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"My So-Called Life"

I never watched the reruns and am just catching up with MSCL on Netflix. Random thoughts:

- You can see why this made Claire Danes a star; she's wonderfully naturalistic and completely believable even when some of the dialogue is a little ripe.

- Jared Leto's very good too - I remember those handsome, silent, dumb stoner guys with their sheepskin-lined jackets. It's very funny how they show him using eyedrops between classes.

- Did every school have a Rayanne Graff? Ours had Cindie. Cindie's mom was a hairdresser or something and usually spent the weekends at her boyfriend's house, which meant Cindie's house was party central.

- The kid that played Brian Krakow grew about a foot during the show and went from looking like a high schooler to college age.

- Good for Bess Armstrong for playing such an unlikable, brittle character and giving her some depth. Bill Irwin was also good (and very everyday-handsome) as Graham.

- Wilson Cruz was also good as Ricky, though the conceit that a gay boy could hang out in the girls' bathroom all the time without anyone kicking up a fuss was a bit much.

- This had to be the only high school in the world where no one locked their lockers.

The only episode which was bad so far -- and it was beyond terrible -- was the Christmas episode with Juliana Hatfield as a folk-singing angel in Doc Martens. Terrible dialogue and unbelievably mawkish. I think they were going for a bit of magic realism and instead made a "Touched by an Angel" episode instead.

I know this show has some rabid fans out there...any thoughts?

by Anonymousreply 20612/22/2013

Some of the better writing, acting and over-all stories that have ever been on television.

Still love Claire and Jared because of this show.

by Anonymousreply 210/31/2010

I'm sure a lot of it had to do with where I was at and what was going on with me at the time, but I used to literally feel it in my chest when I'd watch that show. All of it just hit so close to home.

To this day, Rayanne Graff is one of my favorite television characters of all time.

So is Patty Chase to be honest. Her performance in 'Weekend' just kills me every time.

by Anonymousreply 310/31/2010

I was in my mid-20s when this came out. I thought the writers did a better job writing the parents than the kids.

The guy who played Brian Krakow ended up as the lesbian trapped in a man's body who dated Alice on the L Word.

by Anonymousreply 410/31/2010

Every school had a Jordan Catalano. Those boys were nothing but trouble, but oh so beautiful.

by Anonymousreply 510/31/2010

I love the way he leans.

by Anonymousreply 610/31/2010

Never saw it in broadcast, but when MTV replayed it in the early 90s I became hooked.

Wonderful show. The only thing that comes close was Buffy.

by Anonymousreply 710/31/2010

Patty and Graham were interesting - super codependent relationship, and he just got less responsible as she got more brittle and controlling (though she attempted to control her controlling). He just never grew up and she made sure he didn't have to. Plus they both ignored the younger daughter and concentrated on Angela. It was all fairly nuanced for network TV.

by Anonymousreply 810/31/2010

>>>the Christmas episode with Juliana Hatfield %0D %0D %0D %0D That was the worst episode

by Anonymousreply 910/31/2010

[quote]Still love Claire and Jared because of this show.%0D %0D Didn't I read somewhere that she was the reason it ended so quickly? She was convinced she was ready to be a STAR and didn't want to be held back.

by Anonymousreply 1010/31/2010

That couldn't be further from the truth. MSCL was very low-rated and could barely find an audience, despite ABC's support. Eventually, ABC gave up. That is why it was cancelled.

by Anonymousreply 1110/31/2010

ABC had been fucking that show around since the beginning. The reason that Devon Gummersall (who played Brian Krakow) grew so frickin' much during the show is because there were huge chunks of time between filming because ABC only ordered new episodes in batches of six or so at a time.

By the time they started hemming and hawing about continuing it or not, the cast and crew had been working on the show for two and a half years, and, I think it kind of played both ways -- the fact that ABC was on the fence about renewing added to Claire wanting to leave to do movies, and the fact that Claire wanted to leave added to ABC wanting to cancel.

by Anonymousreply 1210/31/2010

The wikipedia article on it covers it pretty well.

[quote] In a September 2004 edition of Entertainment Weekly, Danes admitted her role in My So-Called Life's demise, while insisting that she didn't have enough power to cause the cancellation by herself.[13] It is generally accepted that ABC seriously considered bringing the show back for a second season and may have even intended to (as then-executive Ted Harbert claims) due to its devoted fanbase, its quality and its critical acclaim. However, low ratings combined with Danes's unwillingness to return combined to end the series. ABC had no interest in getting into a public quarrel with a 15-year-old actress. Winnie Holzman theorized that the network was so on-the-fence about renewing the show that in some ways they used Danes's reluctance to return as a convenient excuse not to renew the show.

by Anonymousreply 1310/31/2010

my life = misshelenbedd

by Anonymousreply 1410/31/2010

AJ Langer, who played Rayanne Graff, married a British Lord and future Duke.

by Anonymousreply 1510/31/2010

I graduated in 1993 so I didn't want to relive high school so soon afterward. Claire Danes was annoying too.

by Anonymousreply 1610/31/2010

Ha, OP, before I even opened the rest of this thread I started thinking about how bad the Juliana Hatfield episode (and there is no other way to refer to it) was.

