Our Rating: ★★★½☆
L Factor: Major lesbian content – 8 episodes
Short Take: High school television drama
Alternate Titles:
Year: 1990
Duration: 60 min
Language: USA/English
MPAA: Not Rated
Starring: Shannen Doherty, Jennie Garth, Ian Ziering, Tori Spelling, Brian Austin Green, Joe E. Tata, Jason Priestley, Luke Perry, Gabrielle Carteris, Carol Potter, James Eckhouse, Tiffani Thiessen

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Beverly Hills 90210

One of the most successful tv shows in the 1990s was Fox’s “Beverly Hills, 90210,” which focused on the lives of a group of high school (and then college) friends from elite Beverly Hills, California. The show made Luke Perry, Jason Priestley, Tori Spelling, Shannen Doherty, Tiffani Thiessen, Brian Austin Green, Jennie Garth and Ian Ziering household names.

In a five episode arc in season five, lesbian characters appear. In season nine, Steve’s (Ziering) mother is revealed to be a lesbian.

513 Up in Flames 
Air date: November 30, 1994
In one of the storylines, Steve organizes a rave. David (Green) is supposed to post a notice online and accidentally puts it in a lesbian forum, rather than the college party forum. Most of the people at the rave end up being lesbians.

A fire starts, and Kelly (Garth) and Alison (Sara Melson) are trapped. Alison’s girlfriend Dana (Kristine Mejia) makes sure that the firefighters are aware that the two women are still inside.

514 Injustice for All 
Air date: December 14, 1994
Kelly and Alison end up in the burn unit while Brandon (Priestley), Donna (Spelling), David and Dana wait for word from the doctors. Kelly goes home quickly, but Alison is in really bad shape.

528 Girls on the Side 
Air date: May 3, 1995
Kelly has healed physically and has just hit it big with a cover on Seventeen Magazine, but mentally still has visions of being trapped in the fire. She runs into Dana, who is angry because Kelly has not visited Alison in the hospital. Dana is with Kate (Karen Rosin), her new girlfriend. Kate tells Kelly that Alison broke up with Dana because she is in love with Kelly (who is straight).

531 P.S. I Love You: Part 1 
Air date: May 24, 1995
Kelly picks Alison up from the hospital when she is released, and when Clare (Kathleen Robertson) and David see them having dinner, they assume that it is a date. Alison does tell Kelly that she is in love with her, but Kelly gently lets her know that she doesn’t feel the same way.

532 P.S. I Love You: Part 2 
Air date: May 24, 1995
All of the gang is in Palm Springs, and when David and Clare arrive, they tell Brandon that Kelly was with Alison the night before. Kelly and Brandon recently broke up, and when Kelly gets there, Brandon asks her if she dumped him for a woman. Kelly lets him know that Alison is just a friend and that she wants to keep working on their relationship.

908 I’m Back Because 
Air date: December 2, 1998
Steve’s mom Sandra (Christine Belford) is a soap opera star. When he hears the tabloid rumor that she is dating her co-star, a much younger man, Steve freaks out and confronts her. She tells him that he has no to right to judge her, but doesn’t directly deny the relationship. Later when she tells him the truth – that she is now a lesbian and dating a woman named Linda – he is simply speechless.

909 The Following Options 
Air date: December 9, 1998
When David asks Mrs. Sanders to be a guest on his radio show, she misinterprets his description of the show as “alternative” and tells him that she doesn’t want to be “a spokesperson for the gay lifestyle.” Her sexual orientation is a big surprise to David, and Steve hasn’t told any of his friends that she is gay. Sandra knows that Steve is ashamed of her.

Soon Sandra ends up on the cover of a tabloid, and when Steve gets a call by a reporter, he stresses that he is adopted and not her real son. This really hurts her, and she tells him that she did not choose to be gay, but Steve continues to be very angry.

When Sandra comes to tell Steve that she was fired from the show, she reassures him that the one thing in her life she was very certain of was her decision to adopt him as a baby. That seems to turn him around, and he tells her that he is proud of her. When she does David’s radio show, he introduces her as the mom we’d all love to have.

1005 The Loo-Ouch 
Air date: October 20, 1999
Steve’s girlfriend Janet (Lindsay Price) is pregnant, and they decide to get married. Her very conservative Japanese parents tell her that she is a disgrace, and Steve’s father Rush (Jed Allan) tries to get them to postpone the wedding. It’s only his mom Samantha who is supportive.

To prepare for the engagement party, Samantha is filming out of town, but her girlfriend Karen (Lisa Thornhill) comes by “to represent the healthy, loving side of the family.” This causes Janet to go into a panic attack, and at the hospital, Steve introduces Karen (who is much younger than his mother) as his adopted sister. Ouch!

He tries to explain that Janet’s parents are really uptight and asks her to just “run with it” for the party. She agrees, but when he asks his dad to pretend that Karen is his daughter as well, this is the first time that Rush has heard that his ex-wife is now a lesbian. The ruse is a disaster, and Steve ends up telling Janet’s parents that his mom is gay. They leave the party, telling her that she is throwing her life away with Steve.   (AB)