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|:HOME:|:RANTS:|:NOVEMBER 17, 1999:
"Family Ties"
NOVEMBER 17, 1999

So I spent today as I’ve spent many days in the last week or so: reviewing like crazy for the freaking GRE Subject in Literature test that I have to re-take in approximately three weeks. Today I concentrated on the early- to mid-Victorian prose. I mean, the fun never ends! But as I made flash cards for writers and essay titles and such, I couldn’t help drawing parallels. Well, I wouldn’t call our WHY?? posts Sartor Resaurtus or Apologia Pro Vita Sua but check out my notes:

The Early Victorian essayists went beyond intellectual analysis of their subject; the writers revealed their own passions and fears in their works. Each writer had highly individual—and perhaps eccentric—style of discourse. The writers’ personalities colored their prose; they wrote autobiographically, exploring their own feelings and their own crises of belief.

Could social reform be taking place here in the 90210 environment with all of our discourse? Could there someday be a Norton Critical Edition of the Mediarama subjects-

Okay, okay... next thing you know, I’ll be referring to the Gatherings we’ve had here in The Purple Living Room as the 90210 Salon or something.


Just last week, I was actually okay with Gina ­ to an extent ­ as a character. But this week... urg. First of all, if she’s such an Evil Schemer, why would she, like, blackmail Mel and then tattle to Jackie and NOT COVER HER TRACKS IN THE LEAST, when it’s totally obvious that EVERYONE in the Exalted Hillster Circle ­ including the two guys she’s doinking, their exes (who’re also her enemies/ex-roomies/cousin), her boss, her so-called business partner- well, you get the point ­ that the whole little microcosm of Hillsters are going to find out what she did and there’s NO way to make it look pretty or favorable. I mean, quick! Someone call Val in Buffalo and have her give Gina some Nasty Scheming Pointers or something! And then there’s this whole Beverly Royale thing.... Let’s get this straight: Dylan and Gina have fought bitterly numerous times and have broken up and she’s flaunting her relationship with Davy and all that... and yet she’s still living in the hotel room that Dylan’s paying for?! It’s not like she doesn’t have options... she could move in w/Davy again in true Insecure Leaching Woman fashion, or stay with the Martins, or even make her way through the revolving door at Casa Non-Walsh. Gina, c’mon, pack up your "Everyone In Vests!" wardrobe and move out of the hotel already!

And as long as I’m on the subject of hotels... why doesn’t someone offer to educate the writers on hotels, huh? I mean, there are some basic hotel things that most people should know ­ or at least be able to discern. I’m guessing that, working as writers on a (ahem) "hit" TV show, living in a city where there’re hotels on every block, and undoubtedly working with other people who’ve had many an opportunity to stay in hotels before, that some things should be obviously unrealistic to the writers (and producers, directors, etc.). First of all... PodJanet’s waiting for a... HOTEL SEAMSTRESS…? I can see if they were staying in some 10-kabillion room high-rise hotel in Vegas that, like, has floors of dress shops and 24-hour alteration services available, or if they were staying in the BelAge or something. But judging from the exterior shot used and the facilities provided, this was a regular plain old hotel. Room service, yeah. Seamstress? I don’t think so. And then there was the whole Gina-threw-the-roses-out-the-hotel-window dealie. Um, I’ve stayed in a few hotels in my time, and it was only the 100-year-old places in England that had windows that actually opened. Most modern hotel windows are double-plate glass (like the windows in Gina’s hotel obviously were) and don’t open at all. Third: hotel room doors don’t slam (unless, again, they’re older ones); they might close with a "wumpf!", but every one I’ve seen has a spring-thingie to prevent actual slammage. Fourth: no hotel would allow a Ukrainian Accordion Band (what-freakin’-EVER!) ­ or any band, at that rate ­ to practice after 10 p.m... especially not in the hallway. Are we to assume that there was no one else in the hotel who would complain other than Skeevy Stevie and Asian Claire? Fifth: what hotel would not have the flue to a wood-burning fireplace opened? For that matter, what hotel would have a wood-burning fireplace? Gas, yes. Wood? Doubtful.

