Recap: This is the episode that features Color Me Badd, a four member R&B group that was part of the hideous wave of '90s boy bands. Unfortunately - well...for them - their music never really took off and the band enjoyed only short-term success in '91 and '92. Incidentally, I looked up "Boy Band" in Wikipedia and noticed that the entry doesn't even mention Color Me Badd. The article references bands like the Backstreet Boys, NSYNC, 98 Degrees...even O-Town. O-Town! Yikes. That's gotta hurt. Anyway, this episode opens with a music video in which Color Me Badd is performing one of their "hits" as they amble along a beach. The video is then playing on a television set, which is mounted near the counter inside the Peach Pit. It's being watched by Donna, David, Brenda, and Kelly. Donna dreamily refers to it as "the greatest video in the history of videos", which has to be the grossest overstatement in the history of overstatements. She asks Kelly who her favorite band member is, but since Kelly isn't into the band enough to be able to distinguish between the four members, she can't offer any kind of informed response. Donna desperately wants to attend their upcoming concert that will be aired on pay-per-view, but David informs her that the live event is invitation-only. She then suggests trying to win free tickets through the local radio station, but Brenda douses her spirits by telling her that that's a long shot. David magnanimously offers to use his non-existent clout as a pretend high school DJ to ask real life radio DJs to comp him four free tickets so they can all attend the concert, but Kelly and Brenda just laugh at his pomposity...and I laughed too.
Donna's house. It's a very rainy afternoon, and Donna, Kelly, and Brenda are on different phones, trying to win free concert tickets via the radio station. Despite Donna's excitement about the band, Kelly's not into it and doesn't much care about seeing Color Me Badd perform live. She says she'd just as soon watch the concert on TV...if at all. Felice Martin enters the room to announce to Donna that she's on her way out to attend a planning meeting for a hospital charity. She adds that the meeting could go well into the night. Mmm...do charity meetings typically go well into the night? No, I don't think they do. Sounds like someone's up to no good. Felice wants Donna to convey her cover story to Dr. Martin, should he happen to call from his medical convention in Houston - but Donna's barely listening, so she's just like "Yeah, whatever" and reminds her mom that she's spending the night at Brenda's.The three girls suddenly shriek, and each of them frantically redials the radio station, trying to be the next caller. Felice gets haughty and rebukes Donna for not paying more attention to her, so Donna impatiently explains that they're trying to win free tickets for a concert that night at The Whiskey. Since I'm not an L.A. girl, I Googled the name of this club and learned that Donna is referring to the Whiskey A Go-Go, a popular nightclub on the Sunset Strip that regularly features live music. The mention of this club gets Felice gets all judgey, and she snootily makes it clear how abhorrent and seedy she thinks it is for a teenage girl to hang out on the Sunset Strip on a weekend night. After successfully dampening the mood for Donna and her friends, Felice leaves for her booty call charity meeting. Donna is disappointed when the radio DJ announces that someone else has won the last of the free concert tickets. She sarcastically thanks her stupid mother for her annoying interruption.
The Walsh house. Brandon, Steve, and Dylan are hanging out in the kitchen, bored. They're so bored that Brandon and Steve are tossing a grapefruit back and forth, while Dylan is seated at the kitchen table, scouring the newspaper in an effort to find something interesting for the three of them to do. Mama and Papa Walsh enter the kitchen to announce that they're headed out to a museum lecture and then lunch. After they leave, Steve proposes going on an adventure and hitting the road...to Vegas! Brandon and Dylan aren't into that idea, so Dylan checks the newspaper again and becomes intrigued by an ad for massage services. Steve, however, becomes even more intrigued by an ad for female strippers. His eagerness to see a pair of boobs prompts Dylan to derisively ask if he's never seen a naked woman before. An unperturbed Steve reads the ad aloud. It features Brandi, a stripper with a cliche stripper name. He excitedly rushes over to the phone and makes the call to book her services.
