Discussion for Episode 5: the Zit

General discussion about the nineteen episodes of "My So-Called Life". Note: Our episode guide can be found here.
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Post by TomSpeed » Feb 10th 2003, 10:04 pm

In many ways, Graham breaks male stereotypes. Patty talks about her wrinkles in almost the same way women talk about their weight. Yes, Graham could have swerved her concerns by saying that he didn't notice any wrinkles. That's a guy's natural reaction. However, he does a brave thing. He acknowledges that the wrinkles exist. He's being honest. However, his love for Patty shines through. He loves her, wrinkles and all. He also breaks a stereotype about men taking charge of situations. He chooses to stay in the background while Patty and Angela work things out. However, his pat on Angela's shoulder when he leaves Patty and his bedroom means a great deal. He is there for her. He also is there for Patty. As an adult, I definitely take notes about he handles things. There is the normal way. Then, there is the Graham way. I might be asking myself this question in the future when I have get married and have children: "What would Graham do?"
Last edited by TomSpeed on Feb 10th 2003, 10:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Patty: If Rayanne's not seeing you, and we're not seeing you, who is seeing you?
Graham: And how much of you?
Angela: Dad!
Graham: Oh, I'm sorry! I asked a question about your life, didn't I? Woah, what came over me?
http://www.last.fm/user/TomSpeed/

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Post by Lindsay » Feb 10th 2003, 10:08 pm

Has anyone else noticed in the scence where Angela, Rickie and Rayanne are reading the poll for the first time, and they go over "hottest sophmore babe- Casey Hall" and it SHOWS her waving? Dear GOD!! She waves very strangly... like freaky strange.

Jordon is later seen talking to Casey. Typical Jordon behavior- he, of course, would be flirting with the prettiest girl "in the world." I love the contrast. Angela is already kinda insecure, and feels probably a billion times MORE at this moment (what with her zit and all).

This episode is so great....

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Post by TomSpeed » Feb 10th 2003, 10:17 pm

Casey Hall waves like Queen Elizabeth. Maybe it's a pretty girl/queen of the school type of thing.

Jordan is such a dog.

Sorry. I couldn't resist. I'm too much of a Brian fan, I guess.

Of course, I when I was in high school, I talked to some of the cheerleaders. They were in some of my classes. I didn't ask any of them out though.

Anyway, at this point, I think it's a little premature to say how much Jordan cares for Angela. Showing him with the Queen of England kind of makes the point that Angela has receded on his radar.
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Patty: If Rayanne's not seeing you, and we're not seeing you, who is seeing you?
Graham: And how much of you?
Angela: Dad!
Graham: Oh, I'm sorry! I asked a question about your life, didn't I? Woah, what came over me?
http://www.last.fm/user/TomSpeed/

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Post by Natasha (candygirl) » Feb 10th 2003, 10:20 pm

TomSpeed wrote:In many ways Kyle's opinion about Sharon's breasts is very typical. He noticed her breasts, of course. However, he doesn't understand how a young woman would not like having large breasts. For guys, things are pretty easy. We can work out if we want to build muscles to be more attractive to women. And, unlike women's breasts, men's penises are pretty well concealed most of the time. Women's breasts are obvious even when they are clothed. We don't go around thinking, that guy has a larger penis than me. Angela pretty clearly sees that she doesn't stack up. Sharon clearly sees that she might stack up too well.

I'd like to say that I'm an exception to the general male rule. However, I'm not. I notice large breasted women. It's something built into men since the stone ages. Big breasts equal fertility. Men learn breasts are fun. Of course, men learn that only part of the female breast is sensitive, etc., if they are in a very communicative relationship. I have to say that I have dated women with large breasts and small breasts. I didn't really date women who had large breasts because they had them. The large breasts got my attention.
I understand the biological meaning of large breasts (as well as waist to hip ratio), but I think that looking at large breasts is just natural because they are so obvious. I can't blame my boyfriend for noticing someone with huge breasts any more than I can blame him for noticing someone with flaming red hair or dressed in a clown suit - their very presence is noticeable and does not allow for blending in well. Noticing things like that is just a reaction - when you see someone who is really tall, you can't help but observe that they are tall.

Sharon is not emphasizing her breast size with push up bras, bustiers, or low cut tops, but she can't exactly hide her breasts either. I would like to give Kyle the benefit of the doubt and think that he wasn't trying to say "I love your big hooters" in a nice way; rather that she has breasts and he knows they exist and likes them because they are one aspect of her physical appearance that is womanly. I think that given Kyle's relative youth, he made a decent and honest attempt at explaining his feelings. It's a lot more complimentary than anything Jordan has said to Angela so far.
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Post by Natasha (candygirl) » Feb 10th 2003, 10:39 pm

TomSpeed wrote:Casey Hall waves like Queen Elizabeth. Maybe it's a pretty girl/queen of the school type of thing.

Jordan is such a dog.

Sorry. I couldn't resist. I'm too much of a Brian fan, I guess.

Of course, I when I was in high school, I talked to some of the cheerleaders. They were in some of my classes. I didn't ask any of them out though.

