Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Generation 90210 no longer exists but . . .

Miss Ramona had, until this morning, forgotten that she had this blog. Upon reviewing it, she realized that several of the initial clips for different posts had been taken off of youtube. Thus, the clips now up for the posts on Andrea suffering the psychic gang bang at the slumber party and David Silver's sexy lessons are not the correct clips; Miss Ramona could not find a replacement for the self-defense class post, which is very sad because it was quite engaging.

Although Miss Ramona no longer updates this homage to Beverly Hills 90210 and other cultural relics cherished by those of us who came of age in the 90s, for those who occasionally stumble upon the blog, Miss Ramona believes the best posts to be the ones on Fergie and Kids Incorporated, the 90210 self-defense episode, and creepy 80's sitcoms. The ones on Paula Abdul and the slumber episode aren't terrible, either. Read more!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Generation 90210 Says: "Your Girlfriend Ain't No Kind of Problem"

These recently discovered lyrics by New York disco darlings Tayisha Busay accurately embody Kelly's upspoken feelings towards Brenda regarding Vanilla Ice, oops, I mean Dylan McKay (wrong 90s has-been with bad eyebrows):

"Your girlfriend ain't no kind of problem to me, baby.
If your girl's got such soul power, why can't she keep you off my dance floor?"

While in Kelly's case, it wasn't exactly her dance floor Brenda couldn't keep Dylan off of (after all, he was notorious for refusing to dance at school functions in order to cultivate his Byronic mystique), the sentiment underlying this delicious lyrical tidbit is quite accurate in describing the personal dynamics governing the Kelly vs. Brenda rivalry.

Here is the video for "Soul Power" or what might been known as Kelly's Theme:
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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Generation 90210 Remembers

The 90210 episode wherein Kelly and Dylan cuddle to the sounds of Dinosaur Jr.

This clip warms Ramona's heart because while watching this particular episode (the one in which Donna Martin gets drunk at the prom in 1993, hence Donna Martin Graduates!) back when it aired, her ear was caught by the background music which is Dinosaur Jr.'s "Start Choppin'." Ramona got her mom to drive her on down to the local Sam Goody to buy the band's most recent cassette, Where You Been, the very next day, an album which remains a favorite to this day and was certainly instrumental in getting Ramona through tumultuous ninth and tenth grade years.
Happily, Miss Ramona is going to be getting her 1993 on tonight seeing Dinosaur Jr. at the Troubadour!
Now, let's talk Dylan and Kelly.
Having spent the better part of her professional life working with teenagers and kids in their early twenties, Miss Ramona has a pretty good idea about how kids look and act. Shows like 90210 always cast much older actors to play teenagers for one simple reason: these shows are sex-driven and if viewers saw what teenagers really looked like for the most part, they would be revolted at the idea of them having sex. Most teenagers are gangly, chubby, awkward, acne-prone, baby faced, and/or inarticulate. They look fucking young. Sit in an introductory college course and look around and what you see are children. They don't look old enough to know what sex is, much less to be having it.
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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Generation 90210 Remembers: Fergie on Kids Inc.

Many generation 90210-ers remember Kids Inc., a show about an afterschool night club of sorts where a motley crew of singers and dancers performed 80s hits. She doesn't know about you, but as soon as that final bell of the day rang in fourth grade, Miss Ramona skipped right on down to the local discotheque. While The Mickey Mouse Club had Justin, Christina, Britney, and, umm, Ryan Gosling, Kids Inc. had Mario Lopez, Jennifer Love Hewitt, and Stacey Ferguson who grew up to be the eponymously-named Fergie. Speaking of JL Hewitt, she recently appeared on a talk show offering a new strategy for getting over a break-up - vajazzling, that is, covering one's vagina with multi-colored crystals to inspire a sense of female empowerment

