There were only a handful of shows I that watched religiously ( not including sports ) growing up especially once I started high school in the 1990s. Dukes of Hazzard, in the 1980s, The Fall Guy in the 1980s, Knight Rider, A-Team, Married With Children, and then when I was in high school in the early and mid 1990s shows like the original Law & Order. And when I mean religiously, I’m talking about every week including the reruns in the summer. There was really only one show that I watched that much during the summer when I was in high school and that the original Beverly Hills 90210 from Fox. Because it was about Generation X and what life was like growing up for a lot of us, it was a funny show like great soap operas are and all the beautiful, sexy women on it including one and particular.
I loved the Brenda Walsh character ( played by Shannen Doherty ) for multiple reasons. She was so real for both good and bad and seemed to always know what she want, except when it came to guys, she just didn’t always know how to get there and how to get what she wanted. Which is typical for teenagers of any generation and perhaps Generation X in particular. When we’re growing up we think we know what we want, but a lot of times don’t know how to get it and most teenagers have short attention spans and something else comes along and we’re impressed by that. I wanted to be a sportscaster when I was in high school up until my early 20s or so and realized that perhaps was no longer that important to me and didn’t want to get a degree in broadcasting in order to become a sportscaster. Brenda Walsh was similar, but I think she knew what she wanted, but didn’t know how to get it.
The Walsh Family, moves from Minneapolis, Minnesota to Beverly Hills, California ( just outside of Los Angeles ) and get a cultural shock right away because they comes from a mid-size community in Minneapolis to not just the second largest city and metro area in the country in Los Angeles, but to the heart of Hollywood and the entertainment industry in this country at least if not the world. Brenda, ( played by Shannen Doherty ) quickly adjusts to that new lifestyle and meets people and friends who are just as real as she is and don’t fit the stereotypes that a lot of Hollywood teenagers have and they discover that they have a lot in common.
This show worked real well, because you had real people living in a fictional community ( known as Hollywood ) where most of the people there are allways trying to be someone else and put on a facade. A lot of the characters on that show could’ve easily been from St. Louis, Milwaukee, Cleveland, or Minneapolis as far as who they were and they went through as teenagers growing up. And that is why the Brenda character was so great because she was a real person growing up in a Hollywood community where realness can be looked down upon by people who want to always be fabulous, perfect, and be popular. People who want to be better than real people and never seem vulnerable to anyone or anything.
The other reason why I loved this show was because of Shannen Doherty. I had a crush on her, I don’t think she was the prettiest girl from the entire series. Jennie Garth was more beautiful during the high school years and I believe Tiffany Thiessen was the best looking woman on the show for the entire series. But Shannen, was the cutest girl on the show and sexiest girl as well at least during the high school years. She wasn’t just a denim diva on that show, ( before that term was even invented ) but she was a Levi’s denim diva who was a Goddess in those skin-tight Levi’s jeans and always wore beautiful western boots with them with tight tops or blouses. I couldn’t wait to watch the show especially just to check her out especially during the first 3 seasons. This show and Shannen Doherty, certainly made high school more interesting for me and I have her to thank for that.