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For those of us who grew up in the 90s, Beverly Hills 90210 was pretty much the defining show of our generation. Who didn’t idolize those rich kids from West Beverly High and tune in each week to see their latest drama. And among us boys, there were heated discussions about whether Kelly or Brenda was hotter, becoming the “Ginger or Mary Ann?” debate of our generation. And if you liked Donna or Andrea (despite being the nice Jewish girl), there was something clearly wrong with you.
And as for the guys on the show, we all wanted to be just like Steve Sanders, played by the Jewish, yet inexplicably tan and blonde-haired, Ian Ziering. Though the character wasn’t Jewish, Steve was by far the best role model for pre-teen boys; Brandon Walsh was a whiney goody-two-shoes, the brooding Dylan McKay tried too hard to be cool, and David Silver was just an annoying nerd obsessed with Tori Spelling.
Instead of those losers, we looked up to Steve and his zest for life, partying ways and constant womanizing, as masterfully portrayed by Mr. Ziering. And though 90210 may have been the height of his career, he gave all of us Jewish kids with curly hair, even those with the rare case of a blonde Jew-fro, hope that we too might one day end up on the number one show in America. More than that, Ziering showed that we could finally play the cool kid, and not be stuck portraying a nerd like some more unfortunate people.