Discussion for Episode 1: the Pilot

General discussion about the nineteen episodes of "My So-Called Life". Note: Our episode guide can be found here.
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Jody Barsch*
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Post by Jody Barsch* » May 21st 2006, 8:06 pm

The reason I thought it was a rave was:
Rayanne: So there's this rave tonight, okay, at that club, Let's Bolt. Tino
can get us in. Guaranteed, Jordan Catalano will be there.
I brought up the boots just because I don't know anyone who would have gone to a rave wearing those kinds of shoes, it's just not terribly practical, and it wouldn't really fit the scene. I spent most of the 90's barefoot or in reefs, converse, or vans, but I did have a pair of eight hole brown Doc's that I absolutely loved. (When it wasn't jeans, white v necks and vintage sweaters and dresses, it was all about the baby-doll dresses and Dr. Martins.)
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Post by SanDeE* » May 22nd 2006, 9:58 am

You're right, Jody. I also remember when Angela and Rayanne are trading shoes, it looks like they both have chunky heels. Those would be not so great for a rave too.
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Post by svenkid » Sep 28th 2006, 5:17 pm

I recall this was the first ep. I watched, and having not recalled much about the show, having not seen it for like 4 years or something. But I recall after it being really impressed of how angela's parents were portrayed and played. It impressed me the most.

Also that last scene where angela falls into her mother's arms was excellent! such an emotionaal scene.
the episode so-called angels, does it to me every time!

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Re: Discussion for Episode 1: the Pilot

Post by majesty » Aug 3rd 2008, 4:04 am

Moments that I loved in this episode:

Rayanne says, "Rickie, give us the male perspective," as we see Rickie applying eyeliner.

Patty saying to Graham, "You never had sex in high school."

The face Angela makes right after she says, "So that's how I know," to Jordan.

The way Rayanne sprays her perfume and then ducks her head into it.
LOL. I love these parts, too.

Actually, I love the whole scene where Angela speaks to Jordan for the first time. Her discomfort is palpable, and I cringe every time she tries to turn back out of the door, but it won't open. LOL! I love how we see Jordan for a second or two, then he moves his hand and reveals his (beautiful) face. :mrgreen:

Other favorite parts:

-My favorite part of the whole episode is the scene where Angela returns home from Let's Bolt and walks home with Brian. And of course, the brilliant shot of them under the street lights on opposite ends of the screen, while Angela hesitates, then turns back towards him.

-I love the image of Angela and Rayanne switching shoes and laughing.

-I love how Angela's face crumbles when she apologizes to her mother at the end (two seconds after lying to her about how she got home, lol) as she cries, and Patti opens her arms to embrace her and allow her to climb into bed with her.

-I love the way we learn how nerdy Brian is, the editing of him answering all the questions for different classes and subjects. It was nicely done.

-Angela and Sharon's scene in the bathroom, and Angela not being able to articulate what's changed between her and her former best friend. Such a "teenage girl" moment that I can relate to. I know what it means for people to grow apart and for relationships to be damaged because of inevitable change.

-Rayanne throwing her bottle at the sleazy man in the parking lot, just barely missing his head.

-I love when Angela comes home and seems to float up the stairs, tip toeing down the hall and wiping away her makeup.

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Re: Discussion for Episode 1: the Pilot

Post by Cami A. » Aug 3rd 2008, 5:29 am

You forgot the part where she's says Anne Frank was lucky, and she looks back at Sharon for support, but Sharon just grimaces at her! Great expression of Cherski's face! LOL

And Angela voice over about it being depressing to see a "teacher's actual lunch"..."Not to mention her bra strap."

And the earlier voice over about parents asking how was school being like asking how was that drive-by shooting (when she ducks into her sweater) while Brian's trying to take a photo of her!

I could go on. I replied to your Graham & Hallie post by the way.
"So, the mouse makes pressure, just by breathing?...I can relate."

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Re: Discussion for Episode 1: the Pilot

Post by majesty » Aug 3rd 2008, 6:26 am

-On the crying cheerleader:
I liked her presence there. It seemed to me to be one of the ways the general high school experience would make "a really upsetting book." Girls cry. Perhaps someone broke her heart, or a friend betrayed her, or she was kicked off a team, or she missed her period, or failed a test, or her parents split up, etc. There are a million reasons as to why she's crying. She represents a facet of adolescence to me, and I like that we don't know what's wrong with her.
What was Brian about to say to Angela after the cop dropped her off and he told her the theme of yearbook? He says, "Angela..." and his voice sounds strained, like he really wants to tell her something, but she cuts him off and won't let him.
It's such a sweet scene. I think he's about to reveal some of his feelings for her. Maybe not to the extent he did in "the Letter" or anything, but I imagine him telling her something about how she doesn't have to try to be the way she is trying to be (dressing up and going to Let's Bolt) or shut him out as she has been doing. Something along the lines of what he told before she left for Let's Bolt, but only in a more sympathetic, emotional way.

