The So-Called Premise

Set in Three Rivers, a fictional suburb somewhere near Pittsburgh, PA, "My So-Called Life" (a.k.a. MSCL) centers on Angela Chase, an intelligent, articulate 15-year-old sophomore at Liberty High. The story begins at a crucial turning point in Angela's so-called life -- the onset of adolescence, appropriately accompanied by the angst-ridden search for identity and the requisite teenage rebellion against family, old friends, and benign authority figures. All signaled by Angela's going from blonde to Crimson Glow.

The series also focuses on Angela's parents, Patty and Graham Chase, two 40-year-old baby-boomers who are experiencing their own growing pains not unlike Angela's. Patty is horrified to hear herself saying the kinds of things her own mother said to her -- the sort of thing she never imagined herself saying. Graham finds himself experiencing his own identity crisis. With half his life behind him, he realizes he's stuck in a job he hates, but feels obligated to do. While the two face their individual problems, they also struggle to keep their marriage from falling into the rut of boredom after so many years together.

Meanwhile, with all of this taking place under the Chases' roof, Danielle Chase, Angela's oft-forgotten 10-year-old sister, faces a challenge of her own. With everyone's attentions turned to her older sister, Danielle, a pre-teen with seemingly boundless energy, is constantly trying to be noticed. She often resorts to gymnastics just to avoid being mistaken for a hat rack or part of the wallpaper.

Viewers get to peek into the adolescent mentality by eavesdropping on the protagonist's thoughts. Usually voiced over by series star Claire Danes, these range from the esoteric ("School is a battlefield - for your heart.") to the confessional ("I cannot bring myself to eat a well-balanced meal in front of my mother.") to the refreshingly mundane ("Okay. So I have a zit.").

At school, Angela is flanked by friends and classmates who round out the show's impressive cast: childhood friends Sharon Cherski and Brian Krakow, once close to Angela but left out in her new life; the fun-loving duo of Rayanne Graff and Rickie Vasquez, more in search of a good party than a good education; and resident enigma Jordan Catalano, the slow-blinking, great-leaning loner who is the object of Angela's intense but (perhaps) unrequited infatuation.

MSCL -- Main Page
MSCL Bible (index)
1. So-Called History
2. So-Called Legacy
3. So-Called Premise
4. So-Called Characters
5. So-Called Episodes
6. So-Called Cast
7. So-Called Players
8. So-Called Music
9. So-Called Trivia
10. So-Called Fans
11. So-Called Network
12. So-Called Links
13. So-Called Thanks