Question: I have a bet going with a friend about a cartoon. It was about a bunch of teenagers from Beverly Hills. I believe it was called Beverly Hills Teens. It ran sometime in the '80s while I was living in New York. I tried telling her about it, but she says I'm making it up. Could you please help me settle this bet? Also, could you please tell me the kids' names? I remember one of them was named Larke. Thank you so much. — Fiery One
Televisionary: No problem there, Fiery. However, let me take this opportunity to once again scold those of you who write in with bets but don't tell me what's at stake. I write an obsessive pop-culture nostalgia column and I live and breathe trivia, people. I want details. (Kudos to the beer bettor above, who did the right thing in the lead question.)
That said, you remember what I wrote about the Day by Day folks shedding their conspicuous-consumption ways? (Oh, c'mon — it's right up there.) Well, that couldn't have less to do with the price-is-no-object kids of Beverly Hills Teens. No, you're not making it up, but I almost wish you were.
Beverly Hills Teens, a syndicated cartoon from 1987, revolved around a bunch of wealthy kids with nearly limitless purchasing power. And purchase they did. (Think the Archie kids with gargantuan bank accounts and stock portfolios.) Yes, the leading young blonde was named Larke. She had a boyfriend named Troy and their peers included Pierce Thorndyke (the Reggie Mantle of the gang), Chester (the Dilton Doiley), a pretty African-American gal named Chanel, a token surf guy named Radley and Tara (the Veronica Lodge), so named because she was self-absorbed and from the south.
Rampant materialism wasn't new to the children's entertainment world at the time, certainly. Characters like Richie Rich were tossing gems and gold around years before the Hills teens hit the scene. But at least he was an exaggerated goof. These kids were simply obnoxious. Thankfully, money couldn't buy them love and the show was mercifully short-lived.