Donna's house. Donna, Brenda, and Kelly are hanging out in the living room, doing their nails and gabbing. Suddenly, David nonchalantly strolls into the room asks them whassup. Kelly asks him how the hell he got inside the house, and he tells her the housekeeper let him in. David tells them they should be glad to see him 'cause he has an amazing piece of intel: Color Me Badd is currently staying at the Bel Age Hotel! Squeal! David found out from his father, who's the dentist of the band manager, who for some reason blabbed to his dentist where the band was staying. Kelly's unimpressed by this information and asks what they're supposed to do...go to the hotel and try to hang out with the band? David nods and is like, "D'yuh." Brenda likes the sound of this half-baked plan, and Donna is proud to have a boyfriend with an in.
Bel Age Hotel. David, Donna, Brenda, and Kelly are standing in front of the hotel, huddled together under a pair of umbrellas. They're dismayed to find themselves standing alongside a crowd of groupies who apparently had the same in as David. Suddenly a limo pulls up to the hotel, and the crowd screams excitedly and knocks down barriers to get closer. Security guards manage to hold back the enthusiastic admirers as the four members of Color Me Badd climb out of the limo and dart inside the hotel. David, Donna, Brenda, and Kelly attempt to follow them, but a security guard bars them from entering the hotel and tells them that only registered guests are permitted inside. Kelly is quickly losing interest in the mission and wants to go home, but David is determined to make it work. He tells the girls to wait in front of the hotel, then wanders off to put some kind of harebrained plan into motion.
The Walsh house. Steve moves furniture out of the way, readying the living room for Brandi's strip-tease dance. Dylan rolls his eyes and calls him "a piece of work", while Brandon is stressing about having a naked stripper shake her naughties in his wholesome parents' home. The doorbell rings, and Steve can barely contain his excitement as Brandon answers the door, but he's surprised and dismayed to find a beaming Ahn-drea on his doorstep, wearing a bright yellow raincoat and matching hat. She's barely inside the house when she starts prattling about her many ideas for improving The Blaze, and figured that since it's storming outside, it would be the perfect Saturday for the two of them to put their heads together and brainstorm. Good. God. There is so much wrong with Ahn-drea showing up unannounced on Brandon's doorstep on a Saturday afternoon to discuss the school paper, I don't even know where to begin. When she steps inside the foyer, she notices that Dylan and Steve are over...but instead of getting a clue, she hands Brandon her rain-clothes to hang up.
Bel Age Hotel. Brenda, Donna, and Kelly are feeling increasingly stupid standing in front of the hotel in the rain. Kelly's ready to bounce, and Brenda assumes that David has been arrested, which worries Donna. A minute later, David suddenly reappears and hands out room keys to each of the girls. The four head toward the hotel entrance, where they flash their keys at the security guard, and he happily allows them inside. As they make their way through the lobby, David annoyingly boasts about how easy it was to get a room with his "plastic". They head over to the elevators, and when the elevator doors open, Donna is startled to see her mother step out. Felice asks her what she's doing at the hotel, so Donna makes up a weak story about how David and his father had to check into a hotel for the night because their house is being fumigated. Felice then spins her own yarn about how her twelve hour committee meeting is taking place at the hotel, and they just broke for lunch. Donna assures her mother that they're just stopping in for a few minutes and will soon be on their way. That settled, Felice continues on her way and walks down a corridor...and Donna stares after her with a look of puzzlement.
The Walsh house. Steve's penis has drooped into a flaccid lump of flesh now that it's clear Ahn-drea has no intention of leaving any time soon. He tries to call Brandi in order to cancel the strip-tease, but he can't get a hold of her, which means she's already on her way over. Ahn-drea's keester is firmly parked on the Walsh's couch and she's casually leafing through a magazine, oblivious to how desperately Brandon, Steve, and Dylan want her to take a hike. Brandon tries to interest her in going to the Tar Pits Museum, but she tells him she's already been there. Strike one. Steve and Dylan strongly suggest that she pay another visit to the Tar Pits Museum...as in, right fucking now, but she refuses to budge. Strike two. When Ahn-drea leaves the room to refresh her glass of water, Steve beseeches Brandon to get rid of her. Dylan argues that they can't very well tell Ahn-drea to leave because they're expecting a stripper to arrive any moment...and Brandon wryly remarks that if Ahn-drea ever discovered they'd hired a stripper to perform a private sexy show, she'd probably write a four part series about it, and then make it the cover story of her stupid Blaze. Haha! I bet she would, Brandon. I bet she would.
