Thursday, October 9, 2008

Gone but not forgotten: My So-Called Life (1994)

I figured I'd start with my original television obsession. I watched a lot of Nick at Nite when I was younger, I was a huge Cosby Show fan, I was on board the original Beverly Hills 90210 all gung-ho for quite some time and possibly even still in 1994, but My So-Called Life was the first television show that spoke to me, the first show I fell in love with. In 1994, Claire Danes, Angela Chase, and I were all 15 years old. Here, for the first time I could ever remember, were teens on tv who dressed like me and spoke like me. They were smart and bored and falling in and out of love with the right people as well as the wrong people. Here were teens who were as confused and insecure as me, who had complex friendships and family relationships like me. Oh, how I wanted to be Angela Chase, and oh, in so many ways how I was Angela Chase. It was only on for one season, though that season was repeated on MTV for awhile. It made such an impression on me that I wrote about the final episode in my journal, and in a time before DVDs or even TV boxsets on VHS, I had every single episode of My So-Called Life taped off of television on blank videotapes. This show definitely should have lasted more than one season. But maybe one season was all we needed.

Favorite MSCL moment: The very end of the episode, after Jordan has refused to publicly admit that he's involved in Angela and Angela finally stands up for herself and calls him out on it...she's standing in the hall during school, he asks her if they can go somewhere and talk, she says sure, and as they're walking down the crowded hallway to Buffalo Tom's "Late at Night," he reaches out and grabs her hand. Yeah, I'm a sucker for girls finally getting the romantic public gesture they deserve. Oh, and for Jordan Catalano.

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