And, on a somewhat related note... how could PodJanet manage to unpack so much stuff in less than one night?! How much stuff did she bring with her on a three-day honeymoon?? I mean, there were more toiletries scattered around that room than any normal person uses collectively in a month! And later, why did Janet tell Stevie to "pack our things and put them in a suitcase"? Janet, hon, packing things EQUALS "putting them in a suitcase"! Or is this merely a reflection on your Bridegroom’s moronicacy (tm me)?

And speaking of Skeevy Stevie’s moronicacy.... I really really REALLY did NOT (emphasize: NOT NOT NOT!) need to see him squatting in those silky PJs. Blech! Feh! Kak! All I can say is thank the Almighty that we didn’t have to actually HEAR Stevie yodeling said Lionel Ritchie and Styx tunes... the thought was bad enough (and I think just the fact that Asian Claire actually WANTED to hear Skeevy Stevie singing is proof that she has, indeed, been kidnapped by aliens and had her brain capacity reduced by 7/8ths).... And oh, his Wonky Teary Faces at the end were SO not moving... I mean, total word to whoever said "I-on, you aren’t going to be nominated for an Emmy so cut it out!" lo these many posts ago. And hearing Stevie baby-talk to His Wife in the hospital was even more vomitous than Kelly’s trademark Billing and Cooing. (Uh, Kelly...? Squeaking "Yummy yummy peas!" to an ADULT?) And could someone explain to me "smoky scented candles"...? I mean, as anyone who has been to The Purple Living Room (or any of its previous incarnations) can tell, I am a total Candle Whore. I’m serious... I once spent $250 on candles at a particularly good store. I can estimate that I have tried no less than three hundred kinds of candles in the course of the last six or seven years. I have looked at hundreds more in shops. And I have never ever come across ANYTHING like a smoke-scented candle. And, Stevie...? Wouldn’t that be a wee bit superfluous with an actual wood-burning fireplace, you dumb load? Gawd.

Okay, I don’t know where Stevie and PodJanet got that doctor, but could she have had worse bedside manner? She gave them no information, was patronizing, evasive, unsupportive, and made no eye contact. Maybe The Sanderses should’ve put as much time into, I don’t know, FINDING AN OB/GYN AS THEY DID PICKING OUT PAINT FOR THE BABY’S ROOM!? Obviously they hadn’t had much by way of pre-natal care, because poor Janet didn’t even know that preemies are usually put in incubators... nor had anyone in NICU told her that you shouldn’t, like, be touching your face and mouth and other people and the glass window with your rubber gloves before going into the supposedly sterile environment and sticking your now-germy hands all over your incubated baby. (An aside... boy was I surprise to see that they were at the Max Factor Tower of Cedars-Sinai!) And finally, if Janet’s life ­ and the life of the baby, for that matter ­ was in such grave danger, shouldn’t Stevie maybe CALL HER PARENTS AND LET THEM KNOW?! I mean, Janet’s rushed in for an emergency C-section and is on the brink of death and all that and there’s NO immediate family around... but plenny o’ Hillsters! I’m surprised the Parental Generation isn’t represented by unintelligible "wah wah wah" sounds like in The Peanuts for all they’re excluded from Hillster Events (unless they need Hillsters for guidance and insight). But who needs parents when you have the Hillsters as your "extended family," huh? I mean, they’re so devoted that they all manage to come together to "show their support" even though most of them are currently pissed at someone else in the group, and all of them have slept with at least two of the others at some point in the past (except for LawyerBoy, I think. And speaking of LawyerBoy...).

Hey, LawyerBoy, you toolie sweater-vest-wearin’ dumbshit, celebrating Stevie’s fatherhood was a nice idea and all, but don’t you think it was a MITE tactless to bring him cigars when he doesn’t yet know if the baby’s going to be okay? Or did you think cigars were the proper way to celebrate the fact that the kid’s on a respirator?

But back to the Parents thing. Why was it deemed appropriate for Jackie to hire HER DAUGHTER’S BOYFRIEND to represent her with this whole custody thing? (Note: did anyone catch the careful set-up of Jackie saying she moved back in with Mel when Erin was "a year old" and later they carefully mention that Erin’s 8 years old...? 7-year co-habitation law in California, guys. Next week Super LawyerBoy will have Mel’s balls ­ make that Mel’s wallet ­ on a [ahem] Silver platter for Jackie the Scorned Wife.) Why would Jackie go to LawyerBoy with Gina all working for him instead of maybe consulting with one or two or three of her previous divorce lawyers? I mean, with all the intra-co-mingling fraternization that goes on with the Core Hillsters, surely somehow Jackie might’ve been informed that the Gina who called her was, in fact, the Gina working at LawyerBoy’s office? And then, when she finds that out, she’s okay with LEAVING CONFIDENTIAL DOCUMENTS REGARDING HER CASE AT THE OFFICE, WHERE GINA HAS ACCESS TO THEM?!

