February 8, 2011

Beverly Hills, NBA0210

So Shaq is out with a hip injury until after the All-Star break. This season alone, he “has had a hip issue, an Achilles’ injury and a number of other bumps and bruises.” In other words, he has gotten really fucking old. He is still so entertaining and useful that sometimes his true age, 84 years old, is too well-disguised to notice. You know who he reminds me of? This cougar:

Yes, Andrea Zuckerman. Like Kazaam, Andrea was approximately 22 years older than the rest of her teammates. She was ancient, nearly 30 when Beverly Hills 90210 began in 1990; so when the show ended, a decade later, she was a 40-year-old playing the role of about a 25-year-old. It was believable, says teenage-version me. As the cast got younger and hotter (think Kelly Kapowski and that bitch Vanessa Marcil), elderly Andrea became harder and harder to hide. She got preggers, had to take time off for a hip replacement, ran for AARP elections, the usual. This is what is happening with Shaq. We can no longer deny that he is past his prime, bordering on the edge of retirement. But like Andrea Zuckerman, I have a feeling we won’t know just how useful he is until he is no longer wandering the halls of Beverly Hills High or organizing rallies on the campus of the fraudulent California University or clogging up the paint in Boston, whatever. This got me thinking about other players. If we were to produce the NBA0210 movie, which would be utterly ridiculous I know, who would be cast?

Right off the bat, I think it is obvious that Dylan McKay would be played by LeBron James. Dylan - undeniably rich, attractive, and with massive star-quality - was a selfish asshole. He used people, broke hearts left and right, assumed the world revolved around him, and rode in and out of town on his black motorcycle as all the girls cried.
He acted like he didn’t give a shit, when we know that he secretly went home alone and cried at night while doing lines of cocaine in the dark. Lebron followed Dwayne Wade to Miami, while Dylan followed a con-man to Mexico. Like Lebron, it seemed like he has a lot of friends, but he was really a loner. He played the role of “bad boy” more convincingly than Lebron, but that is neither here nor there. He was accused of cheating the system (and was forced to take the SATs again).

His mom slept around, although I don't think that even Iris McKay would have played tonsil hockey with Dylan's friends. His father was totally absent from his life (and accused by Jim Walsh of having mob ties). Dylan was a trouble-maker, plain and simple, but it was a product of his upbringing. When all is said and done, however, his decisions were often questionable at best. That said, no one could exactly fault Dylan for his decisions or choices; they made sense, for the most part. It is just that no one liked the way he way he went about things. I also listened to “Losing My Religion” on repeat when Lebron left Cleveland, so this works.

I think it is safe to assume that David Silver would be played by Kevin Durant. A true up-and-coming star with staying power. David was likable, humble, talented, and had amazing moves. Come on, guys, he performed with Babyface and Color Me Badd! Durant quietly waited and signed a contract without fanfare, while David quietly waited for Donna’s v-card (minus that whole Ariel in the back of the limo incident). It makes sense, people.

There is no doubt that Brenda Walsh would be portrayed by Blake Griffin. The hot new thing in California who took everyone by surprise. At first, she seemed sort of out of place with her crazy Minnesota koolats and headbands and whatnot, but then she became the only reason to watch the fucking show. She added flavor, spice, entertainment in the best way. She also had this super bitchy side and no one wanted to mess with her. Who else is waiting for Blake Griffin to lose it on the next person who holds him in the key? It is like the ticking time-bomb that was the whole Brenda-Kelly-Dylan aftermath. A disaster waiting to happen, yet I cannot turn away, waiting with anticipation for the drama to begin. Both Brenda and Blake bring huge ratings. And it seems kind of obvious that Blake will leave California sometime early in his career to escape his current misery, much like Brenda did in her sophomore year at CU.

Jennie Garth herself emailed me to request that Kobe Bryant plays Kelly Taylor in the movie, and I totally get it. Kobe owns the NBA, Kelly owned Beverly Hills High, both own California. Both have been unbelievably hot since they were teenagers. One was raped, one is a raper. Both crawled back from personal disaster (Kobe’s affair, Kelly’s frat house fire) to regain supremacy at the top. Both have an extravagant taste for jewelry. Both had wild childhoods only to grow up into sensible, respectable, hard-working adults. The resemblance is truly uncanny.

Who else? Donna Martin would be played by Amar'e Stoudemire. Both are surprisingly entertaining. Loud and somewhat awkward, they take themselves quite seriously. Amar'e gets in trouble for technical fouls, Donna got wasted at prom and fell over on the dance floor in front of Mrs. Teasley. They both had crazy surgeries (Amare with the knees and eyes, Tori Spelling with that…hideous boob job). Donna waited forever to have s-e-x, while Amare waited for the Knicks to offer him a massive contract. They had huge shoes to fill and no one expected all that much from either of them. Then bam! Shockingly awesome. Never forget, kids: DONNA MARTIN GRADUATES. Let's move on.

The role of Steve Sanders was made for Ron Artest. A true wild card, adding excitement and craziness to an otherwise boring cast. Both are goofy. Both needed years of therapy from their childhoods. Both got into massive brawls. You never know what will come out of either of their mouths, and you aren’t sure that you can depend on either of them down the stretch. Still, you would rather have them on your side than as an opponent.

To close out, I think that Brandon Walsh would be played by Tim Duncan. An all-around good guy with longevity and veteran status. We wish they had more of an edge, but you can’t fault them for being generally solid and awesome. Obviously David Stern would play Mrs. Teasley, while Charles Barkley has landed the role of Nat. He doesn’t hang out on the court or at school anymore – just the broadcasting booth or the Peach Pit – but he is like the crazy, old uncle, sharing funny stories of yesteryear and protecting the youngsters from trouble with bookies and booze.

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