Show: Beverly Hills 90210
Character: Brenda Walsh
Played By None Other Than: Shannon Doherty
In a Nutshell: Oh, BRENDA. Brenda and Brandon Walsh, twins, move from Minnesota to Beverly Hills when their father (who must be an accountant for the mob or something because this is seriously a huge step up) gets a job there. The sophomores quickly find themselves in the popular clique at school with Brandon adopted by Steve Sanders (see what I did there? An adoption joke. Classic Lemon) and bad-boy with similar sideburn-situation Dylan McKay and Brenda shoe-horning her way into Kelly Taylor’s good graces. (Kelly’s nice enough to let Donna Martin pal around with her too but we all know that Donna is Screech to Kelly’s Zack. Even Donna knows this.) Eventually, the group will round itself out with brainy Andrea Zuckerman and Freshman-turned-Pre-K-Fed David Silver and OH WHAT JOY this group will bring the 1990s. Also pleased are the murderers, rapists, petty criminals, stalkers, and annoying brunette girlfriends of the greater Los Angeles area who will now be kept pretty busy for the next decade or so.
Why I Love Brenda and You Can Go to Hell: There are two main 90210 camps. One belongs to the school of “I Love Kelly Taylor” and the other is “I Love Brenda and I think she’s misunderstood and also way more entertaining than the school-marm martyr that Kelly turns into.” I think we know which camp T-shirt I’m wearing.
Brenda is UBER- dramatic (she wants to be an actress, clearly), petty, kind of bitchy and really self-absorbed. She’s also ridiculously awesome. Over the course of the show, she doesn’t have nearly the level of close-calls that her friends have (including Kelly who basically has a target tattooed on her head for lunatics everywhere). In fact, the most devastating thing to happen to her is that her boyfriend leaves her for her best friend which (come on) ouch. For a seventeen-year-old girl, this is on par with a reasonable person having their arms and legs removed due to a horrible accident involving a lawn-mower or a piece of factory equipment.
Yeah so, that was upsetting but such excellent television. The rest of Brenda’s troubles are directly a result of her being an idiot. And for that, I love her.
Favorite Moments: Unfortunately, some of my most devastating TV memories are a result of Brenda acting like an ass in front of Dylan during the first season. (The dyed blonde hair, the whole “I like your butt” incident. Ugh.) So let’s just skip those, shall we?