February 23, 2014

BH90210 7.13, Gift Wrapped: Secret Sister is the New Secret Santa

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , , , , , at 12:58 pm by Jenn

"Here's a journal so you can write down all your evil schemes." "Here's a journal so you can write 'Mrs. Brandon Walsh' over and over"

“Here’s a journal so you can write down all your evil schemes.” “Here’s a journal so you can write ‘Mrs. Brandon Walsh’ over and over”

Summary: Yay, it’s Christmas! Steve, David, Donna, Clare, Brandon, and Tracy discuss gifts at the Peach Pit. As Kelly arrives, Donna comes up with the idea of the gang drawing names and only giving one gift. They have a $50 cap, and donate the money they would have spent on their other friends. Steve and Nat have each other, Clare and Donna have each other, Brandon and Tracy have each other, and David and Joan have each other. This means Kelly and Valerie are stuck with each other.

Valerie and Tracy go to the mall together to buy gifts for the exchange. (Tracy has Brandon.) Valerie thinks she should just get kitty litter for Kelly. (Huh?) They give money to the Holiday Help Fund and chat with a volunteer playing the xylophone. David asks Mel to meet him at the After Dark so he can ask for advice on dealing with Donna’s mother. Mel suggests that the Martins come to dinner the next night, since David and Donna are already coming over. The Holiday Help Fund woman advises Valerie to sideline her grudge for the holidays.

David and Donna are pleased with their plans to get Felice to warm up to David. Donna tells him not to take it personally, and that her mother’s feelings toward David don’t affect how Donna feels about him. Brandon and Steve are also at the mall, and Steve thinks the gift exchange is a good way for Brandon to “make a move” on Tracy. In other words, he should get her lingerie and then sleep with her.

Kelly’s had no luck finding a present for Valerie, so her Christmas isn’t going so well. Donna has more bad news: Her father called and said he’s coming to L.A. for Christmas. Kelly’s actually happy about that because it’ll give her a chance to yell at him. Steve tells Clare that he got Nat a Wolfgang Puck cookbook, which she thinks might offend him. Chancellor Arnold invites Steve and his mother to a Christmas party, and he’s definitely interested in meeting the famous Samantha Sanders.

Kelly goes to a restaurant to meet her father, but instead is seated with a woman named Joy. Kelly thinks Joy is Bill’s girlfriend, but she’s way off: Joy is also Bill’s daughter. That’s right, Kelly has a half-sister she didn’t know about. The next morning, Kelly shares this news with Donna, lamenting that her father has a whole new family she never knew about. She didn’t stick around to talk to Joy. Donna points out that Kelly and Joy could find common ground, and Joy could give some insight into Bill. Kelly realizes that she’ll have to tell Jackie about Bill’s secret life.

At the Peach Pit, Valerie tells Clare that she got Kelly a really nice present. Clare tries to avoid telling her that Kelly probably isn’t going to do the same for her. Brandon thinks it would be easier to bring peace to the Middle East than to Kelly and Valerie. Val tries to return the sweater; when the store won’t take it back, she donates it to the Holiday Help Fund. Chancellor Arnold is anxious to meet Samantha, but when she shows up at the party, he doesn’t know what to say to her.

Kelly goes to see Jackie, telling her first that Bill’s coming to L.A., then that she has a sister close to her age. Jackie admits that she knew. Apparently she never wanted Kelly to know. Kelly thinks it’s because Jackie wanted her to hate Bill for leaving them; she didn’t want Kelly to know that he had a reason to leave. Jackie tells her that she doesn’t have to have anything to do with Joy. Now, though, Kelly doesn’t want anyone telling her she can’t hang out with her sister.

Clare tries to get her father to warm up to Steve’s mother by inviting Samantha to lead the party in singing carols. Kelly meets with Joy again, learning that Bill told Joy all about Kelly. He was around when Joy was a kid, but now his presence in her life is more like his presence in Kelly’s. The last time Bill ditched Kelly, he was going to be with Joy’s mother while she recovered from surgery, but that was the last time Joy saw him. The sisters don’t expect him to actually join them for Christmas.

Clare’s carol scheme is a success, though Steve and Clare think it might have been too successful. Now there seems to be a physical attraction between Chancellor Arnold and Samantha. As the party winds down, the parents head off to get dinner together. Steve and Clare are grossed out. This is why you don’t Parent Trap people, kids.

The Martins and Silvers get together for dinner, but it starts off badly when Felice makes a remark about Mel serving the kids champagne before prom. Further snide comments involve Jackie’s “quaint” decorating taste and the fact that Mel is Jewish. When Felice mentions how glad she is that Jackie and Mel worked out their marriage problems, they tell her that they’re divorced but living together. Donna and David realize that this wasn’t a good idea after all.

Kelly and Joy go shopping, but Kelly still hasn’t found anything for Valerie. The sisters learn that their father has been giving them the same presents for years. Joy admits that she was always jealous of Kelly; she thought Bill was never around because he was always with her. Kelly says that she was jealous of Joy when they first met, for the same reason. They wonder if he has a bunch of other families he visits whenever he disappears.

