Thursday, April 12, 2007

Remembering my so-called angst

The show could be summed up with one word: angst. My So-Called Life was on for just one season beginning back in 1994-95. Unfortunately, its not available on DVD now, but it is available on bittorrent. Anyway, I've been using a sick day to recover from a sore throat/cold and to rediscover the great show.

The show was on when I was in 7th grade. That school year was a rough one for me. When I watched that show, I could identify with so many characters: Angela Chase's feelings for her crush, Brian Krakows' chaffing under the pressure to do well in school, and Rickie struggling to be accepted. I also could identify with Angela's suspicions of her father's infidelity, the bratty younger sibling always vying for attention, and conflicts at school.

I realize watching the episodes after all these years that I'm a little better able to understand my parent's frustration. It was hard for me to open up to my parents when I was a teen--really hard. I discovered that my dad still resents me a bit for being so private. I understand that a little more what the parents in the show were were feeling after watching it with twelve more years of experience behind me, but I am no closer to a solution in my own life.

The writing is really good. No other "teen drama" comes close. I'd put Six Feet Under on the same caliber, but with a much darker tone. And who can say that Claire of Six Feet Under isn't inspired--even if just a little--by Angela Chase?

There are the quirky phrases that are repeated by everyone: "or whatever," like, "I think," "or something like that." Still, the conflict are realistic and so are the characters. One aspect of the show I remember the most are its one-liners. These deep personal thoughts that are spoken aloud or revealed through internal monologue of Angela. One of my favs that she shouted at one of her friends in a fight: "You think you understand but you don't. You just analyze everything until it barely even exists." That hits close to home. I've been accused of the same, just not in so eloquent of terms.

Entertainment Weekly did a great ten-year retrospective a couple years ago. My So-Called Life really changed television and what we expect of it.

Anyone else watch the show? Favorite moments?
Download My So-Called Life via torrent
MSCL.COM, a fan-site

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