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S03.E28: Something In The Air

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Donna Martin Masturbates!

 

This was the episode where when you were watching it back in the day, you cheered on Brandon and Co.

 

Watching it today, you wish Ephardt had crushed Brandon and Co., and let Donna's punishment stand.

Edited by AndySmith
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This is such a dumb plot. First of all making someone repeat an entire grade for getting drunk is crazy.

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Donna's not being scapegoated, Brayface. She violated school policy. DEAL WITH IT oh wait I guess you don't have to because you're... I don't even. I'm 43 now and I am 100% Team Ephardt.

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Luke Perry looks so freaking old in this episode; even more so than usual.  How did I never notice this when I was younger?

 

Though, to be fair, I never noticed that Brandon was 3 feet tall when I was younger, so maybe I was just an unobservant child.

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To be fair I never noticed how much braying Brandon did back then. I just thought he was passionate about stuff. I look forward to these Mute Point pictorials pointing out what a self righteous jackass he was. I just didn't see it...I. Just. Didn't. See. It.

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To be fair I never noticed how much braying Brandon did back then. I just thought he was passionate about stuff. I look forward to these Mute Point pictorials pointing out what a self righteous jackass he was. I just didn't see it...I. Just. Didn't. See. It.

I'm guilty of this too.  I had SUCH a crush on Brandon back when I first watched this, and now I truly question my younger self's taste.  It does, sadly, explain a lot of my dating choices in high school though...

Edited by Princess Sparkle
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Is it just me, or does $22,500 a week not sound like very much for a main character on a highly rated TV show? I mean, the only reference I have is the current stars of Supernatural, who make $180,000 a week on the CW and get much lower ratings. Is inflation really that bad since the '90s or were the Bev Niners underpaid?

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Is it just me, or does $22,500 a week not sound like very much for a main character on a highly rated TV show? I mean, the only reference I have is the current stars of Supernatural, who make $180,000 a week on the CW and get much lower ratings. Is inflation really that bad since the '90s or were the Bev Niners underpaid?

They might have been slightly underpaid (the cast of Friends also made $22,500 when the show debuted), but I think that was decently par for the course at the time.  I feel like the phenomenon of tv actors getting extremely high salaries is something that didn't happen until the latter part of the 90s, and even then, for shows with smaller casts and much higher ratings than 90210 - according to Wikipedia, the show was never higher than 41 in the ratings.   

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It's really hard to look at that picture of Brenda and not think of that incredibly mean chapter about her looks in the I Hate Brenda book. I mean, I love Shannen Doherty until the end of time, but she almost looks like she's had a stroke there.

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The idea that all of these people threw themselves on the mat for this one ditzy blonde who broke the law and didn't know her limit is ridiculous. I'd have been like, "Bitch should've got drunk after the prom like I did."

Edited by marceline
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I had stopped watching by this point, so whenever I heard people refer to the whole Donna Martin Graduates Thing, I always thought it had something to do with her learning disability, and, like, not having met all the requirements to graduate because of it or something. That would have been dumb. This is even dumberer.

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Granted, there is a certain delicious cheesiness to this episode, as ridiculous as it is. It does help to have a bottle of wine nearby though to help wash it all down.

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There was a Donna Martin Graduates joke in the Rifftrax Live Sharknado 2 show, and I tweeted that I liked it, and the writer tweeted back that apparently I was the only one who even got it, and the responses were all either "I got it but I'm female" or "my wife/girlfriend got it and liked it." So I guess male nerds didn't watch 90210? Or at least, won't admit to it.

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In year 12 we decided to protest some rule that had offended us, so of course we had a walkout and chanted 'Donna Martin graduates!'. Sadly this was not effective.

Even as we were smuggly entitled enough to complain about no longer being able to leave campus at lunch time, we still knew that Donna didn't deserve to get off after blatantly breaking an explicit rule (and law).

Edited by helent
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One thing I noticed this time around was the musical theater-like entre into the DMG chant. In conversation, there is a series of people saying "Donna Martin graduates" then the transition into one of the rounds of protest chanting. SOOOO subtle, show!

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I see everyone's points, but this episode gets me every time. I want Donna to graduate and I cheer on those chanting teens! I'm a sucker for a climactic courtroom (or boardroom) scene.

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This was the episode where when you were watching it back in the day, you cheered on Brandon and Co.

 

Watching it today, you wish Ephardt had crushed Brandon and Co., and let Donna's punishment stand.

 

So true! I was ready to be indignant along with the gang (as I was at 13), and then when Brandon starts going off like this is his generation's Vietnam, I was like, "??!?!?" If the walkout had been over the uniforms (instead of tacking that on), it would have had some grounds for such righteousness (freedom of expression blah blah), but, what...they're trampling on your right to break a (legally backed) rule? Ok? I mean, were I Donna, I'd also be pissed at being the only one caught when everyone's guilty, but that's not exactly a social justice cause!

