Brian and Angela

General discussion about the nineteen episodes of "My So-Called Life". Note: Our episode guide can be found here.
opus
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Brian and Angela

Post by opus » Mar 2nd 2003, 8:09 am

Is there anyone else out there who thinks that Brian will eventually end up with Angela? After all, she knows now that Brian wrote the letter, and let's face it... Jordan's just a pretty boy with no real substance--Angela will probably get tired of him.

Actually, I can't even understand why Angela likes Jordan, except for his looks. He's not very bright (even if he didn't have dyslexia, I don't think he'd be very smart); he treats Angela like crap sometimes; he almost pressures Angela into having sex; he cheats on her; he smokes; etc.

Brian is not perfect, but I think he'll eventually grow out of his nerdy phase. He'd make a better husband than Catalano, who doesn't seem to have a real clear future ahead of him. Right now, Angela is attracted to him because of his good looks and his bad-boy image, but are these the kind of things that successful long-term relationships are built on? I don't think so...

Agree? Disagree? Feel free to opine...

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TomSpeed
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Post by TomSpeed » Mar 2nd 2003, 1:08 pm

I do! I do!

Angela and Brian will get togther eventually. The fan fiction story I am working on now develops this plot point.

Rats, I gave away the ending. Well, anyone who has read my posts knows that's how I feel. Getting them together takes a lot of doing.

Anway, if I ran the universe, which I do in my writing, Angela and Brian hook up.
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?
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Double Espresso
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Post by Double Espresso » Mar 2nd 2003, 3:17 pm

Surely Angela would end up with neither!!

C'mon, they all finish high school, Angela and Brian (at the very least) go off to University, in different cities, they meet different people and probably only see each other whenever they're home. Even if she ended up getting together with Brian during their final years at high school one or other would end up meeting someone else. (I'm cynical aren't I?). That and really, if Angela doesn't like Brian in that way, then she doesn't like him, simple as that. Whether he's decent marriage material or not, she just doesn't like him that way.

Admittedly if MSCL had gone on for at least 3 more seasons then either Brian's character would have to be written out, or they would have to end up in the same College Town (a la Dawson's Creek, where miraculously even someone's grandmother moved to the same town!!!). In this case then, yeah, maybe that's a plot that would have occured, but I'd have been annoyed if it had happened. It would be like Buffy getting together with Xandar.

opus
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Post by opus » Mar 2nd 2003, 3:40 pm

Good point, Double Espresso. But I think that Angela would eventually end up someone like Brian, rather than someone like Jordan. Her attraction to Jordan seems rather superficial; they don't really have that much in common. I just don't see their (Angela and Jordan's) relationship lasting beyond highschool, because she's too smart to burden herself with a person like Jordan.

I just don't see Jordan ever having a steady job, responsibilities, etc. Angela, on the other hand, seems destined for greater things, and I think she'd get bored of Jordan after she realizes he's not good for much. (Boy am I ever harsh!)

It's not that I hate Jordan or anything like that, but I knew many guys like him in highschool. They pretty much ended up with low-paying, dead-end jobs. And here I am, a former nerd, with a great paying job. It's been 18 years since we graduated from highschool, and some of these former pretty-boys I know are on welfare, or in blue-collar manual labor jobs that don't pay much. Not that there's anything wrong with that! I have nothing against blue-collar manual laborers--they important to society, too--but I just can't see Angela ending up with someone like that. She'd probably end up with someone who has the same intellect and education level as her, and Jordan ain't it.

But I could be dead wrong...

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TomSpeed
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Post by TomSpeed » Mar 2nd 2003, 9:43 pm

There are a couple of ways to look at MSCL. You can look at it as simply a show. Or, you can look at it as a version of reality. Sure, if it had continued 2-3 more years, it would be difficult to resolve the Angela, Brian, Jordan triangle to everyone's satisfaction. However, if you look at the show as a version of reality, anything is possible. Does that make any sense?

The fact is that people who cared for each other in high school do sometimes meet and fall in love later in life. Things sometime happen fall certain ways. These people aren't necessarily the same people they were in high school. They have matured and changed to such a degree that a relationship becomes possible.

Anyone can infer what he or she wants when they watch MSCL. I happen to see a kernal of mutual attraction/repulsion at work between Angela and Brian. Given the right circumstances, anything could happen.

Anyway, it's good to consider life's possiblities. As soon as you think you have life figured out, you'll be surprised.
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?
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Natasha (candygirl)
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Post by Natasha (candygirl) » Mar 3rd 2003, 5:09 am

Natasha aka candygirl :: MSCL.com

Look, if this is weird for you, being tutored? I don't mind helping you a little longer.
You could have sex with me if you really want to help...I guess that's a "no"?

