The Unauthorized Beverly Hills 90210 Story

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
The Unauthorized Beverly Hills 90210 Story TV Poster Image
Revisit famous ZIP code in cheesy but fun special.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Business vs. friendship, making money, fame are themes explored.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Some cast members are supportive; others aren't.

Violence

Lots of catty behavior, occasional threats.

Sex

Lots of strong sexual innuendo; kissing, fondling.

Language

"Ass," "goddamn," "bitch," "s--t."

Consumerism

It promotes the series franchise.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Drinking, smoking. Addiction references.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Unauthorized Beverly Hills 90210 Story dramatizes the alleged behind-the-scenes antics of the creators, producers, and cast of the 1990's hit series. There's some sexual content (fondling, discussions about virginity), cursing ("bitch," "s--t"), drinking (beer, champagne), and cigarette smoking. Fans of the more contemporary 90210 spin-off might be interested, but those who love the original will probably find it more appealing.

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What's the story?

THE UNAUTHORIZED BEVERLY HILLS 90210 STORY is a docudrama about the creator, producer, and cast of the original 1990's series Beverly Hills 90210. From the Fox Network's original pitch to Aaron Spelling (played by Dan Castallaneta), to the infamous firing of Shannen Doherty (Samantha Munro), it allegedly reveals some of the steamy and controversial details that went on behind the scenes during the show's first four years of production. From tensions between Doherty, Jenny Garth (Abbie Cobb), and Tori Spelling (Abby Ross) to their endless hookups with Jason Priestly (Max Lloyd-Jones) and Luke Perry (Jesy McKenney), it reveals how the cast's interpersonal relationships affected the production. It also subtly reveals how actors such as Ian Ziering (David Lennon), Brian Austin Green (Ross Linton), and Gabrielle Carteris (Michele Goyns) were sometimes overshadowed by their peers. Throughout it all, it underscores how the show's creator and writer, Darren Star (Adam Korson), was committed to connecting with teen audiences. From shedding light on specific casting decisions to revealing how the Gulf War contributed to the show's wild success, the movie addresses lots of questions that surround the long-running show to this day.

Is it any good?

The entertainingly nostalgic biopic gives Beverly Hills 90210 fans of all ages a chance to put decades-old tabloid rumors to rest by recreating key events that took place during its first four seasons. It also highlights some of the problems the overall production faced before it reached the height of its success.

Fans of the show's more recent, edgier spin-off 90210 might enjoy watching, but it's the loyal audiences of the classic series that will appreciate what's being offered here. Despite some silly, cringeworthy moments, it still offers a fun walk down memory lane for those who tuned in the first time around.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the nostalgic nature of some TV shows. Why do older shows such as Beverly Hills 90210 and others continue to have a following? What is it that appeals to audiences, even to this day? Are spin-offs or remakes of series like this one as successful? Why, or why not?

  • Beverly Hills 90210 is famous for being one of the first teen-oriented shows that addressed issues such as drinking, sex, drugs, and other risky teen behaviors. Are the issues they discussed 25 years ago any less significant today? 

TV details

For kids who love teen drama

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