There Was A Beverly Hills, 90210 Homage On Riverdale Because Luke Perry Is Forever Dylan McKay

Photo: Courtesy of The CW Network
If there's any evidence that time's army marches onward, it's that Luke Perry, former Beverly Hills, 90210 bad boy, is now playing Father of the Year on Riverdale.
Perry's Fred Andrews would certainly have his hands full with Dylan McKay, the character Perry portrayed on the OG teen soap, but don't think Perry's new, more mature role means people have forgotten about his most iconic one. In fact, quite the opposite: Did you notice the possible Beverly Hills, 90210 homage on the season 2 premiere of Riverdale?
First, let's take it back to the season 1 finale, in which Fred was shot by a masked assailant. When we pick back up with the Riverdale squad, Fred is fighting for his life in a hospital — and having seriously banana dreams. In one, his son Archie (K.J. Apa) marries Veronica (Camila Mendes). In another, Fred's dead relatives come to his house, demanding that he join them in the afterlife.
All the while, however, Fred is merely laying in a hospital bed — which is exactly what Dylan from Beverly Hills, 90210 was doing in the season 5 episode "The Dreams of Dylan McKay" after he gets into a car crash. (However, Dylan's dreams also involved a Satan-esque drug dealer coming to the door and a rat in a Thanksgiving turkey. Ew.)
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Perry was reminded of the episode — and said while he doesn't know if showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa purposefully played homage to the iconic teen soap, it's very likely.
"I never know with Roberto. He has such a comprehensive knowledge of television and the history thereof. It very well could have been... I remember that [episode]. It was like all his bad dreams were coming true for him."
Re-watching the season 5 episode now, I think it's more than just "likely." After all, Dylan's dreams also involved Dylan marrying one-side of his own love triangle, Kelly (Jennie Garth), which seems too close of a coincidence to Archie wedding his own girlfriend in Fred's comatose brain.
Another clue that Riverdale was referencing Beverly Hills, 90210? The fact that the spin-off series, titled 90210, also had a home on The CW. Though Perry wasn't a character on the series, his name was often dropped by Kelly, who did appear on the show.
Of course, you'll have to make that call for yourself. Fortunately, Beverly Hills, 90210 — and that crazy Dylan McKay episode — is currently streaming on Hulu.

More from TV

R29 Original Series