TooCool4Skool
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Re: Brian and Angela

Post by TooCool4Skool » Dec 7th 2004, 5:32 pm

Now for some Defending!
opus wrote: After all, she knows now that Brian wrote the letter, and let's face it... Jordan's just a pretty boy with no real substance--Angela will probably get tired of him.
I disagree with this- I feel from the outside Jordan seems like "just another pretty face", but I do feel like his more than that. Just because he is pretty to look at, doesn't mean that he is hallow inside. He shows his true self a very limited amount of times during the show. This, I feel, is because he is set in his ways- he was always told how to act by his friends, etc.; all he needs is a push (in this case Angela) to let his true self come through.
opus wrote:I just don't see Jordan ever having a steady job, responsibilities, etc. Angela, on the other hand, seems destined for greater things, and I think she'd get bored of Jordan after she realizes he's not good for much. (Boy am I ever harsh!)
I agree with you on the fact that Jordan won't necessarily make a huge impact on the world. But... wouldn't that be good for Angela? He would kind of be a ying to her yang- balancing each other. Honestly, I don't think Jordan gets enough credit. He might not be able to read words, but he is able to understand them. He is deeper than we think- and is only getting deeper with Angela's help. Also, I think Angela needs that- she needs to feel as though she is helping; he needs someone to help him.
opus wrote:It's not that I hate Jordan or anything like that, but I knew many guys like him in high school.
Trust me... I know many guys that are just hair gel and bad lines- all of us do; but... like I wrote before, Jordan isn't like that. Sorry- I'm not saying Jordan can't be a mindless shallow person--- but that isn't all he is.

I think I defend him so much is because I used to know someone exactly like him. He was a really tough guy- didn't give a crap about anything, and would conform to whatever his friends would do(Not to mention really, really hot!). Also, he was defiantly considered "the stupid guy". Well, I remember, that I was really angry that I had to sit by him because he came off as such an ass. After a while, I started to notice that he was really struggling, and decided to help him out. Once he let his guard down, he was the most sweetest guy I had ever met. He really cared about things, and had more depth than any other person I had ever met- and yet no one ever gave him credit. He and I really got along well..., really, really well!!! HEHE

(By the way, he was able to get a B that quarter!-not so dumb after all!)

Sorry, didn't mean to write a novel!
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Thom- ...No.
Space Goast- Cuz it sounds like a good idea... so do it.

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Re: Brian and Angela

Post by Juli » Dec 22nd 2004, 10:16 pm

TooCool4Skool wrote:
I agree with you on the fact that Jordan won't necessarily make a huge impact on the world. But... wouldn't that be good for Angela? He would kind of be a ying to her yang- balancing each other. Honestly, I don't think Jordan gets enough credit. He might not be able to read words, but he is able to understand them. He is deeper than we think- and is only getting deeper with Angela's help. Also, I think Angela needs that- she needs to feel as though she is helping; he needs someone to help him.
I must say, I've always felt exactly how you have expressed yourself in your post. Especially with this point. Jordan does not get the credit he deserves. Sure, he's acted like a dick but hasn't Brian? Hasn't Angela been a bitch? Rayanne? Sharon? Even Delia?

Jordan has seen the fault in how he acted. He was desperately trying to make it up to her. I also don't see Jordan sleeping with Rayanne as something that was cut and dry. I don't think the reason was sex just because Angela wasn't giving it up thus finding someone who was willing. I also don't think that was Rayanne's reason, either. That's not to say it is justified - but I can see the reasoning. The talk about Angela leading up to the *shudder* incident and the "I really miss her" looks on their faces said it all about WHY it happened, in my opinion. Doesn't make it justified but I can understand it - and that's why I never hated Rayanne or Jordan for it. But I guess that's not really suited for this thread.

Was Jordan the perfect guy? Hell no. But I do believe that was an overall good guy, it's just that he had never been challenged by a girl the way Angela challenged him. Girls just gave him whatever he wanted without having to have an actual relationship. Angela was different. She forced him to think and to strive to do well - not just get by. She made him realize the way you are supposed to treat the ones you care about. She showed him what he was capable of and how much she cared for him.

Does that give him an out for the way he acted? No, but I guess in this case, he had to learn how to treat the one he loved the hard way. And he was MORE than willing to do anything to make it up to her.

That is why I think if I were Angela, I'd forgive him and give him another chance over Brian. It has nothing to do with Jordan's looks or social status over Brian. It's because it is not that easy to just let someone go who you have such strong feelings for, especially when you love them and they are trying to do anything and everything they can to make you see how they can be good for you and how you can be what they need. Just because Brian could treat her good, that doesn't mean that she should have chosen him. Jordan, in my opinion, would have been doing the same and treating her the right way and learning from his mistakes, had the show continued. I really think that Jordan and Angela had something that Brian could never touch. It's hard to explain it.

TooCool4Skool, great post! I enjoyed reading it and agreed with your reasonings behind your defending Jordan. Underneath it all, there was a good guy. Angela was just beginning to dig it out and I think if the show had gone on, we would see the true Jordan and be pleasantly surprised.

