No, I didn't retire from simpleprop. I'd like to say that I was off doing something important-- Doctors Without Borders, or Greenpeace, or rescuing marmots or something. Nope. Just lazy. So how do I make my triumphant return? A hard-hitting piece on the politics of voter recalls? An examination of the media's role in promoting minorities in sports? The complete lack of exit strategy for our troops in the Middle East?

How about the top ten 90210 characters? You'd rather read that anyway.

By way of background... read this.

Anyhoo. Without further adieu, my top ten 90210 characters, the greatest being last.

10: Carly Reynolds (Hilary Swank)

Carly appeared briefly during the 1997 season as Steve's girlfriend. At this point in her career, Hilary had not done any roles as a male so she was somewhat attractive. She just didn't work for Steve, though-- a single mom, a waitress... Steve deserved so much more. She makes the list only because of the mind-numbing scenes of she and Steve trying to be good parents. No one bought it-- Carly was out after ten episodes.

9: Jim Walsh (James Eckhouse)

You gotta love Pa Walsh, right? Punishing Brenda here, rewarding Brenda there, fooling around with Cindy from time to time. What a great man. You can tell he's from Minnesota originally. Of course, now the only action he gets is on Lifetime movies as the husband who leaves his pregnant wife and four year-old daughter for the cute blonde house frau. (Go Jim go!!)

8: Gina Kincaid (Vanessa Marcil)

Gina showed up in 1998 as Dylan's girlfriend. She was sassy, and hot like fire. Therefore, 8th.

7: Ray Pruit (Jamie Walters)

BILLY RAY PRUIT! You may have heard of Jamie Walters before-- he was the lead singer of The Heights, who sang "How Do You Talk To An Angel" in 1995. Great song. No, really. Jamie played Ray Pruit, a blue-collar worker / musician who came to steal Donna Martin's heart. He also fooled around with Val, which is, you know, shameful but admirable all in one. He ended up being abusive to Donna which is, in the words of Dylan "way uncool." The reason Billy Ray made it all the way to seven? This quote: "Ray, why is your last name spelled like that?" "Well, shucks, my momma was so poor she could only afford one 't'." Beautiful.

6: Donna Martin (Tori Spelling)

DONNA MARTIN GRADUATES! DONNA MARTIN GRADUATES! Sorry about the shouting. Respectfully referred to as "horse-face", Tori (hard not to spell that "Torii" now) truly displayed the power of nepotism in Hollywood. I'm sure it was just a coincidence that her father was the executive producer. Donna was never a favorite of our group, and I'm not sure why. Bad acting, that horse thing.... the fact that she made David Silver wait four years before nookie. Of course, she's better than Brenda.

5: Valerie Malone (Tiffani Amber Theissen)

Not to be outwhored by fellow "Saved By The Bell" castmember Elizabeth Berkley's performance in Showgirls, T.A.T. showed up in 1994 and showed off her miraculously enlarged.. um.. well, she had some work done, let's leave it at that. Val was basically pure evil, which worked for her. Oh, and she was hot like fire.

4: Kelly Taylor (Jennie Garth)

Kelly was the only female on the show that didn't seem to get on my damn nerves each show. I guess there was that period where she was hopped up on goofballs with Noah that was annoying. And she was always trying to save the world, which was dumb. But.. besides that.. she was great. And stuff.

3: Brandon Walsh (Jason Priestly)

Ahh.. B. He wasn't dangerous like Dylan, or flashy like Steve. Just hard-working, intelligent, smoove... Reminds me of me. Or at least how I picture myself. ;> Brandon always seemed to do the right thing, except for that period where he had the goatee. I'm very glad to see he's recovering from his injuries suffered in his speed racing accident. Funny how being rich is so dangerous. Oh, a little known fact that may come up at some point during trivia: Priestly played Billy Breckenridge in Tombstone, an ambiguously gay character who loves the theater. It's just a role though. The real B hates the theater.

2: Steve Sanders (Ian Ziering)

With all of that great stuff being said about Brandon... how could you not love Steve? Steve was by far the fan favorite of our little clan, even with his dabbling into parenthood (Carly) and monogamy (Janet.) Steve had the cars, the clothes, the puffy blonde fro. He was the ultimate guy's guy, which none of us were. Well, except maybe Dan. We generally all cheered when Steve said a one-liner or got the girl, which happened at least once in every episode. True to form, IZ married a Playboy playmate and promptly got divorced.

1: Nat Bussigio (Joe E. Tata)

Frankly... there was no question about this. Nat was the patriarch of the entire 90 crew, dispensing advice as frequently and as cheaply as his milkshakes. As owner and proprietor of The Peach Pit, Nat was a fixture in most episodes. Despite the fact that Joe E. Tata is not a clasically handsome man, he was still the bomb with all the ladies. Nat also served as group psychologist, building up Brandon, Kelly, et al when their days seemed darkest. My Japanese isn't as good as it once was, but I'm betting that this site is dedicated totally to Nat.

There you have it. Comments from detractors and agreers (is that a word) are welcome. And call me cynical, but "The O.C." has a looong way to go to equal the greatness achieved by 90210. And I mean that in a very masculine, hetrosexual way. Ahem.



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