Thanks to the repository of useless knowledge that is the internet, I learn that today, Sept. 2, 2010, is 90210 Day: 9/02/10. This is, of course, absolutely unsignificant, and yet the date acts much as Proust's madeleine, bringing back to me memories of my early teenage years.
This is not because I ever watched Beverly Hills, 90210. I don't believe I ever saw an episode in its entirety, and it was seldom that I even saw clips. But it held a kind of allure for me at age 14 or 15, because it was the Hot Thing. I read about it in the papers, I heard commercials for new episodes on the radio (remember when radio was big enough business that TV advertised there?), and people talked about it. I wanted to know what the buzz was about, and I had a sneaking feeling that I was missing out on something. Certainly it seemed like the characters on the shows, regardless of their Hollywood problems, had achieved some ineffable level of coolness. Could mere association by viewing grant me coolness by osmosis?
Time has wreaked its usual havoc, and the actors and characters of 90210 have all slunk off to obscurity. I live a far more rich and beautiful life now than any scriptwriter would have the courage or imagination to portray. Popular shows come and go, but I myself endure. And that's pretty cool.
Saturday Shakespeare, Vol. 5
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