And continuing with this whole Scheming Gina the Homewrecker thing... one question in particular kept resurging as everyone ­ Kelly, Dylan, LawyerBoy, Jackie, Davy, Donna, Noah ­ repeatedly berated Gina for "destroying" the Taylor-Silver family and "breaking up" Mel and Jackie. Kelly even snipped that Gina was "responsible".... HELLO!? Wasn’t it, in fact, MEL who screwed up everything?! Why wasn’t anyone blaming him for anything?! There were a few throw-away remarks about his General Skeeviness, but no one actually came out and said HE was the one who did something wrong that resulted in the destruction of the family. The other afternoon, whilst playing switchies, I happened to catch the last few minutes of some Amy Fisher thing in which Mary Jo Buttafuco was being interviewed about her role in getting the "Long Island Lolita" an early release from jail and she was going on and on about her anger at what "this person" had done to her and all of the pain she’d caused the Buttafuco family but she’d finally realized she had to forgive and move on with her life.... And Joey was sitting there next to Mary Jo and after she blathers about finally forgiving Amy for "what she did," Joey starts blustering that maybe Mary Jo could forgive her but he’ll NEVER forgive Amy Fisher for "what she did" to his family and his marriage and- And, um, I’d like to point out the fact that Amy Fisher wasn’t alone in that hotel room, you stupid sack of shit! MAYBE YOU SHOULDN’T’VE HAD SEX WITH HER! MAYBE YOU SHOULDN’T’VE CHEATED ON YOUR WIFE! And Mary Jo, sweetie-pie, Amy Fisher wasn’t the only one who "did" something that "caused pain" to your family... YOUR LYING, CHEATING LOSER OF A HUSBAND THAT YOU INSISTED ON STANDING BY BECAUSE YOU LOVE HIM WAS THE ONE WHO "DID" SOMETHING TO "CAUSE YOUR FAMILY PAIN!" I mean, for God’s sake, these people who cheat on their spouses aren’t, like, being dragged off against their own free will! They were active participants. But then there’s the whole "s/he just made a mistake" bullshit, which brings us right back to 90210 again....

"Noah just made a mistake" they chirped about Noah and his "after-hours" club scheme... Of COURSE he did! He’s Noah the Mistakist! That’s what he does best! Not only was he blameless in the whole Silver-Taylor split, but he has no moral or ethical responsibility to ANYONE because of the club... not the other men who were there without their partners’ knowledge, not the women that’re being sexualized in degrading and damaging ways....

Speaking of degrading and damaging.... did we have to get the whole Fairy Tale Wedding theme again? Based on this episode, and 90210 in general, you must only be able to have a fairy tale wedding if you’re pregnant. Let’s look at our Hillster Brides, shall we:

    • Jackie
    • Ohndrea
    • Brinda
    • Joanie
    • Toni
    • Val’s Mom
    • Kelly
    • Janet

The only ones who’ve actually gone through with the weddings (or not been immediately divorced/killed afterwards) have all not only been pregnant, but have been wearing Maternity Wedding Dresses over their ready-to-pop bellies. What kind of a twisted and pernicious message is this?

And keeping with the Damaging Messages, I would like to commend Janet on her blathering nonsense about "not wanting to think about what it MEANS to have a baby ­ that’s too existential" but, rather, wants to think about "the MOMENT?!" Honey, a baby is a lot more than a MOMENT! Maybe, along with re-examining the notions of "the wedding you’ve dreamed about since you were a little girl" and wanting to "do [the honeymoon] right" (huh?), you oughta take a look at that notion of "the moment" you have a baby in terms of REALITY, okay?

So. When’d Nat start using the Grecian Formula? Or did Davy’s Super Black Color Vive wash out on Nat in the shower? What next? Hair plugs for Dylan and Stevie?

