Monday’s “9021OMG” podcast covered “Spring Training.”
“Spring Training” is the 20th episode of “Beverly Hills, 90210.” The main storyline focuses on Brandon (Jason Priestley) and Steve (Ian Ziering) coaching a Little League team. The pals clash as Brandon has no patience for the spoiled little kids on the team and ends up preferring to help an underprivileged team coached by Nat (Joe E. Tata).
The second storyline involves Brenda (Shannen Doherty) rescuing a stray dog, whom she names Wally. If I’m recalling correctly, Kelly (Jennie Garth) and Donna (Tori Spelling) have just one scene in the episode, when they meet Wally, so that made me especially curious to hear what Jennie and Tori would have to say about this hour. I was also interested for their take because it comes only days after this same episode was covered on the “Beverly Hills 90210 Show” podcast, with executive producer and “Spring Training” writer Charles Rosin even doing a watch-along for Patreon subscribers.
So, without further delay…
Tori kicked things off by calling Jennie and Sisanie her “two favorite girlies.” Jennie commented on how they looked, but of course, we couldn’t see them. Tori gushed about missing them and said it was “hard” going through the week without them because “so much” had happened. Sisanie then said Tori came up on her morning show with Ryan Seacrest. Tori and Jennie both got nervous, but Sisanie then said she was referring to Tori’s appearance on “Overserved with Lisa Vanderpump” and Tori relayed the premise of the show and how much they drank. Tori said she was put in an “awkward position” when she was asked which celebrity she should’ve slept with and explained how she said Ryan because he could’ve made her an empire like he did with the Kardashians. Sisanie and Jennie weren’t buying that logic. Tori then suggested she could’ve been a “stay at home mom” and “pumped out Ryan’s babies,” before declaring, “I’m making this worse.” Yep, Tori has a tendency to do that. (See tomorrow’s “Teen Drama Links” for the low-down on her April Fool’s Day fail.) Sisanie even predicted, “This is going to be the follow-up, pick-up story.” I mean, isn’t that why you brought it up? To keep milking it?
Jennie called Ryan “handsome.” Sisanie shared Ryan’s surprised reaction to Tori’s original comments. Tori then shared how they would hang out at events before he was on “Beverly Hills, 90210” and said Ryan gave her his number during one of those hangouts. Sisanie was shocked at this and Tori assumed he didn’t remember. Tori said she didn’t call him because she was “obsessing over some stupid actor-boy at the time” and claimed Ryan then contacted her agent, saying he wanted to take her out. Sisanie: “There’s so many legs to this story.” Tori: “There is. I stand by this.” Sisanie suggested perhaps Ryan does remember all this but just didn’t want to share it on the radio. Well, now Tori shared it on a podcast for him. Jennie quipped she fell asleep, LOL. Tori then listed the reasons why she and Ryan would’ve worked out, but then said, “I think he liked Jason Priestley more than me.” Somebody gasped and she added, “In a fan way.” Awkward! Tori said Ryan keeps getting more handsome and Jennie said he keeps getting richer. Jennie also thought Ryan was more evidence of “9021-oracle” because Ryan played a host on the show and then went on to become one of the biggest television hosts. Tori: “We gotta get that copyrighted. ‘9021-oracle.’ You just came up with our next business.” That’s always where her head is at — exploiting the brand for her own economic purposes. Jennie then dissed Tori again by saying she fell asleep in the middle of her story — “maybe because I heard it before.”
Nearly 10 minutes in, Jennie declared, “We should talk about the show maybe.” Tori interrupted to say, “Wait! Could we talk first about Ryan Seacrest and Jason Priestley?” Sisanie then recounted that story, about Jason taking more than a year to respond to Ryan’s DM, which didn’t interest Jennie either. Tori said Jason isn’t good with social media and Jennie said he has “big thumbs so it makes it hard for him to do the texting.” Tori: “I’m not gonna say a word after that.” Jennie said she’s the “worst” with her DMs and Tori said how they can get “hundreds” of them. This turned into a discussion about fan mail, and Tori said how during the show’s time, they had “designated fan club people” who would go through the fan mail and answer it, though they would supposedly sign it themselves. Tori and Jennie then lamented that fan mail is coming directly to their homes now and their addresses are out there for “stalkers.” Apparently some of the mail came from prison, then and now. Tori said she and Jennie jointly had a “fanker” — fan stalker — back in the day, who claimed he was married to one of them and the other was his girlfriend. Upon release, he ended up in the backyard of someone’s home in Beverly Hills looking for them. Tori: “He promptly went back to jail.” Jennie and Tori argued over who would’ve been the “girlfriend.” Tori: “We could’ve actually been sisters because we could’ve ended up sister wives.”