I believe the essay analyses on this site also pointed out that it's only in the pilot that we see the school's cafeteria. That seems odd to me, as it's a major site of high school interaction and socializing, yet it is only seen here in a short scene. I love that she compares it to a prison movie. :lol:

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Re: Discussion for Episode 1: the Pilot

Post by Cami A. » Aug 3rd 2008, 6:38 am

YES! The crying cheerleader is an excellent little detail! MSCL is full of perfectly placed little details like that one. I can't think of any others at the moment, but for sure all of the extras were so necessary. It wasn't just like--let's fill the school with kids to make it look like a school.

And I think you are spot on about what Brian is trying to express in one of the last scenes of the Pilot when Angela gets out of the cop car. I love how he has a light installed for reading in the tree, and he jumps down to tend to her! So cute!

He says "Angela..." twice, does he not? Once right after she gets out of the cop car, and once when she is about to cross the street to go home, and she responds "I Gotta Go"...that scene is painful for me to watch every time.
Not knowing the words to say to your crush when she/he is right there in front of you needing your words! Gah!

I love how in just one episode we know that Brian loves Angela, Rayanne's wild spirit will lead her towards trouble, Rickie is a sweet and helpful pal, Sharon is a developing teenage girl who needs stability in her friends, Jordan is a mysterious good looking boy who begs to be explored, Patty and Graham are typical parents on the brink of facing off against the teenage years. Danielle is the oft-ignored little sister who just want to be like Angela. All that in under an hour! Amazing stuff!
"So, the mouse makes pressure, just by breathing?...I can relate."

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Re: Discussion for Episode 1: the Pilot

Post by majesty » Aug 3rd 2008, 6:47 am

Cami A. wrote: I love how in just one episode we know that Brian loves Angela, Rayanne's wild spirit will lead her towards trouble, Rickie is a sweet and helpful pal, Sharon is a developing teenage girl who needs stability in her friends, Jordan is a mysterious good looking boy who begs to be explored, Patty and Graham are typical parents on the brink of facing off against the teenage years. Danielle is the oft-ignored little sister who just want to be like Angela. All that in under an hour! Amazing stuff!
Yes, the pilot is excellent and we learn so much about the characters and changing relationships within about 40 minutes. I always love watching it.

Another favorite part is within her final scene with Brian, when she tells him some guys hit on them at the club.

"Like sexual harassment?" (which makes me laugh)
"Like guys."

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Cami A.
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Re: Discussion for Episode 1: the Pilot

Post by Cami A. » Aug 3rd 2008, 6:53 am

majesty wrote: Another favorite part is within her final scene with Brian, when she tells him some guys hit on them at the club.

"Like sexual harassment?" (which makes me laugh)
"Like guys."
Haha, that is a great line!
It totally mirrors the scene in "Pressure" on the stairs in the Chase house:

Angela: "Boy's don't have the monopoly on thinking about it!"
Brian: "They don't?!?"

The expression on Krakow's face! Priceless.
"So, the mouse makes pressure, just by breathing?...I can relate."

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Re: Discussion for Episode 1: the Pilot

Post by Tish » Dec 12th 2009, 9:04 pm

i liked the pilot very much and i liked how it showed angela's transformation and how her childhood friends are having trouble dealing with it...out goes the old angela...welcome the new angela... :D
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Episode 1 Pilot

Post by lifeofBrain » Jan 24th 2010, 12:25 am

Moderator note: moved from the Everything Else forum to The Show forum

Did anybody notice the film or difference in the colors or saturation in the pilot episode. I love it. It's got sort of a warm home feel to it. I don't know if they used different film or what, but I'm not saying it was shot better or worse than the rest of the series, it's just a very unique looking episode.

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Re: Discussion for Episode 1: the Pilot

Post by Jody Barsch* » Oct 4th 2011, 11:21 pm

Okay, I really can't figure out where to post this -- here, Media References, Felicity? (Mods. feel free to move)

So I'm sitting here trying to finish this quilt I'm working on, and I've got Netflix Instant Play TV episodes on in the background. Felicity, S. 4 Ep. 12 "Future Shock" starts and something catches my attention, sounding very familiar...

Tell me the writers didn't watch a lot of MSCL. (Not that we didn't already know that)
FELICITY VO: Dear Sally. So it was the beginning of second semester, senior year. And I guess you could say it was getting to me. Just, the way everybody is. How they all know exactly where they're going. More than ever, I felt the future barreling towards me. And I had no idea what to do with it. So when Owen asked if I wanted to go to some galleries to show my work, I had to say yes.
Original Air Date: March 12. 2002

ANGELA VO: So I started hanging out with Rayanne Graff. Just for fun. Just cause it seemed like if I didn't, I would die or something. Things were getting to me. Just how people are. How they always expect you to be a certain way, even your best friend.

ANGELA VO: So when Rayanne Graff told me my hair was holding me back, I had to listen.

