Luke Perry died last week and I'm so sad. His death makes me waaay more sad than the average celebrity death. And not just because he was beautiful and (truth) I named a cat after him.
Obviously 90210 meant something to me. Mostly it's funny to watch it now-- the writing is bad, the editing is weird, and there's that 90210-electric-guitar-riff that kicks in at "dramatic" moments and makes you want to die. But the show was formative. My sister and I (and millions of other 12-year-old-girls in the '90s) were so into Dylan, and I think that was a good thing.
On Saturday I watched Season 1 Episode 21 - Spring Dance (!). Brenda and Dylan were all like, Let's get out of here so we can lose Brenda's virginity. But it seemed healthy and wholesome. They were"teenagers" who cared about each other and wanted to make a good decision.
Dylan's like, You're not just a notch on my belt, and Brenda's like, Okay great let's take off your belt. She's nervous (and says it), but once she's reassured by her hot-ass boyfriend, she gets a little frisky. As frisky as you can get while your (gorgeous) hair is in a french twist (and so-90s-it-hurts-dress ((see above))). So they do it, go back to the dance, and everyone's like BRENDA WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN AND WHY ARE YOU SMILING SO MUCH? And it's just like yes. Hit it, girl.
Okay and here's my point-- Brenda was totally smart, uptight, and morally-centered. Right? I was kind of taken by that when I first started re-watching. When Dylan rolls out from under a car and checks her out, she's wearing the same kind of jean shorts Carol Potter would wear, a boxy t-shirt, and a headband. She gets pissed at Dylan because he wants to make out and she wants to do homework. And Dylan was INTO it. He was this super-hot rebel guy who loved a nerd. I think that subconsciously, in my little uncool 12-year-old heart, it made me feel good.
Obviously Luke Perry wasn't Dylan McKay. But based on what I've been reading about him, it sounds like he was a real sweetheart. And I'm sorry he died so young. Especially for his kids, their mom, and his fiancee. Thank you, Luke Perry, for playing a character who made a dorky little kid realize that A.) Smart girls are sexy, B.) Not all the guys want Kelly (and least not until later), and C.) Sideburns are both smart and sexy. (But only on you, Luke.)