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Two Great Brandon Girlfriends

posted by Mickey on 8/28/02

Things looked grim for a moment there, but as nearly as I have been able to gather, it looks as if Jason Priestley has escaped from his crash at the Datona Speedway without any really serious injury. Although it flies in the face of plenty of evidence to the contrary, I like to think that just perhaps the real life Jason Priestley is a nicer guy than he would seem to be from his actions as reported in gossip magazines. And that is quite enough about Jason Priestley. From here on, this post is going to be all about Brandon Walsh, who admittedly might look a lot like Jason Priestley but is quite clearly a completely different kettle of fish. He is a better driver, for one thing, at least when he isnít on an alcoholic bender because his moronic bosom buddy Steve Sanders has spiked his fruit juice with tequila. But I donít want to talk here about Brandon Walsh, the driver. No, this post is going to be devoted to Brandon Walsh, the lover.

Brando with one of the very few hotties he didn't slip it into over the course of "Beverly Hills 90210"

The first thing to say on the subject of Brandon's girlfriends is, there were a lot of them. When Brando was graduating from West Beverly High, part of the official leaving ceremony was a song about how many girlfriends Brando had been through. That sounds like a joke, but it is actually a genuine truth about ďBeverly Hills 90210Ē. I think this particular fact, if nothing else, must have really irritated every other male student in the graduating class. I like to think the president of the chess club might have been hoping to give a report on how WBH had gone in the California Intrastate School Chess Competition, and dialogue something like the dialogue below might have ensued.

"Sorry, buddy, we would love to have something about the chess club but the schedule is tight already and some of the chicks want to sing a song about how many of them have been with Brandon Walsh."

"Oh yeah, well that should be a lot of fun to listen to. He's that guy who blew in from Minnesota a few years ago, right?"

"Yeah, he's the one. Hair goes up like this."

"Yeah, I know the guy. He [blushing red], he went out with , ah, [insert name of teen hottie], didn't he?"

"Yeah, he's the one."

"Well, well, well, 'The Brandon Song', eh? Well, yes sir, I certainly do look forward to listening to that."

"You're not alone. I think we are all anticipating it pretty keenly. There is a rumor going around that Walsh and some of his chums are planning to rearrange the letters on the HOLLYWOOD sign to celebrate their graduation."

"Sounds like an audacious plan. There wouldn't be many words that could be formed out of those particular 9 letters, I should image."

"No, not many. It will certainly be a bit of a test of their ingenuity. Be a bit of an engineering feat, too, if they can pull it off. So, is the chess club planning to do anything similar?"

"No, nothing quite so spectacular as that. Anyway I had better be pushing off. Looking forward to hearing 'The Brandon Song'. That will be a memory from this day that I will always treasure. I assure you of that."

Closer to home, the male members of the gang, in particular David and Steve, probably couldn't help but notice, as one season ran into the next, how often it would seem to happen that the girls they were dating had been road-tested by their smug looking companion. A character as significant in Steve's life as Claire Arnold came into show with the single thought on her mind of bedding Brendan, not to mention Valerie Malone. In fact when we talk about the significant female characters who shared screen time with Brando, it would be quicker and easier to make a list of the ones who didn't enter into some sort of romantic entanglement with him, than to make a list of those who did not.

Brando with his hand on Kelly's ass

For myself, though, I definitely have two favorites. These will be revealed in reverse sequential order, to build a bit of tension. In other words, my second favorite Brandon girlfriend, or as I like to think of her, the first runner-up, will be revealed in a few short minutes, and when I have made a few remarks on her, I will move on to the winner. First though, a few words about the protocols that have informed the judging for this event. To qualify for inclusion in this short but illustrious list, a Brandon girlfriend must have been at least a significant enough part of the show to score a credit in the montage of scenes of LA life following the credits proper. However, I have decided to disqualify cast members, mainly on the basis that I see no other way to avoid writing about the Brandon-Andrea and Brandon-Kelly relationships, and, goodness knows, that would take a lot more space than I have available to me here. To qualify, a Brandon girlfriend does not necessarily have to have shared a bed with our hero (although, let's face it, they both did), but Brandon must certainly have been the primary focus of her romantic life for the time she appeared at the Postcode. She must have been born in the United States of America. No, hang on, that's part of the criteria for the first woman President. She can come from the moon for all I care, so long as she hooked up with Brando. Without further ado then, I would like to introduce the first runner-up.

VON HANGMAN: Congratulations. FIRST RUNNER-UP: I can't believe it. OMG.