Original Air Date: August 25, 1994
I'm not invoking the 'P' word, but you gotta think that Holzman's words and Danes' timing and inflection were, at the very least, subconsciously present at the writer's desk. (Obviously not as bad a case as the The West Wing thing.)
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Re: Discussion for Episode 1: the Pilot

Post by Mutajon » Oct 5th 2011, 1:50 am

Wow, nice catch!
Never saw Felicity but that certainly seems like too much similarity to happen by accident...
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Re: Discussion for Episode 1: the Pilot

Post by grim4746 » Jan 8th 2012, 2:58 am

Aaaah! Im not sure what blend of old, synical and wine led me to this. I was rewatching the pilot and found myself demanding that Angela just stick with Sharon and dye her hair if she wants to.

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Re: Discussion for Episode 1: the Pilot

Post by rachelle1165 » May 29th 2012, 8:44 am

Seems even though ive come into this game and found this website very late, i hope it's not TOO late, lol...
I actually watched the show when it originally aired, 18 years ago now(WOW). I was a "complete" adult back then, 28-29 but was able to relate with nostalgia, as well as appreciate the show on an adult level emotionally. I absolutely remember loving it back then, was extremely impressed with CD as a young actress and remember thinking she'd be off to do movies asap, which of course is what happened and what i recently learned was a major reason for the show's demise(along with poor ratings). I was disappointed in its premature end. Over the years i caught an episode or two on MTV but had pretty much put the show in my past with many others that had ended w/o syndication. Ive noticed the past few months its been on Sundance channel and have watched episodes here and there, but havent caught the pilot again until last nite. Just recently i became aware it has been a hugely popular cult hit and there is a dvd set(which i have yet to purchase). Supposedly there were early internet advocates who rallied to keep the show on tv. Completely unrelated, my question is who WERE these people who used the internet in that way almost 20 years ago when I didnt even have my first cell phone until 1998, LOL. I only started using a PC in the very late 90's...But I digress....Just goes to show how slow i was coming into tech bc of my age i guess :lol:

I joined this site about a week ago and have been randomly reading threads, etc, and its amazing and overwhelming the amount of intense analysis that has been done with many details of the show. I love it! :D Up until now i had only put such intense analysis into certain movies, usually of the surreal genre, though ive always enjoyed hashing out analysis on any film ive enjoyed with a likeminded companion. Besides the X-Files or BTVS, ive never looked at tv for much meaningful metaphor, though metaphor is to be found everywhere and as a published poet i know this to be certain fact, lol. More on metaphor later...
Back to the pilot, i saw it last nite for the first time since its original airing. I had forgotten how young CD was and appeared in contrast to later episodes. I dont have the dvd set yet, so mostly ill be paraphrasing here.
The scene between Angela and Sharon about their friendship rang so true to life because it happened to me. One of my best childhood friends who lived across the street from me decided when HS started she wanted a different group of friends and dropped me like a hot potato, without much, if any explanation. I remember being devastated and asking her why, more than once, blah blah. We went our separate ways and never really were friends ever again. If i saw her over the years, we were polite but distant, with little to talk about or share. Adolescence ended our friendship forever. I see that even though Sharon thinks she did something wrong and Angela makes it sound like its her fault, to an extent, I see clearly it isnt anything Sharon DID, but what she represented that Angela had moved away from. I think as an teenager she was changing and just wanted to try on a different personality with different friends. Forgive me if i sound outdated as adolescence was a LONG time ago, lol. To clarify that fact i will compare it, in a small way, to when Sandy in "Grease" went from Sandra Dee to Hot-Spandex-Wearing-Curly-Hair-Smoking-Spiked-Heels Sandy at the end of the movie. Though she was changing her outward appearance, i seriously doubt her good girl inner self went flying out the window completely. Even after Angela dyes her hair and dresses up the way she does for the club, afterward and in later episodes you could tell it was mostly just a superficial change; skin, or in this case, hair-deep! :D
The other scene i want to point out is the scene with the cheerleader crying in the hall. A VERY stylish and almost surreal shot. I think it represents a subtle answer to Angela's earlier VO about cheerleaders and why cant they just cheer alone, or w/e the actual line is. I see it as a reference to teenagers in general, individually and when alone, the angst and isolation for many of them. Cheerleading as a group stands as a metaphor(for me) here, of the conformity and peer pressure to FIT IN and be the picture of happy, well-adjusted teenagers to both our families and a specific social clique; the good girls or boys, the Sharons or Brians.
In the scene here is see it as the cheering, for the cheerleader, can only be done or felt within the group. Alone, the cheerleader is just another lonely and isolated teenager(metaphorically speaking). Her appearance here , alone and crying as Angela is running to class is to emphasize their parallels, of which Angela is unaware. While Angela is trying to now FIT IN with the wilder crowd ,she is feeling guilty she is late for class( showing her true self, as does the cheerleader) .
Anyway, thats all i have for now. This is my first post which i decided to write after catching the first episode(again after soooo long) last nite. I will watch the show again tonite, as it goes in order every day MON-FRI, re-running all five back to back the following Sunday. I think i will head over to each episode thread after watching it and see what/if i can contribute. Not sure if i can add to anything to the wonderful posts on here, or if its even relevant to many anymore on this site. Like i said, ive come here LATELATELATE.

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