I'm also fondly reminiscing about the last scene in the series finale with Angela and Brian and Jordan. Bittersweet.

by Anonymousreply 1710/31/2010

Yes, R15, Lady Courtney also suffers that most debilitating of diseases:%0D %0D [quote]In her spare time, she raises awareness and money for the research and treatment of fibromyalgia, from which she herself suffers

by Anonymousreply 1811/01/2010


by Anonymousreply 1911/01/2010

I was about 17 when that show came out. I have to agree there was never before and there has never been since, such an authentic depiction of the insanity that is the teenage years. The crazy thing about this show was that my mom happened to sit down and watch the first episode along with me and became just as addicted. We would sit down every week and watch it. My mom related to Patty for sure. My mom and I had a rocky relationship in my high school years. I really think this show was a way for us to understand each other's view. In fact, half way through the season my mom turned to me and said, "I really forgot how hard it is to be a teenage girl." That meant the world to me. I really think the show helped us get through my last year of high school. When it was canceled we were both devastated.

by Anonymousreply 2011/01/2010

[quote]So is Patty Chase to be honest. Her performance in 'Weekend' just kills me every time.

One of the things that kept Patty from being completely hateful was the fact that, even though it was probably too subtle for a lot of TV audiences, the show was always pointing out that Patty and Angela were a lot alike.

This was especially clear in the final episode, where they showed that Patty had had her own Jordan Catalano, even though she ended up marrying her Brian.

I spent a good chunk of my adolescence with flame-red hair because of the show.

It's Crimson Glow.

by Anonymousreply 2111/01/2010

I also caught up with the show when MTV ran it. Angela, Brian, and Rayanne, and the parents are all great. Graham was hot as hell.%0D %0D My favorite moments are when the bratty little sister walks into a room, says something bratty, and quickly walks out. %0D %0D I so wanted Graham to have an affair with that woman he was opening the restaurant with. But that wouldn't have been true to the character, I guess. %0D

by Anonymousreply 2211/01/2010

I tried to watch it a oouple of times, but could never make it to the end of an episode. The inarticulate speech of the teenagers made me want to claw my eyeballs out: "well, ya know, it's like, well, it's really, like, ya know"...ENOUGH! I mentioned this on some website and was told "that's the way teenagers talk." If that's the way teenagers talk, then get me the hell away from them!%0D %0D I do remember some things from this show, at least I think I do. I seem to recall an episode where a teenager was homeless; he called a teacher who had been kind to him and tearfully tells him he has nowhere to go, in hopes that maybe the teacher will let him stay with him. The teacher listens but does not offer shelter to the destitute teen. Turns out he has a good reason why; he's gay and lives with a partner. If that came out he would have been ruined as a teacher. Was that from "My So-Called Life?" I thought it was.

by Anonymousreply 2311/01/2010

I also graduated in 1993 and didn't catch this until college on MTV. Oh my god did I have a massive crush on Graham, yes Graham. I was an 18 year old girl, can't explain it. God did I love that show. The other bad episode, though, was Halloween when Angela was transported back to the 1950s. Come on people.

by Anonymousreply 2411/01/2010

R23=wandered in from the street, looking for some hot chocolate

by Anonymousreply 2511/01/2010

I was just thinking about one of the episodes that depicted Angela and her best friend (not Rayann) growing apart and them just accepting that they both would always have a connection, but they were moving on. They always handled these moments really well on this show, very genuine.

I also like that Jordan Castellano wasn't just a mindless pretty boy but he actually had some depth once Angela got to know him and he was complex. And I also loved that moment when Angela finally realized who wrote that love letter to her.

This is the only thing I can tolerate with Claire Danes. She was great in it, but now she's entirely to actressy and pretentious, like Gwen Paltrow.

by Anonymousreply 2611/01/2010

I watched it on MTV as a teenager, as well. But I always felt that they were too cool to be real and that whole thing played out as a fantasy. I mean, the dork doesn't get to date someone like Jordan in real life.%0D %0D I did crash on Jared Leto and wanted Ricky and Jordan to end up making out in the back sit of Joardn'a car.

by Anonymousreply 2711/01/2010

Claire Danes is a star?%0D %0D News to us.

by Anonymousreply 2811/01/2010

OP...Tom Irwin, not Bill Irwin.

by Anonymousreply 2911/01/2010

I always thought that Ricky and Brian Krakow should have hooked up. They made a cute couple.

by Anonymousreply 3011/01/2010

Brian was adorable.

by Anonymousreply 3111/01/2010

Tom Irwin is bi.

by Anonymousreply 3211/01/2010

In the early days of the internet (at least the early days for me) there was a movement to save the show, through email and letter writing, when ABC was back-and-forth about renewing it. I guess the fact that reruns played on MTV for a couple years shows that the decision to cancel was probably stupid, regardless of what Claire Danes wanted (surely she had a contract that obligated her if it were renewed).

Was the show already cancelled when Danes won the Golden Globe?

One image that remains for me is Graham doing home improvement stuff on a weekend, singing along to some Grateful Dead from the boombox. He was hot, and that scene spoke to his past in a way that the series never got a chance to explore. Was he on the roof, and Patty saw him drinking a beer, and said something like "Graham, it's barely noon..." And then she realized he was fixing the roof, and even maybe enjoying himself, and left him to it.

And yes, the episode where Ricky seeks help from the closeted gay teacher and is turned away was heartbreaking. It was incredibly progressive stuff for network TV of that time.

by Anonymousreply 3311/01/2010

As far as I'm concerned, Devon Gummersall fell from the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

by Anonymousreply 3411/01/2010

What's ironic is that after MSCL was canceled there was an explosion of teen dramas on TV and a whole network devoted to them (The WB). Buffy, Dawson's Creek, Felicity, all came on about a year or two after MSCL was canceled. It would have fit in with that whole slate of shows. However, I sometimes think MSCL had that one perfect season and it's better it never got the chance to become shitty and past it's prime like Buffy did. It lives on and is remembered so fondly because it went out on just the perfect note.

by Anonymousreply 3511/01/2010

Someone here claimed to have seen Tom Irwin in a gay bathhouse! I think it was in Chicago.

by Anonymousreply 3611/01/2010

I would like to have seen Angela Chase play Temple Grandin.

by Anonymousreply 3711/01/2010

[quote]I so wanted Graham to have an affair with that woman he was opening the restaurant with.

