFIED PROFESSORS/PEOPLE WORKING IN ACADAMIA WHO CAN ASSES YOUR POTENTIAL AS A STUDENT! And where was Mr. Lexisí (?) secretary? Iíve never known any admissions chair, dean, or department head to just be hanging out in the admissions office answering obnoxious bell-rings at the front desk. And why would Dylan take the application over to the PPAD just to throw it out in front of DAVID SILVER?! I know, so Davy can rescue it and take it back and demand that Mr. Lexis (?) read it and "give Dylan a chance".... AS IF THAT WOULD EVER HAPPEN ANYWHERE EVER EVER EVER AT ANY COLLEGEÖ no matter how touching and sad the story or how good the application (and, sorry, but after reading dozens of application essays and writing several of my own, I find it hard to believe that Dylanís "Iím out of options but Iím open to anything" is going to impress anyone at any school into letting him in at all, MUCH LESS BENDING APPLICATION DEADLINES TO DO SO)!

Oh, the pressure in my head!

And speaking of screaming levels of unrealistic offers, what PR person just throws out job offers like Pia did to Kelly? That would be like me walking into Bantam Dell Doubleday or Scribnerís Sons and saying "gee, did you know that the Laura Ingalls Wilder ĎLittle Houseí books are an interesting example of the presentation of a fictionalized biography in the public sphere?" and a big important publisher rushing up to me and going "Fabulous! You really have a knack for this! Do you want a job?"

I mean, fuck me gently with a chainsaw, as Brinda'd say.

And speaking of fucking gently, Iím so pleased that, like Gina and her bulimia, Kelly is miraculously over the deep psychological and physical trauma of a brutal rape. O frabjous day! She and Lawyer Boy can doink again!

And speaking of doinking... what could be more of an argument to use birth control EVERY TIME YOU HAVE SEX than Steve and Janet? Where did The Real Janet go? I suppose we can chalk up Janetís tearful "really?" and breaking into sobs as indicative of the emotional effects of pregnancy when Stevie brought her the giant penguin. But what about her reaction to Stevieís fears about Junior: "You canít say that! You arenít allowed to say that! Feeling torn isnít an option!" I mean... whaaaa?!? I think this is proof that The Real Janet has been taken over by an alien life form. Much as Iíd love to see a woman rip Stevie a new one, itíd be nicer if it was actually in a more logical and rational context instead of bending to the "you know how irrational women are" stereotypes.

And Stevie, who despite supposedly having to fill in as a last-minute model in a fashion show, can somehow manage to hang out by the sound board with Janet instead of actually MODELING with the others...? "We should get married" huh? ĎCos thatís gonna fix everything. Half my family can tell you that, you morons. And, as long as thereís a baby on the way and all this marriage angst, 90210 might as well do it up the Quintessential Stereotypical Way, with remarks from Kelly and Donna about how "practical" it is and how Steveís "coming through" by proposing and now Janetís "whole life is wrapped up with a big red bow!" FOR GAWDíS SAKE! WE GET IT! WE GET IT! Now all we need is for Janet (or Steve) to back out of the wedding at the last minute. (Note: I also loved the whole weird/awkward conclusion to that scene in the Spineless Women Beach House... surreal.) And I suspect my annoyance with Marriage Stereotypes is only going to be compounded with the notion of a "right" (i.e. stereotypical) proposal = a "right" (i.e. stereotypical "weíre MEANT to be together!") marriage in next weekís episode.

And speaking of weird, WHAT was that doctorís comment about "we donít usually see dads so late in the pregnancy" all about, huh?! I mean, first off, would a doctor even make such an intrusive comment? And second, since when is 4 months "late" into a pregnancy?

Oh, Janet, I hate to inform you, but you arenít "suddenly dating a zombie" hon... you always were. And I betcha it ainít gonna get better, either.

Why does this whole Davy/Dyl-head on-again off-again angst even exist? Iím beginning to think thereís a deeper issue at hand... perhaps a desperate cry of love that goes unheard as they argue on the surface about women, ambition, the future. Kiss and make up already, guys.

Why would Pia make such a bitchy comment about Ginaís long-suspended "little fitness venture?" And why are we going to be subjected to more boring Gina Bad Girl crap?




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