Anyway, at this point, I think it's a little premature to say how much Jordan cares for Angela. Showing him with the Queen of England kind of makes the point that Angela has receded on his radar.
Given that both Angela and Rickie have crushes on Jordan, why is it so surprising that Casey would want to flirt with him too? Regardless of who began the conversation, Jordan and Casey wanted to talk to each other and bask in their combined attractiveness - nothing wrong with that. Besides, Jordan has no commitment to Angela (or any other girl that we know of) at this point, so talking to Casey doesn't exactly make him a dog. I don't think that he is ever going to be averse to female attention.

As far as cheerleaders go - this is a pet peeve of mine. Why is everyone so negative about cheerleaders? Maybe my high school was the exception to the rule, but most of our cheerleaders did not fit the airhead/slut stereotype that people like to perpetuate. Several cheerleaders were in my honors classes and the ones that I knew were friendly. Many of them played another sport (and yes, cheerleading is a sport - anyone who can do this is an athlete IMHO) or were involved in other extracurriculars (one that I remember was the first chair flute). I'm not saying that every high school cheerleader is a saint, but not every one of them was a skanky ditz having sex under the bleachers and copying test answers.

[/rant]
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Post by TomSpeed » Feb 10th 2003, 10:53 pm

Jordan is a man. Men are often dogs. I've been known to act like one sometimes. I don't blame him for talking to the hottest girl in school. Maybe she approached him? He has no commitment to Angela at this point. Why should he?

I didn't mention that the women cheerleaders at my high school all placed in the top 20 of our graduation class. They were both beautiful and smart. And, I have no argument about them being athletic. I find women cheerleaders, ice skaters, and gymnasts very sexy. I wanted to ask one in particular out. I didn't. It was my loss.

In some ways, I wish I were more like Jordan in high school. It would have made being in high school more enjoyable.

Remember the movie with Kathleen Turner and Michael Douglas, War of the Roses? Kathleen Turner is hot.
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Patty: If Rayanne's not seeing you, and we're not seeing you, who is seeing you?
Graham: And how much of you?
Angela: Dad!
Graham: Oh, I'm sorry! I asked a question about your life, didn't I? Woah, what came over me?
http://www.last.fm/user/TomSpeed/

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Post by TomSpeed » Feb 10th 2003, 11:12 pm

I need to stop posting for tonight. I've already confessed to loving smart and athletic women. Someone shoot me! Who knows what I'll write next?

However, I will add that Angela definitely takes a step down in my book in "The Zit." She asks Rayanne, "Should we start going to those things [football games]?" She doesn't like football? She doesn't go to games? She lives in Pittsburg for God's sake. Home of the Steelers. Oh my! That's like a sin. No one who was anyone missed a football game at my high school. Maybe the love of football had to do with 3 undefeated regular seasons in a row. People had to be at the games and be seen at the games. Sorry, I want a woman who likes or at least tolerates football. Heck, if I can watch ice skating, she can watch football.
Last edited by TomSpeed on Feb 10th 2003, 11:26 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Patty: If Rayanne's not seeing you, and we're not seeing you, who is seeing you?
Graham: And how much of you?
Angela: Dad!
Graham: Oh, I'm sorry! I asked a question about your life, didn't I? Woah, what came over me?
http://www.last.fm/user/TomSpeed/

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Post by Natasha (candygirl) » Feb 10th 2003, 11:14 pm

TomSpeed wrote:In some ways, I wish I were more like Jordan in high school. It would have made being in high school more enjoyable.
I was going to reply to your post, but then I realized that there was too much about Jordan that happened outside of this episode (mostly because he was barely present in the Zit) so I tried to collect my thoughts here
Remember the movie with Kathleen Turner and Michael Douglas, War of the Roses? Kathleen Turner is hot.
I always remember that scene in the attic :shock:

Romancing the Stone - mmmmmm.
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Post by Megs » Feb 11th 2003, 10:29 am

TomSpeed wrote:I need to stop posting for tonight. I've already confessed to loving smart and athletic women. Someone shoot me! Who knows what I'll write next?

However, I will add that Angela definitely takes a step down in my book in "The Zit." She asks Rayanne, "Should we start going to those things [football games]?" She doesn't like football? She doesn't go to games? She lives in Pittsburg for God's sake. Home of the Steelers. Oh my! That's like a sin. No one who was anyone missed a football game at my high school. Maybe the love of football had to do with 3 undefeated regular seasons in a row. People had to be at the games and be seen at the games. Sorry, I want a woman who likes or at least tolerates football. Heck, if I can watch ice skating, she can watch football.

