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 follows the West Beverly gang as they mature as college students and beyond, 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.
"Some things never change," states woe-is-me bad boy Dylan ("Special Guest Star" Luke Perry) near the end of the series finale. And we wouldn't have it any other way. After a tumultuous decade, the buff and beautiful characters of Beverly Hills 90210
may be dealing with more "adult stuff," but their lives are still buffeted by infidelities, betrayals, make-ups, and breakups. It is, though, nice to see that after 10 years a little self-awareness finally starts to dawn. "Doesn't it seem," Kelly (Jennie Garth) asks Steve (Ian Ziering), "like we've been living in a Stephen King novel when you're afraid to turn the page because you're afraid something horrible is going to happen to somebody in the group?" Steve responds without a trace of irony (one of this ever-earnest series' endearing graces), "Maybe there's someone out there who's been devising this unbelievably horrific plan for us to go through." Whoever was doing all that devising was working overtime this final season: Dylan goes back to college, David becomes something of a shock jock, Christina Aguilera performs at the Peach Pit After Dark, Steve wrestles with commitment issues before proposing to a pregnant Janet (Lindsay Price), drug dealers kidnap Noah (Vincent Young), Kelly is engaged to Matt (Daniel Cosgrove) but still loves Dylan, Janet struggles with being a working mother, and Dylan discovers his father is still alive. And won't David and Donna ever get together? Spoiler alert: Yes they will in the tear-jerking wedding finale that brings back old 90210
vets Gabrielle Carteris, a chipper Tiffani-Amber Thiessen, and, via videotape, Jason Priestley. Shannen Doherty remains the show's Voldemort, She Who Must Not be Named. In a film clip of the original gang glimpsed in "The Final Goodbye," a series retrospective originally broadcast in 2000 that is this set's lone extra feature, her face is blurred. This final season may not rank with this series' best, but to quote Dylan, this is not a one-time offer. For long-time fans looking for closure, this is a must-own set that invites repeat viewing. --Donald Liebenson