I’m not sure anyone in my physics class actually watched Beverly Hills 90210. I’m actually in the middle of a My So-Called Life rewatch for Wednesday, and I think several of my classmates were more into Living Single. 90210 just felt artificial to us. But when Mr Bagg from CalTech filled in as our substitute for a few weeks, we all agreed that he looked not unlike Luke Perry. One of my classmates actually took to calling him Dylan, which I’m not sure he ever actually understood.
He did other things, but he knew it didn’t matter. He was going to be Dylan until the day he died. Which is today, four days after suffering a massive stroke. Women my age around the country are processing their feelings about this, even if they preferred the Good Guy Brandon Walsh as played by Jason Priestley or, like me, never really watched the show at all. Because okay, he was ten years older than I am, but he was still one of the most famous “teenagers” for my generation.
Honestly, I’ve seen very little of his work. He’s in the movie of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, very briefly in The Fifth Element, on an episode of Leverage. And he was pretty decent in all of those; his episode of Leverage is funny, but then, it’s a funny show. Certainly he nailed that particular blend of trustworthy sleaziness necessary to play the episode’s villain, and it’s a delicate balance, even for a show that occasionally had a tendency to edge into cartoonishness. But I can’t tell you what he was like on John from Cincinnati or Riverdale or 8 Seconds, because I’ve never watched any of them.
In 2015, he underwent a colonoscopy that revealed precancerous growths and became an advocate for examination so people would be treated early. He wanted Apple to take a year off from developing new, thinner phones to actually put some research into medical technology, which he believed was considerably more important to make the world a better place. I don’t know what caused his stroke—I’m not sure if anyone does—but it seems sad to me that someone who was so outspoken on health issues should die so young.
And, yes, he’s Dylan. I didn’t like Dylan much; he was an artificial attempt at a Safe Bad Boy, and while I won’t say those never appealed to me—hello, Jordan Catalano—the motorcycle type was not my speed. But many other women my age disagree with me, and their grief deserves to be taken seriously.