In her recent incarnation as Fergie, Fergie-Ferg, the Duchess, or Fergilicious, respectively, Ms. Ferguson has come under fire for her onstage urination problems and a poorly done brow lift. But on Kids Inc. she was the girl everyone wanted to be, with blonde curls and a voice made for singing Lionel Richie songs to handicapped clowns. Now, for some, clowns evoke joy and laughter. For Miss Ramona, they evoke pedophiles. This general feeling is not mitigated by the vision of young Stacey singing a love ballad to a male clown as he twirls a broom (a phallic symbol meant as a symbol of defiance of dominant discourses which cast the disabled as infantilized and emasculated?) mournfully in the background before giving her a bouquet of flowers as they sit close together on a bench. When people get nasty with Fergie or wonder about her meth problem, cut the broad some slack and remember that as a child she was forced to sing " Say you, say me/Say it for always/That's the way it should be" to a grown man in a wig and make-up because that is some fucked-up stuff.
A PS - upon rewatching the clip, Miss Ramona noticed that she missed the creepiest part of the song - "People in the park/Playing games in the dark/And what they played was a masquerade/And from behind the walls of doubt, a voice was crying out" Good Lord. It sounds like bunch of kinky sex freaks getting ready to sacrifice a child in some sort Eyes Wide Shut scenario. Can we get some "Dancing on the Ceiling" up in this piece?
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Friday, June 12, 2009

Generation 90210 Remembers:

The episode wherein David Silver enlightens men everywhere on scoring with the ladies
Pimp tips with David Silver for landing ladies like Donna Martin:

1. Bust out every combination of the running man/roger rabbit/ jump into a bent-knee split/deep squat you can imagine. Throw in a twirl if you can - come on, girl, it's fun!

2. With the deep squat, rock from side to side on your feet, like you are trying to quickly take a shit in a field while running from a hoard of angry drugstore clerks enraged that you just shoplifted a year's supply of Axe.

3. Do not be afraid to get what Miss Ramona's grandma calls"freaky deaky" - there is absolutely nothing wrong with a little face to crotch dance action at the high school Holiday Ball.

4. Nothing is sexier than a collarless dress shirt. Just ask the guys of Boyz II Men.

5. There is no such thing as too much hair gel

7. Learn to make "sexy face" which entails jutting your lower jaw out as far as you can and sticking your tongue out at irregular ten second intervals

And here is the rest of it.
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Sunday, June 7, 2009

Generation 90210 Remembers

The episode wherein Brenda, Donna, Andrea, Kelly, and Kelly's snotty senior friend, Amanda, have a slumber party and play Skeletons in the Closet One almost feels sorry for Andrea in this clip in which Amanda "I used to be fat but now I'm thin thanks to massive doses of Dexatrim" Peyser leads what amounts to a psychic gang bang on poor old Andrea Zuckerman. The adjective "old" is used here as a nod of recognition to the fact that Gabrielle Carteris, the actress who played Andrea, was, like, 45 years old. Two things leave Miss Ramona befuddled by this clip.

One, why is Andrea wearing the same nightgown that Ramona's grandma bought at Marshalls last week? 90210 knew not the meaning of subtlety. One consequence of this was that in order to highlight Andrea's dorkiness, she couldn't just wear vests and glasses; she had to wear a burka with shoulder pads capped off with a doily. To a slumber party with the popular girls in school, no less. It's hard to feel sorry for someone with so little judgement.

Second, why does Amanda (dazzling in a silk mustard-colored number buttoned to the chin, jeans zipped to her middle rib, and bangs held up by half a can of Aqua Spray) accuse Andrea of having cow eyes that she bats at Brandon? Sure, this is a nasty comment, but the real problem is its total lack of veracity. Andrea didn't have big eyes and her eyes were made even smaller behind her glasses. This, my friends, is just lazy scriptwriting. Go big or go home, that's what Miss Ramona says.
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Generation 90210 remembers Casa Walsh