I think it would have been in character (and if the series had continued, I'm sure Graham would have slept with her), but I hated the actress they got for the character. She seemed so shallow compared to the other nuanced performances in the show.

by Anonymousreply 3811/01/2010

If I recall, the reason Mr. Katimsky doesn't let Rickie stay with him at first because he's gay and Rickie is gay, and he knows how bad that will look if Rickie stays with him. But he relents and lets Rickie stay eventually, doesn't he?

by Anonymousreply 3911/01/2010

I was a freshman in high school when the show came out and used to watch it with my mom (she was into all the teen shows like 90210, Party of Five, etc.) The one thing that always drove her crazy was that she could never figure out exactly what Graham, who spent most of the show attempting to open a restaurant, did for a living and thought he was kind of a loser. I've noticed since then that opening a restaurant seems to be the profession for EVERY loser father character on any show with teenagers. Jimmy on The OC opened a restaurant, Dawson's dad opened a restaurant, Sela Ward's ex on Once & Again opened a restaurant, the dad on the short-lived Life As We Know It opened a restaurant. It's honestly a little weird.

by Anonymousreply 4011/01/2010


by Anonymousreply 4111/02/2010

New article posted today:

by Anonymousreply 4211/02/2010


by Anonymousreply 4311/03/2010

R44, get out everything you can about My So-Called Life from Tom Irwin. It's one of the best TV shows ever. Be exhaustive.

by Anonymousreply 4511/03/2010

uktfydtuvr7s7 ivrb6ikveo.rv e

by Anonymousreply 4611/03/2010

I'm beyond restless.

by Anonymousreply 4711/03/2010


by Anonymousreply 4811/03/2010

Is Wilson Cruz a top or bottom?

by Anonymousreply 4911/03/2010

He loved doing the show. They all thought they were doing something special and innovative. He doesn't, at all, blame Claire Danes for doing what she did, though he does contend that if she had eagerly wanted to come back, the show would've survived another year, at least. He is still good friends with Bess. That's all I really know. It's not as though we talk about it all that much.

by Anonymousreply 5011/03/2010


by Anonymousreply 5111/04/2010

Thank you very much for contributing that information, r50. It's awful to think that the show could've continued if only Claire Danes had wanted to stay.

I'm linking to a magazine article from 1995 that's about the show. Both a co-executive producer for My So-Called Life and the fan who started the campaign to keep the show on the air back at the time claimed that Danes' agent was to blame for her wanting to quit the show. The fan, Steve Joyner, claimed that Danes' agent wanted her to get into movies because that way the agent could make more money off of Danes.

by Anonymousreply 5211/04/2010


by Anonymousreply 5311/05/2010

[quote]I guess the fact that reruns played on MTV for a couple years shows that the decision to cancel was probably stupid, regardless of what Claire Danes wanted (surely she had a contract that obligated her if it were renewed).

I agree. I think My So-Called Life could've flourished if it had had a better timeslot.

by Anonymousreply 5411/05/2010

dfgdgedgb er e er er g

by Anonymousreply 5511/05/2010

Rayanne was an asshole.

by Anonymousreply 5611/05/2010

So is Claire Danes disliked on Datalounge? And if so, why?

by Anonymousreply 5711/05/2010


by Anonymousreply 5811/05/2010

I liked the episode where Rayanne OD's and Angela frantically calls her mother for help. We find out that the uptight Patty is wary of Rayanne because she had a similar friend in college who wasn't lucky enough to survive a drug overdose.

by Anonymousreply 5911/06/2010

I loved the fashion of the time.

by Anonymousreply 6011/06/2010

And I also love the general aesthetic of the time, not just the fashion.

by Anonymousreply 6111/06/2010

Awesome show.

by Anonymousreply 6211/06/2010

Another great show that was cancelled before it's time was Eerie, Indiana. It too was only on TV for one season.

by Anonymousreply 6311/07/2010

Do you think that Claire Danes has any regrets about possibly having helped in the show's early demise? Has she ever talked about that whole situation?

by Anonymousreply 6411/07/2010

R64, I recall an interview where she said it wasn't pleasant being blamed for the show's cancellation when she was only a teenager. I watched the show during it's original run and it just wasn't that popular on what was then network television.

Link below is a listing of primetime television shows during the single season MSCL was on ABC. It was up against "Mad About You" and "Friends" for Gawd's sakes; it was DOOMED.

by Anonymousreply 6511/07/2010

Even though it got only one season, they packed a lot into it. By the end many things came full circle. I've recently watched Freaks and Geeks for the first time and I found it a bit overrated. S/L and characters were not as fully developed as they were in MSCL. I think a show like F&G would have benefited more from a second season.

by Anonymousreply 6611/07/2010

[quote]Link below is a listing of primetime television shows during the single season MSCL was on ABC. It was up against "Mad About You" and "Friends" for Gawd's sakes; it was DOOMED.

