One of the best teen-targeted series of all time, “BEVERLY HILLS 90210” has finally made its way to dvd, courtesy of PARAMOUNT. When FOX first premiered the series in 1990, no one could have been aware of how big a hit the series was to become, lasting ten years and one of the few shows to maintain success after losing major characters.
“BEVERLY HILLS 90210: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON” offers all 21 episodes and the original pilot. The series’ original stars, Jason Priestly and Shannon Doherty, play paternal twins, Brandon and Brenda Walsh. After moving from Minneapolis to Beverly Hills, they and tv audiences get a surprising new look at the goings on in American high school, after hours diners, and more, for the wealthy. Of course, “BEVERLY HILLS 90210” also attempts to deal with big issues, albeit in an often syrupy, annoying kind of way. Wait till future seasons wherein we find a young Jessica Alba playing an unwed, teenage mother, with second thoughts about giving up her child, when finding a gay couple wants to adopt!
PARAMOUNT has provided the correct full-frame aspect ratio for this release. The image varies from excellent to mediocre within each episode. For some reason, there are an inordinate amount of artifacts that keep resurfacing. It seems likely that the compression has been severe here. Colors also vary in quality, from looking dead on perfect, to dull! It also appears the source material has defects, with some scenes suffering from scratches and more. Not one of PARAMOUNT’S better presentations!
PARAMOUNT has provided a Dolby Digital Stereo mix. The presentation is solid, and although center channel driven, fidelity and separation are impressive throughout. Dialogue is always intelligible and free from distortion.
PARAMOUNT has included some fine extras for this release. The commentaries are great, although too few. “MEET THE CLASS OF WEST BEVERLY HIGH” is a great segment, offering info about main characters.