The house that the Walshes moved into upon arriving in California was so Beverly Hills that it could only be found in Alta Dena, roughly 45 minutes east. The lovely lady at http://www.imnotastalker.com/, one of Miss Ramona's favorite sites in that it combines two of her interests - real estate and pop culture -was able to meet the kind owner of the house who let her in to photograph it. Follow the link for her photos and story: http://www.iamnotastalker.com/2008/11/26/casa-walsh/
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Thursday, June 4, 2009

Generation 90210 Remembers

The 90210 episode wherein Brenda, Mrs. Walsh, and Donna go to self-defense class

All you Beverly Hills rapists out there beware - Cindy Walsh does not take shit lying down. Don't let the pastel jogging suit fool you because Mrs. Walsh will fuck your shit up. Just love the emphasis, the utter venom with which Mrs. Walshes hisses, "Take your hands off me!" as she jumps into combat position, her white high top-clad feet ready to kick some ass. Close examination suggests some interesting mixed messages here. The self-defense coach commends Cindy's truculence by saying, "she just showed us that she doesn't believe she deserves to be harmed. Self-esteem is the key to self-defense!" I guess only girls without confidence get raped. The camera cuts to Brenda and Donna who, oops, left the bottom of her shirt at home. At least she remembered to match her scrunchie to her skirt. After Brenda succesfully models her self-defense maneuvers, she sits back down at which point Donna licks her finger and puts it on Brenda's shoulder, intimating that Brenda's performance was so hot it sizzled. Is self-defense supposed to be sexy? This is a gesture that Miss Ramona's mom likes, except she touches her finger to her bottom for the sizzle part. Let it be said that Ramona's mom also just learned the phrase "You go, girl" last year and thinks it's totally great, except that she often gets mixed up and says things like "Go, go, go, you girlfriend!" or "Go girl, you go on and go!"

This episode also reminds us of an episode of Jenny Jones that featured self-defense lessons for the blind. One woman got up and modeled her moves - NO! bend the arm.No! duck the head. NO! kick to the groin - before telling Jenny that before her self-defense class she felt weak but now "everyone knows I am one baaaaaaaad ass!" Read more!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Generation 90210 Remembers: Paula Abdul the Pop Star!

In recent years, Paula Abdul has gained notoriety for, among other things, slurring incoherently through myriad interviews, drinking something other than soda from those shiny red Coke cups that sit in front of the American Idol judges, selling a line of QVC jewelry, starring in a short-lived reality show on Bravo called Hey, Paula (on which she suffered a meltdown during one episode because she was "tired of people not treating me like the gift that I am"), offering totally useless critiques on AI like "I just love your spirit" or "You really made that song yours,” and giving (and then rescinding) a confession to Ladies Home Journal that she had had addiction issues with pain medications, in particular a patch that delivered a painkiller 80 times stronger than morphine. Who knew such a thing existed?

You know terminal cancer patients around the world looked over at their morphine drips and were like, what. the. fuck.

For those born after 1985, this is the stuff Paula is famous for, even though she did recently perform a single she wants to release on AI. Us older folks, on the other hand, remember Paula Abdul as the artist behind hits like "Straight Up," "Cold Hearted Snake," and "Promise of a New Day." We remember . . . (CONTINUED AFTER THE JUMP)

the massively successful video for "Rush, Rush" in which Paula and then teen-icon Keanu Reeves (PS- where did he go?) adapted Rebel Without A Cause into a four minute mini-movie that even had a scene during the song's bridge with Paula and Keanu (as Natalie Wood and James Dean) "acting":

Paula: Can I ask you something? Have you ever been in love?
Keanu: If I was, I didn't know it. And you?
Paula: No. Isn't that terrible?
Keanu: Terrible? No. It just reminds you that we're all alone.

After this shared moment of existential angst, Paula and Keanu skip into an abandoned mansion where they light some candles, play hide and seek, run up and down a staircase, gaze at each other in a mirror, and finally cuddle on the floor. This is a song in which Paula frequently alludes to her lover’s abilities to turn her senses all around when he kisses her up and down and she both candidly and emphatically insists that no one else has touched her so deep, so deep, so deep inside. Cuddling seems kind of anti-climatic given her lover’s supposed sexual virtuoso.

