Beverly Hills 90210’s 10 Worst Romantic Storylines
Beverly Hills, 90210 was full of lover’s quarrels and non-stop drama. Who could forget the love triangle between Kelly, Brenda, and Dylan; a feud that inspired more “team Kelly” and “team Brenda” fans than the Twilight Edward versus Jacob rivalry. This show lasted for 10 seasons, five more than its 2008 inspired series 90210, and that makes it an institution in ’90s culture. In honor of its role in teen love-lives everywhere, we’re counting down the 10 worst romantic storylines.
10. Andrea & Jesse
These two lovebirds met at the Walsh’s 20th anniversary party, where Jesse was working as a waiter to earn money to put himself through law school. The pair quickly hit it off and Andrea left her boyfriend Dan. The show was forced into a curveball portrayal of teen pregnancy when Andrea (Gabrielle Carteris) became pregnant in real-life. Andrea and Jesse decide to keep the baby, and get married in a civil ceremony. In order to keep the less-than thrilling plot of Andrea’s life as a mother alive, the couple begin fighting over religious differences, and Andrea eventually cheats on Jesse with medical intern, Peter Tucker. Andrea wants Peter to leave his wife to be with her, but he refuses and the romance ends abruptly. Both Andrea and Jesse confess to infidelities, but decide to stay together and transfer to Yale. Andrea left the show but returns to town in season 6 and again in season 8, when she announces that she and Jesse are divorcing. What a mess.
9. Kelly & John Sears
Every girl has a John Sears. You know, that good-looking guy that convinces you the grass is greener? Kelly began seeing John after her feelings for him caused her to stop going-steady with Dylan. John quickly began pressuring Kelly to sleep with him, but she was reluctant to do so. Her attitude angered John who confessed that he was only seeing her because of her looks and popularity. John continued to prove that he was that cocky frat-boy by setting Steve Saunders up in a cheating scandal and dating Steve’s ex-girlfriend, Celeste. The rivalry ended with John being kicked out of the fraternity house and losing to Steve in a carnival joust for Celeste.
8. Dylan & Valerie
Valerie Malone, this list could probably center on you entirely, but it’s your power of manipulation of Dylan McKay that stands out. In season five, the secretly not-so-nice girl Valerie, shows up from Buffalo after her father commits suicide, to live in the fairy tale-bliss of the Walsh residence. Valerie begins her pursuit of Dylan after finding Brenda’s mementos of their relationship in the garbage. The two begin a highly sexualized relationship, and Valerie discovers Dylan is skimming money from the Peach Pit After Dark. Val then catches Dylan sleeping with a prostitute as he sinks deeper into his drug-depressed world and his friends eventually stage an intervention. Dylan attends rehab, but escapes with Val’s help. He continues abusing drugs, and Valerie finally ends the relationship for good.
7. Dylan & Toni
From feuding families to tragedy, this Romeo & Juliet inspired romance had it all. In order to avenge his father Jack’s death, Dylan met Toni while planning action against her father, Anthony. The two developed romantic feelings for each other and Toni learned of her father’s supposed role in Jack’s death, which furthered her relationship with Dylan. When Anthony confronted the couple and demanded Toni get in the limo, Toni stood by her man and thought the conflict had been settled when her father drove away. Toni and Dylan married and made plans to leave Beverly Hills. Meanwhile, Anthony hired a hitman to take out Dylan. The hired help was blinded by an onslaught on rain and accidentally shot and killed Toni. At the funeral, Anthony offered Dylan his gun and told him to shoot him. In a “to be or not to be” moment, Dylan told him that the killing was over. He later learned that Anthony committed suicide after being haunted from his role in his daughter’s death.
6. Noah & Donna
Alright, so Noah was a babe, but his deterioration over the course of the series, lost him some major cred. Noah’s role as a love interest began in season eight when he tried to avoid Valerie’s advances because he had just recently lost his ex-girlfriend in a car accident…in which he was driving. The relationship with Val doesn’t prove successful and he moves on to Donna. As their relationship progresses, it comes out that the two can’t keep it in their pants, and they both sleep with other people. Noah drunkenly sleeps with a drugged up Val. He learns that his brother drugged her and the truth of his unfaithfulness is revealed. Donna also discovers that Noah was drunk when he had his accident with his ex and she breaks up with him. Noah then becomes a wild card, getting involved with drug dealers and winds up kidnapped. Luckily, Steve Saunders and Dylan McKay are there to save the day!