Jennie: “Are you done now? Should we talk about the show?” Jennie gave the episode title and air date. Tori read the synopsis, which was straight from IMDb again. And then they AGAIN made the mistake of saying the episode was written by “Darren Star and Charles Rosin” when it was actually just written by Charles. They can’t even read credits and copy / paste correctly. Pathetic. Jennie: “Now, I heard that this was a fill-in episode, like a last-minute script they had to write really quickly and just get in.” Gee, wonder where you found that out? Could it have been from Charles literally saying that on the “Beverly Hills 90210 Show” podcast just last week? Tori said she didn’t know that about this episode and Jennie said she didn’t either until she “read that.” Jennie said the episode “felt like a different show” and like a “comedy.” She did not like the music, which she and Sisanie compared to “The Brady Bunch.” Jennie: “It was not a juicy episode whatsoever. And, P.S., Kelly and Donna were not in it enough, I just want to say.” She argued they should’ve been at the baseball game.
Jennie didn’t like Brenda calling Wally a “puppy” when he was a “full-grown freakin’ giant dog.” Tori said it reminded her of Benji, Jennie said it reminded her of “The Brady Bunch,” and Sisanie said it reminded her of the “Married with Children” dog. Jennie wanted to give the dog a bath. Tori said Jennie has a “hidden talent” as a dog groomer. Jennie said Tori’s dog Musso smelled so bad one day, she (Jennie) had to bathe it. Jennie was apparently concerned about Musso’s pubic hairs, though Tori was “concerned [Jennie] was going to trim his wiener off.” Jennie: “Let’s stop talking about this because it’s really gross.” Jennie thought Shannen was “really cute” in the episode and could tell she was “almost more comfortable doing scenes with this dog than other actors.” They debated why Brenda offered the dog bologna of all things. Sisanie: “Do they still sell bologna?” Wow, Sisanie. Just wow.
Jennie: “This episode just missed the mark on so many levels. But it was cute. I enjoyed it. It was kind of like watching a different show, though, you know, the whole baseball scenes and everything.” Jennie mocked Steve’s cropped tank top, though Sisanie said she would “wear that outfit now.” Tori called Steve’s tight outfits “pornographic almost.” Jennie said it was the same for Dylan and wondered if coaches really have to wear the outfits like the players do. They thought Brandon looked “normal,” though. Tori on Ian: “I feel like someone put him in charge of wardrobe for that episode and he ran with it.” Jennie “thoroughly enjoyed making fun of all the baseball” stuff and called that the “highlight of the episode for me.” Tori wondered if they wore “jock straps” or “cups.” Jennie thought they did.
Jennie: “Did you guys fall instantly in love with Crawford like I did? The little red-headed booger-picker?” Tori wondered why they didn’t actually show him picking his nose because she “wanted to see it” and questioned whether it “wasn’t allowed to be shown.” Jennie said “the whole thing was weird” with the fancy mom providing fancy food. Sisanie questioned whether that actually happens and Tori compared it to a sitcom, asking, “Where was the laugh track?” Well, if they were familiar with what else Charles had to say about this episode, they’d know that that DOES happen and he took it from his own real-life experience. Jennie said there were “a lot of weird comedy moments” and said her husband even asked, “Is the show a comedy now?” But he loved the episode because he used to play baseball, though he too apparently made fun of the outfits and “all the baseballness of it.” Sisanie then shared how the episode was written in one weekend because the network passed on a story about Brandon meeting a homeless veteran. Again: GEE, I WONDER WHERE YOU FOUND THAT OUT, SISANIE?! Sisanie wondered why the proposed episode with the veteran was passed on and Tori exclaimed, “That sounds good! I want to see that!” Jennie: “We’d have to ask Charles Rosin.” Tori: “We should.” None of them realized the show eventually did do the homeless veteran storyline in season 3.
Jennie called Jim “cranky-pants.” Tori brought up his body hair and they apparently looked at a picture of James Eckhouse’s hairy body and laughed about it. Tori made an off-color joke (does she know any other kind?) about hair falling off when clothing rubs against it but said that doesn’t work with her underwear. They then discussed how men can’t tolerate pain like women do. They thought Jim was “mean” and liked when Cindy snapped and shut Jim down. Jennie said they have a new dog that her husband doesn’t want but the dog is obsessed with him. Sisanie asked who picks up the poop and said she herself doesn’t. Jennie started to talk about Tori and Tori told her, “You’re a dick,” and Sisanie realized she “struck a nerve.” Jennie then recounted how when they lived together for “BH90210,” they had wee wee pads but Musso wouldn’t use them and instead soaked the residence’s big rug. Tori: “I feel like we’ve told this tory.” Jennie: “I feel like we have.” Sisanie: “I’ve never heard it.” Nope, I’m 99 percent sure you have, Sis, and this story was previously shared on this very podcast. Now we all got to hear it again. It’s about 30 minutes in at this point and I doubt the episode discussion has taken even 15 of those minutes. Tori and Jennie eventually confirmed that neither of them pick up poop. Tori said Dean won’t even do it anymore either and that her kids ignore it as well. Sisanie: “I think we should take a break.” Tori: “On that note.” Sisanie: “I think we should take a poop break.”