 

Much appreesh to Sarah and Tara's outrage! It was so perfect.

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I almost hate to admit this but since I was in my late 20's at the time this episode aired and this was back when I still had to wear suits to work I think I had the same jackets Cindy and Felice were sporting. Jackie not so much.

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I legit cannot imagine that I, as a teen, would have given a pair of rat's patoots if some popular rich kid in my class couldn't graduate because she was blasted at the prom. NOT MY PROBLEM, GIRLIE.

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This episode definitely fills me with rage, it is so great. I love how Brandon was going on about Donna's "unblemished record" and how she was so perfect, as if season 1 when she was regularly throwing boozy parties at her house and smoking cigs in the parking lot after flunking the SATs never happened. 

 

On one hand, I get Donna's "I didn't mean to" argument. It sure didn't seem like anyone was trying to get hammered at Mel's (except maybe Steve, heh). It's just that she weighs two pounds and didn't eat. Then again, her friends not noticing that she was gulping down champs and slurring her words waaaaay before things got out of control is pretty shitty. Looking at you, David.

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I don't understand why all these disciplinary hearings are so public. Did student privacy laws not exist at the time? Why should community input have any bearing at all on the consequences of an individual student (even someone so supposedly perfect and beloved as Donna) breaking a school rule AND the law? And why is formal dress required at this hearing? I'm so confused.

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So this didn't occurs to me until yesterday, but what was Mel going to say that could help Donna? " I served her champagne and she knowingly drank it and then went to prom."? How does this help her?

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So this didn't occurs to me until yesterday, but what was Mel going to say that could help Donna? " I served her champagne and she knowingly drank it and then went to prom."? How does this help her?

 

I was thinking maybe he would take the blame, and suggest that while she did drink, it was at his direction. 

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When Brandon lifts his hand for silence I not only want to punch him a million times, I want to punch Jim and Cindy for creating him (and I like Cindy!). I want to punch mysterious maybe pinko Grandpa. I want to punch his grandmother whose address he was going to use for his University of Minnesota application. I want to punch his aunt who died of breast cancer. I want to punch his cousin in the wheelchair. I want to punch any family member he has or previously had all the way back to the dawn of man. Shut up Brandon!

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I was completely on Team Donna when this episode first aired, but in my defence I'm Australian so our legal drinking age is 18 and I'm pretty sure in 1993 alcohol was actually served AT our school's Year 12 Formal (prom-equivalent). By the time I graduated in 97 they'd stopped doing that but I remember it was kind of a big deal when they did. Nobody marched on school board meetings but that's because we were nerds. And it didn't stop drinking at the after-party... or the before-party... or the unofficial-but-widely-advertised champagne breakfast we had in the park across from the school on graduation day THAT SOME TEACHERS ATTENDED. So of course a student being punished in any way for being drunk at prom was scandalous and not fair and yes, totally equivalent to the Vietnam War. 

 

Now, I think it's completely ridiculous. Shut up, Brandon. All these guys are totally and completely insufferable. 
 

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I know Dylan gets a lot of hate for his Sydney Opera Hair at this point but I have to say I prefer it to what Brandon and David are sporting in these visual aids. Dylan's is big but it's big in a way that suggests he towel-dried it and then ran some product through it, not that he spent half an hour blowdrying it into a shiny, perfectly-shaped wave perched on top of his forehead.

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Oh no, you totally skipped over the beginning part of the scene in Gil's classroom when the bell rings, Brandon stands up and brays that "we're walking out!" and Gil's total boner as he watches his precious Brandon leave! No GIF? Really??

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Gil's total boner as he watches his precious Brandon leave!

 

I always wondered who got off on living vicariously through Brandon more, Gil or Jim.

 

Of course, Gil's reaction may have been different had Andrea or Brenda been the one to initiate the walkout.

Edited by AndySmith

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I always wondered who got off on living vicariously through Brandon more, Gil or Jim.

Of course, Gil's reaction may have been different had Andrea or Brenda been the one to initiate the walkout.

Andrea or Brenda lead? But they're girls. That's crazy talk! You had too much champagne at Mel's bachelor boat. Go have some coffee you nut-job.

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Maybe I am the most liberal  person ever but I don't see her actions as a big deal.  It was 2 glasses of champagne on a celebratory night, she wasn't a boozy brawler for god's sake.  But the gang sort of overreacted as well.

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OK, so I was never clear then, or now, if by "not graduating" they meant, unable to go to the ceremony or any school event, which is what she tells Brenda on the phone, or ACTUALLY not graduating and having to repeat her senior year.