The doorbell rings, and Ahn-drea takes it upon herself to answer the door. It's Brandi, an attractive brunette who asks Ahn-drea if she's ready to rock and roll. In a word, Brandi: no. Brandon, Dylan, and Steve rush over to the foyer and introduce Brandi to Ahn-drea as "Cindy's niece" and Ahn-drea easily buys this lie and asks Brandi if she's from Minneapolis. Brandi sees the three guys nodding frantically, so she answers, "Sure!" Brandi removes her jacket to reveal a cute halter dress...and as Brandon ushers everyone into the living room, he remarks to Ahn-drea that Brandi came by to help him with his genealogy report, 'cause yeah that's totally plausible.
Bel Age Hotel. David, Donna, Brenda, and Kelly are gathered in the hotel room that David just booked. Kelly's wearing the plush bathrobe she found in the bathroom, but a nervous David snatches it off of her after snarling that the hotel charges for everything. Brenda is reading the room service menu, marveling at the outrageously high prices, and David snatches that out of her hands 'cause he wants the four of them to focus on the task at hand: finding Color Me Badd's hotel room and then becoming life-long friends with them. Donna is still stressed about lying to her mother, and bellyaches about how Felice will kill her if she ever finds out. An exasperated Kelly says she always claims her mother's going to kill her, so she challenges her to let Felice kill her and get it over with. Brenda calls the front desk and makes a lame attempt to reach the band by asking for them by name, and not surprisingly she has no luck getting through. David calls the front desk and asks for the room number of Freddie Kramer, the manager of Color Me Badd. The operator tells him she can't give out the room number, but instead connects him to the room - but this too proves to be fruitless when Freddie immediately hangs up on him. David tells the girls they're going to have to "do some detective work" in the lobby. This makes Donna fret about running into her mother again, so Kelly and Brenda promise to be her lookout.
Hotel lobby. David, Donna, Brenda, and Kelly all look ridiculous as they skulk around the lobby. They quickly spot a grubby looking guy that David frantically points at. Maybe it's Freddie. The four trail after him and observe him as he gets into the elevator and takes it all the way up to the penthouse floor. The four teens get into the next available elevator, but their hopes of meeting the band are dashed when they realize they can't access the penthouse floor without a penthouse floor key. No duh. David says they're going to have to revert to Plan B, which is to immediately formulate a Plan B. At this point in the recap, I'd like to comment on the unimaginably tight, red and black short shorts that Donna has elected to wear during this senseless hotel caper. All I can say is yikes...as well as: I know you're really skinny, Donna, but you don't always have to wear clothes that go so far as to showcase your butt cheeks.
The four are now on the maintenance floor of the hotel. David and Brenda run on ahead, searching for a staircase that will magically lead them to the penthouse floor. Kelly and Donna hang back and notice that a housekeeper has just placed her set of master keys on top of a laundry cart, and to move the storyline forward, Kelly impulsively grabs the keys, and she and Donna dart into the nearby service elevator. She uses the keys to access the penthouse floor then tosses them back onto the cart - but Donna suddenly gets cold feet and worries about getting arrested, so she opens the elevator doors and exits. Kelly, however, is feeling adventurous, so she decides to go for it. She gives Donna a playful goodbye wave and heads up to the penthouse floor.
David and Brenda are climbing a back staircase, but all the doors leading to room floors are locked so they're getting nowhere fast. Eventually, they go through an exit door and end up getting locked outside in the rain. Donna, meanwhile, is making her way through the hotel when she hears her mother's voice, telling someone she's ready for dessert. As Donna turns around, she witnesses Felice kissing a strange man just before she allows him to pull her into his hotel room for a little afternoon delight. My first instinct was to dry-heave, but upon further reflection I've decided I actually like seeing Felice all tousled and loosened up for a change. Donna rushes back to her hotel room in tears and attempts to reach her father by phone in Houston. When he's unavailable, so she leaves a message for him to call her asap.
