Okay, just for the record, right off the top I would like to say that I do not condone real-life stalkers. That shizz is crazy, and super scary!
There is, however, one kind of Valentine that I love…which brings us to today’s topic: Emily Valentine! And TV stalkers, in general. Just ask anyone who knows me, and they’ll tell you that I always say there’s nothing quite like a good stalker storyline to make a TV show more interesting. Movies too, I guess — but TV is better because most of the time the stalker gets a good 3-5 episode arc, which gives them just enough time to terrorize the bejeesuz out of their stalkee and generally wreak havoc in their life and the lives of their friends and family. So fun!!*
*For me to watch, from the comfort of my safe, stalker-free** living room.
Since I like to default to Beverly Hills, 90210 to prove many of my points in life, and since they featured a number of stalkers over the years (to be fair, it was a very long running show, so a certain amount of storyline recycling is acceptable in my view), let’s examine some of the show’s key stalkers:
Trapped in a fire with Kelly (in the basement of the house where Steve and Griffin throw a holiday-themed rave), Allison suffers the more serious injuries of the two and later becomes obsessed with Kelly, dumping her girlfriend in the hopes that Kelly will fall in love with her.
Stalker Scale: Benign. Really more of a lovesick fan.
Another Kelly stalker! Man, people just loved to obsess over that Kelly Taylor, didn’t they? (You could argue that Valerie was low-level stalking her throughout the entire show, since she was basically consumed by everything Kelly did and tried to steal every dude she was involved with). Anyway, Kelly and Tara meet in rehab where they bond over their mutual substance abuse problems. After checking out, Tara moves into the Beach House and goes full-on SWF on Kelly. Her story arc culminates in an attempted murder-suicide plan, but fortunately Kelly manages to convince her that life is still worth living even if she’s not blonde, rich, and perfect, like her idol.
"I just want to be you, Kel!"
Stalker Scale: Scary. Single White Female stuff gives me the chills, y’all!
Not to be outdone by Kelly, Donna gets her very own stalker in Season 7 (I am not counting the creepy dude in Season 5 who tried to attack her at the Beach House, since that whole scene obviously goes way beyond fun-and-games TV stalkerism). Evan is a camera man at the campus television station where Donna works as a weather girl (of course). He sends her disturbing fan mail, tries to run her over with his car, and eventually holds her hostage at gunpoint on live TV. As you do.
Stalker Scale: Psycho. Guns are NOT COOL, Evan.
We’re into the new 90210 territory here. The updated incarnation of the show is obviously far inferior to the original (and not only because of its’ tragic dearth of stalkers), but obviously I still watch it. You can imagine my delight when Annie’s first love Jasper turns into a raving stalker in Season 2, torches Liam’s boat in a jealous rage, and threatens to take his own life by throwing himself off the Hollywood sign! That there is some serious style and panache! Way to go, kid.
Stalker Scale: This one’s tough. Annie and Jasper were in love, after all. She even lost her virginity to him. He just got a little too…intense. To put it mildly.
And then – sigh — there is the queen of them all…
You guys, there really are no words to express how much I love the whole Emily Valentine story arc. My friend Caroline and I are obsessed with the episode where she goes full-on psycho, basically roofies Brandon (I think it was actually supposed to be ecstasy, but whatever), plans to burn down the gang’s homecoming float, and threatens to kill herself if Brandon doesn’t love her back. And also! She bakes him a cake and leaves it on his front porch! I don’t know why that part seems so crazy to me (except for the fact that I have never baked a cake in my life, and if I ever were to do so it would be consumed very quickly by me before it had the chance to grace anyone’s doorstep) but it always struck me as a hilarious detail. Like, let me just take some time out from my busy stalking and float-destroying schedule to do some baking! It’s kind of endearing, no? Just me? I felt bad for old Emily though…it can be tough moving around a lot as a kid, and having to make new friends every time you change schools. I suppose that could lead to some pretty crazy attachment issues. My high school was full of kids who were toted all over the world, though (not just from San Francisco to L.A., thank you very much Emily), and (as far as I know) there were no major stalking tendencies that manifested themselves as a result.
Stalker Scale: Amazing. Obviously I’m biased, though. The girl clearly had serious problems, but I love her storyline so much that I cannot be impartial.
Well, that’s my list! Are there any 90210 stalkers that I missed? Who are your favorite TV stalkers?