Thursday, August 12, 2004

A Competitive Edge

Hey kids, I hope you enjoyed Aquaman's blog. It'll probably become a regular feature here at 19Thoughts.

Anyway, tonight, I'm going to do something fun. About two and a half months ago, I TiVoed one of my favorite 90210s of all time. I haven't had the time to watch it yet, but since the Sox aren't on and I don't feel like watching anything else, we are going to watch a seminal 90210.

To set up, this is from the Golden Age of the zip code, it's 1992 and Brandon is the sports editor of the Beverly Blaze. There's trouble a-brewing on the track team. What is it? You'll just have to wait until the end of ... "A Competitive Edge"

Alright! The theme song. This one rocked, with Dylan pretending to bunch Brandon during the open chops. And Donna looking pretty hot in that pink number and David dancing like the drunken, uncoordinated member of Bell Biv DeVoe. Awesome.

Oh yeah, I forgot about the sunglasses shots, and the lovely Brenda trying not to look like a bitch. And STEVE! It's Steve Sanders everyone! The best shot of Steve is the out of focus one right after Tori Spelling's name comes up. Donna is hanging with Dylan and David and Steve (back to us) comes walking towards her, love handles flapping in the breeze.

Opening montage of high school track practice. I have a feeling this is going to be about the West Bev hockey team. Slow motion rules, it really adds to them scene. Here's the jackass coach talking to Brandon about the team and how good it is. Brandon mentions he was on the track team back in Minnesota.

Steve is mooning over Kelly, who is talking to Kyle. You might remember him as the sexually confused young man, who doesn't like Kelly. FLASHBACK! Love the flashback! He's telling Kelly that he doesn't like chicks. That takes balls, which ironically enough, is what Kyle wants.

Brenda's subplot of shitty driving continues. She almost killed herself and her mom. Brenda is so dense she misses her street.

Overt homosexual jockularity alert. Brandon is doing the reporter thing and is walking around the locker room, when the gang of track jocks begin chanting "Wedgie! Wedgie!" He is literally, and figuratively, backed into a corner ... with no help from Steve. They're pissed about something he wrote in football season, what the fuck? They could've got him in the five months between football and track season.

Brando has quit the paper. He tried out for the team and made it, this is due to the fact that he hates asking the tough questions. Andrea is wet listening to him talk. Ugh.

Jim Walsh alert! He sneezed. That's it.

Steve is mad that Brandon took his spot on the 440. Now Dylan is in the locker room saying how much organized sports suck. He's also mad that Brandon is letting Brenda drive his Mustang. And right on cue, here's David, Donna and Brenda driving around. We spy a woman looking at the trio menacingly. Brenda slammed into her car. I think she's a bunco artist.

Brenda, that total dipshit, takes full responsibility for the accident. The woman seems understanding and makes a joke about winding up in traction.

Uh oh. Brandon made a steroid joke in the weight room. It's as if he cut off Steve's magical mullet. Now Tony (the Ox-type character) has Steve by the neck asking if he told Brandon anything. Luckily for Steve, he hasn't any idea. The rest of the group tells Steve that they're part of the Power Pack. "You guys are doing steroids! There's some real risk with that stuff," he yells. After a few drug cliches (mother's little helper, the candy man) he folds and is now a member of the Power Pack. Even gay Kyle is doing it. Now they have their eyes on Brandon.

Brenda and Donna are kibitzing about what to do about Brandon's car. Donna suggests lying because "Brenda is a really good actress". She actually pulls it off, but I think it's because Brandon is a dope.

At the Peach Pit, Steve is attempting to flirt with Kelly. She doesn't like him and says she's running with Kyle tomorrow morning, which leads to Steve asking, "You two are doing it, aren't you?" I love this fucking guy. He says what we're all thinking. Kelly, of course, is shocked that someone would think that she's a slut and lets Steve know about it. A knee to the groin! Sanders is down, though his confidence is inexplicably up and tells Brandon that he's going to kick his ass on the track.

Brandon is crying that no one likes him, even after he makes his witty steroid comment. Steve gets serious and tells him "NEVER make jokes about steroids." Brandon is perplexed. Steve gets even more serious and Brandon unloads on him about the steroid horror stories that Steve should be reading about.

Steve says those scary stories are bullshit and that he should relax, "they give you a competitive edge." Brandon calls Steve stupid and predictably Steve leaves the Pit. Of course, Brandon calls Andrea wondering if he should write an article about steroids. Good work Brandon, make those guys like you even more.

