Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Return to My So-Called Life

I finished Season 1 aka the entire series of  My So-Called Life last night. I've been watching it on DVD for the last couple of weeks. It is so strange how something that so perfectly hit home for me in middle school and high school can somehow be completely off base and completely perfect still at the exact same time when I re-watch it at 26 years old. It was an interesting journey, following along this time.

My initial thoughts were as follows:

Why did I like this so much?
Wow Jordan Catalano is still all that.
How do shows from the 90's get me saying things like "all that" again?
This 90's music is fabulous.I had totally forgotten about Toad the Wet Sprocket!
Why is he always leaning? Oh right, because he's high!
(I just like how he's always leaning. Against stuff. He leans great. - Angela)
Good looks are just not enough to overlook illiteracy.
Claire Danes is a fabulous actress.
This reminds me so much of how I felt in high school!
(Huge events take place on this earth every day. Earthquakes, hurricanes…even glaciers move. So why couldn't he just...look at me? - Angela)
Some of this reminds me so much of how I feel now!
(This life has been a test. If it had been an actual life, you would have received instructions on where to go and what to do. - Angela)
I love Rayanne Graff.
Wow I remember why I liked this so much.
(Sometimes it seems like we're all living in some kind of prison, and the crime is how much we hate ourselves. It's good to get really dressed up once in a while, and admit the truth -- that when you really look closely, people are so strange and so complicated that they're actually...beautiful. Possibly even me. - Angela)
Why in the world did this get canceled???
(People always say how you should be yourself. Like yourself is this definite thing, like a toaster or something. Like you know what it is, even. But every so often, I'll have, like, a moment when just being myself, and my life, like, right where I am, is, like, enough. - Angela)

As you can see, many of these thoughts were related to Jordan Catalano - as I'm sure most girl's thoughts are when they watch it. (Remember when Jared Leto looked like that & not like he does now!) The rest of them are just all the reasons why people loved this show! It hits home to people. I remember that feeling of not knowing who I was and not knowing exactly how to find out. I remember the feeling of not wanting to be like your parents, not exactly trying to rebel, but trying to find some way to identify where you become separate from them. I remember feeling awkward & uncomfortable with my looks, my body, the way my life - physically and emotionally was just changing. It's a rough time and some part of that continues throughout your adult life because life continues to change and move on. We have to adapt, discover a new version of ourselves that works for this stage.

There are so many quotes from the show that leave you thinking "um heck yes that is exactly what I'm thinking!" Even now - at 26. I'm no longer a teenager. I'm no longer interested in the "Jordan Catalanos" of the world. (It's always tempting to lose yourself with someone who's maybe lost themselves. But eventually, you want reality. - Patty) But I'm still struggling to discover who I am, where I fit, what parenting strategy fits me and my family - what insecurities can I overcome today - what decisions are best for me, for my husband, for my daughter. The show is about people. It's about life. And call me too introspective or over-identifying with it, but I think it has something to offer anyone who has ever felt that struggle, that need to find your place in the world.

Sure, there are people who never watched the show, never liked the show, even today would probably not identify with it. But I did. A lot. Again. At 26.
(Sometimes someone says something really small and it just fits right into this empty place in your heart. - Angela)

You know how sometimes the last sentence you said, like, echoes in your brain, and it just keeps sounding stupider? And you have to say something else just to make it stop? - Angela

The worst feeling is suddenly realizing that you don't measure up, and that, in the past, when you thought you did, you were a fool. - Angela

There are so many different ways to be connected to people. There are the people you feel this unspoken connection to, even though there's not even a word for it. There's the people who you've known forever who know you in this way that other people can't because they've seen you change. - Angela

You think you understand, but you don't! You just analyze everything until it barely exists. - Angela


Jessica P. Wallin said...

I just spent the last two days watching the entire series on Netflix! I had never seen it before, so maybe I would have identified with it more as a teen than I do now, but now I can kind of understand what all the hoopla is about.

Here are my thoughts on it:

Watching the first episode, I couldn't help but wonder, why is Angela such a B? Her parents are awesome, she has a great life. But then again, when I was 15, everything was the end of the world for me, too.

It's amazing how much her character grew in one season from this person I totally couldn't stand to this person that totally reminded me of...well, me.

Her parents were so great. They weren't perfect, but they loved her. I would have killed for parents like that.

Ricky was a really good guy, and I sobbed through the entire Christmas episode.

Jordan Cata-whatshisname was totally hot. But, they could never even hold a conversation, he was rude, not very smart, and overall, I thought he was just ick. I would have taken Brian over Jordan in a heartbeat. But, maybe you have to date a few Jordans to be able to appreciate a Brian.

I looked up their ages on Wiki, and when this came out, Claire Danes was 15, and Jared Leto was 23. Um, is that even legal? It's kinda gross. And since she was possibly even 14 while filming, that makes it even worse.

It really annoyed me that I could see the boom mic coming down in a few frames during different episodes. I want to be told a story, not know the process of creating the story, if that makes sense. For an ABC show, they should have had better editing, even then.

Angela's dad was hot.

I also just finished watching the entire series of Greek, and it was cool to see Danielle and Delia on MSCL, because they were both also in Greek.

I think the show was going to get picked up for another season, even after its initial cancellation, but Claire Danes didn't want to do it. So I guess we'll never know how it was supposed to end. Any theories?

project1979 said...

This is wonderful. Nostalgia for my favorite show from 1995=great writing=happiness!

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