It never belonged on ABC. If it were a year later it would have been the perfect fit for the WB. It was a niche show, it never would had the audience that ABC required. A smaller network with like minded programs would have been better.

by Anonymousreply 6711/08/2010


by Anonymousreply 6811/08/2010

Anybody here know any behind the scenes info or gossip about the show? Anything about the show's cast, crew, production, the industry buzz surrounding it, or how the show was perceived?

by Anonymousreply 6911/09/2010

I was a sophomore in high school the year it came out (the same year Angela and her friends were in during that season). Even though I was a gay male, I still related to how the friendships and social lives played out. My favorite part about that aspect was the ever-elusive "Tino" that Rayanne always referred to. Tino always threw cool parties, could get drugs, and could get them into "Let's Bolt!", but we never met him. There were a couple of people like that when I was in high school.

by Anonymousreply 7011/09/2010


by Anonymousreply 7111/10/2010

All the scenes -especially Angela's parents'- where people always had to act busy, fidgeting, using their hands to do anything in front of the camera are a real pain in the ass. Rayanne was the worst at that.

by Anonymousreply 7211/10/2010

Where do you think the show would've gone if it had been on for more than 1 season?

by Anonymousreply 7311/10/2010

Who the heck wants to see Claire Danes' pasty, pretentious face for two seasons? They should have had Angela commit suicide or something so Brian Krakow could become the lead. A hell of a lot more fascinating, that boy.

by Anonymousreply 7411/10/2010

R74, were you also poster r34?

by Anonymousreply 7511/10/2010

Wouldn't ABC have locked Claire Danes into a longer contract than one season?%0D %0D I have a hard time believing she was committed to the show for only one year. ABC dumped it because of the ratings.

by Anonymousreply 7611/10/2010

But the weird thing is that the show had so much acclaim(even the pilot received hype from people in the industry who had seen it way before the public), and yet ABC screwed the show by putting it in a horrible timeslot.

You'd think they'd try to showcase something that was high quality.

by Anonymousreply 7711/10/2010

Claire Danes' plain looks were an asset to the show. They made her easier to relate to.

by Anonymousreply 7811/11/2010

So apparently everyone who worked on this show peaked in 1994, right?

by Anonymousreply 7911/12/2010

i was a junior in high school when MSCL premiered in August of 1994.

What i find so interesting now is how back then getting 9-10 million viewers a week was considered such a failure. Sure FRIENDS was getting like close to 20 million.

God the broadcast networks would give anything to get that many viewers now.

Sure American Idol does big numbers but most shows now especially on basic cable dont even get half that many viewers.

I mean all the shows on the CW average less than 5 million.

The 2 most successful to come out of MSCL are Jared and Claire- they do and did movies.

Tom Irwin still does TV- i remember seeing him on ER and he does theater in Chicago.

The one bit player that made it big from one small appearance on MSCL is LAURA INNES- she had quite the long run on ER as Carrie-the lesbo with the crutch. I loved Senta Moses on this show too.

i was and still am a gay latino male

and i so wanted to be like and be with Jordan Catalano...I even let my hair grow out and dressed like him.

by Anonymousreply 8011/12/2010

Were you a fan of the show?

by Anonymousreply 8111/12/2010

Tom Irwin goes to my vet.

by Anonymousreply 8211/12/2010

I can't go out in West Hollywood without running into the guy who played the gay one. I swear he goes out every night of the week.

by Anonymousreply 8311/12/2010


by Anonymousreply 8403/28/2011

You can currently stream the entire series from Netflix now.

by Anonymousreply 8503/28/2011

Tom Irwin was on Law and Order SVU last week. He got a little fat, but I recognized him right away even as he was staggering around with a knife wound.

by Anonymousreply 8603/28/2011

Angela's friend Sharon had a boyfriend named Kyle in a handful of episodes that I always thought was majorly hot. I know his real name is Johnny Green, but I can't find any pics of him (old or new) online at all.

by Anonymousreply 8703/28/2011

Claire Danes never really made it as a movie star, did she? Soooooo flat-chested.

by Anonymousreply 8803/28/2011

I used to run home from the bus stop, drop my bags on the basment floor and tune in to My So Called Life.%0D %0D %0D %0D Good Times.

by Anonymousreply 8903/28/2011

She's not very attractive either, but she thinks she is.

by Anonymousreply 9003/28/2011

R40 Patti LuPone's character on LIFE GOES ON also opened a restaurant, but she was the mother.

by Anonymousreply 9103/28/2011

MSCL was exactly like my high school. it looked like, similar students and teachers, etc. i was in high school when it came out as well so I felt very connected to it. rickys character was groundbreaking ...there wasnt, and hasnt been, any gay character on tv as 3D as him. this might be unpopular opinion, but i find the gays on glee somewhat tired and 2 dimensional. in a way, im glad MSCL ended early as they didnt have an opp to possibly ruin it.

by Anonymousreply 9203/28/2011

I was just out of college in '94. I had a my first ever gay crush on a str8 friend (yeah yeah, it was rough). I vividly remember the scene where Angela is "over" Jordan ,and she jumps up and down on the bed while "Blister in the Sun" plays.%0D %0D I blasted that song a LOT that year.

by Anonymousreply 9303/28/2011

[quote]As far as I'm concerned, Devon Gummersall fell from the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.%0D %0D And he stayed kinda pretty for a few years after the show

by Anonymousreply 9403/28/2011

[quote]Claire Danes never really made it as a movie star, did she? Soooooo flat-chested.

