In the fall of 1994 a little show on abc premiered. My So-Called Life was an amazing show that went out long before it’s time. It was ground breaking in more than a few ways by dealing with topics at the time that many shows wouldn’t touch when it came to the lives young of teenagers. Topics like guns in school, sexuality and the stresses of peer pressure and what that can lead to in one’s young life. That was just the tip of the iceberg when it came to this show. My So-Called Life focused on the life of one Angela Chase and her small circle friends of along with her…let’s call it, minor obsession with one Jordan Catalano.
The show could’ve easily fallen into the traps of other series that focused on teenagers, but managed to avoid them gracefully, and giving it’s small but devoted fans a beautifully written, well acted and very engaging show. Every episode was a good one, each one building on the connections of each character and how one’s interactions with another’s life meant something, even if it was in the smallest way. I think MSCL laid the groundwork for many of the teen dramas that came before it and that you see today, though, in my opinion most are just pale copies compared to this amazing show. Unfortunately, because of small ratings, and the show’s lead actress (Claire Danes) wanting out of the show (she was only 13 years old at the time) MSCL only lasted one season.
The show has since developed a kind of cult following since it’s initial run, finding life on Mtv (back when Mtv was still kind of relevant) then moving on to other stations after. The show itself has spawned a few careers in its wake, probably the best known is Claire Danes who at the age of 13 carried that show through her thoughtful and incredibly believable turn as Angela, and Jared Leto who many now know as the lead singer from 30 Seconds to Mars. I could go on and on about this show and everything that made this show such a stand out for me (I actually flunked life drawing my first year in college because I stayed home to watch this show) but I think it would be better if people who haven’t come across this gem of a show discover just how amazing and relevant (even by today’s standards) this show is.