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Jordan is an illusion

Post by Arch Geek » Jun 26th 2005, 1:23 am

First, I'd like to point out the differences between Angela's crush on Jordan, and Brian's crush on her. Angela fantasizes about Jordan. Aside from the fact that she finds him extremely physically attractive (as many teenage girls apparently do) her entire crush is based on her perception of what he is really like, which is created by her imagination. On the other hand, Brian's crush on Angela is based only on solid factual evidence. He has known her for as long as he can remember and therefore knows all about her personality, in fact it sometimes seems that he knows her better than she knows her self. Brian can be sure that he loves the actual person, whereas Angela is constantly having to reevaluate her crush each time Jordan fails to act according to her idealized expectations.

Second, while there is abundant evidence that Brian and Angela would be compatible with one another, there really isn't Any indication that Jordan would be compatible with her at all. I admit, he develops some kind of "feelings" for her, but it is really unclear whether these go beyond wanting to make out and have sex with her and the fact that it bugs him that she is hard to seduce. And even if he decides he really does actually love her, would he (or could he) forgo sex for an extended period of time in order to have a relationship with her? And even then, would they be able to do anything besides making out in the boiler room without boring the crap out of each other? No. She has already decided not to have sex, and what she wants is a conversation, and Jordan Catalano is neither Willing nor Able to give her that. I mean, Jordan doesn't even Like it when she talks at all! I'm not saying I hate Jordan, I think he really has potential to essentially be a nice person, but for the above reasons he is certainly not a possible candidate for a serious boyfriend for Angela Chase. (see also the Tony Poole comparison)

So in conclusion, I contend that Angela would have gotten together with Brian, probably within the next year.

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Post by Jody Barsch* » Jun 26th 2005, 2:50 pm

This is a good thread, thanks for reviving it Arch Geek – Okay, there were a lot of things written in this thread that I’d like to respond to, so please forgive me if I just approach it step by step:

A.) Arch Geek points out the different nature of Brian’s romantic feelings and Angela’s – defining them in terms of reality and fantasy, but while there is a lot of truth in that analysis, I also think key factors have been overlooked. First, I don’t believe that before the series began Brian and Angela were close at all. In their childhoods yes, but not recently, not freshman year, not junior high, probably not even 6th grade. They weren’t hanging out, they weren’t confiding in each other, they weren’t a real part of each other’s lives. The 19 episodes start [Angela and Brian] in a place where they come into frequent contact with each other, but in superficial, everyday, insignificant ways, and shows how these characters’ growth, and interaction with new and different people (Jordan, Rayanne, Rickie) is actually what brings them closer to the realm of friendship throughout the series. (At least that is how I have always viewed their characters…) At any rate, my point is this: 1.) that Brian does not, by any means, know everything about Angela. He watches her - yes, he is fully aware of her faults – yes (which is what lays the ground for the realist argument, at least in “Self Esteem”), but he only really knows what he has pieced together about her, it isn’t the real Angela Chase (which is why we constantly see Angela surprising and shocking Brian with her choices) – at the point where the show begins, it really is a case of Brian’s version of Angela Chase, and we know this because Angela is entirely unwilling to speak with Brian, to have any kind of real conversation with him, which means he has no way of accessing/knowing her real thoughts, needs, and desires. I don’t see any evidence that Brian ever knows Angela better than she knows herself (but honestly, I don’t think I believe that ever really happens – it is such an expansive “thing” to know one’s self, and we are with ourselves nearly 24/7, how can somebody without our selves – without privilege to our experiences and emotions ever know us better than we know our self?) Given this, Brian’s feelings for her are not automatically of a better quality (as I perceive people are trying to argue) than Angela’s for Jordan. 2.) I totally agree that at many times Angela’s perceptions of, and expectations for Jordan are unrealistic, I do not at all agree that this should be used as a way to judge her relationship with Jordan – Angela’s perceptions of dating and romance actually have no connection to Jordan, they would have been the same no matter who she had a crush on. Now, of course, other boys might have fit a little more easily into the mold (going to the movies together, for example, would not have been a big thing to many other guys), but it is a mold all the same. Angela is young, inexperienced, and still approaching some new aspects of her life based on how she perceived and imagined they would be as she grew up, not allowing them to develop on their own. It is not so much in this case that Jordan and Angela are incompatible (although perhaps they are in any long term span), but that Angela hasn’t yet learned that relationships are living things – each one is different, and you cannot force them into your expectations – you must know them, and treat them by their own nature. (I love that she fights for this for individuals (“It just seems like, you agree to have a certain personality or
something. For no reason. Just to make things easier for everyone. But when
you think about it, I mean, how do you know it's even you?”), but hasn’t yet learned that it’s the same for relationships.) … My point here is that, perhaps how Brian likes Angela, and how Angela likes Jordan, are not as different as previously acknowledged, and that really, how each of them likes someone, says very little about the person they like and much about themselves, and that ultimately, this is not something that should factor who should be with whom.