After the break, Jennie asked Tori if there was “meat sauce” put on her leg to get the dog to lick it in the episode. (My dog licks my legs all day long. No meat sauce here.) They marveled over Kelly’s “very Fourth of July” outfit before Sisanie wondered what the “purpose” was of having the dog lick Donna’s leg. She thought it was going to be relevant to the storyline. Tori said that if it was a multi-camera sitcom, that’s where the laugh track would’ve been. Jennie: “It was weird. What a weird episode.” On a positive note, Jennie said she “felt a little bit in love” with Nat “for the first time.” Tori was “crushing on him too.” They enjoyed seeing him have a scene beyond the Peach Pit usual and thought he was old-school handsome. Jennie: “We would have never thought that then, obviously, but he was attractive.” Tori speculated that at the time, Joe E. Tata wasn’t much older than they are now today. Sisanie did the math and said he would’ve been 54 then. Jennie brought up Brandon “chewing gum at all times.” They agreed he was a “good” coach and leader. Tori: “It was Bad News Bears, you guys. I’m sorry. I wonder who thought of this.”
Tori brought up the girl player, whom Jennie thought was named Alexis or Alexa while Tori thought the name was Lexi. Superfan Sisanie corrected them — it was Avery, which Jennie and Tori should’ve remembered since it’s the name of Charles’ son (who was born while this episode was in production). Anyway, they liked the girl twist, but Tori thought it was copying Bad News Bears. Sisanie, in defense of the episode: “One weekend, ladies! They had one weekend to pull something out of their butts!” Jennie said the episode was “wrapped up so sweet and tidy with a red bow.” Sisanie wanted to know if it’s hard to act with dogs and asked if they’ve done many shows or movies with dogs. Apparently Superfan Sisanie didn’t remember Donna has a pretty big dog storyline in season 4 and neither did Tori. Jennie said she did a movie where the dog was the star and she was the co-star and it was “great.” Tori said Musso was on “BH90210” in scenes with Shannen and had a “handler.” Jennie: “And that day he actually peed outside, which was exciting for me.” Tori brought up Steve’s mispronunciation of Andrea’s last name and said she liked seeing her and Brenda hanging out, but Jennie called it “very weird” that they were “paired together.” Jennie: “Maybe we weren’t around that week. It just felt like Kelly and Donna were supposed to be there… It just felt weird to me.” Sisanie speculated that Andrea, Kelly, and Donna were fit into the episode with “really quick scenes.” Jennie called it “very disjointed” while Tori said it was “really bizarre.”
Jennie: “Well, I hope we didn’t ruin it for anyone. I hope the people that enjoyed that episode — like, maybe somebody out there is like, ‘Oh my god! These girls. That was my favorite episode ever!’” Tori asked listeners to tell them if it is in fact their “favorite episode ever.” Jennie wants to know if fans liked it or if it “felt weird.” Jennie: “Should we talk about something other than the episode since…” Sisanie: “There’s fashion. There’s lines from the episode. Why don’t we take a break and come back with those?” This was barely 42 minutes in.
After the break, Jennie asked for favorite fashion moments, and they noted how they already talked about Steve’s outfits and Kelly’s one outfit. Jennie said she wants one of the Pitts shirts and she and Tori said they should bring them back. (They better hurry — the “Beverly Hills 90210 Show” discussed doing the same…) Jennie liked the exchange where Brandon asked why it was “Pitts” with two Ts and Nat said he was from Pittsburgh. Again they discussed the fancy mom and whether that was “Beverly Hills” or not. Jennie thought it was definitely based in real life while Tori didn’t, but they both thought the fancy food was off-base. Tori then shared a story about being a “snack mom” four years ago and going to the market with Ian (why Ian? Who knows?) and getting basic food like granola. They next discussed the shirt Steve was wearing at the Walsh house and none of them were sure what the design was intended to be.
