Saturday, March 5

Reasons Why I Love My So-Called Life

If you don't know what My So-Called Life is, shame on you - but I'll let it slide, as long as you let me tell you all about it! 

My So-Called life was a US drama series which aired for one series between 1994 and 1995. Although the series was short lived it remains one of the more popular teen series', ever (I don't know if that's true, but it works for these purposes). My So-Called Life depicted the life of Angela Chase (Claire Danes) an incredibly innocent and insecure 15 year old schoolgirl, who continuously self-evaluates and worries in the voice over. The show looks at Angela's relationship with her family, friends and love interest (Jordan Catalano as played by Jared Leto) and is a snapshot into the turmoil of being a 15 year old girl.
"My parents keep asking how school was. It's like saying, "How was that drive-by shooting?" You don't care how it was, you're lucky to get out alive." 

 Because I can like, relate, y'know?

They were on to a good thing naming the show 'My So-Called Life', already setting people up to comment "Oh my gosh, this is so like my life", and a lot of the times it was. Through Angela's introspective narration you learnt that she could obsess over a single "zit" like it was the end of the world, she over-analysed every single word that came out of her crush's mouth and she regularly bemoaned her parents. Angela Chase was me aged 13 to well sometimes me aged 23, but she wasn't just me she was almost every teenage girl - teenage girls who felt like Angela Chase was their kindred spirit.

Or perhaps you didn't so easily relate to Angela's neurotic musings, that was fine. Perhaps you were Angela's extroverted risk-taking friend Rayanne Graff, her cynical and reserved neighbour Brian Krakow, a troubled teen searching for their sexual identity like Rickie Vasquez, a popular honour roll student with one too many things on your plate like Sharon Chersky or so beautiful it hurts but ultimately quite slow Jordan Catalano. Spending time re-watching the series (which I do every couple of months) I've found that I relate (or have related) to every character in some way, even the parents. Which is what makes it good, it's the sort of show that grows with you - you can look back and remember yourself at 15, whilst also relating to Patty and Graham Chase's problems (Angela's parents). And I refuse to believe that you didn't have your own personal Jordan Catalano.

(a couple more reasons after the jump)

Jordan Catalano. 

I'm sorry Jared Leto, no matter how many films you do where your face is beaten, set on fire or completely bloated, you will still continue to be known by me (and so many people the world over) as the beautiful Jordan Catalano - the definition of a teenage dream. Jordan Catalano is almost the precursor to Troy in Reality Bites; Where Troy is the guy you date when you should know better to chase after the introverted pretty boys, Jordan Catalano comes first when you're still none the wiser. Also as with Troy, I'm told this is the sort of boy you get over past a certain age (although I think I'm cool not wanting to get over Catalano) or at least have to get out of your system, but unlike Troy I think everyone looks back at their 'Jordan' warmly. He also gives a pretty smooth (yet baffling) chat up line.

Because it's like, so quotable. 

My So-Called Life regularly turned me into one of those people on the internet that comment "OMG!!!11 This is my life!!!!11!!!", Angela Chase took what I was thinking or feeling and put it in a way that instantly made it seem more important and deep (I'm not saying it was 'deep' but we're talking about a teen who plastered her school folders with Blue lyrics, it was incredibly meaningful to me) and if you were a teen like me you couldn't help but enjoy wallowing in the words that made your life seem a thousand times more poignant.

It's just so 90's. 

Everyone thinks the decade that they grew up in was the best, but in my case, it actually is. The 90's in general were awesome and therefore so was MSCL. The whole Grunge movement was pretty much at its peak at the time that MSCL life aired, so it was understandably a huge influence on the show, particularly the way Angela (and some of her friends) dressed and the music the characters listened to. I always joke to my friends that I'm going to be one of those people you see on 'style police' type programmes (like Trinny and Susannah) that are stuck in the 80's and dress like they're living in an episode of Dynasty - that is who I will be in 10 years time except for the 90's (I even still wear some of my clothes from the 90's). 

If you want to find out more about MSCL why not try visiting one of the following sites. - A pretty concise My So Called Life fan site.
Life As We Knew It - Entertainment Weekly article
Or why not just buy the boxset? AmazonHMV or CEX

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