At this point, I would like to ask you to pause for a moment or two. She is familiar to you, yes? From Bevers, yes? (I have only ever watched a single episode of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" myself, and the one I saw didnít feature the character, "Anya," but "Buffy" fans might recognise that the same actress plays both roles). Definitely an ex of Brando's, yes? You are with me, then. What else, if anything, do you remember about this character? I am trying to be as fair here as I can, I am trying not to lead you, because I have shown this image to several people, and have noted a curious, apparently wide-spread delusion about this character and her relationship with Brandon. I am talking about knowledgeable, well-respected people. I mean people, moreover, who know their way around "Beverly Hills 90210," at least to a point consistent with sanity. Now, what if I said the words, engagement ring? Step into the Box of Digression just for a moment, put these headphones on, and I will play you some music. Do you like this song, "She Wears my Ring"? Thank you very much. Step outside again. Is there anything you want to tell me? If you are currently thinking to yourself, she might have been the Brandon girlfriend who found the engagement ring Kelly gave back to him, and thought it meant he was going to propose to her, leading to an embarrassing situation all around, I am afraid I have got two pieces of news for you:

1). You are incorrect;
2). However, you are not the only one.

The first runner up is ace journalist, Susan Keats or possibly Keates. The incident regarding the engagement ring actually involved Brandon's NEXT girlfriend Tracey Galleon (or some such spelling), who he met while she was co-anchoring a news program for the CU television station. Susan and Tracey did bear a startling resemblance to each other, the main difference being that one was a heart-breaker and the other a heart-breakee! Out of the goodness of my heart, I have just made a decision to award Tracey Galleon the Miss Congeniality Award, which should come as some consolation to her for having had her whole life fucked up by Brandon Walsh's crazy obsession with Kelly Taylor.

The truth about Susan Keats is that she entered the show kind of as a substitute Andrea, as a fellow scribbler with Brando on "The Condor", the dynamic CU student newspaper. The main line of the SK story was a dark secret past between Susan and her ex-boyfriend, Jonathan, who was an older, brooding big shot journalist (of the sort Brando would later become) who worked for "Newsweek" or "Time" or something like that. He blew into town at one stage to accept an award or maybe to watch Susan accept an award. During this visit Jonathan took Brandon joy-riding in a bi-plane along with Steve and Joe "Damn Bird" Bradley. What a memorable joy-ride that must have been! I certainly would find it hard to think of four people I would rather be gadding about the atmosphere in a Sopwith Camel with, except perhaps Mathew, Mark, Luke and John of gospel-writing fame, although precisely why I feel I would enjoy flying about the wild blue yonder with four Aramaic speaking Israelites who were all convinced the world was about to end is something of which I donít really think I could give a good account.

Anyway, getting back to Jonathan, his presence certainly put a lot of pressure on the Brando-Susan match and for a while they looked headed towards Splitville. But then it emerged that Susan had written an award-winning story about a girl who got an abortion. It turns out that the woman in the story, Nancy, was actually Susan, and Jonathan was the father, and that is what all the special bond stuff was about. Having confided in Brandon, Susan was finally able to flick Jonathan. As a pair of hotshot journalists, both frequenting the world's trouble spots, Jonathan and Brandon probably now know each other well and may laugh it up over a few bourbons about when Jonathan had to get Susan scraped. By the way, while on obstetric procedures, it was Brando and Susan who performed the midwifery for a pregnant woman stuck in an elevator. Said infant was named Brandon in honour of his cool-headed response to the situation.

The Brandon-Susan relationship ended in the final episode of the sixth season, when Susan told Brandon that she was going to take a job in D.C., therefore ruining their summer and their couple-ness, despite the fact that Brandon had turned down a job with the "Boston Herald" for her. Brando went on to destroy the life of Tracey Galleon, and a generation of 90210 fans went on to transfer their recollection of this incident onto Susan K. For me, though, the fact that Susan played a bit of "Losing my Religion" on the Brando heartstrings is exactly what endears her to me. Indeed, this competition could not have had a more worthy first runner-up. Which leads me to the main business of the evening. A drum roll please. The envelope please. The winner may now step forward.

Admit it, you were expecting Emily Valentine

Having introduced Susan Keates with a few questions, I think I should do the same thing with the winner of the inaugural and perpetual award as the all-time best Brandon girlfriend. The questions are in ascending order of difficulty culminating in one to which not even I know the answer.

∑ Provide the full name of this character from season 8.
∑ What was notable about her relationship with Brandon?
∑ Why did the relationship end in bitterness?
∑ Who recommended she be employed at "The Beverly Beat"?
∑ What was the subject of the series of articles she was writing for The Beat that became the talk of L.A.?
∑ What gift did she leave in Brando's car at the end of their relationship?

And here is a bonus question:

∑ The name of the person who portrayed this character is Angel Boris. What is Angel Boris's other claim to fame?

And the answers are:

Provide the full name of this character from season 8.

Emma Bennet.

What was notable about her relationship with Brandon?

In order to get together with Emma, Brandon cheated on Kelly, for the very first time, and when she discovered it, they broke up. Although Brandon couldn't possibly have been more in the wrong, he still managed to look sanctimonious while being given his marching orders.

Why did the relationship end in bitterness?

Emma fell for Brando. He wasn't interested in pursuing it, being committed to Kelly, so the conniving little so-and-so secretly tape recorded a conversation about some of the hot and lascivious action that had passed between them and forwarded this tape to Kelly.

