Sunday, May 14, 2006

The Peach Pit

Recently, a buddy compared our peer group to the cast of Entourage and assigned each of us to the character we most resemble. According to this individual I am "Eric." Mostly, I suppose, because Eric is grumpy, moody, easily set off, and haplessly romantic. Now that I think about it, he's probably right. But this became an even more interesting little exercise because it got me to thinking about how relatable we (my friends) are to other TV characters, especially characters from shows about young (or young-ish) circles of friends. And so of course whenever I wax nostalgically about television, thoughts always turn to Bev 9'er.

During my junior and senior years of college I had the worst class schedule imagineable. All four of those semesters my classes were scattered across the day such that the only way to manage them was to stay on campus from 8am to 4pm every single day of the week. It was awful; it was like having a job. The upshot was that I got most of my homework done on campus during the day so that when I got home each evening I had nothing to do but goof off. So what better way to deflate than by watching two hours of Beverly Hills 90210 reruns. The answer is none, so that is exactly what I did. And in doing so I gained a lot of character insights into the West Beverly Hills High gang that no straight, rational individual should ever possess...even though it comes in handy when typing online about nonsense.

Getting back to the original train of thought, if I were assigned to a 90210 character it would have to be Brandon because his "game" is the only one I could be capable of pulling off. (Early seasons David Silver with his total lack of game may be even more appropriate but I'll give myself tiny bit of credit.) Dylan's bad boy rap would look ridiculous on me as I tend to be a rule-follower. While my rhetoric can be seemingly anti-authoritarian, this is the same person who never missed an 8am class in 4.5 years of college. Not a one because on principle, you shouldn't skip a class. So cutting out of school in my Kelly McGillis Top Gun Porsche to go surfing doesn't seem feasible. As for Steve, he was practically a date rapist in the early years so there's not much of an attraction to that dating style either. That really only leaves Brandon, the upstanding, workaholic, overly courteous, "can I drive you to the malt shop in 'Mondale' the family station wagon," old school romantic. And you know what, it worked really really well for him.

Many years ago, very drunk and very bored, myself and a few other 90210 appreciators (of course appreciated ironically only) decided to tally up all of the tail that the major cast members were able to pull over the seasons. Guess who was the biggest slut by a landslide. Brandon. For all of his nice-guy formalities he was cutting through the ladies faster than Dylan and Steve put together. Perhaps it was all just a scam on his part. Maybe he knew exactly what he was doing. If that's the case, then I don't want anything to do with a dating persona like that. It's too sad and calculated.

I guess therein lies the danger of too closely associating oneself with a TV character. As the seasons pass and storylines become more convoluted, the characters tend to completely flip out. By the end of the show Brenda was gone, Kelly went from slut to militant prude, Donna was far less vapid and even a little bit savvy, David lost his naive innocence and discovered more vices than he could shake a stick at, Steve actually had a soul, whatever nice guy laid beneath Dylan's tough guy exterior was replaced with a complete lunatic, and in the end it turned out Brandon was a big dick.

Completing the circle, I wonder what will happen to Eric on Entourage. I hope he has a better fate than Brandon.


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