B.) In regards to the discussion of whether Jordan, or somebody like him, would be a good match for Angela in the future, think people made very interesting points. I agree, eventually people do grow bored/ resentful/condescending when they are in a relationship with someone who does not share their level of ambition or curiosity, whatever that level may be. I would assert that it does not have to be the same kind of ambition or curiosity (one partner’s interests could lie in the academic and the other’s in the kinesthetic/manual realm), as long as the level of passion for some kind of progression is equal, I think things work. It is the disproportionate willingness to interact with the world that I feel really damages a relationship between two dissimilar people. Thus, I don’t think that a relationship between Jordan and Angela is necessarily doomed because of their different interests and abilities. I agree with TooCool4Skool and Juli in that they may balance each other out, but I find it dangerous if a relationship is based on one helping and the other being helped. This is not healthy for either party and can only end badly – a relationship must be mutual, or it will end. (On a personal note, I do have every confidence that Jordan’s integrity will help him develop into a responsible adult.)

C.) In his second point, Arch Geek talks about Jordan not being willing or able to be with Angela for more than just sex, and that he does not enjoy talking with her … While this was true in the earlier episodes, I believe that the later episodes in the series certainly make all of that a mute point. I think the series very purposefully shows us that Jordan and Angela do maintain a connection, an intimacy of some sorts, after they break up. (I think it could be argued that in some ways they are both using each other, especially in “Off the Wagon”, but Jordan undeniably seeks out conversations with Angela.) And, while in the hallway in “In Dreams”, Jordan does, I feel, try to communicate to Angela that he is not willing, or able, to completely change himself or his needs, I do believe that this episode marks Jordan’s commitment to no longer ignore or diminish Angela’s needs – I do see it as a step towards his efforts to creating a more mutual relationship between himself and Angela (Angela of course is still in deliberation about this one given the information she has just been privileged to in the last scenes of the episode and series).

D.) I really enjoyed reading people’s perspectives on Angela and Brian possibly getting together in a season two. While I firmly believe there is an extended moment in the street in the last episode where Angela truly sees Brian in a different way, and definitely, even if for a moment, explores all of the possible avenues from that point, but I have also never really saw any real possibility, or grounds for a relationship between Brian and Angela. But, Arch Geek’s description of how that might happen:
In a second season, it very well might have been the case that Angela would have eventually realized that she was indeed in love with Brian, and at some point there could have been an episode in which they suddenly release their pent up emotional tension and kiss, and so forth
has prompted me to start entertaining that particular possibility. It is, indeed, a truth that we sometimes entertain feelings for someone – feelings we never had for them before – after being told how the other person feels – the flattery, the unexplored possibilities, the thrill – wheels start turning in your mind, and sometimes takes you to very unexpected places.

E.)
The fact is that people who cared for each other in high school do sometimes meet and fall in love later in life. Things sometime happen fall certain ways. These people aren't necessarily the same people they were in high school. They have matured and changed to such a degree that a relationship becomes possible.
Wonderfully put Tomspeed!

I tried not to ramble, but judging by the lengths of this post, clearly I did. My apologies, I will work towards succinctness.
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response

Post by Arch Geek » Jun 26th 2005, 8:57 pm

Thanks for reading and responding to my post, Jody Barsch.
Let me continue the discussion by responding to a few of your points.

----------------
Jody Barsch wrote:First, I don’t believe that before the series began Brian and Angela were close at all. In their childhoods yes, but not recently, not freshman year, not junior high, probably not even 6th grade.
If I understand correctly what you mean by "close," then I completely agree. Angela and Brian were childhood friends. When they both hit adolesence, it probably became awkward for them to be spending time together, and therefore, for the past few years, they have probably only seen each other as often as they do in the series. This having been said, let me try to justify what I said about Brian "knowing" Angela.
First, I assume Brian has been finding lame excusses to stop by the Chase house since well before the series began. I think if there had been a period of years before the series during which Brian and Angela had essentially zero contact outside of school, then it would have been too awkward for someone like Brian to suddenly start showing up at her house. The first time we see Brian at Angela's house, Patty's reaction when she sees him there is:
Patty[entering the room]: Hi, Brian. Angela. Brian's here.
which indicates that this is nothing out of the ordinary. We know that brian loans her things (an atlas, Malcom X), and that at some point he explained The Bicycle Thief to her. We see that they are lab partners in Biology in Dancing in the Dark, and they would have been in year book together for some period of time (probably all of freshman year at least) prior to the beginning of the series. So I would argue that they have been in contact with one another on a fairly regular basis during their adolescent years (though I agree not really as "friends" in the usual sence of the word), but more importantly, Brian doesn't have to talk to Angela to find out about her, he watches her. He is the year book photographer so he has an excuse to essentially stand around watching people. In the pilot, we see that he has guessed that Angela likes Jordan Catalano without having been told, so he clearly is capable of learning about her by observation. It's also worth noting how many classes they have together, social studies, english, and biology at least.

