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The Real Word from Junior High by Katharine Croke

I'm a student at the Bala Cynwyd Middle School in Lower Merion Pennsylvania. When "My So-Called Life" came on in September it was extremely popular (with the 6th grade girls, at least). It was all we ever talked about. I remember looking forward to Thursday nights so much! It was almost addicting. It seemed to be the one thing that made me more happy than anything else (except passing that seemingly impossible history exam). My friends weren't much better. Except for the ones that couldn't watch for some reason or another, we all watched. Actually that's a little strong. I don't think I ever heard of any boys watching, though I'm sure it happened. I also had some friends that just didn't enjoy it, but most were into it as much as me. We used to have little "shrines" in our binders, made of all of the pictures we had of the cast, cut out of various magazines and newspapers. When we heard that the latest issue of Teen or Y.M. had a tiny picture of Claire Danes in it we all ran to the store to buy our copy. It was sort of like a contest to see who could get the largest amount of good pictures. We would always be comparing and trading as if they were baseball cards or something. We would memorize entire scenes and repeat them during school to amuse ourselves. It must have driven the teachers and other students crazy, but we didn't care. "My So-Called Life" was our thing, and was just so much fun to walk down the hall with a big group of girls, laughing, and repeating catchy lines from the show.

It was something we all could do. It did not require skill or popularity. Just a little bit of time, and some magazine subscriptions that most if us had, anyway. Even girls that hadn't been that into the show started to jump on the band wagon. It was sort of like being part of a special club. It was fun and exciting. In the end, I don't know how much of it really had to do with the show. I mean, we all agree that it's probably the best TV show ever, but I think that all that stuff with collecting pictures and repeating lines was more for us than it was for the show. I think "My So-Called Life" was something we all had been waiting for. Something that just had to happen. It turned out to come in the form of a very good TV show about teenage girl, and her family and friends.

What we really wanted was something to get excited over. "My So-Called Life" was so special that we couldn't help getting excited. It was our excuse. It was something that allowed us to do things that we always wanted to do, but never really had a reason for. Even now that it has been canceled for good, girls will in all probability continue to repeat catch phrases and collect photos of the cast for years to come. While it lasted it was some thing very unique and wonderful. I don't think I will ever forget it.

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“My dad thinks every person in the world is having more fun than him.”

Angela Chase, Episode 1: "My So-Called Life (Pilot)"