On a very special 90210

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The following 90210 dialogue made me laugh out loud:

Random Frat Dude: Hey Sanders, before we play golf, I’ve got a little present for you…

Steve Sanders: Oh?

RFD: Check it out.

SS: Ah, you know what? I never really got into pot. But go right ahead, I’ve always been more of a beer guy.

RFD: Oh come on, Sanders, believe me. Golf is an impossible combination of concentration and relaxation–

SS: Mrnf.

RFD: Pot is the ultimate bridge, Sanders, come on.

SS: All right, I’ll try anything once.

RFD: There you go! And if you like, I’ll give you some for later, you know, a little Valentine’s gift for you and Claire…

SS: Oh yeah?

RFD: Oh yeah! There’s only one thing that goes better with pot than golf and that’s SEX my friend!

SS: Really?

RFD: Fssyeah.

SS: Well in that case, roll me a big fat joint!

90s tv wrote some checks reality failed to cover.  First off, the only thing that goes better with pot than golf is raw cookie dough dunked in nutella, duh. Second, although I haven’t finished watching this episode (and I’ll be happy to correct myself if I turn out to be wrong) I’m pretty sure we’re gearing up for another one of those Steve Sanders Makes A Bad Decision That Could Cost Him His Degree– Or His Life! episodes. It seems so antiquated already that people used to make such a big deal out of pot, especially in comparison to drinking.

The same year (1997), 7th Heaven ran an episode about the dangers of The Reefer Stick in which Annie, the mother, admits to having smoked pot once and naturally it ended with a terrible car accident and a dead teen. The revelation that she once smoked pot causes a rift in her marriage to the Reverend Camden (although it’s healed by the end of the episode). Seasons later Simon runs down a kid on a bike, but it’s okay, because the kid had been smoking pot (and therefore deserved to die).  But say what you will about Sev Heav, it also came down hard on drinking.  Mary Camden drank half a beer once and got kicked of high school and was then forced to move to Buffalo.  On 90210, the gang drinks to actual excess with no consequences all the time.

Nowadays, I feel like the booze and the pot are treated similarly on most tv shows. On The OC when Seth starts smoking pot it affects his grades and his girlfriend Summer is like, “Whatever, I get it, we all went through that phase freshman year while you were busy being a nerd, but you’ll want to shape up.” Which seems like a refreshingly realistic reaction.  That 70s Show obviously normalized the pot circle in the basement for the prime time audience and seemed result in the usual array of teens: Dumb Kelso, Smart Eric and Donna, crafty Hyde. And on last week’s Gossip Girl, lovable stoner Nate said to no fanfare that he knows the best dealer at NYU.

The most obvious way tv failed to prepare us for reality, is that there is a sad lack of congenial, overinterested in your sex life drug dealers who want to give you pot for free.

It’s a business, people!  There’s no such thing as Mary Jane happy hour. Although that does kind of seem like a good idea for any place in the business of vending snacks…

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One Response to “On a very special 90210”

  1. 9021Oh Honey, No « Booze. TV. Food. How Do *You* Spend Friday Nights? Says:

    […] wanted to wrap up one other thing from season seven, the drug issue. Pot is an immediate gateway drug, as one episode after he first smokes it, Steve Sanders is about […]

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