She was a good choice because she looked like a normal(but not unattractive) girl.

by Anonymousreply 9503/29/2011

I would have liked the show better if it had been centered around Rayanne.

by Anonymousreply 9603/29/2011

Why is that, R96? Did you dislike Angela, or did you just like Rayanne a lot?

by Anonymousreply 9703/29/2011

r97: I just liked Rayanne a lot. I thought she was more interesting than Angela. She had many more flaws and her moral compass was more often askew so I think it would have made for more exciting stories though I understand that Angela was probably more relatable for the target audience. Angela was always kind of a cypher to me.

by Anonymousreply 9803/29/2011

I see, thanks. Perhaps if the series had continued the focus or viewpoints may have transitioned a bit. But sadly we'll never know.

by Anonymousreply 9903/29/2011

does anyone remember the soundtrack? so good at the time. juliana hatfield, buffalo tom, sonic youth, the lemonheads, daniel johnston. i probably have a sweet spot bc it reminds me of the show and being 13.

by Anonymousreply 10003/29/2011

I own the soundtrack! I think I got it from a Columbia House deal back in the day.

by Anonymousreply 10103/29/2011

It's interesting how great shows like "My So-Called Life" and "Freaks and Geeks" that truly reflect high school life don't garner high ratings. But phony, unrealistic shows like "Beverly Hills 90210" were huge successes. I guess people need an escape from reality.

by Anonymousreply 10203/29/2011

So is this the last we've heard from My So-Called Life? Will anything else related to this series ever come out(even if it's just extra information about the series)?

by Anonymousreply 10304/01/2011

Jordan Catalano was so dumb.

by Anonymousreply 10404/01/2011

So did fame sour Claire Danes' personality?

by Anonymousreply 10504/01/2011

Saw Wilson Cruz the night of the GLAAD Awards. His boyfriend was hot.

by Anonymousreply 10604/01/2011


by Anonymousreply 10704/01/2011

R214, explain. I'm not familiar with that story.

by Anonymousreply 10904/01/2011


by Anonymousreply 11004/02/2011

Wilson Cruz ("Rikki") was so femme and unrelatable. He gossipped in the girls' bathroom.%0D %0D Now (2011) he's a roided up professional gay. Yay, progress?

by Anonymousreply 11104/02/2011

Does the show still hold up after all of these years?

by Anonymousreply 11204/02/2011

Rayanne was a good supporting character but wouldn't have worked as the lead because she was too much.

If you haven't noticed, most leads play the straight and narrow role that the zanier side characters can play off of.

by Anonymousreply 11304/02/2011

The cast was not too good looking, which makes things seem more realistic and relatable.

by Anonymousreply 11404/02/2011

I had never before or never since seen any tv program that understood what it is REALLY like to be a teen. The challenge of dealing with a changing identity coupled with an almost suffocating lack of self confidence, extreme pressure to conform, and that uncomfortable butterfly stomach feeling that seemed to be present for the good the bad and the ugly.%0D %0D %0D The crap on tv these days for teens is an insult to their intelligence. %0D %0D PS music from the 1990s rocked.

by Anonymousreply 11504/02/2011

Well said, R115.

by Anonymousreply 11604/03/2011

re 115%0D %0D %0D %0D I love that song

by Anonymousreply 11704/03/2011

Buffalo Tom! What ever happened to them?

by Anonymousreply 11804/03/2011

new album

by Anonymousreply 11904/03/2011

Angela was a noxious cunt to Brian Warsaw.

by Anonymousreply 12004/03/2011

re you mean brian krakow?

by Anonymousreply 12104/03/2011


by Anonymousreply 12204/05/2011

I love the fashion of that period of time.

by Anonymousreply 12304/06/2011

Sundance is showing reruns and the whole thing is available on Youtube. Wonderful show, the whole cast is spot-on. The problem with Danes is that she was so good right out of the gate she's never had the chance to really shine again. Temple Grandin was a collection of spasmodic tics. Bess Armstrong deserved an Emmy.

Shocking to see insecure, introspective teenagers when were now bombarded with the likes of Rebecca Black and Willow Smith and other entitled brats.

by Anonymousreply 12404/26/2011

Introspection and shyness are practically crimes nowadays, R124.

by Anonymousreply 12504/27/2011


by Anonymousreply 12604/30/2011

[quote]Did [italic]every[/italic] school have a Rayanne Graff?

God you're a tard.

by Anonymousreply 12704/30/2011


by Anonymousreply 12804/30/2011

bump for the immortal Jordan Catalano

by Anonymousreply 12910/15/2011

Everytime i see this clip, it brings me right back to the show and that time in my own life.

by Anonymousreply 13010/15/2011

Other than the music playing, I love how there is barely any dialogue until the end. A great bunch of talented young actors.

by Anonymousreply 13110/15/2011

I'm 50, and that clip (as did much of the series) takes me right.back.there.

by Anonymousreply 13210/15/2011

I read an interview with the creator of the show and she said in the second season the gay teacher was going to get fired for being gay and taking in a student.

by Anonymousreply 13310/15/2011

Claire Danes was so pretentious in this. The way she carried herself in smug superiority, looking down on lovely Brian Warsaw with her stupid purple hair made my heart SICK. I despised that twit.

by Anonymousreply 13410/15/2011

R120, you are a pretty noxious cunt to Brian Krakow yourself.

by Anonymousreply 13510/15/2011

It was so of its time, mid-1990s. The clothes, the hair, the music, the furnishings...

This was a series that deserved another season or two on network TV, but probably was ahead of its time (the reruns on MTV ran for years, right?).

Clare Danes won the Golden Globe, but in season 2 maybe it would have been an Emmy, and maybe Bess Armstrong or Jared Leto or Wilson Cruz might have picked up supporting actor nomination at least

by Anonymousreply 13610/15/2011

Agreed, R132. You never really forget that time.

by Anonymousreply 13710/18/2011

'AJ Langer, who played Rayanne Graff, married a British Lord and future Duke."

The Lord must have a sense of humor!

by Anonymousreply 13810/18/2011

Does Ms. Danes ever talk about MSCL in any interviews?or is it something she would rather forget?

Does she stay in contact with any of the cast?

I watched the show when it first came out on ABC and loved it. I just watched through the episodes again and still end up crying. The two worst was the Juliana Hatfield and Halloween. The best was the finale and the Zit episode.

I loved that the ever elusive Tino was never shown.