At the Walshes’ house, Brandon tells Valerie that Kelly called and was talking really fast about sisters and sisterhood. He thinks this means that she found something really nice for Valerie. Valerie realizes that she’s going to look bad if she doesn’t get something nice for Kelly, too. She returns to the mall to buy another sweater, but they’re all sold out. The Holiday Help Fund woman still has the one Val donated; she was going to take it in to the real donation spot tonight, even though it’s Christmas Eve. (Her husband always works that night.) Val decides not to take the sweater back, and the woman gives her an already-wrapped gift in exchange.

Brandon drives Tracy to her dorm, and the two of them admit that they had trouble buying presents for each other. Felice goes to the beach apartment to see Donna, who skipped Christmas Eve dinner with her parents. Felice apologizes for what happened at the other dinner, and Donna tells her to apologize to Jackie and Mel instead. She suggests that Felice try to win David over with money, like she did with Ray. Felice says that David’s mental-health problems mean he’s not good for Donna. Donna thinks Felice has a bigger problem with David’s religion.

On Christmas morning, the gang gathers at the Walshes’ house to open presents (though Donna gets more than the others since it’s also her birthday). Steve gives Nat the Puck cookbook, and Nat gives Steve a thesaurus. (Ha!) David gives Joan handkerchiefs, and she gives him Monkees reunion tickets. Brandon gives Tracy earrings, then gets the most cop-out gift you can give someone: a pen. Clare gets tickets to an art exhibit from Donna, and gives her a fashion book.

That leaves Kelly and Valerie. Valerie gets a journal, and Kelly says that if she’d found a second one, she would have gotten it for herself. She’s in luck, because Valerie’s gift is the same journal. The gang is amazed that the two of them are getting along for once. They all go to the After Dark, where Valerie’s hosting a Christmas brunch with a performance by Clarence Fountain and the Blind Boys of Alabama. Chancellor Arnold and Samantha show up, which means she’s delayed her trip home to hang out with her new buddy. Clare and Steve realize that they could end up step-siblings.

Felice apologizes to David, asking him to help her smooth things over with Donna. He agrees to talk to Donna about sitting with her parents during brunch. Donna reminds him that it’s her birthday, so she can do whatever she wants. David plays the “do it for me” card. Bill is a no-show, as expected, but Kelly and Joy have each other to hang out with. Joy might also move to L.A. for school in the fall. Jackie goes over to meet her daughter’s sister, and though Kelly’s cold at first, Joy is polite. Kelly decides to let go of her hostility.

Thoughts: Of course her name is Joy. It’s Christmas.

The gang spends $50 on each other? I’m friends with the wrong people.

The way the show reminds us that Chancellor Arnold hangs out with dignitaries is to have his party be full of extras in various cultural outfits.

Clare’s tinsel-draping technique makes me cringe. Don’t clump it all together like that! It’s not a garland!

I hope Erin enjoyed Christmas without her family. I don’t know where she is, but she doesn’t show up in this episode at all.

December 22, 2013

BH90210 7.3, A Mate for Life: Shine Bright Like a Diamond

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , at 4:53 pm by Jenn

Way to go! You procreated! P.S. Donna, is that really appropriate attire for a maternity ward? Or anywhere, for that matter?

Way to go! You procreated! P.S. Donna, is that really appropriate attire for a maternity ward? Or anywhere, for that matter?

Summary: Brandon and Steve are at the airport to pick up Joan’s daughter, Lily, for Nat and Joan’s wedding. Yes, Joan, who’s pregnant, has a college-age daughter. Lily first attaches herself to Steve, then switches to Brandon when she finds out that Steve has a girlfriend. Donna and David run into each other outside the Peach Pit; David has all his stuff in his car and explains that he’s moving in with Mark. David and Donna were supposed to film the wedding, and though David doesn’t want to, Donna won’t let him back out.

Apparently it’s already two weeks from Joan’s due date, so the timeline in this series is all screwed up. Steve confirms that Lily made it into town; apparently she’s the only one of Joan’s three kids who could come to the wedding. In the After Dark, Valerie discusses with Kenny all the changes she plans to make once she has her loan. Ultimately, she wants to sell and make a profit. Kenny thinks she should hold on to it and go for a franchise.

Lily checks into the Bel Age Hotel and immediately strips to take a shower. Yeah, I’d say she wants Brandon. They talk about how she’s a dancer, supposedly a ballerina, but the way she spins around the bedpost in just her underwear gives a different impression. Kelly works at the AIDS hospice, where one of the patients does some magic tricks. One of the other patients complains about how cheerful the volunteers at the hospice are. David moves into Mark’s awesome house, suggesting that they use it as a video location, which would help them cover their rent.

The gang helps set up for the wedding (which is at the beach club), because why hire professionals when college students can do it for free? Steve tries to enlist Brandon to help him throw Nat a bachelor party, but Brandon has to keep an eye on Lily all weekend. Clare makes a remark about not wanting to get married, which leads to bickering between her and Steve, just like EVERY SINGLE OTHER THING IN THE WORLD DOES. Please kill me.

