Think of Beverly Hills, 90210‘s Brenda Walsh, and imagine a West Bev newbie with a thirst for banana daiquiris and a penciled-in fake I.D., Kelly Taylor’s original lab partner, a jack and jill bathroom away from Brandon—her Minnesota twin, accused of stealing boutique clothing, caught with a pregnancy test in the trash by her mom Cindy, stranded in Mexico without her passport after a romantic, top-secret getaway, Laverne from the Peach Pit (“Charmed, I’m sure!”), ’60s Diary Wendy, her (first) breakup song with Dylan McKay: “Losing My Religion” by R.E.M., and almost losing him a second time to none other than Emily Valentine. Yes, “Have a nice time at the gynecologist, Em.”
Brenda, Brenda, Brenda. “Excuse me, but does anyone here even care that I….” was her go-to conversation-starter when seen huffing and puffing about her house, brunette bangs-a-flippin’, lips pursed, eyes glaring. But let’s never forget, through teary, scene-stealing memory, that she will always be Jim Walsh’s little girl. Are you as choked up as I still am? Brenda Walsh gave Daddy Issues a new name. Much like she liked to remind everyone on a sporadic basis, “This is the ’90s.” And if anyone epitomized the ’90s, it was definitely this Scorpio.
If anyone knew about what it meant to be Brenda, it was Iris McKay, Dylan’s mom. Also known as the flawless Stephanie Beacham, who was fresh off of Troop Beverly Hills as the romance novelist mother (aka my role model.) Brenda may never get over Dylan and the shot heard around the world at the ’91 Spring Dance, but she’ll always carry that crystal around her neck that Iris gave her and wonder if Dylan is still eating frozen burritos or letting someone else clean up his Baja-styled bungalow.
Brenda Walsh will always be blues, greens, pastels, florals, window-seats, plush stuffed animals, cassette tapes, big eye brows, high cheek bones and 100% bad. ass. Say what you will about Bren, but no one will ever top her dancing skills during David Silver’s demo reel at the school dance with that gang-school Shaw. “I need a check mic, now switch it up.” Or, the most legendary dance sequence to ever go down in high-waisted acid-wash jean history: Scott Scanlon’s living room birthday party.
All hail the mighty Brenda Walsh. (Unless your name is Kelly Taylor) How I hope her days of smoking cigarettes and faking a terrible French accent to win over Superman are over. She cut her hair short in Season 4 just in time for her grand exit. But we’ll always have Paris…and cow brains.