I can't believe Rayanne is a dutchess.

by Anonymousreply 13912/13/2011

Those school years always seem to have the highest emotional stakes, everything is felt so vividly. I think we are right to feel that way. After those years, we just end up feeling emotionally dead and depressed. I miss feeling like I was part of something, like I was living in the moment and had real hopes and wishes.

Sadly, I basically missed out on everything at the time and after school, everything went wrong. But I still think about what could have been.

by Anonymousreply 14012/13/2011

I prefer the teenagers in Once & Again to this bunch. Maybe I was already too old when this came out.

I hated the cast. The very plain mother, the intense father, the freaky gay friend, the sad psycho hippyish friend, the sad blonde guy who lived next door and was in love with Angela. Everyone seems off. Claire Danes came across as someone who was very unhappy with everything about herself. It depressed me actually.

by Anonymousreply 14112/13/2011

Rayanne is not a very believably acted character, it's Hollywood and exaggerated, but it's very fun for what it is. She's entertaining if over the top.

by Anonymousreply 14212/13/2011

[quote]She's entertaining if over the top.

& she looked TERRIFIC.

by Anonymousreply 14312/13/2011

Yes, she was and is very cute, R143.

by Anonymousreply 14412/13/2011

I think that Angela and Jordan was pure fantasy. In real life, the "jordans" of the world would not have gone for the plain, bookish "Angela" let alone hold her hand in school, date, and eat milk and cookies at her Mom's house.

But it was a nice dream for us plain folk.

by Anonymousreply 14512/14/2011

Here's an extended interview with some of the cast and crew from the show about the show's demise. It is suggested that Claire Danes wanted to move on, and there were other factors leading to the cancellation, too.

Page 3 is just an ad and doesn't link to page 4, so go back to page 2 then click on page 4 for the next page. 1, 2, 4, and 5 should be the full text, but you can check for yourselves:

by Anonymousreply 14601/29/2012

"Weekend" is one of my favorite episodes ever. There are great performances in it by all the actors, but especially Bess Armstrong as the uptight mother ruining everyone else's good time (and in agony because she knows it and can't help it), and whoever plays Angela's cast-off friend Sharon.

by Anonymousreply 14701/29/2012

So where do you guys think the show would've gone if it hadn't been cancelled? It's fascinating and bittersweet to speculate.

by Anonymousreply 14801/29/2012

I saw Winnie Holzman, the show's creator, speak at Princeton University (her alma mater) the year after the show was canceled, and she was asked where the show was going to have gone next had it continued.

She said she had planned that Graham Chase (Angela's father) was going to leave Patty (the mother) for the woman with whom he was opening the restaurant, and that Patty was going to be very depressed and stay in bed and deal with it badly for a while.

She also said that Angela was going to be officially going out with Jordan Catalano, but that in the season finale she finally realized that Brian Krakow might be worth more than Jordan, and that she would have been increasingly attracted to Brian and less interested in Jordan.

by Anonymousreply 14901/29/2012

Wow, thanks for the great info, R149! And that was right after the show was cancelled so it was still fresh in her mind. I wonder what would've happened to Rayanne, especially in regards to her relationship with Angela. Could've made for some interesting moments.

by Anonymousreply 15001/29/2012

I just finished watching the show for the first time. The show is good but overrated. The writing is not very realistic and the characters' constant use of the word 'like', much like in the show 'Friends' which came out the same year, is grating. Also the pausing/halting way of speaking that all of the characters use was annoying but supposed to make things sound more realistic(it didn't work).

Jordan's character had no redeeming qualities. It was an unrealistic portrayal with how cold and disconnected he was, they also made him way too stupid. It's also odd how the same few students are hanging out with each other nearly every episode but then they act like they forget who each other is and their names. Their wasn't enough of a realistic sense of a school or other students in their lives.

Sharon could've been a very interesting character but they didn't take it anywhere too interesting and Devon Odessa wasn't a very good actress. She made the same facial expression the entire show. They could played up some interesting dramatic angles with her as the former friend, but they didn't.

Another big complaint way too much Patty and Graham. I think the parents' screen time should've been a third of what it was. They made Brian blurt out something very awkwardly negative every once in a while in a forced attempt to make him unlikable. He is somewhat unlikable but not nearly as much as Jordan who is a void. I get that people get crushes on dumb people and that's a true to life thing to portray, but his complete stupidity and basically never looking anyone in the eyes like he always had somewhere better to be was annoying.

Angela and Rayanne were the two best characters, and Danes and Langer were good, even if Rayanne is a bit too much of a cliche and not naturally acted(the walk seemed to be a bit much). But they were both good and memorable characters. They should've been the heart of the show with the focus on Jordan from Angela's perspective from a distance have been played up more without such an early involvement, more unrequited love.

Ricky was fun but a bit cliched. Some of the stuff with the teachers annoyed me. Basically, almost all of the stuff with the adults, with a few exceptions, should've been dropped. I hated Rayanne's mom, and Patty often had a stupidly fake grin on her face.

But in summary, it was a good show that could've improved in the second season, but hardly the flawless show people make it out to be. Angela was 'us', and Rayanne was the friend that we all wanted to have. I know that it was established early on that Rayanne was supposed to be promiscuous, but I didn't really buy her betrayal of Angela. Jordan yes, but Rayanne, no.

by Anonymousreply 15108/12/2012

The little sister was annoying, too.

by Anonymousreply 15208/12/2012

Re 152 isn't that the point?

by Anonymousreply 15308/12/2012

I ran into the guy who played the drama teacher - Jeff Perry - a few months ago on the set of Scandal, and told him I thought he was great on MSCL. He was very nice and friendly, and a lot like he was on the show.

This is the only thing I've ever liked Clare Danes in, and she was amazing considering her age and lack of experience at the time.

