Welcome to the first post-high school season of Beverly Hills 90210
. While maintaining essentially the same formula in season four that's driven the previous seasons, things definitely grow up and heat up now that the gang has started college. They're all attending school together (of course), the fictional California University. Andrea decides against Yale and Brenda makes her way back to Beverly Hills quickly after a disastrous attempt at returning "home" to Minnesota. While Brenda's return and Andrea's decision to stay in Beverly Hills seems not only inevitable, but essential, it's interesting to note that season four is the final year featuring all original cast members. It's also the year the tone of the show most abruptly changes, making way for the much more grown up and sexier seasons to come. For these twentysomethings playing teenagers, the shift from high school to college allows them to relax a bit into their characters and really show off their acting chops (all except Shannon Doherty, whose seething anger is simmering just barely below the surface of her performances; her tension with the cast and producers at this time was widely documented). As in the years before, issues rule the storylines here and while we've got some repeat offenders (infidelity, date rape, racism, drug use), there's also plenty of fresh material that these actors clearly have fun with (anti-Semitism, pregnancy, campus scandals, and newly discovered siblings). Minor complaints: the lack of original music continues to be an annoyance; it seems this year that the generic studio tracks have gotten even worse. Also missing are the funny guys from VH-1's Best Week Ever
doing the "Everything You Need to Know About Beverly Hills 90210: Season Four
". The segment still exists, but with much less entertaining hosts. Otherwise, Season Four continues to deliver the goods any 90210
fan could want--drama, drama, drama--and it's only just getting started. ---Kira Canny
The ensemble drama about young adults growing up in Beverly Hills is a blend of romantic drama and subject matter that crosses all cultural boundaries. The storyline has followed the Walsh family as they moved from a middle-class Midwestern neighborhood to wealthy and glamorous Beverly Hills, maturing from high school to college students, facing new challenges as they continue to grow and discover more about themselves and their personal ambitions. As their worlds evolve, old friendships will be tested as new relationships develop, but no matter how complicated their worlds become, they will always share in their strengths and experiences.