As for lines, Jennie liked Brandon calling Wally “the dumbest dog in the history of dogdom.” But then she said, “There weren’t even that many standout like zingers, great lines or anything in this. Not to rip it even further.” Sisanie: “I think it’s fine to rip it! I think it’s fine to say it wasn’t a favorite episode because there’s so many. Can’t knock every one out of the ballpark, right?” Jennie did “appreciate all of the exterior Walsh house scenes” in the episode and said how she “always loved shooting at that house in Altadena.” Jennie said she lives “like 10 minutes” from Casa Walsh today. Superfan Sisanie: “Does it still look the same?” Sigh. Sisanie liked when Brenda and Brandon simultaneously said, “Aw, poor daddy,” but called it “so weird” and “misplaced, out of place for the show.” Jennie said that part “creeped” her out. They got back on the topic of bologna and how Tori would go to school with liverwurst for lunch and her big lunches were “very popular.” She didn’t understand, though, why her rich family was eating liverwurst.
Jennie: “Do we have any questions from our fans, our favorite people ever, our listeners?” The first question from a fan named Nicole was, “Does the cast get to meet guest stars prior to shooting? Did either Tori or Jennie know of Matthew Perry, for example, before his episode?” Tori said “not typically unless it was an arc for our characters and we had to read with them. Like a chemistry thing.” Jennie called it “scary” when someone would come to the makeup trailer and they’d meet for the first time, especially if it was a love interest. She and Tori both called it the “worst” when someone would be introduced to them before their hair and makeup was done. Tori went as far as calling it “mortifying.”
Sisanie then asked if there was ever a time they didn’t want someone to guest star because they had “previous beef with them.” Tori said they weren’t told in advance and castings weren’t run by them and they were moving so “fast” anyway to get all the episodes shot that they didn’t have time for such discussions. Jennie admitted she doesn’t watch much TV these days and wanted to know what season lengths are nowadays and if they still do double-ups. I feel like as an actress, especially one who was working on a TV show just two years ago, you should know how many episodes are typical these days and that the 32 they used to do would be considered pure insanity today. Tori actually cracked with an attitude, “Oh, like ‘BH90210’? Six!” She then mumbled that she’s “not bitter.” Sisanie said it’s “usually” 10 for streaming shows. Jennie wanted to know about network TV, though: “Is it still as much as we did?” I guess she isn’t pursuing any network TV gigs these days, otherwise she would know. Tori said they did as many as 34 a season for “Beverly Hills, 90210,” which isn’t true. They maxed out at 32, which, of course, is still a huge amount.
Jennie: “We’re coming up on the end of season 1! I’m so excited that we got to do this show and that we got to watch all of season 1 again because I never would’ve sat down and done that, but I’m really looking forward to season 2. I gotta be honest. I want to see what happens and how it changes.” Tori reminded them they still have another fan question to answer. Listener Joel asked, “I love that you talk about the original eight as family. Did anyone else that eventually became the main cast connect with you all in the same way? Would we have seen anyone else on ‘BH90210’? Will we ever get an answer on who was stalking the cast / sending the dolls?” An awkward question to me since Tiffani and Jennie were definitely like family for a time… until they weren’t. And an annoying question because it invites Tori to go on and on about “BH90210” for the millionth time. Indeed, she said she was just thinking about the show “last night” and called it a “very chaotic thing” and said all the scripts weren’t done by the time they had to go to Canada to film the show. Jennie brought up how some of the writers quit. Not sure that’s something you want to point out, Jen. Tori: “Whatever you read, you guys. We had nothing to do with that. We didn’t, though. That’s the crazy part. Ugh, whatever.”
Tori recalled when Jennie first read the script with the dolls and said they liked the dramatic direction “but then it never went anywhere.” Jennie: “We had some troubles. We had some writing troubles.” Tori said the writers did the doll angle because the cast did have Barbie dolls of themselves back in the day. Jennie pointed out that not everyone got a doll back then “and that was a big issue.” Tori said it’s a “running joke” how Ian didn’t get a Steve doll and they made him one when they got the cast back together and were pitching the show. (We all saw the eventual doll-based promo they released.) Superfan Sisanie wanted to know who didn’t get a doll back in the day. Tori confirmed Ian was “bothered” by not getting one and said one day someone brought him an S&M doll from a sex shop. Fast-forward to filming “BH90210,” they were dismayed they “couldn’t get the rights to use our own dolls” on the show. They each then had to pose for pictures for dolls to be made and they came out looking nothing like them. Jennie: “So, to answer your question, Joel, we didn’t even know who the stalker was who was sending the dolls.” So much for Jennie, Tori, and the rest of them being executive producers on “BH90210,” as the credits said. As EPs, you would certainly know where the storylines were going. I feel like, though, they go back and forth between trying to take credit for the show and all that it was and distancing themselves from the choices made. It’s hard to have it both ways.