Valerie spots Kenny with his wife and young kids, and decides, for some reason, to introduce herself. Mrs. Bannerman admires Val’s tennis bracelet, which Kenny probably bought for her. Kenny questions why Val is being so friendly, but she points out that they supposedly have nothing to hide (after all, he told her that Mrs. Bannerman wouldn’t care if he dated someone else). Donna’s jealous when she sees how much fun David’s having at his new house, with his new hot friends.

Kelly chats with the magician patient, Jimmy, telling him that she’s not completely sure why she chose the hospice for her internship. He advises her to just do what she needs for her credits and not try to connect too much with the patients. She notes that he looks healthier than a lot of the other hospice patients. He tells her it’s one of his illusions. Jimmy’s much closer to the end of his life than anyone would expect.

Lily takes Brandon to what he thought was a regular old dancing club, but what’s actually a place where only the women dance. In little to no clothing. Yep, she’s a stripper. (And can I say, Lily Diamond? Perfect stripper name.) Brandon gets even more uncomfortable when they see Nat and Steve there. Lily doesn’t keep her profession much of a secret. Kelly and Jimmy chat more, this time about Nat and Joan’s wedding. Jimmy confides that he was married once, but he doesn’t want to talk about his husband right now. Kelly’s all, “We’re going to be BFFs!” Jimmy’s all, “You know I’m dying, right?”

Brandon escorts Lily back to her hotel room, assuring her that Nat will most likely keep quiet about her profession to Joan, since he’d have to admit that he was at a strip club. Brandon doesn’t know why Lily doesn’t just tell her mother what she does. I guess he doesn’t get why a mother might not want to hear that her daughter gets paid to take her clothes off for strangers. Lily’s happy that Brandon doesn’t judge her for being a stripper, and she’d like to express her gratitude by taking him to bed.

Steve discusses Clare’s anti-marriage stance with Valerie, as if anyone cares at all about this. They notice that Brandon didn’t come home the night before. Donna gets news that MZA has officially cut her and David loose. The beach apartment residents let Joan (who’s an overnight guest there) sleep in, but Nat gets up early and goes to work. Steve teases Brandon for scoring with Lily, as if he’s not jealous. The guys try to get Nat to shift from work mode to wedding mode. It’s really cheesy, and Steve manages to teleport from the counter area to the kitchen in two seconds.

Lily helps Joan get ready for the wedding, telling her mother that she really likes her stepfather-to-be. (Really, I think she just likes him because he’s not going to tell Joan that she’s a stripper.) Clare gets emotional seeing them together, since she won’t get to celebrate her own wedding day with her own mother. Joan tells her that her mom’s looking down on her with love, blah blah blah, can we please get on with things?

People start gathering for the ceremony, and Valerie mentions to Kelly that a) Brandon’s been spending a lot of time with Lily, and b) he didn’t come home the night before. Thanks, Val! You’re dating a married man! David claims he doesn’t care that MZA dropped him and Donna, since he can get a new contract somewhere else. She tells him she won’t be working with him again. The ceremony starts, but of course, as in any televised wedding where the bride is pregnant, Joan’s water breaks.

Joan is rushed to the hospital, but she refuses to deliver before she’s married. The minister marries them in the hospital hallway. Conveniently, the contractions stop long enough for Nat and Joan to say their vows. The baby’s born while the gang has the wedding reception in the waiting room. It’s a boy, and his name is Francesco, or Frankie for short. (If only they were giving him Joan’s last name – how cool would a kid named Frankie Diamond be?) Nat gives a speech about how he thought he would never have a family, but now he does, but the gang is also his family, and blah blah blah, the circle of life.

Clare gets upset and runs off, but Steve follows to try to get her to talk about what she’s feeling. He admits that weddings make him think about his parents’ divorce. Clare tells him that she’s worried of losing someone she loves, since she’s already lost his mom. However, Nat’s speech made her decide that she needs to let herself love so she doesn’t end up alone. Brandon takes Lily to the airport, where they agree that this was just a one-time thing. Lily admits that she was once married for three weeks, which sounds about right.

Kenny surprises Valerie at the After Dark, where she confronts him for still being with his wife. He assures her that they’re getting a divorce; he’s just keeping his relationship with Val a secret so Mrs. Bannerman can’t use it against him. He also tells Valerie that he’s falling in love with her. David and Donna are awkward with each other, but I guess still friends? Honestly, I don’t know what the point of that scene was. Brandon and Steve talk about having families in the future, and Steve jokingly proposes. Hey, you can’t go wrong with a backup plan.

Brandon, Donna, David, and Steve watch the new Bussichio family together while Kelly takes leftover wedding cake to the hospice. Jimmy questions her about her love life, which is just an excuse for her to talk about Brandon. There’s also some griping about Valerie, and Jimmy advises Kelly not to let Val get to her. She needs to try to keep sadness out of her life so she can enjoy things. After all, life’s short, and who would know that better than our magical, lesson-teaching AIDS patient?