The Juliana Hatfield episode really sucked. It's the only one I never watch, and the Halloween episode is unreaistic and kind of dumb.

"Turn on the radio, what do you hear..."

by Anonymousreply 15408/13/2012

I loved Corky on this. He is Micheal Phelps estranged father.

by Anonymousreply 15508/13/2012

Yet another in a long line of quality shows canceled too soon.

And of course, I was in total swooning lust with Jared Leto.

by Anonymousreply 15608/13/2012

The clip from 130 was the best scene of the entire show :)

by Anonymousreply 15708/13/2012

[quote] I just finished watching the show for the first time. The show is good but overrated. The writing is not very realistic and the characters' constant use of the word 'like'

A lot of people - a lot of young people - spoke that way back then used. They still do

[quote] Jordan's character had no redeeming qualities. It was an unrealistic portrayal with how cold and disconnected he was, they also made him way too stupid

[quote] Jordan who is a void. I get that people get crushes on dumb people and that's a true to life thing to portray, but his complete stupidity and basically never looking anyone in the eyes like he always had somewhere better to be was annoying

I actually knew someone just like him in Jr high School. I think he was the way he had a rough home life and he lived a foster home. He actually looked very similar to Jared Leto in a generic way.Jordan's character supposedly had a rough home life

[quote] It's also odd how the same few students are hanging out with each other nearly every episode but then they act like they forget who each other is and their names

yes, but in a way that isn't that odd. An example is there are people you are friends with in your neighborhood (usually an older neighbor - a yr or 2 ahead of you or a friend's older more popular brother/sister) who hang out with you and are super friendly outside of school but then when you're at school they act like they barely know you in front of their friends.

I hated Rayanne's ridiculous obnoxious walk and the way she swung her pony tail. I think the actress was trying to get more attention

by Anonymousreply 15808/13/2012

R153, I just didn't like the actress. It's fine that's she's an annoying little sister, but pick a less annoying kid. Obviously the character was only there to break things up between Angela and/or her parents by occasionally injecting a line or two(which is fine), I just didn't like the actress.

Thanks for the remarks, R158. I get what you are saying, but even within the context of the show, I think the things I complained about where not realistic in how they were portrayed and I think they were weaknesses.

I agree with you about Rayanne's walk. Yes, AJ Langer's portrayal of Rayanne was affected and exaggerated, but I can't help but still like her and find her to be a memorable character.

It's interesting that someone suggested that Rayanne should've been the lead. While it would've gotten old and she seems more interesting when seen from the perspective of another person(Angela, who is basically us in many ways), I can see how they could've done more interesting and dramatic storylines if there was more Rayanne involvement in some way. Scale back some of her ticks a bit, get rid of the overdone mother, and you have a character that added the most vitality and interest to the show.

But ultimately, Rayanne is interesting because she's someone we'd like to know, but not be.

Another problem of the show is that you sometimes got the feeling of hearing each of the characters use the writer's same voice, not enough differentiation. And I agree with R23's criticism, and I didn't find it to be realistic, just an overused cliche.

Is it true that AJ Langer tried out for the part of Angela? I thought I read that somewhere but I definitely could be wrong. Langer as Angela could've been interesting. I think that some of my criticisms could also be the fault of the direction.

by Anonymousreply 15908/13/2012

This is possibly my favorite scene of the series:

by Anonymousreply 16008/13/2012

Rayanne and Sharon also played Kevin Arnold's classmates on The Wonder Years when they take a field trip to the Griffith Observatory.

Jared Leto's brother Shannon is the longer-haired friend in that clip who is always with him on the show.

This show was at the top of its game. The actors, the writing, directing, editing, music, capturing a place and time. Even one more season would have brought at least 5-10 great episodes of rare, personal moments brought to TV.

"People always say you should be yourself. Like yourself is this definite a toaster or something. Like you can know what it is even. But every so often I'll have like, a moment, when just being myself, in my life, right where I am, is like...enough."

by Anonymousreply 16108/13/2012

Ricky grew up nice!


by Anonymousreply 16208/13/2012

This scene always got to me, the way Jordan is passive-aggressively being a dick to Angela, and then her crushed looks. Danes really captured the hurt; it's written on her face, even if she doesn't come out and cry rivers.

by Anonymousreply 16308/13/2012

My favorite scene, and the one that always makes me tear up a little when I think of it, is where the dad remembers Angela as a little girl, when he'd come home, and she'd be overjoyed and scream, "DADDY!!!" and run into his arms.

by Anonymousreply 16408/14/2012

Remember when Corky burned the house down and blamed Becca?

by Anonymousreply 16508/14/2012

My favorite episode is called "Betrayal" and is when Rayanne has sex with Jordan.

Rayanne sees on the list that she got a part in the play, calls Angelas name, and Angela keeps on walking. Rayanne lets out a clipped gasp.

I've been in similar situations from both perspectives and that scene always reminds me of friendships that I loved that ended.

by Anonymousreply 16608/14/2012

Anyone who nitpicks this show must not have watched TV for the last 30 years. Compared most anything else, MSCL was excellent.

As for the characters, Brian was easily my favorite. I don't get the hate for Danes. She was so good as Angela that it's hard to think of her as anything else. Now Rayanne and Ricky, they got annoying at times.

by Anonymousreply 16708/14/2012

The pilot of this show is probably the best episode of all. It introduces all the characters, and has moving scenes throughout.

Most shows, like "Friends" and "Will and Grace" have almost unwatchably bad pilots. The characters are one-note and the writing obvious.

