Gift-Wrapping The Black Box: “It’s a Totally Happening Life” (Beverly Hills, 90210)

Merry December, everyone! The Black Box usually looks at failed television pilots, but all month long, I’m gonna be checking out something different: The time honored trend of the Holiday special! Most folks just do a Christmas edition of their columns at the end of the month, but not I! Here, we’re hitting the quartet of holidays. Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Christmas, and New Years. And at the end of each review, I’ll tell you what the holiday is truly about according to the episode. So get your holiday sweaters on, light that menorah, pop a bottle of champagne, and something something Kwanzaa something. Let’s go, ’cause I hear those sleigh bells jingling!

And now, this week as an example of good timing,

It’s time for some wonderful christmas-time rhyming.


It was Christmas day, and though others celebrated,

I, all by myself am quite hated.

I hate this day, it is terrible, oh god no,

because now it is time to review 90210.

The episode I have picked cuts me like a knife,

It’s a shitty adaptation of “It’s a Wonderful Life”

It’s awful and boring and gets everything wrong,

and most of all, worst of all, it’s incredibly long.

But now let us start, there is much to discuss.

And mocking this show is surely a must.

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Beverly Hills, 90210

Was a popular, if widely made fun of show.

It aired in the nineties, it aired on FOX,

After the network sold to Rupert Murdoch,

The show was ensemble, of characters there were many,

But the ones that existed? They weren’t worth a penny.

They’re boring and cliché and nineties as fuck,

Somedays, you guys, I have just the WORST luck.

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This episode in question, the one I’ve gotta review,

Hurts me so much, ’cause it ruins Christmas too.

It opens on two stars shining brightly in the night,

“Stars?” “Are you kidding?” No, you heard me right.

Because these stars are two angels, one new and one old,

One is emotional, the other quite cold.

The young one, named Miriam, is losing her shit,

But Clarence, (yes, Clarence) wants none of it. 

He asks why Miriam is freaked the fuck out,

And she says it’s an emergency (I have some doubt).

The problem has something to do with the cast,

And how this Christmas could be their last.

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But instead of just explaining the issue, the curse,

Miriam must explain the whole backstory first.

So we flash back a bit, to two days before,

And we meet Dylan, who’s a complete and total man-whore.

There are two girls who both want his affection,

The fact he must choose avoids Dylan’s detection.

Both Kelly and Brenda want Dylan, that’s plain to see,

Two girls? One guy? What is this, The O.C.?

Of course it falls apart, and all three are upset,

Until the end, when their love triangle resets.

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As the angels keep nattering about all other bullshit,

We see Brandon and Nikki. They break up. That’s it.

Andrea gets her ass straight into Yale,

But her boyfriend dumps her, and worse, through the mail.

So she and Brandon get some sexual tension,

But it’s not super important, barely warrants a mention.

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Later that ep, Kelly watches a flick,

“It’s a Wonderful Life”? How on the nose, you dick.

And even worse than that, the angels say to me and to you,

That they’ve never heard of this movie. Oh, really? Fuck You!

That isn’t cute and that isn’t clever,

It isn’t funny, and it isn’t better

than just ignoring the goddamn movie itself,

Because this ep might as well just be adapting “Elf”. 


It sure as shit isn’t an adaptation,

of that Jimmy Stewart film, that inspired it’s creation.

The only thing the angels ever do in their entire at-bat,

Is stop a drunk driver. Wait, did I mention that?

Yeah, all the teens on the bus are a-bout to die,

and to be honest, I’d gladly bid them all goodbye.

But nooooooooooooo, if that happened we wouldn’t get see,

The guy from Sharknado play Santa, and that’s worth it to me.

Also there’s some stuff with videographer David,

and his girlfriend, Donna, who’s in love with that kid.

David is a junior, Donna a senior,

So in one year their break up can’t be much cleaner.


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They get off the bus, at an elementary school,

Where they mostly ignore the children, like tools.

They’re supposed to be helping, this is intended as charity,

but will they cease with their own drama? Hah, that’d be a rarity!

So they wrap up their bullshit, and when that’s all done,

The angels wish us a merry christmas, to everyone.


According to this special, what does christmas mean?

I’d guess it’s about angels, and the nineties, and ‘zines.

It might be about charity, or kindness or whatever,

but it seems to be about trying to put a threesome together.

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Well, that’s the episode, I’m finally done,

And as this review sets, so does the sun.

So I guess I gotta say it, although it is trite,

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.


I hope you enjoyed this, with holiday cheer,

But I ain’t done yet, so next week: New Year’s.




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