Thoughts: Jimmy is played by Michael Stoyanov, who was Anthony on Blossom. Whoa! Wait, wrong brother.

I wish they hadn’t sped up Joan’s pregnancy – we totally missed getting to see everyone find out, and Nat having a crisis over becoming a father.

Also, why did they wait so long to get married? Who waits until week 38 of a pregnancy? You had nine months! (Well, supposedly.)

I’m not sure if Valerie’s messy hair is a styling choice or if she lost her hairbrush.

Can we go one episode without Clare talking about her mom? Even Joey Potter could manage that once in a while.

Kenny: “You don’t like surprises?” Valerie: “I’d like a little advance notice.” That’s the complete opposite of a surprise, Val.

December 1, 2013

BH90210 6.32, You Say It’s Your Birthday, Part 2: Long Way Down

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , , , at 12:36 pm by Jenn

Yay! (Oh, shut up)

Yay! (Oh, shut up)

Summary: Steve has just told Brandon about Prince Carl’s plan to make Clare choose between the two of them. I still don’t get why Steve didn’t just punch Carl in the face. Anyway, it’s time for the main event of the party weekend: a performance by the Goo Goo Dolls. They do “Long Way Down,” and the show gets to kill a few minutes. Meanwhile, Colin makes his final preparations before he hops a freighter to flee the country the next morning.

More Goo Goo Dolls, and now Eric the music guy has moved on to hitting on Andrea. Ballen briefly checks in with Valerie, who’s still about two seconds from jumping him. Susan leaves to make a phone call, and Brandon decides to take advantage of an empty room to go with her. She wants to give the people in D.C. her answer again. Andrea notices that Brandon is a little down and questions him. He’s all, “Women problems, amirite?” Shut up, Brandon.

Even more Goo Goo Dolls. Steve and Clare dance until Carl cuts in to tell Clare that he’s in love with her. He and Steve made “an agreement between gentlemen” to let her choose who she wants to be with. Clare takes offense and immediately blasts Steve for not seeing their relationship as something serious. He says he wanted to be fair, but she doesn’t want to be with him if he was willing to let Carl take her. Carl arrives, and finally, Steve punches him in the face. Clare’s upset, but shouldn’t she also be mad at Carl for interfering in her relationship?

Brandon goes to get Susan after she makes her phone call, quickly figuring out that she accepted the job in D.C. He’s justifiably mad because he turned down the job in Boston so they could spend the summer together. But whatever, he’s still a jerk. Eric flirts with Andrea some more, saying he’d like to offer her a job. She tells him she has a husband and a daughter, and isn’t interested in working for him since she wants to go to medical school. He doesn’t get the hint. Donna’s a little tipsy and invites David up to the deck for a walk.

Steve and Brandon complain about their wimmin, deciding to go to a bar to drink their problems away. David and Donna get drunker and consider making out. The moment passes, and instead, Donna pours her champagne over David’s head, just for the heck of it. Clare tends to Carl and his broken nose, admitting that she’s not sure what to do about her relationship. She asks if he threw the party for Steve so he could get closer to her. Carl’s still stuck on what Clare’s mom once said about the two of them getting married one day. He kisses her, but she leaves.

Valerie tells Nat that Colin might be hopping a freighter the next day, and Ballen is getting men in place to try to stop him. Little do they know that Colin is currently in the same strip club where Steve and Brandon have decided to get drunk. A guy complains about Steve and Brandon’s complaining, and after some squabbling, things almost get physical. Steve gets beaten up, and when other patrons join the fight, a stripper asks someone to call the police. In the middle of the chaos, Colin tries to run out, but Brandon spots him. He and Steve set off after Colin.

David and Donna wander back to one of their rooms, talking drunkenly about their former relationship. She admits that she still liked him even after he cheated. He’s sober enough to realize that they probably shouldn’t be sharing a bed right now. I guess Brandon and Steve didn’t catch Colin, because the next morning, they’re being let out of jail, having been arrested for the bar fight. Valerie and Kelly are also at the police station, and Ballen tells them that Colin didn’t board the freighter. He sends everyone back to the Queen Mary.

Colin learns of another freighter he can take, but he’ll have to pay another $10,000 to get on it. On the way back to the yacht, Steve spots him, and he and Brandon chase Colin again, this time through a shipyard. This goes on for, like, five minutes, and Valerie and Kelly help box Colin in. He ends up on the roof with Steve and Brandon, and police outside the building. So yay, this storyline is finally over! Even Valerie’s done with this doof. Ballen’s so happy that he invites Valerie to dinner. She and Kelly are civil to each other again, but I’m sure that won’t last.

Everyone heads back to the Queen Mary, arriving just as Andrea’s about to leave. Kelly comments that Brandon’s having a tough time, and Steve says they all are. Donna and David disagree. Brandon finds Susan staring out at the water moodily, and is the exact opposite of sympathetic or compassionate or warm. She urges him to come to D.C. with her, but he’s already decided to be a jerk, and he can’t change that now. (Yeah, yeah, double standard – I bet she would have been supportive if he’d taken the job in Boston. He’s being a whiny baby.)

