Dylan McKay: “Mad, Bad, and Dangerous to Know”

When Beverly Hills: 90210 debuted in 1990, critics and audiences instantly likened Luke Perry’s Dylan McKay to James Dean. Leather jacket: check. Motorcycle and/or cool car: check. Devil-may-care attitude: check. Killer looks and a way with the ladies: CHECK.

Gentle readers, I submit to you that James Dean is too weak a parallel to draw with a character as transcendent as Dylan McKay—I mean, after all, even Garfield has many of the aforementioned characteristics. To wit:

Dylan was complex, irreverent, romantic, and deep. Often depressed, he was nonetheless always ready to step in and be the knight in shining armor—even if that meant delivering tough love. Dylan couldn’t be contained; he thrived on sun, surf, travel, and the physical expression of love. His passions could not be limited to just one woman—he was drawn to dramatic, brooding Brenda and Kelly, the ultimate California girl.
Thankfully, Dylan himself gave us a guide on how to comprehend him. Observe as he tells Brandon that he’s most like Lord Byron—“mad, bad, and dangerous to know.”

As we head into the weekend, I can wish you no greater happiness than to reflect on Dylan McKay. May his rebel spirit inspire every step you take.


About missblissindc

Miss Bliss lives, works, and reminisces about the golden age of her youth in the Midwest from the DC area. She’s a Scorpio, but only in the good senses of that term. To share your 1980s/1990s mem’ries, e-mail missblissindc@gmail.com.
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4 Responses to Dylan McKay: “Mad, Bad, and Dangerous to Know”

  1. For years, I had this photo of James Dean tanking up his Porsche, right before he crashed it. Then I worked with a guy who was from that area, and drove fast cars, and I gave it to him. Wonder if I can find it on Le Google?


    Dean was known for his red cloth jacket in “Rebel Without a Cause”….that and putting out lit cigarettes on his stomach which I “don’t think” Dylan ever did.

    My favorite rebel from that era was Marlon Brando in “The Wild Ones.” “Whaddya rebellin’ against, Johnny? Brando: Whaddya got?”

  2. Love that…”Whaddaya got?” I hope I can weave that into a conversation believably one of these days…

  3. C_Girl says:

    Luke Perry fell in love with and married a woman who sent him her panties in the mail. I spent a part of my adolescence wishing I’d thought of that first.

  4. I loved him and I still do haha. Luke Perry was always better then Jason Priestly. I didn’t like him with Kelly Taylor though. Always Team Brenda.

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