----------------
Jody Barsch wrote:They weren’t hanging out, they weren’t confiding in each other, they weren’t a real part of each other’s lives.
I agree that they wern't "hanging out" per se, but I would argue that they do indeed confide in each other from time to time. They certainly don't think of each other as "confidants" but they trust each other as a result of having grown up together and having spent so much time together as little kids. Plus, in Dancing in the Dark Angela refers to Brian as "reassuring" which is really pretty ambiguous I admit but I assume at least that it's meant as a favorable characterization. And I think the most important point is that she is always willing to discuss private matters with him that she won't even talk to her family about. I will list a few examples:

From the Pilot:
Brian: So, what happened? Right, like you're not gonna tell me what
happened. Chase?

[they start walking down the sidewalk]

Angela: These guys started hitting on us.
From Father Figures
Brian : How come you can't go home?
Angela : My dad thinks I'm at a Grateful Dead concert, and he'd
be really upset if he knew I wasn't.
From Why Jordan Can't Read:
Brian : Hi. You just look like you're going to a costume party as someone
else.
Danielle: So, where are we gonna have it? The lesson?
Angela : Look, if you must know, Jordan Catalano is coming over, so-
Brian : What?
Angela : Yeah, shut up! Why is that so amazing? I'm sorry if you
disapprove.
From Pressure:
Brian : Well, don't just *take it*. Yell back at me. [pause] I mean did
something -- I mean obviously something, something happened.
Angela : Nothing happened to me personally, I just -- I guess just kind of
*sad*, that's all. About boys.
Brian : Well, what about boys?
Angela : Just how they only care about -- you know, getting you into bed, or
something. [Graham, listening, slumps down further in the couch] I
mean, don't they?
Brian : Not all boys. So is that -- is that like a problem you're having?
Angela : Mm-hm. I mean, I think about it. All the time --
Brian : What, you think about it all the time?
Angela : Brian! Yeah, shut up! Boys don't have the monopoly on thinking
about it!
Brian : They don't?
Angela : No!
Brian : Okay, well. I still want my bike back.
From So-Called Angels:
Brian : So -- what was wrong with Rickie?
Angela : Excuse me, but why are you here?
Brian : Excuse me, your dad asked me to help. With the tree. So --
seriously -- is - is Rickie okay?
Angela : If I tell you, will you promise not to blab it to everyone?
Brian : Yes.

Angela : [her voice can be heard in the kitchen] See, he never spelled it
out, but I think his parent,s like, beat him up, or something.
Because -- for some reason, he's scared to go home.
Graham : Oh, my God.
Angela : And you will not believe where he's been sleeping. See, there's
this place. This -- big abandoned warehouse. Brian -- it's so scary
and so strange. All these kids, just like -- live there.
Brian : What kids?
Angela : *Kids*, Brian. There are kids who, like, have nowhere to live.
Don't you know that?
Brian : What, you go to like one abandoned warehouse, and suddenly you're
this like expert on homeless people?
Angela : Shut up. It's just that -- they're like -- normal. They're like
us. Like there's this one girl. And when you're talking to her,
it's -- it's like you forget that -- you know -- that there's any
difference between you.
Brian : Is this that place on Roscoe by the bowling alley?
Angela : No, it's on Tennessee Avenue.
From In Dreams Begin Responsibilities:
Brian : Hey.
Angela : Oh hi.
Brian : What are you reading?
Angela : Have you ever just, like, completely given up on someone, and then
something happens, and you go, "Oh my God. There's so much more to
this person than I ever dreamed!"
BusDude : [shoves Brian] Hey, keep it movin'.
[off the bus]
Brian : So, you got this letter from Jordan Catalano.
Angela : It's not just this letter. It's, like, the most incredible letter
I've ever gotten. Ever. Boy, you must have really worked hard.
[you don't know the half of it, sister] I mean, tutoring him. I
mean, I really, I should thank you. It's obviously made a real
difference.
Since this trend was present throughout the entire series, I see no reason not to assume that it has existed throughout their adolescent years. That is, it didn't start at any particular point during the series therefore we might as well assume it has been going on for a while.


----------------
Jody Barsch wrote:at the point where the show begins, it really is a case of Brian’s version of Angela Chase, and we know this because Angela is entirely unwilling to speak with Brian, to have any kind of real conversation with him,
If you're refering to her attitude in the Pilot when we first see them together, I think she didn't want to speak to him at that moment because she was getting ready to do something she knew he would disapprove of and she didn't feel like getting chastised by him after she had just been raked over the hot coals by her parents, and was consequently in a bad mood. Nevertheless, we see that she still talks to him rather than simply insisting that he go away, and she is even willing to admit to him that she is going to Let's Bolt.


----------------
Jody Barsch wrote:I don’t see any evidence that Brian ever knows Angela better than she knows herself (but honestly, I don’t think I believe that ever really happens – it is such an expansive “thing” to know one’s self, and we are with ourselves nearly 24/7, how can somebody without our selves – without privilege to our experiences and emotions ever know us better than we know our self?)
Yea, I concede this point. I was just trying to make the point that she seems to be in an identity crisis when we first meet her and hence doesn't "know" herself very well. But that doesn't mean Brian could "know" her any better.