Steve goes to find Clare, who spent the whole night trying to figure out what to do. She tells Carl that despite the problems she and Steve sometimes have, she wants to be with him. She wants them all to stay friends, though. Carl brings up what Clare’s mom said AGAIN, but Clare says that Steve is her prince. Said prince finds them together and blasts Carl for trying to move in on the woman he loves. Carl gracefully bows out, assuring Steve that he has nothing to be jealous about.

Remember how Joan’s been sick all weekend? She’s pregnant. She and Nat decide that Brandon should be the first to know…that they’re getting married. “We are?” Joan asks. Ballen goes to the After Dark with Valerie and tells her that he’s applying for a job in L.A. They finally kiss, but I’m pretty sure he never makes another appearance, so that was kind of a waste of chemistry. At the beach apartment, Donna and David wonder if it would be a mistake to get back together. They still love each other, so they decide to give it a shot.

Kelly drops by the Walshes’, because now that she and Brandon are both single, the show has to tease us that they might get back together. Kelly reports that Dylan and Brenda are living together, which Brandon already knew. She wonders if she and Brandon might someday have another chance, because she’d like one. No, Kelly, no!

Brandon’s still mad about her choosing herself instead of deciding between him and Dylan, but she points out that choosing one of them would have ruined their friendships. Brandon tells her that they shouldn’t rush into anything. Thank God! Kelly leaves, and Valerie comes in to ask if Brandon’s getting back together with her. He says no, but if Dylan and Brenda could find each other, anything can happen. (Huh?) “Not if I can help it,” Valerie says. But is she talking about Brandon or Dylan? I’m confused. No, wait, I don’t care.

Thoughts: You guys, I want David and Donna together and I’m not going to apologize for it.

Valerie and Ballen have more chemistry after two episodes than Brandon and Susan have had all season.

I’m just going to say that Julie Parrish (Joan) was 56 when this episode aired. And that’s all I’m going to say.

Six seasons down, four to go! Why is Brandon not gone yet?

November 24, 2013

BH90210 6.31, You Say It’s Your Birthday, Part 1: Escape Routes

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , , , , at 2:52 pm by Jenn

I want this cake for my birthday. I don't mean one with me in a car. I want this exact cake

I want this cake for my birthday. I don’t mean one with me in a car. I want this exact cake

Summary: Nat asks Valerie for a Colin update, but she doesn’t have any information. They have six days to find him or they’ll lose the Peach Pit and the After Dark. Valerie’s trying to get in touch with Jonesy to see if he can help. Kelly isn’t sympathetic to her problems; Val deserves what she’s getting for moving in on Colin. At a strip club, Colin meets up with a guy who can get him out of the country on a freighter in three days.

Susan packs up her office at the Condor in preparation for handing the paper over to someone else for the summer. She and Brandon plan to take a two-month road trip. There’s exposition about Steve’s upcoming birthday party, which will take place on the Queen Mary with lots of CU students in attendance. Yes, Prince Carl is paying for everything. Colin calls Claudia to try to get money that she supposedly owes him from their broken contract. Steve wants to help set up for his party, since it’s the least he can do to repay Carl. Clare warns that Carl will want a favor in return someday.

Kelly hangs out at the Walshes’, telling Brandon she’s not taking a date to Long Beach for the party. She plans to give Steve a bronzed pair of his own sneakers. (What?) After Kelly leaves, Valerie complains to Brandon that Kelly’s enjoying her Colin-related struggles too much. Jonesy calls her back to let her know that he’s out of the country but is going to send someone to help her out. By the way, he’s also tracked down Dylan – he’s in London. Brandon reveals that he’s probably not with Brenda, since she’s in Scotland, so Val may not be able to rub that in Kelly’s face.

Donna and David go to a meeting at MZA, where even their manager knows about Steve’s party. (Finally, the manager gets a name: Eric.) Donna offers to bring him along. David thinks Eric likes her, but Donna says he just wants to go hear the Goo Goo Dolls, who are playing at the party. Later, David finds their picture in Billboard magazine and decides they need to spend part of the weekend working, since they’re big deals now. Just before they leave for Long Beach, they get a package from Dylan with a birthday letter for Steve. Donna decides not to tell Kelly that it was sent from Brenda’s address in London.

On the Queen Mary, Eric makes sure his room is near Donna’s, so it looks like David’s right about him. Nat brings Joan along, even though she doesn’t feel well. Susan gets a phone message from D.C. but tries to make Brandon think it’s not a big deal that she’s getting calls from a woman who’s working on the president’s reelection campaign. Jonesy’s guy, FBI agent Richard Ballen, meets Valerie on the boat and assures her that he’ll find Colin.