And speaking of Davy, I have to confess, I am absolutely LOVING watching his stupid, lying, cheating, using ass getting used left and right for a change. Well, of course, we’re supposed to be sympathetic that Davy so genuinely (bwa!) cares about poor abused Gina and he’s really a Good Guy ‘neath it all and he’s just giving her a chance (with BAG himself as the producer of this episode, would we expect any less? That’s prolly why we got that scary shot of Davy’s baggy-pant-covered butt filling up the whole entire screen on the bed).... But instead I’m relishing seeing a Hillster Boy getting his spine ripped out and used to casually stir an Other Woman’s martini. And Davy... "being hurt by [Gina]" has caused you to "REDEFINE YOUR LIFE TWICE BEFORE"?! It don’t take much, do it? Your naiveté in this storyline is as frightening as any Spineless Hillster Woman plot.

How scared was I to find myself agreeing with Kelly Taylor not once but several times in the course of this two-hour barrage of Hillsterism? Let’s start with the whole Roommate Dilemma. So Kelly and Donna share an apartment, right? Why would it seem unreasonable to ANYONE that Kelly would be agitated/annoyed that Donna just moves her boyfriend in with them?! Kelly, snookums, TOTAL WORD on the "eyew!" upon seeing Noah naked. In fact, I had scribbled it in my notes before you even said it. But I also scribbled down that I thought it was kinda hypocritical that you’d react this way after you’d all played Strip Poker together just last year.

But back to the roommate-moving-her-boyfriend-in.... Could Noah BE any more selfish about it? (So you think Kelly’s "too concerned" about how yours and Donna’s living together is affecting her, Noah? Well, IT’S HER HOUSE, you dolt!) Could Donna BE any more spineless? (And Donna? What’s "a salt-and-pepper shaker"? Wouldn’t it be one or the other?) And why, if Donna’s not ready to "move out" with Noah two episodes ago, it’s different that he "moves in" with her the following episode? And, most importantly, DOES FELICE KNOW ABOUT THIS?!

Speaking of Felice and Noah... have they even been in the same room since the whole "Martians" debacle at their anniversary party? Why is he suddenly a "keeper" in Felice’s eyes?

Wasn’t it nice of Donna to get Stevie and Counterfeit Janet a genealogy kit (complete with product-placement type shot) for a wedding present? I liked how she could look up Stevie’s family history all the way back to Ellis Island in just a few short hours, with name changes and everything! I’ll bet my mother-in-law, who’s just spent the last THREE YEARS researching her family history with the help of several different computer programs ­ as well as by writing dozens of letters to relatives and scouring old family pictures, bibles, records and documents for information ­ would be mighty impressed with Donna’s genealogy prowess! Not only is it great that Donna can do that with, presumably, only knowing Stevie’s parents’ names, but I’m sure it’s just a thoughtful gift overall since Steve’s adopted and Janet’s on the outs with her parents. And as an added bonus, I think it’s just amazing that in this the Information Age we can, like, immediately access birth certificates for ANYONE on-line, without all that messy bother with security regarding government documents and all that stuff.

You know, I thought Janet looked really nice in tonight’s episode. I was amused by her vamping in her marabou-feathered nightie. I especially liked her hair, all shiny and framing her face in the way that I can’t achieve even with two different brushes and a half-hour with the hair-dryer. Janet’s hair, all streaky and curving around her face, looked really pretty. Especially after she’d spent a week or two in the hospital.

So let’s talk about Big Gay Andrew the Needy Other, shall we? Lemme guess... "this was a story that needed to be done" right? And boy! It sure changed my whole attitude about how Gays’re People Too! I thought it was really empowering to see Big Gay Andrew completely spineless and dependant on Dylan, Dylan’s MONEY, and THE APPROVAL OF THE 13-YEAR-OLD SON OF HIS MEAN NASTY BOSS to keep his job and feel okay about himself. *sigh*

Out of curiosity, is "gay-bashed" an actual verb?

But back to Today’s Sermon: "That gay guy taught you how to be a man"! Oh! The power! The drama! Like that first shot of Savior Dylan showing up at the Center to chat with Henry, with his all ass-kickin’ stare through that chain link fence, settin’ his sights on the Uniformed Youngster... why, I expected to hear the music from "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly"! And HOW FUCKING CRASS was Dylan, literally BUYING ANDREW’S JOB! And TELLING him about it?!

