My So-Called Letdown

I remember watching My So-Called Life when it was originally on the air. I was very near the same age as the lead actress, Angela (Claire Danes), and while I didn’t quite share her dark approach on life, I could relate to feeling somewhat out of place in life, in an on-again, off-again relationship with my parents who “just didn’t understand” but were always there when I finally realized I needed them, and was trying to be deep, introspective, and most of all find myself. I remember being devastated when they took the show off the air, and feeling a lack of closure. And with the show back on Netflix, I get to relive that letdown all over again.

Some of my favorite quotes:

  • “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
  • “Sometimes I think if my mother wasn’t so good at pretending to be happy she might be better at actually being happy.” -Angela (This one is so true. Not just for mothers. But for all of us. Especially now that we’re in actual adulthood, and watching everyone around us pretend to be happy.)
  • “Sometimes someone says something really small and it just fits into this empty place in your heart.” -Angela (This one’s so lame I’m embarrassed to include it. But it’s so true.)
  • “People are always saying you should be yourself, like yourself is this definite thing, like a toaster. Like you know what it is even. But every so often I’ll have, like, a moment, where just being myself in my life right where I am is, like, enough.” -Angela (I’m also embarrassed to admit I relate to this, even today. Sometimes we’re fifteen year old girls forever. Aren’t we?)
  • “It’s like you have created your own prison and now you have to exist in it.” -Brian (Poor Brian. I forgot the first time around I thought he might kill himself, and all of that came back this time around. I hope he figured it out and married Danielle! OK, yes. I know they’re not real people.)

Then there is this episode that starts with Angela dancing around to Blister in the Sun. I don’t think I even knew what this song was when I saw this episode. I didn’t appreciate Violent Femmes until my junior year in high school. Anyway, she says something epic about having Jordan removed from her hear and she’s free. And she’s so happy. It doesn’t last long, of course, but I can relate to that now more than ever.

Anyway, my point isn’t any of this. My point, strangely, is wondering 1. why I can still relate to this fifteen year old girl, and why they canceled the series. And 2. if I would love the series as much if it were six or eight seasons long. I THINK I would. There are so many unanswered questions:

  1. What the hell is up with Rayanne? I know we got into it just a little bit, but we don’t REALLY know her,yet.
  2. Will Angela’s dad cheat, again?
  3. What’s up with Jordan? It seemed like they were hinting that he’s homeless, too, in that episode with Rickie living in that warehouse. Is he homeless? Why’s he illiterate?
  4. Life with Rickie and the teacher. I feel like this could have been a great storyline. The scene in one of the last episodes where he said, “Our place…. Er, Mr. <insert name>’s place.” You got a glimpse of his life getting better, but we didn’t even get to appreciate it.
  5. Would Brian actually kill himself? Try? Finally hit the breaking point and change for the better? Or worse?
  6. Would that stupid chick opening the restaurant with Angela’s dad ever learn to chew with her mouth shut?

So many unanswered questions. All killed by the end of the series. Rude.

I need closure!


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