Carl tells Susan that their mothers were on the Queen Mary‘s last trans-Atlantic crossing together. He can show her a picture after he finds it at home, and probably after she agrees to come visit him and sleep in his bed and marry him. Clare and Steve disagree over the fact that Carl’s making them come to a polo match, even though it’s Steve’s birthday. (Steve’s fine with it, but Clare thinks it’s dumb.) Valerie introduces Kelly to Ballen, and she manages to be helpful by mentioning that Colin might have gotten in touch with Claudia. Val just smirks because Colin was sleeping with Claudia while he was dating Kelly.

David advises Eric not to go after Donna too aggressively, since she just got out of a relationship. Eric interprets this to mean that David doesn’t think Donna likes Eric like that. Just as Eric goes to Donna’s room with champagne and a private dinner invitation, David calls to give her an excuse to leave. Donna’s grateful but invites Eric to dine with the gang anyway. Brandon makes a toast to Steve before David and Donna present Steve with a video highlighting moments from his life. It includes a message from Cindy and Jim, which is really sweet.

After Donna reads Dylan’s letter to Steve on the video, various people sing “Happy Birthday,” including Rush, Samantha, Ryan, Austin, Ms. Teasley, and Andrea. Then Andrea makes a surprise appearance in person. There’s drinking and dancing, and Carl heads off to find a missing Clare. Kelly asks David when he talked to Dylan, and he tells her they got the letter just before they left. He’s in London, and they decided not to tell her because she might get upset. Kelly says she’s not, and it was nice to hear from Dylan.

David spots Donna dancing with Eric and pays someone to call Eric away for a phone call. Donna appreciates the gesture. Valerie mopes by herself, but Ballen has good news: He got in touch with someone who recently spoke to Colin, and it sounds like Colin’s still in L.A. Joan still doesn’t feel well, so she and Nat call it an early night. Brandon asks Susan about the call from D.C., which she hasn’t heard more about yet.

Clare returns to the party, so I guess Carl didn’t try to seduce her while they were alone. Steve gets super-drunk, and Clare and Carl have to help him to bed. Carl tries to make his move (on Clare, not Steve, which would at least be interesting), but she’d rather stay with Steve. Eric wants alone time with Donna again, so she finally pulls out her trump card in hopes of getting him to back off: She tells him she’s a virgin. Eric immediately turns his attention to Kelly instead.

At breakfast the next morning, Andrea shows Kelly some pictures of Hannah, and they talk about how difficult the last year was for Kelly. Susan gets a fax from D.C. telling her that she’s been chosen to work on the ’96 campaign. Kelly now can’t get Eric to leave her alone, so Donna advises her to say she’s a virgin, too: “Worked for me!” Valerie invites Ballen to come with the gang to Carl’s polo match. Ballen’s trying to keep his distance, probably because that’s the only way he can keep from jumping Val’s bones, but she makes him come along.

Carl plays polo. It’s boring. Eric finds someone else to bug, though Kelly notes that they still have to spend the whole weekend together. Susan tells Brandon that she’s been offered a job as a youth advisor on Clinton’s campaign, but she’d have to drop out of school and start during the summer, so she’s not taking it. She doesn’t seem that confident that she’s made the right decision, though. More poloing. Steve tells Clare that Carl was in a bad mood earlier, and he wonders if something happened after he went to bed.

After the game, the gang has brunch together, and Steve toasts Carl. Ballen learns that Colin called Claudia from a harbor, so it stands to reason that he’s hanging around there with plans to hop a freighter. Eric asks Kelly out, but she tells him she’s a recovering addict whose last boyfriend is on the lam, so she’s not in a good place to date him right now. He doesn’t take the hint and puts his hand on her leg. Kelly forces him to get the hint by stabbing him in the leg with her fork.

Carl tells Steve straight out that he’s in love with Clare and wants the chance to tell her. Since Steve’s been downplaying their relationship, he thinks it’s reasonable. Basically, Clare gets to choose between the two of them. For some reason, Steve doesn’t punch him in the nose and tell him to back off.

Thoughts: The Goo Goo Dolls were one of my favorite bands in the ’90s. If Prince Carl had thrown me a birthday party where they played, I might be tempted to date him.

Donna, stay away from the self-tanner.

The Queen Mary just makes me think of Arrested Development (like so many things do).

I like Ballen. Can he stay?

“You won’t sleep with me? I’ll go after your best friend instead.” You’re a real charmer, Eric.

Kelly Taylor, you’re my hero.

October 6, 2013

BH90210 6.24, Coming Out, Getting Out, Going Out: You Must Get Back Together! Susan and Clare Demand It!

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , , , at 5:10 pm by Jenn

"I can't stay here! This shade of blue looks horrible on me!"

“I can’t stay here! This shade of blue looks horrible on me!”

Summary: Valerie visits Colin in the county jail, where he’s spend the last two weeks waiting to be bailed out for his police chase. His family doesn’t have the money (or care enough) to pay his bail. Valerie plans to have the After Dark appraised. Sometime in the past two weeks, Joe had his heart surgery, so that storyline’s over (yay!). Kelly’s also finished up her time in rehab. Joan has returned to town and continued reconnecting with Nat, but Nat tells Brandon, Steve, Susan, and Clare that things aren’t the same as they used to be, so they’re not dating.

