Air Dates: October 4, 1990 – May 17, 2000
Stars: Jason Priestley, Luke Perry, Shannen Doherty, Jennie Garth, Tori Spelling, Ian Ziering, Brian Austin Green, Gabrielle Carteris, Douglas Emerson, James Eckhouse, Mark Damon Espinoza, Tiffani Amber Thiessen, Kathleen Robertson, Hilary Swank, Vincent Young, Lindsay Price, Daniel Cosgrove, Joe E. Tata, Jamie Walters, Carol Potter, Vanessa Marcil
No one knows teen drama better than Aaron Spelling, who is still considered the most prolific TV writer of all time. His Beverly Hills 90210 ran for ten years and captured the essence of teenage life, if you happened to be a rich kid who lived in California, and were popular and gorgeous. The show helped make actresses Shannen Doherty and Tori Spelling household names, launched four (less than successful) spinoffs, and made Luke Perry and Jason Priestley teen idols.
Beyond just following the ever-dramatic hook-ups and break-ups of the characters, the show dealt with issues a lot of high schoolers faced in the 1990s: alcoholism, homosexual rights, suicide, teen pregnancy, and AIDS. Or, you know, not really, because most teenagers don't look like they're 30 and aren't that concerned with the 12-step program.
Regardless, this show was just a stepping stone to all the teen melodramas we know and love today. Plus, we found out Shannen Doherty was real-life crazy, which is fun. —TA