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About the author: Jan Fischer (Decadence)

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Hello MSCL fans!

Some people call me Jan. Some people call me Decadence. Since I discovered that some people know my nickname better than my actual name I just wanted to make clear that both names belong to one person, and that's me. :-)

When MSCL aired in Germany for the first time in 1995 I didn't pay any attention, "just another one of those shallow american teenager series", I thought. In 1996 a friend of mine told me about it and said "this one's different." I still didn't quite believe him, but I took a peek and became interested. Needless to say that it was episode 17 or something to that effect, so I more or less missed it again. But luckily enough my friend had taped at least the first nine episodes, and after I had watched those episodes I got hooked, I saw this tv series really was different.
This summer RTL2 showed MSCL again, this time five days a week, and my friend taped all the episodes. He even gave me the keys to his flat and I came over to push the buttons of the VCR when he was at work and wasn't able to tape it, cause we wanted to get rid of the commercial breaks. One could say we were obsessed. Needless to say that I copied them all for myself as well. :-)

Being the 27-year-old that I am, it seemed quite confusing for some of my friends that I became obsessed with a tv series about a 15-year-old american teenager. I have several answers to that:
1. I don't care, I love MSCL. :-)
2. The problems, worries and thoughts discussed in MSCL aren't just problems of teenagers, I still haven't found answers to most of the questions asked in MSCL myself (it's like asking for the meaning of life).
3. The series was realistic, not universal, but realistic. At long last a series portrayed teenagers that loved to think, that weren't just the cliche of superficial teenagers we see so often and that are the reason why I despise most other teenager series.
4. Even if it was about something that is a thing of my past completely, are we oh-so-grown-up that we aren't allowed to get nostalgic every now and then???
5. The style of MSCL was so impressive that it was fun to watch an episode just because of the camera work, the cutting and the whole mise-en-scène.
6. ...and as a bonus to the brilliant style, the storylines were well thought out and almost always avoided superficiality by replacing it with atmosphere.

At the end of the first run of MSCL in Germany there was this caption saying "more episodes to come after this summer".... well, we all know this sadly enough wasn't the case. Since the series had no real ending, I began to think about how I would've ended it. After reading Chris Hall's scripts I thought that Fan Fiction would be a great opportunity to write down my ideas of how I thought MSCL should've continued.
Needless to say, I didn't come up with a real ending myself, but I at least wanted to get some things straight that were left unclear or uncertain after the 19th episode, hence the title "Setting The Courses". I wanted to provide an episode that clearified how, from my point of view, the story lines would develop. So who knows, maybe I'll write an episode #21 one day...

I know that in my episode I focussed very much on Angela, but I thought it would've been unrealistic to throw all characters into one episode, just to make sure they all appear in it. By doing so I hoped to keep up the spirit of the original series, maybe other characters will be dominant in future episodes.

"Setting The Courses" is the English translation of my German episode "Weichenstellungen", I thought it would be quite nice to make it available to the English speaking world as well. :-)

So all that's left to say right now is a big Thank-you to Marguerite Marlow, who proof-read the English translation and struggled her way through my script to transform some of my English sentences into something that makes some sense. :-)

Greetings to everyone at Liberty and the Let's Bolt, let's keep the spirit of MSCL alive.

Fanfiction contributions by this author

“Lately, I can't even look at my mother without wanting to stab her repeatedly.”

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