Beverly Hills, 90210 is celebrating their 30 year anniversary. Their show may be 30 years old, but their messaging remains current.
Beverly Hills, 90210 is a show that dominated audiences worldwide from 1990- 2000 and the effects of this programming are ever lasting. Highly esteemed as one of the most impactful shows on television, the cast and crew are currently celebrating 30 years since their first air-date, causing fans to reflect on memories of the good old days.
As we look back at the impact that Beverly Hills, 90210 had on youth and on society as a whole, it becomes abundantly clear that even though this program was produced so long ago, much of the topics they covered remain very relevant to today’s society. The storyline was incredibly progressive, often touching on topics such as body image issues, concerns over self-esteem and confidence, eating disorders, popularity and fitting in with peers in high school, peer pressure, addiction, suicide, and so much more. As much as we wish that some of these issues did not exist, they ring true as current concerns that both parents and teens continue to have today.
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If this show were to come back on the air, very few tweaks would be required to connect today’s generation with the content that Beverly Hills, 90210 relayed to its audience 30 years ago.
Women had a voice on Beverly Hills, 90210, although many of them really had to fight for it.
As we look back at the show and the impact that it had on young women during that time, the issues that the females on the show had to face are very similar to today’s issues. On the show, Andrea experienced sexism at the hands of her newspaper advisor, and as her character experienced this situation and transitioned through it, much of that very same experience is directly relatable to the struggle for equality that continues to exist in today’s workplace environments.
Sources revealed, “The women of Beverly Hills, 90210 were never afraid to go after what they wanted. Their independence and boldness inspired viewers back in the day,” and would speak true for current-day messaging if we were to relaunch this show in the current climate that we find ourselves in 2020.
The underlying pulse of Beverly Hills, 90210 was centralized around the issues that the teens faced during their time in high school. This remains a point of contention for many teens today. High school is an exciting time for young adults but that goes hand-in-hand with a number of issues, fears, and moments of sincere struggle that still exist.
The characters in the show transitioned through one problem after another in the midst of all their high school drama, and this would very much ring true if the show happened to be filmed today. Being invited to the hottest party, staying on top of current fashion, handling issues of body image and navigating stressful social situations are common ground for all generations and continue to be hot topics.
Aside from the obvious fact that social media has taken over, and technology has advanced considerably, so there’s an added layer of complexity in the lives of our teenaged kids, the same issues that faced high school students in the 90s seem to continue onwards today.
Perhaps one of the most pressing issues faced by a character on the show was that of Gabrielle Carteris’ role as a teenage mom.
Teenage pregnancy was a big topic for the show, and continues to be an ongoing issue now as well. When asked about how she felt about her character’s development through teen pregnancy on the show, Carteris was quoted, “I never realized how negative people were towards young women if they got into a situation where they were pregnant without a partner when they were young. People really attacked the character, attacked Aaron Spelling and the show for portraying a young girl getting pregnant, who was bright. It was a very important statement to say that you can be bright and you can be a good person.”
Sadly, the same struggle and sense of judgement continues in today’s world. It may have improved slightly or been glamorized by reality TV shows such as Teen Mom, but when it comes down to it, teens who get pregnant in today’s society are facing the same level of judgement and insecurity.
Mental Health & Addiction
One of the most prevalent issues confronted by the characters on Beverly Hills, 90210 were concerns surrounding addiction and mental health. These were tough, controversial topics in the 90s, but thanks to it being covered in the mainstream media by programs such as this one, the light began to shine on the reality of these issues and the fact that so many youth were affected. Deemed to be among the most muted issues that were rarely discussed in open forums, concerns with addiction and mental health are especially frightening.
On the show, fans saw the destruction caused by Dylan’s alcoholism, and were drawn into the struggles faced by Brandon in the same realm. Emily Valentine transitioned through hospital visits when dealing with her mental health concerns, and the show put focus on the fact that these concerns were real, prevalent, and true to common society, not just glamorized as a storyline for the sake of the show.
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Sources: Popsugar, Good Morning America, ABC
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