However. What never quite became clear about the whole Andrew-got-fired deal was (yes) WHY? Okay, we got that Patsy’s a mean, ugly Homophobic. But the concrete reason for her wanting Andrew fired never quite gelled. Like, almost as a throwaway remark, Patsy (whose eyebrows deserved guest-starring status), made only one comment about "our values"... doesn’t it seem like that was the crux of the issue? Shouldn’t it’ve been a bigger deal? And back to Pasty’s son Henry... what 13-year-old would say "my mom won’t let me play for a gay coach" just matter-of-fact like that?

Okay, to be fair, if I’m complaining that I didn’t like the way the "gay issue" was "handled" (why do shows have to "handle issues" all preachy, anyway?! Why can’t there just be characters who happen to, along with being chefs or law students or TV station interns or HR directors or whatever, be gay, instead of it being such an Issue to have a Gay Character?), then I might as well put my money where my mouth is, so to speak, and share what would I’ve done differently ...well, besides not showing Andrew dependent on a Hillster for saving, of course. I would’ve made the issue of "family values" more clear. And instead of the kinda half-assed way 8 kids quit the team until Henry "talked" to them, I would’ve made it more about their parents’ fears, some of the parents coming in and confronting Andrew in a group or writing letters or something in the cowardly way that people would protest something like this, playing up the "working with kids" and "family values" angles but barely covering their irrational fears that Homosexual = Child Molester. Like the Boy Scouts Leader case not too long ago. Then as a final act of empowerment, we could see Andrew taking a stand and expressing his desire to help kids in front of these freaked-out parents who don’t know him at all as well as in front of the kids who’ve been helped by him. And instead of the Lucas-ending in which We learn that Gays’re People Too and Andrew gets his job back and the parents are suddenly not homophobic and there’s a big round of *slow clap* applause... I’d have Andrew quit to go work for another community center or something... but as he’s marching away from the Angry Homophobic Parents, one or two kids, maybe even including Henry, run over to him and hug him and beg him not to go and talk about how much he’s helped them blah blah blah. And Andrew would then say that he can’t work here if he’s not wanted, but he hopes that they’ll help other kids who’re lonely or upset like they were and that they’ll never judge anyone because they’re "black, white, green, gay, straight, from Mars, have one arm or no legs or anything that you might be afraid of because it’s ‘different’ than what you know" because we’re all human beings who need love and support, and then he (Andrew) tells them he will always remember them and love them and that they’ve enriched his life, too. And one or two parents, at first squicked that their son/s are, like, touching an icky gay man with those icky contagious gay germs, would be a teensy bit moved that Andrew’d helped their kids out where they (the parents) hadn’t been able to for whatever reason, and, for just a moment, see him as not just a Big Bad Scary Faggot, but as a person. Of course, this wouldn’t be enough to overcome their ingrained Hatreds and Fears, so there’d be no round of applause and re-offering of the job, but Andrew would walk away proudly knowing that he’d somehow had a positive influence on some of these kids and maybe they’ll overcome their parents’ prejudices....