----------------
Jody Barsch wrote:In his second point, Arch Geek talks about Jordan not being willing or able to be with Angela for more than just sex, and that he does not enjoy talking with her … While this was true in the earlier episodes, I believe that the later episodes in the series certainly make all of that a mute point.
I found that the conversations they had seemed basically vacuous and perfunctory, even when she specifically said they were meaningful. Let me give an example:

From Self Esteem:
Angela : We barely talked, and when we did, it came out sounding really
meaningful. [to Jordan] There's a tiny leaf in your hair.
Jordan : Where?

Jordan : But is that your stomach or my stomach? [They both look down]

Angela : Your cuticles look like little moons.
Jordan : My what?
Angela : Your cuticles.
I think she just Wants to believe that these were meaningful exchanges because she doesn't want to admit to herself that Jordan is never going to be interested in having meaningful, intellectual conversations with her, and that in fact, he is only interested in making out and having sex. Another example of this is that she thought Jordan would understand The Bicycle Theif. Judging from the fact that he asked Brian whether Kafka's Metamorphosis was "made up" in The Zit , I think it's safe to say she was probably wrong about that. So I think that supports the assertion that Angela wants to believe Jordan is compatible with her, and thus allows wishful thinking to cloud her judgement.
It's worth pointing out here that, on the other hand, both Brian and Angela actually enjoy analyzing literature/film and have discussed it in the past.

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Jody Barsch wrote:It is, indeed, a truth that we sometimes entertain feelings for someone – feelings we never had for them before – after being told how the other person feels – the flattery, the unexplored possibilities, the thrill – wheels start turning in your mind, and sometimes takes you to very unexpected places.
I agree, this is very true, and very well stated. I think this effect may even account for the Jordan's attraction to Angela in the first place. However, I think relationships kindled in this fashion can only last if the participants are compatible with one another.
Last edited by Arch Geek on Jun 28th 2005, 12:56 am, edited 2 times in total.

Gilly
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Post by Gilly » Jun 26th 2005, 10:21 pm

I do agree that perhaps Brian's feelings for Angela are based more in reality than Angela's initial feelings for Jordan but I would argue that Angela and Jordan's relationship grows throughout the series. I think that On the Wagon shows us that Jordan and Angela do have conversations about things that matter to them and that their relationship is continually evolving. I agree that Jordan and Angela would not end up together, but that doesn't mean that the relationship is not real or important. I do not think that Angela would end up with Brian because she is not attracted to him. My experience is that teenage girls don't really care about the quality of the boy that they are dating. Physical attraction really is important in high school. Intellectual compatibility is only really a factor as they get older or as a relationship progresses. I don't see Angela as someone who will put aside Brian's social standing. I notice that she condescends him when he does not see things her way. I also notice that while Angela seems to tell him a fair bit about her life he does not share his life with her, which would, in my opinion, affect her feelings for him. He may know her very well, but I don't think she knows him very well. I'm sorry that I've rambled, I had a lot to say but tried to keep it brief.

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Post by Arch Geek » Jun 28th 2005, 12:54 am

This is a good debate. I'd like to respond to a few of Gilly's points:

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Gilly wrote:I think that On the Wagon shows us that Jordan and Angela do have conversations about things that matter to them and that their relationship is continually evolving.
I went carefully through the transcript of On the Wagon and examined every one of the conversations between Angela and Jordan. There are exactly 6 separate conversations and each and every one of them is about Jordan's band. So I think this episode shows that Angela and Jordan have conversations about things that matter to Jordan.



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Gilly wrote:I do not think that Angela would end up with Brian because she is not attracted to him. My experience is that teenage girls don't really care about the quality of the boy that they are dating. Physical attraction really is important in high school. Intellectual compatibility is only really a factor as they get older or as a relationship progresses.
This is a good point. I certainly can't find any evidence that Angela specifically thinks of Brian Krakow as physically attractive. Then again, He isn't disfigured, horribly ugly, or obese, so I don't think she is in any way repulsed by him either. The fact is that she currently has Jordan Catalano to compare him to, and this is presumably like holding a farthing candle to the sun, as they say. So I don't think Brian's physical appearance precludes the possibility of a relationship with Angela in their junior or senior years if Jordan is out of the picture by then for one reason or another. I mean let's face it, Angela is certainly very pretty but she isn't exactly the Prom queen so, I mean, how picky can she really be?
I think you're definitely right about teenage girls in general but this doesn't mean any specific teenage girl such as Angela Chase is this way by definition. Also, we know that she equates conversation with sex:

From the Pilot:
Rayanne: You wanna have sex with him.

Angela: Who?

Rayanne: Who. Jordan. Catalano. Come on, I'm not gonna tell anyone, just admit it.

Angela: I just like how he's always leaning. Against stuff. He leans great. Well, either sex or a conversation. Ideally both.

