Brian: Changeable or what ?!

General discussion about the nineteen episodes of "My So-Called Life". Note: Our episode guide can be found here.
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Brian: Changeable or what ?!

Post by SarahHall82 » Aug 11th 2000, 7:58 pm

Yesterday I was watching episode one and having only seen it recently for the first time after about 5 years I thought more about it than the other one which I've given plenty of thought to in past years....anyway..Brian's character in this first one is really strange, to begin with he's really annoying but then at the end of this episode, when Angela sees her Dad with the other woman, Brian is like sooooo sweet. Okay, maybe this is just me but apart from him helping her when she almost falls down I love this bit :
B: Angela.....(lingering on her name meaningfully)
A: I gotta go (Almost realising that he's gonna say something big that maybe she doesn't want to hear )
B Okay. (Barely audible and so heart wrenchingly understanding)
To anyone who doesn't really know this scene this might seem totally stupid to look at, but when you hear it, it's just the most emotional thing in the episode ! So, anyway, my point ! From here on Brian turns into this really annoying guy who I just want to go away and leave Angela to it with Jordan (Especially at the World Happiness Dance). And then in the last couple of episodes he changes again and that last scene of the whole series !!! Oh my God ! I mean, everyone must have known that she wouldn't have done anything with Brian and yet I think everyone secretly wanted something to happen- even if it was a hug ! That would have freaked Jordan out.
So yeah, we all end up loving Brian and forget what an irritaing guy he's previously been, how strange is that ?
Any replies to help me feel a little more sane on this opinion would be kindly welcomed !

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Re: Brian: Changeable or what ?!

Post by worldsapart » Aug 11th 2000, 9:20 pm

I totally agree...I am a big Brian fan, but I do have to admit that, depending on which episode I happen to be watching, he can get on my nerves highly. If I watch certain middle episodes when Jordan is being sweet and Brian annoying, I actually start rooting for Jordan. =) Oh yeah, and you described that scene perfectly. I admire it in that it says so much in so few words- shows the quality of the acting as well. So anyway, as far as Brian...I really wish we could have seen more episodes to see what would have happened with him!!!! It would be interesting to know what the writers had in mind for the next ones (had it not gotten canceled), and let's all hope that it wasn't what turned out in that disgraceful Clark book....


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Re: Brian: Changeable or what ?!

Post by oldguy » Aug 12th 2000, 3:55 am

I have this theory about Brian's character, that he isn't so
much a real person --- but that instead he represents a common
perception about someone like him --- say a perception by a
girl his age who sees someone like him quite frequently.

What I am trying to say is that Brian has always struck me
as a stereotype --- I mean, when I was in high school, there
was no one like Brian -- there didn't exist any person like
this. But I do think a lot of girls in high school viewed
certain people as being like Brian. I think it was very
common for high school girls to misinterpret certain guys
as being like Brian --- in other words, misinterpret attempts
at friendliness as rude --- or misinterpret shyness as
egotistical aloofness. Now granted, the character of Brian
on MSCL is definitely very rude and obnoxious at times. But
what I am saying is --- I don't think there are very many
people like the character of Brian in real life. I think he
is an illusion, mostly. I think most kids who would appear
in real life to be like Brian are really not at all like Brian.
(I certainly knew a lot of guys like this in high school, and
none of them were as rude or arrogant as Brian.).

Just a thought...

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Re: Brian: Changeable or what ?!

Post by richard » Aug 12th 2000, 9:29 am

I'm not sure that I would say Brian is aroogant, he doesn't think he's god, in fact he always seems very shy and insecure, sadly his problem is that he can not communicate, and people who can't communicate often seem rude because they tend to say things without realising how it will sound.

He is always trying to be nice and helpful, as with when he goes to the chases, he goes there becuase he feels safe there, he just doesn't realise how annoying he sometimes is

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It never really confused me

Post by somamoons » Aug 17th 2000, 8:31 pm

I agree that Brian seems to represent a stereotype and that he isn't able to communicate well. These both contribute to his awkward attitudes toward Angela.

I was never confused by Brian's personality though, it just seemed to make sense to me. I always felt like Brian's rudeness toward Angela stemmed from anger inside him. This anger came from his desire for her and the inability to communicate it to her. I think we've all felt that way sometimes - when we really liked someone but couldn't tell them. Brian represents a more exaggerated version of the anger than I've ever felt, but it still exists.

Brian's alternate side, the sweet heart wrenching one, is his exposed feelings toward Angela. This only comes out when she gives him a reason to show it - like in the scene where he's fixing his bike and she compliments him. For a brief moment he exposes himself, and then she laughs at him.

Angela is often rude to Brian, which also makes his anger reasonable to me. Angela's attitudes toward Brian would be extremely frustrating even if he was able to communicate well. Like mocking him in the bike scene, or the whole dance fiasco when she calls him heartless. When Angela sees Brian and Delia in the lab, she gives this odd look and stares at the floor as she walks off - like she knows she's been "replaced". Regardless of whether Angela knew of Brian's feelings, her actions would easily make anyone who liked her frustrated. She's not very nice to him.

Which brings up a question I've always wondered - for someone who grew up with Brian and seems to know him very well - why does Angela consider him such an annoyance? She thinks this in the second episode when she goes to his house, and it's obvious again in the Halloween episode when he tries to help her into the school and she says "let go of my hand" like he's diseased or something. I moved a lot when I was a kid, so maybe I missed that time your life when it's time to start being mean to life-long friends. From what I've seen in real people though, even when they grow apart, they aren't *that* mean to each other.

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Re: Brian: Changeable or what ?!

Post by Joanna » Jan 14th 2002, 11:32 am

I TOTALLY agree with your view - what more is there to say? (I would love to give Brian a hug!!!!!! ahhhhh)

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