Kyle, who is using steroids, is lifting weights. From my guestimate, he is benching 115 lbs, with problems. Those steroids he's taking fucking blow. Now Brandon is doing it, and can barely do six. Six reps of 115. That's damn pathetic, though this could be Brandon playing possum. He says, "Gee whiz, I can't do anything, anyone know any secrets to me getting bigger?" The chief of the Power Pack sees right through Brandon like Jim staring what's beneath Cindy's lingerie. He gives him the Hogan speech, "Eat plenty of vegetables, go to bed early and work hard." Then tells him to quit nosing around.

Jim Walsh alert! He holds a recyclable bag while Brandon drains a crushed can. Now he's talking to that lady that Brenda hit. "Accident? What accident?" Brenda is crying. And Jim is pissed. Do you know that whiplash takes a long time to show up? According to Dr. Jim it does.

Deepthroat has just called Brandon. He's going to learn a little something about steroids. And guess who Deepthroat is? That's right, Kyle. Even he knows that Brandon is doing an article for the Blaze. And Brandon is not sure how his cover is blown. Kyle says that a lot of people are taking them and is about to name names.

Donna just said "Psyche!" when talking about how it would take a long time for hell to freeze over. Remember that word? Man, those were the days. "Dude, I'm dying of cancer." "You are? I'm so sorry." "PSYCHE! Ha, ha." As the camera followed Brenda and Donna it seamlessly moved to Brandon. I loved these scene shifts, it was very revolutionary for the time.

Steve is now crying because he feels so bad about his fight with Brandon. After the talk, Brando is having second thoughts. Andrea suggest her taking the heat, which will fool no one. Brandon just told Steve that the Blaze is writing a piece on steroids, Steve loses his cool but runs to tell the rest of the Power Pack to flush their stuff. The coach has decided to forfeit the season until the pillpoppers come out of hiding. Predictably, no one is happy about this turn of events and threaten to kill Steve.

Dylan and Brenda shows up unexpectedly to the accident woman's house. She has a neck brace on and is telling the duo that there is going to be a lawsuit, unless they want to settle out of court with a modest amount for pain and suffering. Dylan thinks she's full of shit.

Jim Walsh alert! Clad in only a bathrobe he is really letting Brenda have it for her being so stupid. That modest amount from the accident lady is over $1 million. Brenda thinks they should pay it. He sneezes again.

Brandon goes to the Pit, where Steve has been waiting for him in the store room. "We have to talk," Steve says. Brandon lays into him, again, about how Steve's personality has changed because of steroids and that's what prompted him to ask some questions. Steve admits that he just started a cycle, and told him that he won't do them any more. He just wants Brandon to sweet talk Andrea into writing a story saying that Steve didn't say anything.

Brandon says no, so Steve literally throws him across the room and tells him that they're no longer friends, FOREVER! Kelly has witnessed this whole exchange, I think she's embarrassed because Steve kicked Brandon's ass.

Kelly ends up talking to Kyle about steroids, and he plays dumb. Then Kelly innocently sweet talks Kyle into clearing Steve's name. Even Kyle can't say no to Kelly.

Steve is seething because Andrea is being uptight about this whole steroid thing and he runs into Dylan. Dylan asks what's going on, and Steve gives him the low down. Then Dylan says, what could be the greatest line ever said by anyone, anywhere at anytime, "Steroids? They'll shrink your gonads, man."

Let me write that again, in all caps so you get the full effect:


Ok, I was roughly the same age as these guys pretended to be when this show came out and no one, I repeat, no one ever said the word gonads. It was balls. Just balls. Man, that line made this entire episode worth it. I wish I had the WAV for that line.

Dylan pledges his allegiance to Steve, and he thanks him.

Brenda notices the accident woman doing aerobics and busts her ass. Jim found out this lady is indeed a scam artist. Which leads Brenda to believe that she is a good driver. She sneezes.

The Power Pack is going to make Steve take the fall. He doesn't want to do it and the guys are about to kick his ass, until Brandon comes along. Kyle admits he's the squeaky wheel. And he can't live a lie and neither can the rest of the Pack. They ended up confessing and it probably means that West Beverly is going to have a crappy team this year.

And guess who makes a cameo, Willie, the black short order cook. He is in the background in no less than three scenes. Good for Willie.

Alls well that ends well. If you've been reading this far, I salute you. I will be back next week with more observations. I doubt that I'll watch a whole other hour show, because this took a long-ass time, but if people like it, I'll do it again.

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