I mean, unlike we’ve seen with Ben: Gay and the Gay KEGman episodes, Homophobia ­ or just plain Ignorance ­ doesn’t go away because a Hillster makes a few speeches or confronts someone. The age-old fears that all gay men are child molesters or that every gay man is checking out your ass (thank you Eddie "Methinks he doth protest too much" Murphy) and is going to make a move on you, or that all gay men wear makeup and dresses and’re into S&M and multiple partners (and TV talk-shows aren’t doing much to dispel the stereotypes, either) or (my favorite) that they’re somehow going to TEACH CHILDREN TO BE GAY are sadly ingrained in much of our culture, not just our older generations.... It takes a lot to overcome those notions, not one Impassioned Hillster Monologue. Hell, not even one Impassioned Dwanollah Monologue. Much of my family kicks major ass, but I have some extremely Ignorant relatives as well, and don’t think I haven’t tried pointing out their Stupid Comments or Illogical Arguments as such ("Your son isn’t going to TURN GAY if he takes gymnastics! What kind of a stupid this is that to say?!" "Yeah, I’m sure any lesbian couple would welcome your idea of a foursome, guys." "C’mon, most gay men don’t make it a practice of coming on to straights.... I mean, realistically... d’you think a gay man would be up for constant rejection any more than you would be with women?" "You don’t need to add ‘Oh, your mom’s Gay Friend’ every time I mention her name. She’s not my mom’s ‘Gay Friend’ ... she’s my mom’s friend, okay?"), and to this day, no one’s immediately seen that Gays’re People Too and repented of their previous ill will. Most don’t even see their Ignorance as ignorance in the first place. Take my dumb Aunt Bev, for one. Aunt Bev’s the type of person that if you say "Man, I’ve got this huge zit on my ass," she’ll immediately say "Oh, I had TWO on mine! And my mom once had SEVEN!" It's always all about her. She's annoying as hell, and to make it worse, she thinks she's the most generous soul in the world. She brings my Gram a (cheap bakery) birthday cake (Gram, by the way, isn’t a cake person), for example, and then talks for TEN MINUTES about how she had to go out of her way to get to the bakery and skipped breakfast in order to do so blah blah blah fishcakes and then spends the rest of the time yammering about her dr.'s appointment and her sister Joyce and her niece Kim and this pair of shoes and these sweaters she decided she didn't like and threw away (why not donate them to the Salvation Army or something?!) neener neener neener nee.... Anyway, last time I saw Aunt Bev, she (I have no idea why) went off on a tangent about homosexuality. She starts of with a big long-winded spiel about "You know, I like all kinds of people, green, black, purple. I don't care what you are. I'm not prejudiced," and so on and so on. But then she goes on to say that she doesn't want to see "those people" holding hands in public because it's "gross" and "just makes [her] sick." Then back to the "I'm so open-minded" schtick... "I've even worked with some of those people before, and I've had no problem with them! They're all very artistic!"


I opened my mouth to point out the fact that "You know, Aunt Bev, by calling them ‘those people’ and making generalizations like ‘they're very artistic,’ you ARE in fact being prejudiced!" But, alas, it would've only unleashed another barrage about how accepting and open-minded she is. God knows, that could’ve taken hours. When she chummily inferred that of course everyone feels that way about seeing "those people" doing disgusting things like holding hands, I had to content myself with, when she included me in her generalization, giving her an "are you THAT stupid?" look and saying "I don’t have any problem with that, Aunt Bev" and "you know, I hope someday two people can express their love and affection for each other without it ever being an issue" before she thankfully changed the subject to the restaurant she wanted to go to that night and the new sweater she wanted to buy.

But where there’re those Ignorant Folks in my family that’ve made me wonder about our collective gene pool, I’ve also seen the occasional ­ well, not just "tolerance" but genuine acceptance as well. Like my brother. My opinionated (yes, it runs in the family), outspoken, truck-fixing, pot-smoking, born-again-Christian brother who has been none-too-quiet with his belief that homosexuality is "wrong" and "a sin"... yet whenever he was with our family friends, Cary and Steven, a couple who were all-but-legally married (and THAT is another rant!), he not only treated them with sincere friendliness, but his body language never indicated he was uncomfortable in their presence and had no problem being near or touched by either of them. And, a few years ago, when Cary died of AIDS-related fungal meningitis, my brother, without reservation, hugged Steven tight and let him just cry there for a few minutes, whispering comforting words and rubbing his back. And in all honesty, that was one of my proudest moments in regards to my brother. I mean, he understood and acted on the fact that Steven wasn’t A Creepy Gay Man or one of "those people"... he was a grieving human being, and whether he fell romantically in love with men or women had nothing to do with anything. And if my brother didn’t agree with the gay lifestyle, he also didn’t let it get in the way of knowing two dynamic, loving and fun people who enriched our lives.

Which, dare I say, is more important that buying a Gay Man a job or getting him back into his fraternity or sending him back to his parents. Because, face it, I doubt we’re going to see Big Gay Andrew after this, even if Dylan continues his Charitable Community Service work. (Please, please, writers, prove me wrong. I double-dog dare you!)