The Walsh house. As Brandon and Steve prepare snacks, they agree that they've got to figure out a way to give Ahn-drea the heave-ho so that Brandi can start stripping as planned...and Brandon adds, "Before they bond for life." In the living room, Brandi is telling Ahn-drea all about her studies at UCLA and that she can only study part time 'cause she has a five year old to raise and support. Ahn-drea is impressed and asks her how she's able to make ends meet, and Brandi cheekily answers, "You'd be surprised." Brandon and Steve, who have just entered the living room with the snacks, laugh nervously. Brandi goes on to tell Ahn-drea that she does a lot of office temp work, and that she also works parties. Brandon hastily interjects and clarifies that by "working parties" she means party planning stuff...as opposed to naked dancing stuff.
Bel Age Hotel. Kelly has made her way to the penthouse floor, and is tentatively walking down the hallway. She nearly collides with a spacey groupie who's wearing a bra top, feather boa, and silly beret on her head. Beret Girl grumbles, "Whose are you?" and Kelly's like, "Uh, no one's. Whose are you?" Beret Girl tells her she's no one's yet, but that she'll happily doink any of the band members, or all of them. Gross. Kelly self-righteously explains that she's not a groupie in the willing-to-have-sex kind of way. She and her friends are really just interested in meeting the band and chit-chatting with them. A police officer steps onto the floor, so both girls quickly scatter. Kelly hides in a vending machine nook - and, by carefully scripted coincidence, Bryan Abrams (of Color Me Badd) is standing in front of the soda machine. He's having problems with his wrinkly dollar bill, so Kelly offers him a fresh one...and it's only when they introduce themselves to each other that Kelly realizes he's a member of the band. She briefly acts star-struck, but is promptly interrupted when a guy with a British accent appears in the nook and asks Bryan if he's OK, then scolds the singer for getting his own soda when he has people to do that sort of thing for him. Bryan retorts that sometimes he likes to get his own sodas, and so the British guy leaves. Bryan asks Kelly if she'd like to have a free ticket for their concert that night, and she declines. Wait - wuh? Wasn't this part of the purpose of the whole mission? When Bryan tries to convince her to accept the free ticket, she tells him she has three friends who'd also like to come...so could he pony up tickets for them too? He agrees to the cheeky demand and remarks that he too has three friends. Kelly then tucks her hand into the crook of his arm, and he escorts her to his hotel room.
Brenda and David return to their hotel room, and both are soaking wet. Brenda's inner bitch is out in full force, sniping at David for not knowing what the hell he's doing. As they bicker like an old married couple, Donna is sitting on the bed, hugging a pillow against her and looking despondent. Brenda asks her where Kelly is, and Donna tells her that the last time she saw Kelly, she was on her way up to the penthouse floor to meet the band. Brenda's excitement about their mission is reignited by this latest development, and she wants to catch up with Kelly. Donna, however, is in no mood. She just wants to go home and sob over her mother's infidelity.
Kelly is chillin' with all four members of Color Me Badd. With the possible exception of Bryan Abrams, they're really not a very attractive group...even by '90s boy band standards. One of them remarks that Kelly being in their room reminds them of the time they met Bon Jovi - but that it's cool 'cause they remember what it's like to be fans. Actually, Kelly being in their room reminds me of the Facts of Life episode when Tootie snuck into Jermaine Jackson's hotel room so she could give him a birthday present after his concert. By the way, that entire episode - entitled "Starstruck"- is on YouTube and it's a major hoot if you like watching retro dreck. Kelly tells Color Me Badd she's not so much a fan of their music, but since she doesn't want to get thrown out of their hotel room, she swiftly backpedals and assures them they're great - she's just not a crazy groupie. That said, she wanks them a little by asking what it's like to have fans. Bryan tells her he loves it, but another of the bandmates finds it scary. The guy with curly mop hair says he finds it easier to stay hidden than constantly face a throng of screaming women. Please. It's hard to believe that a guy with that unsightly 'fro would be getting a whole lot of tail...band or no band. The four then lament how they can't even go to a mall anymore without being mobbed. Awwww...something tells me that none of these guys has that problem today.