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Gilly wrote:I don't see Angela as someone who will put aside Brian's social standing.
If by social standing, you mean, popularity, then I disagree. First, I think it's very clear that Angela herself isn't really popular nor is she really concerned about it. She's never had an actual boy friend before, she's jaded about the mere concept of cheerleaders, she only really has a few friends, she doesn't get noticed enough to be on the Sophomore Girls top 40 list, and so on... I admit that Brian is definitely even worse as far as popularity goes but by the end of the series he is friends with most of Angela's friends so there isn't really much of a difference.


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Gilly wrote:I notice that she condescends him when he does not see things her way.
Yes, she does sometimes, but only when they're fighting and she wouldn't get upset at all if she didn't seriously care what he thought of her. I think if she really didn't value his opinions, she would simply ignore or insult him when he criticizes her. Here's an example:

From Why Jordan Can't Read:
Brian : So, what, you and Jordan Catalano are, like, a couple?
Angela : Yes, why is that so hard to accept? He's coming over, and...we're
probably gonna go see _The Bicycle Thief_ this weekend together.
Brian : What? You think Jordan Catalano will understand one word of
_Bicycle Thief_?
Angela : Shut up!
Brian : You only understand it because I explained it-
Angela : That's such a lie!
Brian : You're bringing Jordan Catalano to _The Bicycle Thief_? That
idiot?
Angela : Don't you dare call him that! You don't know, you don't
understand. Not for one second. You think you understand, but you
don't! You just analyze everything until it barely even exists.
She clearly feels the need to answer his criticisms which shows that she cares what he thinks.


----------------
Gilly wrote:I also notice that while Angela seems to tell him a fair bit about her life he does not share his life with her, which would, in my opinion, affect her feelings for him.
Let me list a few examples of instances in which Brian tells Angela about something in his own life:

From the Pilot:
Brian: It's the Year 2000. That's the theme. Just, what it'll be like.
Angela...

Angela: I gotta go.

Brian: Okay.

Angela: That's a pathetic theme.

Brian: I know.
From Guns and Gossip:
Angela: Did Rickie have the gun?
Brian: Give me a break. God, Angela.
Angela: Look, cause you don't know the whole
situation. I just don't want to see him hurt.
Brian(raises his voice): Him hurt?[someone shsssss's
them from the front of the room] What about me?
[Angela looks disinterested, and stares out the
window] This is the police now. Am I suppose to
get kicked out of school for protecting someone I
don't even know?
From Father Figures:
Angela : What about your parents?
Brian : They won't even notice. They're balancing their joint checking.
Angela : Mine are getting audited.
Brian : Mine are probably getting a citation for, like, best penmanship
on a tax return, or something.
Angela : Can I just stay here, just for a while?
Brian : How come you can't go home?
Angela : <groan> My dad thinks I'm at a Grateful Dead concert, and he'd
be really upset if he knew I wasn't.
Brian : Wow. You're dad is so different from my dad. ...
From Strangers in the House:
Angela : Well but you've been hanging out with her, right?
Brian : Look.. ..it was just, she needed me, I mean, not me, but somebody,
anybody, and I just happened to be there, and we just, so, we just
like hung out, or whatever, I mean it could have been anyone.
From The Life of Brian:
Angela : So you like asked her to the dance?
Brian : Yes. In fact, I, you know, just wanted to go with someone, so
I just thought -- her. So I just asked. It was, you know, that
simple. She seemed pretty much blown away.
And, of course, I would say the last scene fits into this catagory too.
Although Brian has a lot less to talk about than Angela does (for obvious reasons), I think these instances indicate that he perfectly to tell her about his own life. However, unlike Jordan, he doesn't make his own life the focus of nearly every conversation.


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Gilly wrote:He may know her very well, but I don't think she knows him very well.
I think I do agree with this statement, but maybe in a different way than you intended. I think Brian often goes out of his way to prevent Angela from getting the idea that he likes her. Everytime he is nice to her, he feels the need to balance it out by saying something rather negative or even insulting. He does this becasue he is afraid that she might avoid him if she knew how he felt about her, and that would be even worse than his current situation. I would say that she doesn't really know Brian or Jordan, until possibly the last scene of the last episode. Throughout the series, she has a overly positive perception of Jordan and an overly negative perception of Brian. I imagin that at some point after the last episode, she would finally have realized the truth about both of them.
Last edited by Arch Geek on Sep 18th 2005, 5:16 pm, edited 3 times in total.

Gilly
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Post by Gilly » Jun 28th 2005, 1:43 am

I think it's so cool that we all have different opinions on this!

I agree that On the Wagon does have all of the conversations centered around Jordan’s life but I found that to be an interesting. Normally any conversation between Jordan and Angela is centered around Angela and she is pretty much the only one talking. They do not really do a lot of talking, but she expresses her concern for Rickie to him in So-Called Angels, she explains her unreadiness for sex to him in Pressure, she babbles about his reading and schooling all the time. The fatal flaw in their relationship is that they do not communicate well, but there is a lot of unspoken communication between them too. Anyway, I think it’s important that for a change Jordan is sharing about his life with Angela like she is a friend. I do agree that this relationship is still quite superficial, and I am not sure that it would ever really progress beyond that.

