Category Archives: TV

Luke Perry–and the 1990s–RIP

Luke_Perry_by_Gage_SkidmoreLuke Perry is dead.

To some, it may just be the sad passing of an actor.

To people who lived through the 1990s, it’s a little more.

Perry played Dylan McKay on “Beverly Hills, 90210.” To put it in Baby Boomer terms, he was kind of the Fonz on “Happy Days” of the 1990s. To put it in millennial terms, he was kind of the Jughead Jones on “Riverdale” of his day.

Actually, maybe millennials get it without the translation–Perry also appeared on “Riverdale” as Fred Andrews, Archie’s dad.

“Beverly Hills, 90210″ was a big part of the TV culture of the 1990s. It spanned the decade, running from¬†from October 4, 1990 to May 17, 2000. There were just reports of a possible reboot of the show.

The 1990s are back because the 90s never left. We still watch 90s movies and TV shows and we still listen to 90s music.

The new movie “Captain Marvel” is set in the 1990s and the advertising campaign is pushing the music and pop culture of the period. I have a new novel coming out called “Around Harvard Square” that’s set in the 1990s and I named every chapter with a song from decade, like “Ex-Factor” and “Kick in the Door” and “Come As You Are.” There was a lot of great music made in the 1990s, from alternative rock to gangsta rap to the Fugees and Lauryn Hill.

Now that the 52-year-old Perry has passed on, everyone who is around his age–like me–is thinking just a little bit more about the 1990s, the pop culture of the period and their own mortality.

RIP, Dylan.

“Around Harvard Square” is available for preorder and will also be released on Audible.

Taraji P. Henson on ‘Hidden Figures,’ ‘Empire’ and Being Cookie

Taraji P. Henson doesn’t like getting bored. She’s had an exciting career run lately, starring in the hit movie “Hidden Figures” and continuing her star turn as Cookie in the TV series “Empire.” She stopped by the WSJ Cafe recently and she told me in an interview that she’s already thinking about her career after “Empire” because she enjoys the challenge of playing new characters. Could a superhero role be in her future? Watch the videos.

Mandy Moore on Jack’s Death, Her Music, and ‘This Is Us’

I’m trying to reverse-engineer episodes of “This Is Us” to figure out how the NBC drama manages to wring so much emotion out of every episode. I got some insight into the show when co-star Mandy Moore stopped by the WSJ Cafe to talk about her role on “This Is Us,” how she landed the gig, and what we need to know about the death of Jack on the show. Here are the clips:

Mandy Moore previews the first season finale of “This Is Us”:

Mandy Moore on how Jack dies (no spoilers!):

My full interview with Mandy Moore:

‘Luke Cage’ Star Mike Colter on Hoodies, Harlem and Superheroes

“Luke Cage” star Mike Colter stopped by the Wall Street Journal’s WSJ Cafe to talk to me about why Black superheroes matter. We also talked about hoodies, Harlem and whether The Defenders (that’s Cage’s superhero crew) might someday match up with the better-known Avengers. If you’ve been binging on the new series “Luke Cage,” which was recently released on Netflix, or if you’re a Marvel fanboy or fangirl, you’re going to want to watch this on-camera interview.