Speaking of Charitable Acts, Kelly was majorly bugging me with stupid comments like "what’s with all the birds?" to Nat... like Nat hasn’t supposedly hosted that Homeless Thanksgiving thing at the Peach Pit for years? And why did Kelly the Do-Gooder make disparaging remarks about not wanting to help with the meal and that Dylan could just hire dozes of people to do it instead? And then we get the back-peddling when LawyerBoy proclaims that Dylan "knows how Kelly loves to volunteer" and that, by being Sooo Charitable, Dylan is now being "serious" about something and of course the subtext of this whole dialogue was that Kelly and Dylan are MEANT to be together and spend their lives HELPING THE LESS FORTUNATE! (Hey, guys? A cooking tip... you REEEEEALLY shouldn’t, like, stuff the turkeys the night before to save time. That’s, like, the major cause of food-poisoning incidents on the holidays because then all this bacteria grows and the low temperature you cook turkey at usually isn’t enough to kill the bacteria and-)

Admittedly, I was pleased to see some elements of continuity, something that we all know 90210 hasn’t been all that swift with in the past, such as Big Gay Andrew’s bandage on his eyebrow and Dylie’s ace-bandaged wrist, but I’d like to know why Dylan was playing basketball and vigorously stuffing turkeys (no comment!) with that same hand. Maybe it was just commentary on those limp-wristed gays, like, a sign of Dylan’s support and solidarity.

And speaking of commentary... when Donna commented that Noah and LawyerBoy were "cute... in a violent, destructive sort of way"...? Was this, like, some meta-statement on the show itself? What are we to then make of Noah and LawyerBoy then rolling around on the floor together?

And speaking of meta-statements, howzibout that exchange between Kelly and Gina: "How dare you show up here?!" "I work here!"? Like, wow, and we’ve seen just how strong those ties of employment are.

And speaking of meta-statements some more, Kelly and Erin interacting was just too, too weird. I mean, playing "dress up" with the store’s merchandise(?): "I think I look like Mom." "She’d love to hear that." ...? And the whole apple-stem/initial-of-the-boy-you’re-going-to-marry dealie...? I think it’s sooooo cute to pressure little kids about love and marriage! Like when you ask kindergartners if they have a "boyfriend" or "girlfriend" yet. Aww!

But Kelly must get this knack for interacting with little girls from HER mother. Like when Jackie stomps into Now Who Works Here Anyway? to announce, amongst other tactful things (in front of her daughter, step-son and daughter’s friends, I might add), that all of Mel’s money is probably stuffed into some lap-dancer’s G-string... and then... and then... Erin... EIGHT YEAR OLD ERIN turns around and Jackie says to her... "I’m sorry, Erin, but that’s just the way it is"?!?! I mean, pardon the excessive use of punctuation here, but WHAT WAS THAT ALL ABOUT?! I absolutely DIED laughing! I was waiting for Erin to query "Mommy... what’s a lap-dancer? What’s a G-string?" Seriously, would an 8-year-old even begin to understand this stuff (much less Gina’s involvement in the whole situation)?

Or then, at the Center, when Kelly and Jackie are having their Big Serious Talk about how Jackie needs to present Mel in a positive light to Erin and she never did that to Kelly about Kelly’s father and Jackie then randomly non-sequiterish out-of-nowhere says she watched Kelly "clean up Dylan McKay’s messes all through high school"...? Er, Jackie? Dylan and Kelly weren’t together "all through high school"... just off-and-on Senior Year. And you left out the off-and-on years through college. But I’ll admit to tremendous relief that SOMEONE finally mentioned the whole "pattern" of Kelly with sucky men stemming back from her sucky relationship with her father and... gee? How many times has THAT been mentioned here? At least this time, with one Mel-affirmation that even elicits a "well done, Mother", Kelly and Jackie together manage to salvage Erin from such a tragic fate.