5. David & Donna
This high school romance began well enough, but Donna’s dedication to remain a virgin until marriage, and David’s longing to get laid and do drugs, ends with David sleeping with his record producer and Donna amicably ending it in season five. The two get back together in season seven though, just in time for Donna to give herself to David at their college graduation. When David asks Donna how he got so lucky, Donna says, “You waited.” Say what?? By season eight the two are forced to part again after David’s money troubles lead him to forge a check from Donna, and steal money from her. After faking a relationship with Val to make Donna jealous, he accepts that she has moved on with Noah. But not to worry, Noah and Donna call it quits so that the final episodes of the series could focus on David and Donna’s wedding! Hooray for the enduring power of true love!
4. Kelly & Matt
Matt was a pretty-boy with a lackluster, overly-serious personality. Matt and Kelly began dating, but their relationship became complicated when Dylan returned to the zip code, oh, and Lauren, Matt’s previously institutionalized, schizophrenic wife, pops up. Luckily, the schizo-meds are killing Lauren, and she has to return to NYC. This leaves Kelly and Matt free to get engaged, despite Dylan’s interference in their relationship. The fantasy world all comes crashing down when Matt sleeps with a girl while inebriated on LSD and surrogate-fathers his sister-in-law’s child. In the end, Matt goes to New York to be a father to his chid and Kelly admits that she still has feelings for Dylan. Go Team Kelly!
3. Kelly & Colin
After prostituting himself to maintain his lifestyle, artist Colin Robbins ended his secret sexual escapades with gallery owner Caludia Van Eyck, to be with his true love, Kelly Taylor. Kelly, of course, forgives Colin for his misdeeds, and his cocaine habit, which quickly becomes her addiction as well. After hitting rock bottom, she enters rehab and ends her relationship with Colin to recover. Colin then moves onto dating Valerie, before winding up in prison for drug charges. What a stud!
2. Donna & Ray
Oh, Ray Pruit! It wasn’t enough that you were poor, you had to be a woman-beater, womanizer too?! Donna met the insecure, underprivileged Ray, while he was doing carpentry work on campus at California University. Donna was so charmed that she left Griffin Stone for him! Turns out Donna’s pledge to wait for marriage was just too much for poor Ray to take, and he slept with Valerie Malone like everybody else. Ray started to reveal his abusive tendencies and Donna ended their relationship after being shoved down a set of stairs. Ray then stalked Donna and confronted her new boyfriend, football quarterback (obviously) Joe Bradley. The two fought and Ray’s arm was injured. He tried to sue, but dropped the charges and left town, only to be heard of again once he was a reformed successful musician.
1. Brandon & Emily Valentine
Who could forget Emily Valentine, the wild child that rides a motorcycle and magically sings just like Janis Joplin? After dating Dylan one night and Brandon the next, Emily and Brandon begin their dream-come-true romance. She convinces Brandon and friends to visit an underground club, where she does drugs and secretly spikes Brandon’s drink with U4EA (sounds legit). Shortly thereafter, Brandon breaks her heart, inspiring her crazy-stalker side to emerge in a series of prank phone calls and cake giving. After some intense interactions, Emily cracks and almost commits arson, dousing a homecoming float with gasoline. Luckily she is stopped by Brenda and Dylan, and is committed to an institution where Brandon visits her over Christmas at the end of season two. The saga continues when Emily returns in season four, after Brandon runs into her on the streets of San Francisco. Turns out that she’s completely overcome her emotional issues, duh, and after a romantic Thanksgiving weekend, the two declare their love for one another. Luckily for Brandon, she’s moving to France, and only returns in season five to make him cheat on his girlfriend, Kelly, and then to tell him that he should be with Kelly. What a winner!