We cannot diss Paula, however. Aside from still using the chorus of "Rush, Rush" - rush, rush, hurry, hurry - to get her dogs to go potty on their walks, Ramona Narrow, like many female thirtyboppers, was a huge Paula Abdul fan. Saw her in concert. Four times. Still remembers her birthday (June 19, 1962) because she took a 30th birthday card and flowers from her parents' garden wrapped in foil and soggy paper towels to a 1992 concert . Ramona also used almost two years of allowance savings (originally intended for buying a Nintendo) to go to the 1989 MTV Music Video Awards with her babysitter when she found out Paula was performing.

Gen90210-ers remember that Paula was a huge, huge star. She sold over fifty million albums. What we also remember is that while she can dance in that sort of 80’s jazzercise way, Paula cannot sing. At all.

Secure in our memories of her lackluster vocal talent, we find ourselves amused that she is now a judge in a singing contest and wait for the day when some rejected potential contestant snarls at her, "I'm not taking any shit from you, lady. I know that you sound like Eleanor from the Chipettes!"

Here's some Paula for y'all at the aforementioned 1989 Music Video Awards that Ramona was at. If you listen carefully, you might hear Miss Ramona screaming at inappropriate moments between her chest-wracking sobs of joy and awe.

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On the Generation 90210 horizon

An in-depth study of the loves and losses of Steve Sanders, beginning with his roots as the adopted child of businessman Rush and actress Samantha Sanders and following him through his sexy adolescent years behind the wheel of his beloved Corvette with the license plate "I8A4RE" and, finally, into fatherhood and a hard-hitting journalism career at The Beverly Beat.This one might take a while. But it will be worth it.
And here is the rest of it.
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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Generation 90210 Remembers: Creepy 80s sitcoms

Gen 90210-ers remember that back in the 80s, sitcoms were where it was at. Most of these thirty minute morality plays aired on weekend nights, back when getting a Friday or Saturday night primetime slot was a coup. Now, Friday and Saturday nights are kind of like the tuberculosis sanatoriums of television: places where things go to die while no one watches.

Oddly, many of these shows revolved around depressing premises, usually involving a dead/absent parent or being orphaned by the deaths of both parents (Silver Spoons, Out of this World, Punky Brewster, Full House, Who’s the Boss?). Not content to be outdone by killing off a child’s parents, some shows (Diff’rent Strokes, Gimme a Break, Webster) threw in an interracial component that usually involved a poor, black person coming into a wealthy, white person’s home to provide comic relief. You have to wonder what possessed some television writer to think, I know, I’ll take a little black boy (preferably one with challenged pituatary glands so that he looks like he's 5 when he's 13), kill both his parents, and send him to live with one of his deceased father’s white friends where he will address the mother figure as "Ma’am" for the duration of his childhood (Webster). Shits and giggles all around!

If you remember these shows, then it is very likely you also remember the “special” episodes that aired every once in a while that were supposed to teach the kiddies watching at home a lesson. The problem is, instead of serving their intended didactic purpose, they almost always ended up in traumatizing us. Let us closely examine some of these moments after the jump . . .

PUNKY BREWSTER - Cherie gets stuck in the refrigirator!

When Punky and the gang finally find Cherie, she is unconscious and collapses out of the refrigerator. Luckily, Punky paid attention to the CPR lesson at school during the first part of this dramatic episode and so is able to use her mouth to mouth skills to revive Cherie. This episode teaches us that CPR is really, really important to know and that if you, like Allen, get sent to the principal's office during CPR training and your friend dies, it's your fucking fault.