Who recommended she be employed at "The Beverly Beat"?

Kelly. By recollection she thought The Beat was too masculine in tone. Also by recollection she may have been reading some of Emma's stuff in some other periodical and suggested that The Beat try to headhunt her. The fact that Emma was a journalist, when considered in the context of his relationships with Andrea, Susan (First Runner-Up) and Tracey (Miss Congeniality) suggest that Brandon was somehow particularly drawn to women of the press.

What was the subject of the series of articles she was writing for The Beat that became the talk of L.A.?

Men who cheat on their partners.

What gift did she leave in Brando's car at the end of their relationship?

Wouldn't I like to know! After missing some early episodes of the 90210 sago, I watched the show (possibly with a tiny bit more intensity than some other members of the audience, but after all, it was my favourite show) right through its course. I do not, however, have any access to re-runs (my God, just following the course of the show itself was difficult enough at the end, with it being placed on Australian screens about 1.30 AM on weekday mornings) so I have only seen most episodes of the show once. Shamefully, even though I watched the Emma Bennet episodes as recently as about half a decade ago, I don't remember every detail of every scene. But if someone out there can help me, I sure would be grateful. My sister (who I have to thank for the detail that it was a job on "The Boston Herald," Brando turned down to spend the summer with Susan Keats) concurs with me in remembering Emma left something behind for Brando to remember her by, but can't think what. This is the kind of small, but telling detail, a true lover of the program wants to know.

As for the career of the actress, Angel Boris, I would say her main claim to fame comes from appearing on the internet without her clothes on.

And lots of love and luck right back to you.

In fact, if you tap "Angel Boris" into a search engine, I would say you are likely to come up with more matches than if you tapped in something like "Yassar Arrafat" or "Watson and Crick" or "F. Scott Fitzgerald" or even "Jenny Garth." Since the Bevers breakthrough, however, the career trajectory of the talented Angel Boris, in terms of acting, has been very exciting indeed.

Actress filmography

"Peak Experience" (2001) Ö Kat Walker
"General Hospital" (1963-) (TV Series) Ö Angel Ellis (2001-)
"Suicide Blonde" (1999) ... The Blonde
"Warlock III: The End of Innocence" (1999) (V) ... Lisa
"Interceptors" (1999) ... Jena
"Naturals" (1998) (V)
"Beverly Hills, 90210" (1990) (TV Series) ... Emma Bennett (1997-1998)
"Viper" (1996) playing "Gina Corrente" ... in episode: "First Mob Wives Club" (episode # 2.8) 11/10/1997
"Exit" (1996) .... Dancer
"Playboy: The Girls of Hawaiian Tropic" (1994) (V) .... Herself

Playing "herself" in "The Girls of the Hawaiian Tropic" was obviously not much of a stretch for a thespian of AB's stamp, and I doubt her role as "a dancer" in "Exit" would have been much more challenging. Clearly then, the BH 90210 role was the watershed in her career. Although the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences unaccountably ignored her work in "Suicide Blonde" and "Warlock III (The End of the Innocence)", I donít think they can hold out forever. I really believed that her portrayal of Kat Walker in the forthcoming "Peak Experience" might have been the one to do it. It hasnít arrived on these shores, yet, but the very day it does, Iíll be standing at the front of the queue to snap up some tickets. As I understand it, her performance as Kat Walker is absolute tour-de-force and goes even further in terms of dramatic range than her performances as Jena, the Blonde, and Lisa. I believe the plot of the movie centres around Kat Walker's confrontation of her destiny. It might be about mountaineering, but that is just a guess from the title. I would like to think that a second Oscar for a 90210 star is definitely on the cards, perhaps next year, when "Peak Experience II " will be pulling popcorn munchers into the cinemas.

The actual and complete truth of the matter is that Angel Boris made a most memorable character out of Emma Bennet thanks to a performance of outstanding brio. In my memory at least it was easily one of the most accomplished performances by a guest star on the postcode. And that is why I have ranked Emma Bennet ahead of other contenders such as pre-competition favourite, Emily Valentine, the professor's wife played by Dina Meier who wanted (and got) Brandon during the 4th season (the name of whose character will return to me, I would guess, about 10 seconds after I commit this post to the internet), Mariah (the woman who picked up Brandon and gave him a lift back from the Alamo), and, well, others too numerous to mention. In fact, reviewing the matter in my mind right at this moment I can't believe we were expected to believe that Brando would say no to such a lovely lass as Emma Bennet simply in order to ensure his future with that slag, Kelly.

Well it has been an exciting evening. Please leave quietly and if you remember to stack up the chairs as you go, that would be most appreciated. Who would have imagined that two women who wounded Brandon so significantly would be the ones to walk away with the honours? Yo, doll, who? (That is an anagram of the letters in HOLLYWOOD, of the kind that might have rolled around the fevered imagination of the president of the West Beverly High Chess Club ever since graduation, for a decade or so now, whenever he remembers "The Brandon Song").


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