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Peter Rogers's Blog
Artist-in-Residence at Chez Firth

Wednesday (6/29/11) 5:11pm - ... wherein Peter continues taking notes on 90210.

I'm continuing to watch episodes of Beverly Hills, 90210, and continuing to take notes as preparation for gnap! Theater's upcoming run of improvised 90210.  This time, I watched episodes 1x08-1x15.

This is probably not of general interest.

* Man, Darren Starr has worse taste in pop music than Joss Whedon.
        * [Ah, but this may be a DVD licensing issue.]
* Always take an opportunity to blame a problem on Beverly Hills.
        * ... *any* problem.
* The twins' stilted 'casual bickering' is always amusing.
* Oh, please tell me we can do montages!
* Sometimes a setting can lead directly to morally-wrong things for the good kids to be tempted to.
* If one of the leads does something wrong, the consequences might not be immediate.
        * You might let it slide once or twice, to build tension.
                * ... and instead, build up guilt.
* Is David Silver going to rap in our show?
        * Yes, right?
* So how do we play to the top of our intelligence when so much of this dialog is so bad?
* At some point, we have to refer to sex as "doing it".
* Maybe we could learn some surfing terminology?
* Useful dialog:
        * [patronizing] "I hate to break this to you, Mom...."
        * "Everybody's so 'Beverly Hills' here!"
* We must master the parent-child cheek air-kiss.
* Okay, now we've got episodes hitting serious! issues!, which is useful for lending the show a bit of gravity.
* Def. need a few teenage/parent shouting matches.
* 90210:  where the second time you get drunk, you drunk-drive, wreck the car, and get arrested.
* Useful parent dialog:  "Believe it or not, I was once your age."
* Useful for Dylan to reveal huge unknown things about his life
        * e.g. he's an alcoholic who still attends AA
        * I think the rule is "Dylan can be evasive about anything."
* More of 'the days before tech':
        * Handing in handwritten papers
        * Looking up a student's number in a book-form student directory
                * City phone books exist and are used.
        * Fax machines are not pointless & quaint
* All the dance numbers have music added in post
        * Slightly out-of-sync dancing = v. amusing
                * [again, this may be a licensing issue]
* All phone numbers must start with 555-
* All written material must be read aloud.
* Useful Brandon dialog:  "Scout's honor."  With the hand gesture.
* These characters tell each other jokes a lot.
        * And laugh at each other's jokes, no matter how lame said jokes are.
* Brandon has a habit of licking a finger and running it over his eyebrows.        
* It's going to be tricky capturing this show's predilection for "smash cut to:" jokes.
* It seems like some episodes are based on some teen problem -- somebody does something a little wrong and there are mounting consequences -- whereas others are based around an event, such as the trip out to Palm Springs.
* It seems like it's okay to telegraph an obvious complication ahead without having the characters even slightly worry about it.
        * They can go along with their storylines, and the complication can show up as an act out.
* "Amorous elderly people" seem to be a recurring comic motif.
        * ... as is the assumption that Brandon and Andrea are a couple.
* A lot of these plotlines center on setting up, and then realizing, a character's worst fear.
* A- and B- stories don't always seem to match up, timeline-wise.
* OMG Brandon's S1 car is called Mondale.  This is glorious.

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Mood: [mood icon] contemplative · Music: none
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