Kelly packs to leave rehab while Tara worries about finishing her last week without her roommate. Kelly lets her keep the sweater she borrowed. Greg the hot almost-doctor sees Kelly off. Clare and Susan stalk Joan, wanting to get her and Nat back together, but she’s on the same page as him about the two of them not having the same spark they used to. Valerie meets with a bail bondsman, using the After Dark’s equity to pay Colin’s bond.

Jackie and David bring Kelly home, and she quickly notices that Donna and Clare have taken down Colin’s painting. She wishes they hadn’t redecorated without her. David gives her fish, which will give Tara something to kill when she inevitably single white females Kelly. He tells her that Colin’s still in jail and is probably facing time. Kelly wishes people wouldn’t be so hard on him. Later, Colin calls her to tell her he’s been bailed out and wants to see her. Kelly quickly hangs up.

Valerie goes to fetch Colin and meets his public defender, who tells her he’s probably going to go to prison for three years (one if he’s lucky). Valerie doesn’t like that. When she takes Colin home, she tells him she’ll pay for him to hire a better lawyer. Susan and Clare are still trying to figure out why Nat and Joan aren’t working out, and it’s annoying their boyfriends. Susan wants to play matchmaker, and she suggests a triple date.

Jackie brings Kelly a nice breakfast, which Tara kind of ruins by calling to complain about her own breakfast. Donna’s annoyed that Tara keeps calling. Clare and Susan arrange the triple date and tell their boyfriends to get Nat to agree to show up. Nat refuses, thinking that if he and Joan haven’t made things work out, they’re not meant to be together. Brandon won’t take no for an answer because he doesn’t want to have to tell Susan that he failed.

David runs into Valerie at the Peach Pit and tells her he’s figured out that she paid Colin’s bail. He points out that she’s not doing a very good job of making the gang like her. Val replies that at least she’s loyal to Colin. David warns that if she hangs out with him, she’ll get herself in trouble. Just before the triple date, Brandon and Susan have to talk Nat and Joan down from various crises. Susan’s determined to make everything perfect.

Kelly and Donna go to a video store (remember those?), where they run into Greg. He asks Kelly out, which is so inappropriate I don’t even know where to start. The double daters (minus Brandon) take a limo to their first surprise destination. It turns out to be the hot dog stand where Nat and Joan had their first date. They reminisce about meeting at a casting call for Bonanza. Yet another phone call from Tara interrupts Kelly and Donna’s movie night together, but this time it’s actually important: Tara ran away from rehab and needs Kelly to come get her.

The triple daters next go to the site of Nat and Joan’s old house, which is now gone. Joan tells the others that their parents didn’t like that they were together because she was Jewish and Nat was Catholic. That was part of the reason they split up. Somehow, being at the empty lot where they used to live makes Nat and Joan feel romantic. Kelly and Donna retrieve Tara, who begs to spend the night at their apartment.

Steve decides that the triple date is the most romantic night he’s had with Clare. (That’s sad.) Kelly and Donna take Tara to the beach apartment for the night while Colin tries to sleep but has nightmares about prison. Valerie assures him that she’s going to make sure he doesn’t go to jail. ‘Cause she loves him or whatever. The triple daters end their night at a hotel that used to hold a nightclub. Brandon has spent the evening setting it up so they can all dance.

Thoughts: No one came out. What a misleading episode title.

I still need to know why Colin has a pay phone in his apartment.

Did Tori Spelling’s contract only allow her to wear belly shirts?

“Sure, Kelly, the clingy addict you barely know can stay with us.” Grow a spine, Donna!

Why didn’t Brandon go on the triple date while, say, David set up the club? It wasn’t much of a triple date, since Susan was a fifth wheel. Also, poor David never gets to do anything fun.

August 31, 2013

BH90210 6.17, Fade In, Fade Out: In Case You Haven’t Noticed, Kelly Has Issues With Men

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , , , , , at 3:08 pm by Jenn

I think Nat was playing a squirrelly boxing coach

I think Nat was playing a squirrelly boxing coach

Summary: Steve is hosting a Roger Corman film festival for a class, but Nat keeps taking down the posters he puts up in the Peach Pit. He won’t explain why. Kelly tells Jackie that her father is coming to Beverly Hills, supposedly to stay. Jackie’s rightfully skeptical, reminding her daughter that Bill rarely follows through on his promises. Kelly points out that he came to her graduation. She also notes that Jackie hasn’t been the best parent either. When Bill gets to town, Kelly meets him at the airport, having not listened to any of Jackie’s warnings.

Joe’s having problems with his ankle, which sometimes swells up, and promises Donna that if it’s not better by the next day, he’ll see the team doctor. Steve invites Brandon, Clare, and Susan to a film screening that night; Corman’s studio has sent over another movie for the festival. Kelly and Clare run into each other in a CU bathroom, and Kelly finds the cocaine Valerie gave her and that she forgot she was carrying around. Clare encourages her to get rid of it.