As for being close with other cast members, Tori said they did “become very close” with other regulars and named Lindsay as an example. Jennie said she likes going back and looking at the cast photos for each season to see who was involved each year. Jennie: “Lindsay was a great addition for sure. We had Tiffani — was very well — we were all —” Tori: “Friends with her. So Lindsay, Tiffani, Kathleen.” Jennie: “And then all the guys.” Jennie said you become “close” when you work together like that so “a lot of people ended up fitting that bill of being friends / family for a while.” Tori: “I feel like we became friends with almost everyone who stayed multiple episodes just because we were all young and they were cool and, contrary to what other people have said, we’re very warm and friendly. We make eye contact! We’ll go have a drink with ya!” Sisanie wanted to know the last time everyone “from all the years” got together, beyond “BH90210” and the core eight (which, sadly, was no longer a core “eight” by the time “BH90210” really got underway). I would guess never… or at Luke’s funeral, though I don’t believe every single series regular was there, so I guess never. Tori: “That would be cool.” Jennie: “That would be a big picture.” Tori: “That would be a big party.” And THAT, a taped special of that, should’ve been what happened instead of “BH90210.” Grrr.
OH MY GOD. Superfan Sisanie: “So is ‘BH90210’ dead? Is there any life to that?” Jennie: “No. It was six episodes.” Sisanie said it ended on like a “cliffhanger” and “there’s still something there.” Jennie: “I do not think that that will ever come back.” Tori: “I don’t either and it makes me really sad.” Tori said that for all the fans who wanted to see them in character, they would’ve gotten to in a season 2 that was “50-50” the characters and them as the actors. Tori: “It bums us out that we didn’t get to that point.” She acknowledged that fans felt “let down,” but also insisted they “really tried” to give fans what they wanted by putting Jason and Jennie together and Brian and Tori together so “if you liked those pairings on ‘90210,’ you kinda got to see them still together.’” (I, for one, wanted none of those pairings together.) Suck-up Sisanie: “As a fan, I thought those storylines were perfect.” Tori then suggested they do “BH90210 The Musical off-Broadway.” This has come up before and just like last time I will point out... IT’S ALREADY BEEN DONE. Sheesh. Jennie was against it, anyway. Sisanie then suggested Kelly and Donna have a spinoff. Tori: “We tried that… That’s what ‘BH90210’ — we were like, ‘You got us.’ And they were like, ‘Nah, bring the others and you got a deal.’”
Jennie thanked everyone for listening and told people to give stars, reviews, questions, and comments. Tori plugged their merch and asked fans to let them know what kind of merch they want “next” and send them pictures wearing it. They did not mention the “homework” for next week. I assume that was just an oversight.
If you need further evidence this isn’t really a rewatch podcast and they don’t care to treat it like one, consider the fact that they they titled this installment “Seacrest Regret.” The title has nothing to do with “Spring Training” or anything related to the discussion of the episode. It’s to continue milking something that came out nearly two weeks ago. Look, I get why Sisanie brought it up — she’s the middle person right now between Ryan and the “Beverly Hills, 90210” stars. But it certainly didn’t need to lead to a discussion that took up almost 15 minutes of a purported rewatch podcast and certainly shouldn’t be the hook — the title — of this week’s edition.
More than once they were clearly using information taken from last week’s “Beverly Hills 90210 Show” podcast — or perhaps the wiki page for this episode, where the first “production note” most definitely came from Charles’ remarks on the podcast — and yet they refuse to give any credit or acknowledge that that other podcast even exists. And that’s DESPITE Jennie and Tori both appearing on the “Beverly Hills 90210 Show” themselves in the last two months. And saying, on multiple installments now, that you should “ask” Charles your questions but then never actually follow through… You’re either making this podcast in a vacuum or you’re not. Pick one.
And after the last two weeks felt slightly more focused and tighter, today we had the predicted backslide again. Imagine how much shorter this podcast could be if they trimmed all the fat. And if you don’t like the episode, that’s fine. No need to drag it out. The podcast can be 30 minutes or 45 minutes. It doesn’t need to be 60+. Well, perhaps it has to be if their iHeart deal calls for a specific length and a specific number of advertisers, but for me, this is just exasperating and comes off as really poorly done. And was Jennie talking about looking forward to season 2 because they know they’re definitely doing it or because she wanted to influence the powers that be?
Speaking of things we like and don’t like: Do you think the chunky paragraphs (above) are absolutely awful? Please send me hate mail if you don’t like this format. I won’t get mad at you for negative feedback (unlike some people).
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