The former, which is what I believe it had to be, sounds like a very fair punishment for the crime. The latter is probably not even possible. If she'd completed the required course credits and testing, she was a graduate already, she just hadn't had the ceremony. They couldn't really go back and "undo" her school year. They could, perhaps, withhold her physical diploma -- which our school threatened to do for anyone not returning their rented cap and gown; which is why we were handed an empty folder when we formally crossed the stage and didn't get the insert until later -- but she would still be a high school graduate. You don't need a physical diploma for ANYTHING. I don't think I've ever even opened mine. College acceptances, which would already have been done at this point, are based on final transcripts, which the school sends automatically, or upon request, and those would show she'd completed all the course work, testing, etc.

My point is that EVEN AT THE TIME, when I was a stupid teenager, I didn't get what the BFD was. Don't go to the ceremony. Who cares. My friend and I got a flat tire and were late to the rehearsal and they threatened to, "not let us walk." No one threw a protest march in our defense -- actually they were pissed, because they all had to wait for us, which I totally get -- but I can tell you I wasn't overly distressed at the threat.

Oh and, the last we heard at prom was Teasley saying, "I'll take it from here," and then Donna's mom says she could "barely walk to the car," ... Which was it? I mean, I'm guessing Mrs. Teasley didn't mean, "I'll help you carry her." In any logical world that would have meant, "I'll call her parents and wait with her till they get her," so her parents would totally have SEEN the state she was in, not just heard about it from Teasley.

And every time you played a clip with Tori saying "Daddy" I got a major case of the creeps. You just KNOW that's the tone she used on Aaron in real life. And it's gross either fictionally or in reality for an 18-year-old young woman to say. 

How is stupid Gil still working at this school? The shady business with Dead Scott's sister, even if it was false, brought out the stuff with the OTHER girl and there's no way that contract would have been renewed, especially coupled with his buddy-buddy student attitude DESPITE TWICE BEING ACCUSED. I can't with this moron who, while technically probably the same age as Jason Priestly, is SUPPOSED to be the reasonable adult. Telling students to ditch finals to march in favor of someone who did EXACTLY what she's accused of? Go jump in a lake, Gil!

Also, I swear in that Gil clip Brandon says they're the "class of '92" when everywhere else it's '93. Of course it makes sense he can't remember because I was a freshman when this show started, and they were supposed to be juniors, and I was also the class of '93 so ...

What sort of dumb school has prom and THEN finals? It's prom one weekend, graduation the next, with three days in between of seniors doing fuck-all, having random ceremonies and rehearsals, and then getting out early. You know, just generally being the obnoxious twats that 17 and 18-year-olds tend to be. Trying to have them do real work that close to the finish line is a recipe for disaster in every sense.

Stupid show, making me analyze it far more than any of its writers ever did.

Edited by STOPSHOUTING
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On April 15, 2016 at 9:33 AM, Tooch said:

This episode definitely fills me with rage, it is so great. I love how Brandon was going on about Donna's "unblemished record" and how she was so perfect, as if season 1 when she was regularly throwing boozy parties at her house and smoking cigs in the parking lot after flunking the SATs never happened. 

 

On one hand, I get Donna's "I didn't mean to" argument. It sure didn't seem like anyone was trying to get hammered at Mel's (except maybe Steve, heh). It's just that she weighs two pounds and didn't eat. Then again, her friends not noticing that she was gulping down champs and slurring her words waaaaay before things got out of control is pretty shitty. Looking at you, David.

First time post, and I just have to say I agree with this.  Not only because of Donna having those boozy parties that the writers conveniently forgot about, but also because the idea that because she is SO popular and SO nice, she should be exempt from facing the consequences of her actions.  Also, the idea that she is such a special snowflake in the West Bev student body that she should be considered above reproach is even more offensive than the breaking of the rule itself.  I mean, if she were just some West Bev rando, the gang wouldn't have even bothered with the protest.  But OMG  IT'S DONNA, THE INJUSTICE OF IT ALL BECAUSE SHE IS SUCH A NICE PERSON AND LOVES THE SCHOOL SO MUCH.  If anything, the fact that Teasley was willing to nail her for it showed how even handed they were with the rule enforcement, and that should be seen as a good thing, and not a failing of the rule.  Fucking Brandon.

Edited by Shfree
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On ‎4‎/‎15‎/‎2016 at 3:33 PM, Onfire444 said:

In today's world, Mel would have gotten all the blame for giving alcohol to a minor

Actually, while he shouldn't get all the blame, he should have bore some legal responsibility for providing minors with alcohol.  It is illegal after all.

 

On ‎5‎/‎6‎/‎2016 at 9:37 AM, STOPSHOUTING said:

OK, so I was never clear then, or now, if by "not graduating" they meant, unable to go to the ceremony or any school event, which is what she tells Brenda on the phone, or ACTUALLY not graduating and having to repeat her senior year.

If you remember, they walked out on finals to stage the protest. Donna was suspended so she couldn't take her finals. Without taking her finals, she would have received incompletes on all her classes. I think she was going to be able to make that up over summer school, though. 

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