Welcome to our newish series, Rembert Explains the '90s. Unlike the source material for our previous, '80s-themed series, these videos have been seen countless times, with the result being an unparalleled, almost embarrassing level of expertise. Rembert will write down his thoughts as he's watching the video, then we'll post those thoughts here. This week's installment, selected by Grantland editor Juliet Litman, is the time Color Me Badd made a cameo on Beverly Hills, 90210 (Season 2, Episode 26, 1992). If you have an idea for a future episode of Rembert Explains the '90s, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note: This feels more like an '80s clip, because I did not watch Beverly Hills, 90210, but all is not lost in the "expertise" department, seeing as I know everything about the discography and wardrobe decisions of Color Me Badd.
Earlier this year, on the heels of the lowest-rated drama debut in television history, I asked a relatively straightforward question: Is the CW even a network anymore? Harsh, yes, but not entirely unwarranted. At times it seemed that the broadcaster — cobbled together six years ago out of the froggy bones of the WB and its rival UPN — was less a commercially viable competitor to the traditional Big Four and more of a very public investigation into the possibilities of absolute zero. In June, the second half of a rerun of the putatively youth-oriented net’s retread 90210 garnered a 0.0 rating in the much-coveted 18–49 demographic, a number roughly on par with Mitt Romney’s projected percentage of the African American vote and my level of surprise when I learned that the CW’s most-watched show this summer was an “extreme” version of musical chairs hosted by Jamie Kennedy. Even the formerly zeitgeist-y Gossip Girl — now entering its sixth and final season as a world-weary Gossip Woman — only averaged a little over a measly million viewers per original episode. For those counting at home, or in Greendale, that’s one-fourth the audience of a mid-winter installment of the permanently beleaguered Community. So I ask again: If a tree fell in the woods on the CW — assuming the tree was underage, sipping an appletini, and listening to Sky Ferreira — would anybody even see it?
Lisanti: Hey, I thought you might want to see this ...
Simmons: This really makes me angry. I don't understand why we can't have a 90210 remake because Perry and Priestley are too proud, and yet they're making these Old Navy ads. Just create the 90210 comeback show already.
The Women of Beverly Hills 90210 Are BFFs: "The scene was perfectly set for a showdown. Shannen Doherty had just marched into Jennie Garth's 40th birthday bash sporting killer boots and her trademark smirk — looking every inch like Brenda Walsh at her fiercest." YES. "The Beverly Hills 90210 vets, once such mortal enemies that costar Tori Spelling claimed they had a fistfight, strode toward each other and … hugged." Hugged?! Reunited and acting "just like real friends," the former "Kelly and Brenda have called a cease-fire to their 20-year war." Why now? "A Doherty pal attributes the bonding to the simple matter of growing up — and feeling nostalgic for the Peach Pit days: 'It's like high school friends that you fought with but now love. They're a big part of your past.'" OK, sure. "Shannen and Tori were in New York doing press, and they were warm. The '90s were a long time ago." They sure were. At least they all still hate that bitch Valerie (Tiffani Thiessen).
Things You Don't Know About Ice-T (Excerpts):
"I love grape Kool-Aid"
"As a kid, I dreamed of being a bank robber"
"My favorite artist is Prince"
"If I could time travel, I'd go to the Roaring '20s"
"I love all kinds of cereal"
"My most embarrassing moment was getting diarrhea while performing at a concert."
"Harvey Keitel is my favorite actor."
"I prefer to be indoors."
"The first famous person I met was my neighborhood crime boss."
Bill Simmons: Lisanti asked me to pick the greatest moment in 90210 history, which, of course, would double as the greatest moment in Fox history since the original 90210 was the greatest television show of all time. With all due respect to moments like Ray pushing Donna down the stairs, Andrea Zuckerman getting hit by a car (and, unfortunately, not dying), the Notorious B.A.G. banging out a squinty "Keep It Together" with Jasper's Law, the epic "You want a beer? You want to quit staring at mine then?" exchange, the best of the Kelly/Dylan/Brenda and Kelly/Dylan/Brandon love triangles, Kelly Taylor saying "I choose me" and even the ongoing comedy of the Season 5 opening credits (the half-turnarounds slay me), I have to go with the above clip because of the toxic combination of David Silver's embarrassing early-'90s boy band ripoff song, the B.A.G.'s shirt and Steve Sanders's blond afromullet. I was afraid to watch this entire clip because I thought it would give my computer a virus. Be be be my love ... ohhhhhhhhh ...