The stars were aligned when "My So-Called Life" came out of the gate.

by Anonymousreply 16808/14/2012

In real life, Angela would be laughed at if she approached Jordan, Rayanne would be bi curious, and Ricky would have AIDS face.

by Anonymousreply 16908/14/2012

I really liked this show. It's far from perfect, but when it got things right ... they were perfect. Bess Armstrong was the best of the bunch, to me at least. I never liked or disliked her before this, but she nailed that character. She was the first parent figure I could really identify with. I was about 25 when this show came out, and I really felt her pain, as Bill Clinton would say. I liked Angela, and Claire was really good in this role. Just didn't buy everyone falling in love with her. She was a little too whiny for everyone to fall in love with. But for me it wasn't really about her. She was the cipher at the middle of the show. Bess Armstrong and Bill Irwin were fantastic. Rayanne's mother (forget her name now), she was excellent, too, as was Rayanne. Mary Kay Place, always fabulous, was great in a tiny, revisiting role. I guess it was the adults who made this worth watching for me. I was never crazy about Ricky or Jordan. I did like Angela's former best friend. She was weird/funny.

by Anonymousreply 17008/14/2012

I generally thought that the earlier episodes were better, although there were some high points later on.

I think that AJ Langer should've been a bigger star.

Have any of you read the books about MSCL, or read any of the fan fiction?

by Anonymousreply 17108/14/2012

[quote] I was about 25 when this show came out, and I really felt her pain, as Bill Clinton would say.

So you're lying?

by Anonymousreply 17208/14/2012

[quote]But for me it wasn't really about her. She was the cipher at the middle of the show.

Agreed. Angela was 'us', for the most part.

by Anonymousreply 17308/14/2012

I was incredibly nostaglic the other day missing my long lost friend from school Rayanne when I realized that I didn't go to school with Rayanne.

by Anonymousreply 17408/14/2012

The only way this show could've been more 90's is if Kurt Cobain had been a guest star. Oh wait:

by Anonymousreply 17508/14/2012

This is the first time I've ever heard that Tom Irwin is straight.

by Anonymousreply 17608/14/2012

My So-Called Life Cast at the Paley Center

by Anonymousreply 17708/14/2012

Another part from the same event(now with Rickie and Rayanne):

by Anonymousreply 17808/14/2012

"So you're lying?"

I was 25, maybe 26 when this came out. What does referencing a later Bill Clinton quote have to do with that, R172? What's your problem?

by Anonymousreply 17908/14/2012

R170, it was a Bill Clinton joke.

by Anonymousreply 18008/14/2012

Sorry, R180/172. Didn't get the joke. Still don't, really. One day, kids, you'll look back so fondly on the Clinton days. When we're all corralled in Romney's anti-Family Values camps, maybe. But you'll remember the good old days, and wish things had gone differently...

I had no idea Tom Irwin was gay, though. I always thought he was a hot daddy.

by Anonymousreply 18108/14/2012

Not to single him out, they all lie.

Back on topic now. I miss the much hated(at least at DL) fashions of the time.

by Anonymousreply 18208/14/2012

"The Handmaid's Tale" is very close to its fruition.

by Anonymousreply 18308/14/2012

Corky was whacked, but at the end it was all about the AIDS guy who was Lowe's bro

by Anonymousreply 18408/15/2012

I'm a-FRAID you HAVE the WRONG show, R184.

by Anonymousreply 18508/16/2012

Seeing the actress who played Rayanne on some show (I forget which one, one of the hospital spin-offs) was one of the most depressing things ever. She morphed into a 50 year old frau. Very depressing. Rayanne was so hot and perfect.

by Anonymousreply 18608/16/2012

I thought it was very well written, with two HUGE, glaring exceptions: the Halloween and Christmas very special episodes.

The were both mawkish, superticious, laughable shit.

I was surprised a show so otherwise wise and grounded would go off the rails so easily in cheap ploys at sentimentality.

by Anonymousreply 18708/16/2012

Although I know it was incredibly cloying and mawkish, I still love to watch the Christmas episode around the holidays. I just love the scene when they all gather at the midnight church service.

by Anonymousreply 18808/17/2012


by Anonymousreply 19010/04/2012

I didn't like Ricky's lips.

by Anonymousreply 19110/04/2012

This show, in it's uber-short time on TV, is light-years better than 90% of the shit that's on the airwaves these days.

by Anonymousreply 19210/04/2012

It certainly captured a certain time period.

by Anonymousreply 19310/04/2012

I suspect the poster who said that every school has a Rayanne Graff is right.

Please write about the people you knew who remind you of MSCL!

by Anonymousreply 19410/04/2012

Angela and Rayanne were the core of the show. It should've focused on their interactions more.

by Anonymousreply 19510/04/2012

Very touching recollection:

by Anonymousreply 19610/04/2012

More analyses, also, Rayanne's clothing discussed:

by Anonymousreply 19710/04/2012

The episode where Rayanne tried to sing was painful.

by Anonymousreply 19810/04/2012


by Anonymousreply 19910/26/2012


by Anonymousreply 20011/08/2012

How do you think all of the characters would vote in 2012?

by Anonymousreply 20111/08/2012

What are some other good pop culture artifacts from the early to mid 90's?

by Anonymousreply 20211/09/2012

Danes is the same age as I am. I loved this show. It was excellent. Every now and again I have a recurring dream that they rebooted it like the did with 90210 and I'm living vicariously through it again.

by Anonymousreply 20312/16/2013

This is one show I would love to see a reunion special for. I would love to know where all the characters would be in their 30s.

I suspect Angela turned out exactly like her mother.

by Anonymousreply 20412/22/2013

r40 And on Desperate Housewives Linette's husband opened up a restaurant.

by Anonymousreply 20512/22/2013

I just saw the whole series two years ago. I was hooked, and marathoned it. Sad that it didn't last.

by Anonymousreply 20612/22/2013
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