Good point about Brian’s looks, though I wasn’t referring solely to his physical appearance because I think he has a geek chic thing going on. In Dancing in the Dark she describes him as “reassuring, and annoying” which I interpret as her not thinking of him in a sexual way. Though this does imply that she is at ease and comfortable with him, it’s not in a boyfriend kind of way. While she may have the potential to be intellectually attracted to him, she does not seem to acknowledge anything sexual between them. In Angela’s World they make an interesting point that Jordan is her sex and Brian is her conversation, and though both relationships could technically develop into more it would require a lot of growth on Jordan and Brian’s part. I believe that she would have to find someone other than Brian or Jordan to meet her need for sex and a conversation.

I know that Angela is not a very popular person, especially by the way that Shane views her as “that weird girl”. I still saw her judging Brian’s geekiness nonetheless. From Halloween:

Brian : [cleaning ink spot off shirt] I can't believe people are
walking around dressed like idiots.
Angela : I wouldn't talk.
I’ve read the examples that you’ve given of Brian sharing his life with Angela but they all seem to reveal very little about him to her. He blows off his interest in Delia Fisher and his relationship with Sharon Cherski and he tells her the yearbook theme because she asked. His comment about his parents seems like a general comment that really doesn’t tell her much about him. On the other hand she has shared with him that she is interested in Jordan Catalano, that she does not want to have sex with Jordan but that he wants to have sex with her and that Rickie was homeless. All of these are pretty big things to tell someone. While Brian doesn’t have anything quite as exciting to tell Angela, he still plays down the things that are kind of exciting in his life. The fact that Delia Fisher liked him and that they had a date was probably a HUGE deal for Brian, but he acted like it was nothing. I totally agree with you that Brian does actively try to hide his feelings from Angela but I also think that he tries to hide himself from her as well.

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Post by Arch Geek » Jun 29th 2005, 12:16 am

I think we actually agree on a number of points. Let me just respond to a few minor things:
Gilly wrote:While she may have the potential to be intellectually attracted to him, she does not seem to acknowledge anything sexual between them.
I totally agree that she doesn't think of him in a sexual way... yet. I believe I can provide a scientific explanation for this. Girls begin to hit puberty around age 11 on average, which is two years before the average for boys at 13. I tend to think Brian and Angela are both probably late bloomers to some extent so let's assume 12 for Angela and 14 for Brian (obviously it's a gradual process so these are approximate ages). Brian and Angela are the same age and they were childhood playmates, but then, when they were both around 12, Angela would have begun to be seriously sexually attracted to boys with fully developed secondary sexual characteristics. At this point she would have lost interest in playing or hanging out with Brian, whom she would have seen as a mere child. On the other hand, Brian would have begun to see Angela as sexually attractive. This is probably when his crush developed. Throughout the course of the series, when they are both 15, Brian catches up with Angela and reaches sexual maturity. In their junior year, Angela would probably be able to begin to see Brian as sexually attractive.


Gilly wrote:I believe that she would have to find someone other than Brian or Jordan to meet her need for sex and a conversation.

I think when she decided not to have sex in Pressure, it became clear that her main need was the conversation aspect.


Gilly wrote:I’ve read the examples that you’ve given of Brian sharing his life with Angela but they all seem to reveal very little about him to her. He blows off his interest in Delia Fisher...
In regard to what he says about Delia, I think the point is that he is certainly willing to talk about himself when she asks him a question like that. He obviously wasn't going to tell Angela Chase that he was "interested" in some other girl. He doesn't want her to find out he likes her but he doesn't want her to be convinced that he doesn't either: he is always careful to keep his romantic feelings ambiguous. This is not a sign of an unwillingness to communicate with her about himself, its just a manifestation of the way a person like Brian Krakow deals with having a crush (which is in itself a whole other discussion altogether).
Gilly wrote:...and he tells her the yearbook theme because she asked.
You're mistaken here, she didn't ask. He just told her, presumably becasue they had both been in yearbook together and he thought she might be interested.

Gilly wrote:While Brian doesn’t have anything quite as exciting to tell Angela, he still plays down the things that are kind of exciting in his life. The fact that Delia Fisher liked him and that they had a date was probably a HUGE deal for Brian, but he acted like it was nothing.
The reason for this is that Brian has a crush on Angela but Angela doesn't have a crush on Brian. Angela would certainly never have talked to Jordan about being interested in some other guy when she was in the crush phase of their relationship.

Gilly wrote:...I also think that he tries to hide himself from her as well.
I think Brian would love to talk to Angela about anything, but his current situation prevents him from comfortably doing so. I see no signs that Angela is at all concerned that Brian Krakow isn't telling her enough about himself, so I don't think that this can really affect her feelings for him. I think if they ever got together, he would have no trouble communicating with her. I just don't think he has any motive to "hide himself" from her other than to preserve the ambiguity of his feelings toward her.

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