Tom - I think you misunderstood this scene.
Rayanne : Oh, yeah, Cherski and Vinnovich. You didn't know? I think they met at the game, probably the big game. Possibly, the big away game.
Angela : Should we be, like, attending those things?
Rayanne : Please grip yourself.
I always took this as Rayanne was talking about sex (the "big away game"), and Angela's reaction to that ("Should we be, like, attending those things?") indicated her fear and uncertainy about having sex. I don't think that they were actually discussing football.
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Post by Megs » Feb 11th 2003, 10:30 am

Although now that I see she said "met", and I always thought she said that they were "at" the big game. But the transcripts aren't always accurate, so who knows. That little word can change the entire context of the conversation.
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Post by Megs » Feb 11th 2003, 10:31 am

candygirl wrote:Romancing the Stone - mmmmmm.
Yeah. Michael Douglass was hot in that movie. Wow. Too bad his facelift looks horrible now! :shock:
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Post by TomSpeed » Feb 11th 2003, 11:20 am

likelife wrote:BRIAN

brian's role in this episode clues us in just a bit to how much bri probably thinks about girls and sex. i mean, we could assume as such because he's a teenager, but i like the little moments in this episode such as:
- he doesn't CONDONE the poll, but he understands the motivation behind it
-he has obviously noticed sharon's figure
-he sees kyle's shoe thing as a sex game or foreplay or something! ha ha.
- he even eyes rayanne's behavior with interest (though maybe also with disgust, who knows....)
i agree that he and sharon must have known each other for a long time... they act like siblings sometimes.

GRAHAM

i like that graham TOTALLY stays out of angela's and patty's way during the talent show argument. i also think it's pretty sweet and realistic the way he talks to patty about her wrinkles..
and she's right to say that women find graham more attractive as he gets older... it's something that he isstarting to notice as well.
Brian in "The Zit" seems like a normal young man. He's not just a smart guy/teacher's pet. He has wants, needs, and desires. Yes, he still wants Angela, but he is not blind to other women, like Sharon. Odds are he probably did or now would look Sharon as a possible girl friend. He hasn't been oblivious to sex, but his talk with Rickie about couples holding hands does betray a little naiveté. He simply didn't think that much about sex, unless it was in terms of Angela and possibly Sharon. Or, it's not that he doesn't think about sex, he hasn't taken the pursuit of sex beyond the intellectual stage. How does a man get sex?

His telling Sharon about the poll, or more specifically, the way he tells her about the poll, is interesting. One, he assumes she knows about it already. Two, he thinks the poll is a goof. How can she take it seriously? Third, he absolutely has noticed Sharon's breasts.

My memory of my school years is a little blurry at times. But, don't girls mature, develop breasts, rather quickly? I know guys can sprout a few inches in height over one summer. It could be last year, Sharon was relatively flat-chested. Brian didn't see much of Sharon over the summer. Now, she's not flat-chested. He might even be looking at her in an entirely new way.

He probably is attracted to and repulsed by Rayanne at the same time. She is definitely good looking. And, she is, by reputation, easy to bed. Girls who are easy certainly have their own attraction. Brian probably/definitely thinks of Angela in a sexual way. But, it might be easier for him to think of Rayanne sexually.

His and Rickie's reaction to Kyle taking Sharon's shoe is very funny. They both don't know that much about sex. Hey, when I think about this situation as an adult, I think taking a woman's shoe is sexy/dangerous. You are invading a woman's personal space in a confrontational/playful manner. It's not like Kyle asked to borrow Sharon's shoe.
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Patty: If Rayanne's not seeing you, and we're not seeing you, who is seeing you?
Graham: And how much of you?
Angela: Dad!
Graham: Oh, I'm sorry! I asked a question about your life, didn't I? Woah, what came over me?
http://www.last.fm/user/TomSpeed/

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Post by TomSpeed » Feb 11th 2003, 11:30 am

Brian and Me

If I had a choice between Angela, Rayanne, and Sharon as a 15 year old young man, I would choose Angela. Unfortunately, he doesn't really have a choice in terms of he can have one of them if he wants. He has to work to capture one of them. In "The Zit," his options are open. Later episodes will find him making his choices.

Angela just has a certain something that I found appealing then and still find appealing now in women. I can't put my finger on it.
Last edited by TomSpeed on Feb 11th 2003, 11:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
TomSpeed

Patty: If Rayanne's not seeing you, and we're not seeing you, who is seeing you?
Graham: And how much of you?
Angela: Dad!
Graham: Oh, I'm sorry! I asked a question about your life, didn't I? Woah, what came over me?
http://www.last.fm/user/TomSpeed/

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Post by TomSpeed » Feb 11th 2003, 11:34 am

Megs wrote:Although now that I see she said "met", and I always thought she said that they were "at" the big game. But the transcripts aren't always accurate, so who knows. That little word can change the entire context of the conversation.
Since it's October in this episode, I assume the "Big Away Game" they are talking about is a football game.
TomSpeed

Patty: If Rayanne's not seeing you, and we're not seeing you, who is seeing you?
Graham: And how much of you?
Angela: Dad!
Graham: Oh, I'm sorry! I asked a question about your life, didn't I? Woah, what came over me?
http://www.last.fm/user/TomSpeed/

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Post by SanDeE* » Feb 11th 2003, 1:50 pm

I thought that Rayanne was just mocking the jock and prep community with that "big away game" conversation. Perhaps Angela replied with "should we be going to those things?" because she heard Sharon got a boyfriend there. Maybe that could be a place to meet a boyfriend. Angela says in this episode in the Kafka-esque scene, "Sharon having a boyfriend, and not me." She doesn't even mention Jordan as the boyfriend that she wants.
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