Donna insists to Brenda and David that she no longer gives a rat's ass about meeting Color Me Badd. David, however, wants them all to stay the course and assumes that Donna's just afraid of running into Felice again. Donna barks back that he's driving her crazy for not letting go of this ridiculous plan. The phone then rings, and it's Dr. Martin calling. Donna refrains from telling her father about what she witnessed, and just tells him she called to say hi. After the brief conversation, she hangs up and tearfully tells Brenda and David that she caught her mother making out with another man, and that it's clear she's having an affair.
The Walsh house. Brandi is now detailing her entire life story, telling the teens how she met her husband in the Peace Corps...and just as all hope for a naked stripper dance is slipping away, Ahn-drea finally finally announces that she has to get going. Hurray! She tells Brandi she enjoyed meeting her, and the instant her ass is out the door, Brandi rhetorically asks the guys if they're ready to rock and roll. She brings out her little ghetto blaster and starts playing I Wanna Sex You Up (by, who else, Color Me Badd), and begins a very PG version of a stripper dance. Steve's into it, but Brandon finds it too weird to watch her get naked after involuntarily getting to know her as a person all afternoon. He turns off the music, and a reluctant Steve agrees to pay up and say goodbye to his new stripper friend. As they walk her to the foyer, they run into Mama and Papa Walsh, who have returned from their museum outing. Brandi introduces herself to them as Cindy's cousin, which perplexes Mama Walsh. Steve and Dylan wisely beat a hasty retreat, and Brandon lamely explains to his parents that Brandi is a cousin of Cindy Sanders, a non-existent member of Steve's extended family.
Bel Age Hotel. After Donna drops the bomb that Felice is knockin' boots with a man other than her husband, Brenda and David begin to question Donna's eyewitness account 'cause their brains are having difficulty processing the idea that Felice is actually capable of engaging in sexual intercourse. Brenda suggests that perhaps Donna misinterpreted the kiss...or the way Felice eagerly followed her lover into his hotel room. Donna assures them she knows what she saw, and sadly wonders if this affair means that her whole family is now going to have to change. David suggests that maybe Donna's parents have an open arrangement in their marriage, but this notion icks out Donna too much for her to seriously contemplate.
Now that Donna's heart is no longer in the mission to hang with Color Me Badd, the three of them decide to leave the hotel. While they're at the front desk, checking out, Brenda gets a call from Kelly. She proudly tells Brenda she's shootin' the shit with the band, and that they're such cool guys. She also reports that she scored free tickets for all four of them for tonight's concert. Brenda's impressed, but tells Kelly they're not going to be able to go because Donna is too distraught over catching her mother dallying with another man. Kelly half-heartedly offers to leave the penthouse suite in order to be with Donna, but Brenda encourages her to attend the concert without them, so she's like "OK!" Well, why not? It's not like there are going to be unlimited opportunities to see Color Me Badd in concert.
As Donna, David, and Brenda head out, Felice suddenly appears in the lobby. She bitchily asks Donna what she's still doing at the hotel, so Donna turns the tables on her and asks her what she's doing there. She then tells her that she saw her kissing a strange man. Felice struggles to maintain her composure and declares that this isn't the place to discuss her philandering. Donna ignores the edict and brazenly asks her if she's having an affair, but Felice haughtily tells her she won't allow her to speak to her this way and stubbornly refuses to answer the question. Donna gives up and turns to walk out of the lobby, teary-eyed.
The Walsh house. Mama and Papa Walsh are sitting at the kitchen table, working on a puzzle together. Donna and Brenda arrive, and Mama Walsh mentions to Donna that her mother called looking for her. Donna makes a smart ass remark, and it doesn't take much prompting before she blurts out that her mother is having an affair. Mama and Papa Walsh are shocked, and Donna wonders aloud if she even has a family anymore. Mama Walsh comforts her and tells her she doesn't have to figure all of this out right now.
