Thu, 04/14/2016

A Darren Starry Night

Darren Star

Brenda: I like your butt. I mean bike.

Dylan: Thanks. Hop on. My bike, that is.

It doesn't get any better than that. When I was in junior high, a Brenda Walsh and Dylan McKay exchange like that made my night, my week, my year. As a young girl dreaming of the day when I would have my first boyfriend, I got to live vicariously through the beautiful banter of Beverly Hills, 90210's star couple. (I was livid when Kelly and Dylan started getting together. It was wrong. Just plain wrong.)

I was aware that Darren Star appeared in the opening credits as creator of this show that became THE show of my adolescence, but at the time I didn't stop to think much about him. Then Melrose Place came along, a spinoff of Beverly Hills, 90210, and I loyally watched this second Darren Star creation. Years later in 1998, a show called Sex and the City began, and that became a can't miss program. The creator of that show? Yep, Darren Star. As I aged, Darren Star seemed to be making the exact shows that I was dying to watch. The man made television that I could not take my eyes off of, and I recently got the chance to chat with him about all of these programs that largely defined appointment viewing for decades of my life.

In essence, I had been preparing for this conversation since my tween years. It's impossible to choose favorite moments from Darren's interview, but here are a couple of highlights:

Darren Star on the social issues on Beverly Hills, 90210:

Darren Star on Carrie and Big of Sex and the City:

Darren also talked about Grosse Pointe, Younger, working with producer Aaron Spelling, and a whole lot more. His interview is just shy of three hours of how he got into TV writing, how he came up with all of the programs mentioned above, and what he thinks of television today. And he was absolutely lovely to speak with.

When the interview was over, I walked Darren out and thanked him for sitting down with us. And then I thanked him on a personal level for doing what he does because his shows have brought me so much joy over the years. He gave me a big hug, we parted ways, and I was apparently just standing there grinning, because a gentleman walking by stopped in front of me and said, "You look like something amazing just happened to you." I widened my smile. "It did."

I am privileged in my job to get to speak with many talented contributors to television, but this interview hit particularly close to home. I was granted the opportunity to talk with the creator of the very first television show that I ever truly loved. (Think of who that would be for you. Got it? Then imagine talking in depth with that person about that show you loved. That would be something, right?) I realize what a rare and treasured opportunity that is, and I will be forever grateful to the Archive for that Fall evening in New York, and forever grateful to Darren Star - for Brenda and Dylan, for Carrie and Big, and for storylines that made me ponder relationships, breakups, and the true value of best friends. 

And FYI - the twelve-year-old in me just had to know, so in between segments I asked Darren if he was Team Brenda and Dylan or Kelly and Dylan. Darren and I see eye to eye on this one, which made my night, my week, my year.

Watch Darren Star's full Archive interview here. #BrendaAndDylanForever

- Adrienne Faillace