Speaking of fathers, let’s talk about Gina and hers. Was it my imagination, or has there never ever ever been any previous mention of any father before, but suddenly she’s got all of these "memories" of him and just feels the urge to blurt them out to Donna, all sincere and vulnerable? And also, we’ve never seen Gina interacting with Doc Martin before either, have we? Suddenly, she’s all family-oriented and hanging out with "Aunt Felice" again? Sooo... Gina and Donna are really sisters and Doc Martin knocked boots with Felice’s sister, White Trash Bobbi, in a one-time drunken fling? So (like we’ve seen before with Rush Sanders and with Bill Taylor) Doc Martin has a child out of wedlock... a secret child! If that isn’t enough, Donna’s final reaction is not that she’s pissed at her dad for cheating or her mom for sticking by him or the fact that they’re REALLY surface-oriented and total hypocrites and she should be ripping that crucifix necklace off and throwing it at their feet any time now... no, Donna has a hissy (and is so upset that she actually REFUSES champagne! And then goes to mash potatoes that are already mashed [even though the turkey isn’t ready, but...]) because Gina, whom she hates, is "my sister! I need to give that a chance!" in the typical insta-relationships that simply spring up where Hillsters are concerned. Okay, in response to that, Donna, I’d like to ask... WHY?! Because Gina is now your daddy’s bastard daughter instead of your cousin WHOM YOU HATE, you feel these blood ties and need to, what, HELP her?! And WHY didn’t Doc or Felice, um, ask/tell Donna not to tell Gina? And finally, WHY ARE WE SUPPOSED TO BELIEVE FELICE KNEW AND IS OKAY WITH THIS, ESPECIALLY WITH SAID CHILD MOVING TO TOWN AND LIVING WITH HER OWN DAUGHTER?! I believe THAT as much as I believe Felice Martin would be SITTING ON THE COUCH WATCHING FOOTBALL on Thanksgiving! (I was also just rolling at Felice’s comment about how, if they admitted Gina was both Donna’s cousin AND sister that "we’d all sound like trash"! Good ol’ Felice... always cutting right to Life’s Big Important Matters!) And then when Gina ripped into Donna with "You’re so spoiled!" well, it just don’t get much better, does it?

BTB, I’m glad Gina’s bulimia is all fixed so’s she can enjoy a big family Thanksgiving dinner. And speaking of family Thanksgivings, I guess last year was the last Casa Walsh non-family Thanksgiving, because notice how everyone was (sorta) with family this time around? And did anyone notice that weird moment where Kelly called it first "Matt’s house" and then "the Walsh house" practically in the same breath?

Okay. Let’s talk about Dyl-head making that excuse to Kelly about not being able to go to the Center on Thanksgiving. He said he had to go meet his mom’s sister at the airport. Kelly responds "You never mentioned an Aunt Lily before." Um, Dylan didn’t say a name just then, did he? Did I miss something?

And as long as were on the subject of Dylan, could he be ANY MORE OF A PASSIVE-AGGRESIVE ASSHOLE where Gina (or Kelly, for that matter) is concerned? I know, I know, Dylan’s hurting! He needs His One True Love to heal him, to make him "serious" in LawyerBoy’s words. But Dylan only showing interest in Gina when she’s doinking Davy is so, so totally pathetically Cosmo or Complete Woman.... "You pushed me away!" hisses Gina. "So it’s my fault?" says Mr. Machoman McKay. Really, Writers (Scott and John, I believe), cut this shit out! The Teengrrls don’t get it! There’re ADULTS that don’t get it! Stop romanticizing selfish and destructive behavior!

And quit romanticizing irresponsible behavior, too! Counterfeit Janet’s delighting in the fact that their baby and wedding and honeymoon and "moment" and whatnot are "completely unplanned... just like everything else" is APPALLING! Just for once... for ONCE! ...can’t we see a woman who doesn’t put up with her boyfriend’s selfish behavior, who ends a relationship and lets it go (ratings or no ratings) if it was a bad one, who works more than a couple hours a week, who doesn’t make sexist generalizations about "Boys’re ___ and girls’re ___," who can be strong and tough without being a typecast "schemer," who doesn’t have seven new outfits with "boobs all akimbo" (tm The Husband-Type Man) every episode, who takes responsibility if she makes a mistake instead of blaming someone else, who never utters the words "meant to be together"-

I’m not covering new ground here, am I?

Well, then again, neither was the show, what with Stevie’s Stereotypical Hysterical Father routine (didn’t that get tired around 1965?) and the Setting Up of the Donna’nDavid and Dylan’nKelly Reunions and the cheating daddies with other families and the premature babies and emergency C-sections and the wicked scheming brunette who’s about to get her Just Desserts and the community-service Thanksgiving and saving Others-

And next episode... Dylan gets hit by a car! Gee... where'd they get that idea (ahemLet'sWriteOurOwnEpisode)?

On the other hand, there was the kinda surprising LawyerBoy Confession that he’s "in love with someone else".... Finally! LawyerBoy and Noah can be together at last! Woo hoo!



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