I spend such a large amount of time reading too much into the fashion of Donna Martin and the inner politics of the Kelly, Brenda, Donna clique that I’m often guilty of neglecting the boys of Beverly Hills 90210, but they are just as multi-layered, have just as many intricate relationships with one another and are responsible for just as many fashion don’ts (come on down David Silver) as the girls. So here it is, my countdown of the most prominent males of Beverly Hills 90210.
Okay, hear me out. In the faceless credits after the theme song, there was a name that always came up and no, I’m not talking about Joe E. Tata, who finally got to spin around and smile in the opening credits in season 6. I’m talking about the name Matthew Laurance. I always wondered who it was, because Joey from Blossom’s younger brother was never in an episode. One day, I IMDB’d it – yes, I am that sad – and discovered that Matthew Laurance played Mel Silver, David’s philanderer orthodontist dad. He makes this list because, after years of being just another name in the faceless opening credits, I feel he deserves a little recognition.
Best moment: He was the one responsible for giving Donna champagne at the prom. That means he played an integral part in pop culture history.
Let’s face it, he was a poor man’s Brandon Walsh, conveniently brought in one or two episodes before Jason Priestley’s departure as Kelly’s new love interest. Matt Durning, attorney at law, even looked like Brandon, and his entry into the show also conveniently coincided with a lot of the main cast suddenly having legal problems with which they needed assistance. To this day, I don’t really get Matt – he was a defence lawyer, was secretly married to a schizophrenic woman he left behind at a New York mental hospital and cheated on Kelly while under the influence of LSD, yet he still managed to be boring. How is that even possible?
This cocaine addict was bad news for Kelly, but he was still more interesting than Matt and hence a better choice, in my opinion.
Okay, so he pushed Donna down a flight of stairs and was, in general, a total douche, but he makes the list because of the ditties ‘Hold On’ and ‘The Worms Crawl In, the Worms Crawl Out’.
Best moment: He had us at hello when he introduced himself to Donna as “Ray Pruit. One t. It’s all my mother could afford”. How’s that for a pick up line?
Oh so hot, but slightly annoying with his hot-headed, bad boy ways. He always seemed angry or, if he was happy, you were just waiting for something to make him miserable once again. But oh. so. hot.
Fun fact: He was in a relationship Tori Spelling in real life.
A piece comparing Beverly Hills 90210 with The O.C. written years ago by Michael Tedesco made me belly laugh because of this observation about a particular moment in Beverly Hills 90210’s opening credits, “when James Eckhouse (as Mr. Walsh) would proudly turn around with his arms folded over his chest, followed by the “that’s right, I’m Mr. F-ing Walsh!” smile. That always killed me”. ‘Nuff said.
Best moment: I always loved the season 1 episode ‘B.Y.O.B’, when Jim and Cindy go to Palm Springs and Jim is propositioned by Trudy, one have a couple who swings, with the amazing line, “Come on now Jimbo, I’ve been waiting all weekend to go around a goosey gooosey, ducky ducky with you”.
Aw, Nat. He finally got his face into the opening credits in season 6 – what a milestone!
Best moment: When he helped Brandon out of his gambling debt and told him that, if he ever gambled again, his next call would be straight to his father. We always knew Nat was like a second father figure for Brandon, but this episode gave the relationship more depth and made us care about it all the more.
The more I revisit old episodes of Beverly Hills 90210, the more I like Steve Sanders. Sure, his acting was questionable and sometimes I still can’t get past the blonde curly mullet (aka the “cullet”), but his smile was cute and he could give some great advice, such as when he told Andrea how to get Brandon’s attention, saying, “stop apologising for who you are and get in the game”. Plus, Ian Ziering’s not bad to look at these days – he was a guest headliner for the Chippendales and that torso and six pack – phwoarrr.
Best moment: It has to be when he suggestively asked that matronly convenience store clerk to “exchange an egg” in season two’s ‘U4EA’ episode. I’m also going to go with a couple of killer Sanders quotes. The first: “P.A.R.T.Why? ‘Cause we gotta!” The second was right after the Donna Martin graduates rally, when he calls out, “Let’s all get drunk!” Oh Steve.
Hi Ho Silver! Brian Austin Green is living proof that it’s better not to peak in high school. This man gets hotter year on year. Still, he may have been all hot and serious in the later episodes of Beverly Hills 90210, but he’ll always be the boy who rapped this:
“Yo West Beverly, my name is Dave
And I’ma give you all the songs that you crave
And all the babes are gonna be my slave
And all from a guy that don’t even shave, word”.
Best moment: When he did his part for race relations between West Beverly High and Shaw High by performing the rap ‘Switch it Up’, prompting students from both schools to do the electric slide together.
I realise this is a controversial choice for the number two spot, considering the Dylan v Brandon “who would you rather?” question is up there with the age old debates about Angel v Spike, Dawson v. Pacey and Ben v Noah (I would have included Ryan v Seth in the mix, but come on, it was Seth by a landslide). But hey, I was a Brandon girl back in the day. Still, I definitely recognise the widespread appeal of Luke Perry.
Best moment: “Take a shot Jim. Take a shot!” has got to be up there with his best lines, as is the always sexy “mad, bad and dangerous to know”. It summed him up, really.
Ah, Brandon. He gets the number one spot because a). even today I wouldn’t say no and b). he was the show’s moral compass and its grounding for so many years.
Best moment: Contradicting what I just said, I think his best moment was when his halo slipped and, under the influence of U4EA – that’s Beverly Hills 90210’s name for ecstasy – he stood up, shirt open, on the hood of his car while Dylan delivered his “drugs are bad” speech. It was pretty hilarious and totally detracted from the serious point Dylan was trying to make. And he had his shirt open.
Gil Meyers – so did he have an affair with Andrea or not? Can someone please clear this up for me?
John Sears – you gotta love a good villain.
Tony Miller – he had a crush on Brenda for so many years, only to get nowhere with her at the prom.
Jesse Vasquez – I suppose Jesse had better be on this list, since he fathered Andrea’s child and all.
Cliff Yeager – yummy yum yum.
Rick – it was Dean Cain! Come on!
And let’s not forget Joe, D’Shawn and Stuart. I’ll leave you with a joke from Kelly to Brenda: “You’re dating a guy named Stuart?”