Has there ever been a tv show that just spoke to you? That just made you think, “How did they get into my head? Are they writing this show about me?” Well, for me that show was My So-Called Life. I was just about 16 when that show came out, and I swear to you it almost completely mirrored my life. I WAS Angela Chase, my mom WAS Patty Chase (they even had the same hair cut and gave the same disapproving looks!) I had never felt, and haven’t since, that a show actually spoke to me, not like MSCL anyways.
For those of you who haven’t seen it, and seriously, shame on you for that, let me tell you a little bit about the show. It centers around Angela Chase, good girl, a bit angsty, living in the mid-90’s with her parents and little sister. Happy household, somewhat boring when compared to her friends. She used to be Miss Popular, hanging with the “in crowd” and the jocks, but once she got into high school she realized that it wasn’t who she was anymore. She dropped the cute little girl look and started in the the flannel shirts, baggy pants, bright red hair (seriously, I LOVED the 90’s look!) and started hanging out with the school outcasts Rayanne and Ricky. She also had a massive crush on the ridiculously hot, professional leaner, Jordan Catalano, played by Jared Leto. Now, every girl can relate to crushing on the bad boy at school. He’s not the smartest, but he is the best looking! And the best part, SHE GETS HIM! Well… kind of anyways. She also has her neighbor Brian Krakow who has been in love with her since they were born. But of course she won’t look twice at him.
I’m not going to get into the entire plot, or relive episodes of the show, but I will tell you that MSCL really knew what the typical teenage girl was going through. No matter what kind of a person you were, there was somebody on the show that you could relate to. They got inside a teenage girl’s head and really told you what they were thinking. All the indecision, all the self doubt, depression, happiness, what it was like to go through a break up, what it was like to like someone that you had no idea if they liked you or not.
To this day I haven’t seen a show speak to the average teen like My So-Called life did. Today’s society relies only on the pretty and the perfect, there’s no place for the girl who’s hair doesn’t always go right, who doesn’t have the perfect clothes and who doesn’t exactly fit in.
At that time in my life that was who I was. I had friends like Rayanne Graff who were so into partying it scared me. I had friends like Ricky who couldn’t really be himself because he was afraid of what would happen if people really knew, I knew the super hot boys like Jordan Catalano (and totally followed them all through the halls!)
I have watched and re-watched this show countless times and it never gets old. I wish it hadn’t been cancelled after the first season, but at the same time I’m kind of happy that it did. I think the show is absolutely perfect, it doesn’t end with a cliff hanger, though I would like to know if Angela ended up back with Jordan or if she decided to actually give Krakow a chance. But still, what if they had gone on for 3 or 4 more seasons? They could have screwed it up! Right now there are 19 perfect episodes out there for all to watch, so you should probably do that.
This is one of those shows I always think “I should watch that” but haven’t yet. You make me want to watch it even more now. I’ll have to make it a priority to find the time. As for the 19 episodes thing, that’s how I feel about Freaks and Geeks…they could have (most likely would have) screwed it up if it had gone on a few more years. What they made of one season is perfect.