One episode involved a teacher at school who touched the girls too much . Then there was the episode where, oops, Webster burned down George and Ma’am’s apartment, clearing the way from them to move to the house with the secret passageways. However, the episode that really stuck with Ramona was the one where Webster finds a secret passage in his house to a hidden room that has a rocking chair with a doll in it that, we find out later, was supposed to serve as a shrine to the previous tenant’s runaway daughter. Frighteningly for Webster and the viewers, the show decided to get its Faulkner on and get all "A Rose for Emily"ish by making it seem as though it was actually a corpse that had been sitting in this room for years. Webster, after finding himself locked in the room, opted to take a snooze. Naturally.

Diff'rent Strokes

So much to work with here! In fact, when Arnold became convinced of the fact that kids were selling drugs at his upper crust prep school, Nancy Reagan herself came on the show to let everyone know that we should all “JUST SAY NO.” Alas, this lesson hasn’t stuck with Ramona as much as the others. Diff’rent Strokes produced the two creepiest episodes of sitcom television ever. In one, Arnold and his pal, Dudley, get lured into the apartment of a man who owns a bicycle shop but who is really a pedophile.

Later in the series’ run, we learn the dangers of hitchhiking (an epidemic on the upper-eastside of Manhattan in case you hadn't heard) from Kimberly and Arnold, who, frustrated by their inability to catch a cab after fifteen seconds, decide to hitchhike instead and get in the car with a guy who seems nice but then holds them hostage in his apartment with the intent of raping Kimberly and perhaps killing Arnold; he remains gagged and bound in the bedroom while the man forces Kimberly to slow dance with him while he serenades her with “Strangers in the Night.” Arnold is told he will be okay if he is just "a good little Astronaut," a phrase so creepy that Miss Ramona intends to use it on her students in order to instill fear. Luckily, Arnold busts out the window, gets help, and Arnold and Kimberly make it home to celebrate Mr. Drummond’s birthday. Because who doesn’t feel like celebrating after an attempted rape?

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Generation 90210 Remembers

The 90210 episode wherein Brandon, Nikki, David, and Donna go to a Rosie O'Donnell comedy benefit.

Why does the audience laugh at Rosie's joke about her parents watching? Is it because they all know that the idea of Rosie O'Donnell getting laid in high school is kind of silly? That has to be it, because Rosie O'Donnell is not funny. We just need to establish that right away. This clip doesn't show Rosie, all Donahue-style, going out into the audience to ask the real teenagers about their sexual experience. You miss Nikki, Brandon's 15 old girlfriend who is not only on at least her second sexual partner with ole' Brando, but who has survived an abusive relationship with a guy in a band named, get this, Diesel. Ms. Ramona doesn't know about you, but while her friends and family might have looked the other way on the whole beating her up thing, there would have been a line drawn in the sand over dating someone who went by Diesel. Just saying. Like Emily Valentine, Nikki was also from San Francisco; are these ladies supposed to be cluing us in to Brandon's bohemian side? Finally, as rich as Donna Martin was, why did she wear a black spandex dress for the entire first semester of senior year?
And here is the rest of it. Read more!

Generation 90210 Remembers: The Star Search Spokesmodel Competition

Star Search. A classy talent show featuring dancing, singing, comedy, and . . . spokesmodeling. In what universe, you might ask, is "spokesmodeling" a legitimate competitive category? One in which Symba Smith, the repeat champion below, exhibits "beauty, poise, and the ability to speak effectively in a variety of situations." The ladies showed their beauty off in a video montage lit like a porn film and set to sexy 80s songs you now hear in the dentist's office. Their poise and speaking abilities were front and center in a brief interview with a pre-foreclosure Ed McMahon before they introduced the next segment. Check out Ms. Smith discussing how it's been her dream since she was, like, fourteen to be a spokesmodel competitor on Star Search.

When she was little, Ramona wanted to be a waitress, manicurist, or dancer; basically anything without stability or benefits. Now as someone who works on seasonal contracts without health insurace, Miss Ramona is glad she followed Symba Smith's lead in dreaming big.

A thought: does using the word "classy" make one sound distinctly unclassy?
>Check out little "Justin Ray" doing some boot-scootin' boogie before he would grow up to bang "I don't get jobs because I'm too pretty" Jessica Biel.

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