'Beverly Hills' mixes preaching with drama in condom episode


February 07, 1992|By David Zurawik | David Zurawik,Television Critic

"Beverly Hills, 90210" started out all talky last night as it tackled the issue of condoms in the high school.

And it ended all preachy with two of the actors, Jason Priestly and Gabrielle Carteris, actually stepping out of character and giving viewers a short lecture about safe sex.

But, in between was a well-crafted melodrama that intelligently dealt with both sides of the issue and still managed to offer believable and engaging story lines involving several of the show's romantic couples. Especially touching was one involving Dylan (Luke Perry) and Brenda (Shannen Doherty).

If there was one overriding message, it was that teen-agers should not have unprotected sex.

At the end of the dramatic portion of the show, Kelly's mother (Ann Gillespie ) comes to her in tears and asks her to promise to never have "unprotected sex." Then she shocks Kelly with the news that she is pregnant.

The screen goes to black and, then, Priestly and Carteris come on screen as themselves instead of their characters, Brandon and Andrea.

"The only foolproof way not to get a sexually transmitted disease like AIDS is by abstinence," Priestlty says. "But if you are active, use common sense: Protect yourself."

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