The doorbell rings, and Mama Walsh opens the door to Felice, who acts all breezy and nonchalant about trying to track Donna down. Donna enters the foyer and Mama Walsh discreetly gives the two of them their privacy. Felice wants the two of them to go home and talk about her philandering there, but Donna's too angry to do her bidding. She calls her mother a hypocrite and invokes the way she blathered on and on about abstinence in the Everybody's Talkin' 'Bout It episode. Felice tries to shush her, but this only makes Donna talk louder. Mama and Papa Walsh and Brenda are in the kitchen, pretending not to eavesdrop on their juicy argument. Donna accuses Felice of doing everything for appearances, and declares that she's no longer going to shut up or hide her anger for appearance's sake. Felice huffily says she won't talk to her until she calms down, so Donna's like "Fine!" and tells her to leave, then runs back into the kitchen and falls into Brenda's arms, sobbing. Mama Walsh goes out to the foyer to talk to Felice, who still tries to act breezy. Felice chalks up the conflict to a mother-daughter fight, and Mama Walsh graciously tells her it's fine with them if Donna stays at their house until she calms down. Felice agrees and leaves by herself. Donna comes into the foyer again and Mama Walsh gives her a sympathetic hug, insisting that her mother loves her, and that her sleazy two-timing ways have nothing to do with her love for her. Donna looks doubtful, so Mama Walsh recalls the story about how her ex-boyfriend came to town during the Seventeen Year Itch episode and that she almost hooked up with him. Of course, she didn't end up doing anything other than a little harmless kissing action...but the point of the story is that even though she had a momentary desire to doink another man, it had no effect on the love she feels for Brenda and Brandon.
Donna's house. A depressed Donna is moping on her living room couch when a chastened looking Felice enters the room and turns on the lights. She sits next to Donna and acknowledges that she has every reason to be angry with her...but assures her that she still loves her husband. The reality of Donna discovering she's getting it on with another man is the worst nightmare imaginable, and she regrets doing something that has destroyed Donna's faith in her. The two finally hug it out, and Felice apologizes for hurting her and promises to tell her husband about the affair. She says she'd never expect Donna to keep a secret like that, which is pretty funny 'cause Donna is totally incapable of keeping any secret - including this one, which she's already blabbed to David and Brenda, and Mama and Papa Walsh.
The doorbell rings, and it's David who's come by to see if Donna wants to escape to the Peach Pit for awhile. Donna grumbles that she just wants to be alone, but her mother encourages her to get out of the house. She then remarks how lucky Donna is to have such great friends. Hmm...I think I like Adulterous Felice a lot more than Self-righteous Monogamous Felice. Donna agrees to go out and thanks David for coming by to check on her. On their way out, she tells him she finally understands what it's like to have problems, as well as a major storyline on her daddy's hit show.
The Peach Pit. Brandon is working the evening shift and serves up Nat's crappy diner food to Donna, David, and Brenda. Kelly then breezes in, fresh from the Color Me Badd concert. She gabbles about how much she enjoyed the show...but because she was so worried about Donna the entire time, she thought of a way she might cheer her up. She tells everyone that she met a bunch of guys, and that they're really nice...and after the concert, they asked her if she knew of a good burger place, so naturally she brought them to this dump. To the gang's surprise, the "bunch of guys" turn out to be Color Me Badd. As the four of them step inside the diner, a shocked Donna stares at them with a wide-eyed expression that's even more wide-eyed than her normally wide-eyed expression. Kelly introduces the band members to her friends, and cheekily informs Color Me Badd that they're going to have to sing for their supper. They're game, as they damn well should be considering that Season 2 episodes of Beverly Hills, 90210 regularly attracted a minimum of seventeen million viewers. They each pull up a chair and start singing - a cappella - a ghastly song entitled I Adore Mi Amor. And if that isn't Badd enough, there's a particularly blechy moment when one of them kisses Donna's hand during the performance...but it does cause her sadness to temporarily melt away, and she looks sufficiently cheered up as she cuddles next to David.
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Recapper: Isabel K. French
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