Speaking of Colin, Valerie’s taking one of his art classes. He tells her he has everything under control, though he doesn’t say he’s not using drugs. Now he just wants to get Kelly back. Joe and Donna study at the beach apartment, and he decides that his ankle’s bad enough to require a doctor’s visit. At the Walshes’, Steve shows Unholy Rollers, and Brandon recognizes the name of one of the actors, Nat Benson. It was Nat’s stage name when he acted in the late ’70s. Indeed, Nat’s in the movie, and Steve celebrates because he can bring another celebrity to the film festival.

Kelly tries to get Bill to talk about his failed relationship with Jackie, telling him how hard it was for her to grow up with a mother who was addicted to drugs. She always wanted him to come rescue her. He wants to have dinner with his ex-wife, which I’m sure will be a lovely, not-at-all-awkward affair. David questions Valerie on Colin’s drug habit, and she tells him that he’s supposedly clean. They talk about Kelly’s taste in boyfriends and Bill’s visit. Valerie notes that Kelly’s always drawn to unreliable guys.

Kelly takes Bill to the beach apartment, where Donna tells her that Colin’s called for her a bunch of times. Bill asks who he is, and Kelly says he’s a guy who broke one too many promises. Bill encourages her to give Colin another chance – after all, she’s giving him one. Jonathan calls the Condor looking for Susan but gets Brandon instead. He leaves the message that he’s coming back to town soon and wants to see Susan again. Of course, Brandon doesn’t pass the information on to Susan.

Steve and Clare try to convince Nat to make an appearance at the film festival, noting that he could even revive his old acting career. Nat refuses. At CU, David warns Kelly about believing Bill’s promises. Kelly thinks Bill’s really moving to town since they’re going to find him a house. Joe sees the team doctor, who notices an irregularity in his heartbeat and advises him to see a cardiologist. But he totally shouldn’t worry, because a problem with his heart is probably nothing important. The heart is just one of those organs you can live without, you know?

Kelly and Bill go house-hunting and find a place Bill likes. Brandon confesses his message-delivery sins to Valerie, who tells him to write a note to Susan and pretend he left it after Jonathan called. Bill wants Kelly to stop by Colin’s for a visit, so they got to the loft, where Colin is definitely not sober. Kelly immediately notices and hurries her dad out. Jonathan calls Susan again, this time giving her his travel plans himself, and letting her know that Brandon took a message from him. He uses Valerie’s trick to get himself out of trouble.

Joe withholds his possible heart trouble from Donna, then asks if a friend of his can get an appointment with her father, the cardiologist. Steve tries again to get Nat to come to the film festival, but Nat continues to turn him down. Steve figures out that something happened with a woman. That night, Steve hosts the festival at the After Dark, complete with an appearance from Corman himself. Unholy Rollers is the first movie screened, and Brandon points out Nat to the gang.

A woman approaches Steve to ask if Nat’s going to come to the festival. She tells him the last time she saw Nat was while he was making Unholy Rollers. Steve’s shocked to hear that the woman, Joan Diamond, was once engaged to Nat. He takes her next door to reunite the former lovebirds, who immediately start catching up. Nat’s sadder about giving up his acting career than he let on earlier (he had to leave to take over the diner for his father), but he’s happy to be back in touch with Joan.

Kelly has dinner with her parents, who get along better than expected. Meanwhile, Colin shows up at the After Dark and demands the cocaine Valerie took from him. She tells him she gave it to Kelly. At the beach apartment, Kelly tells Donna that she thinks her father has finally become a grown-up. Joe secretly goes to his appointment with Dr. Martin while Valerie calls Colin to remind him that he’s supposed to be teaching right now. He tells her he was up all night painting. (Silly Colin. You can’t paint with cocaine.)

In case we haven’t gotten the parallel between Bill and Colin, Bill fails to show up for his meeting with Kelly and his real estate agent. Joe admits to Donna that he went to see her father, who confirmed that he has a congenital heart defect. He may not be able to keep playing football. The team doctor and coach want him to get a second opinion, and Donna offers to go with him to the next appointment. Kelly tries to call her father, but he’s checked out of his hotel. Nat’s very happy after his reunion with Joan, so I guess Steve and Clare get free meals or something.

Brandon tries to get Susan to take a trip with him the weekend Jonathan’s supposed to visit, but she knows what he’s up to. Joe’s second opinion is that he’s fine, and there’s no reason for him not to play football. He tells Donna that her father was wrong, but she’s not convinced that he was the one who made a mistake. Kelly goes to the airport but is too late – Bill’s already left town. Back at home, she gets a note telling her he had to go jump on a business deal. He leaves her a check, which she rolls up and uses to snort Colin’s cocaine, because that’s totally in character for her.

Thoughts: This is a different Bill from the one who came to graduation. This one is played by soap actor John Reilly, which means that when he’s gone, I can pretend he’s off on spy missions.

Joe E. Tata was, indeed, in Unholy Rollers. I’m sure he appreciated the show digging up old film footage of him.

Among other addictions, Colin has picked up Brandon’s gum-chomping habit from a few seasons ago.

In case you’re keeping track, Jackie and Mel are living together again.