If you were a teenager in the 90’s, you probably caught an episode of Beverly Hils 90210 (or all ten seasons.) And you probably recognize one of the show’s famous blondes, Jennie Garth. From the moment Kelly Taylor came on the screen, Jennie was thrust into the spotlight and with the rest of the cast became an instant celebrity. Since then she has had a career in Hollywood that has spanned over two decades which she is sharing about in her new memoir Deep Thoughts From A Hollywood Blonde.
Why did she decide to write a book now? Jennie found herself at a new point in her life. At the age of 40 she was newly divorced and raising her three daughters as a single mother. After years of focusing on her family rather than her acting career, she found herself, and her life, in all of the tabloids. So she decided to tell the story herself, juicy bits and all.
I picked this book up because I was such a big fan of 90210 growing up. I’m pretty sure I was a little too young to be watching it (I had a sister seven years older than me who was watching it and those were the days of one television set in the house) but nonetheless I watched every episode of every season. I still watch reruns of my favourite episodes every once in a while. So of course I wanted to know all of the behind the scenes stories, especially the details of what Shannen Doherty was really like.
Unfortunately, 90210 fans are going to be disappointed when they find that Jennie either has a terrible memory or she just doesn’t care. She gets many details of the show wrong (sorry Jennie, but you guys didn’t graduate from high school in season 7 and Luke Perry didn’t join the show in the summer series.) She also mentions how she didn’t want her pregnancy to be shown in the show because she didn’t want people to think she was supporting teenage sex, but that wouldn’t have been an issue since her character was 22 years old when Jennie became pregnant. Pointing out things like this may seem like I’m being a little too much of a nerdy fan, but if I can remember these things from when I was a teenager, I would think she would be able to remember them as the actress who played the part.
Okay, that part aside, the 90210 bits were fun to read. I found myself often putting down the book to go look up pictures on the internet or go find certain episodes. As she looked back at the mania that surrounded the cast of the show, I couldn’t help but think how fortunate she was that social media and the paparazzi weren’t as prevalent as they are now.
It’s nice to read a memoir of a celebrity who had a normal life and didn’t struggle with anything that would send you to rehab. That being said, at the end of the day, this didn’t have anything earth-shattering. Once she started talking about her divorce the book felt more like a self-help book for women in the same position. There’s a lot of introspection which I’m sure would help a lot of people, but for someone who hasn’t been there, I couldn't understand it. If there is something in her story that you can relate to then you may enjoy this book. But if, like me, you just want to go back to the good old 90210 days, I suggest borrowing the book.