Discussion for Episode 11: Life of Brian

General discussion about the nineteen episodes of "My So-Called Life". Note: Our episode guide can be found here.
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Discussion for Episode 11: Life of Brian

Post by Natasha (candygirl) » Mar 24th 2003, 3:21 am

Welcome to our eleventh MSCL.com episode discussion!

If you haven't already done so, please read the info about the weekly discussions here.

I highly recommend reading theAngela's World essay that pertains to this episode.

Other threads related to Life of Brian that may be of interest are:
World Happiness Dance
Life of Brian
Who was Corey really interested in?

Some threads about recurring themes:
Angela, Rayanne, and Rickie
Patty and Graham suck
why do we love Graham
food
hair as a metaphor
the contradiction that we call Rayanne
plaid
colors
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Post by Natasha (candygirl) » Mar 24th 2003, 4:31 am

First I would like to say that anyone who hasn't read the original shooting script (which is different from the episode transcript) should do so here. As I stated in a previous thread, it clears some stuff up (especially the Sharon/Kyle situation).

Brian says his parents "fundamentally disagree with each other about everything" - this statement gives us our first insight into Brian as a person, rather than annoying neighbor with a hopeless crush on Angela. Growing up in an atmosphere where his parents have different philosophies on everything, both professionaly and personally, must have seriously affected Brian's outlook on everything (hence his statement about Angela's family being normal and doing things like laughing, eating unbalanced meals, and talking about things that don't have deep symbolic meaning - I take that to mean that his family does none of those things - poor Brian! His sister isn't around to commiserate with, his parents argue about everything, they pressure him to excel academically, yell at him to take the trash out, and psychoanalyze him constantly. Plus they abandon him during the holidays, as we see a few episodes later. For people who are trained to understand people, Bob and Bernice aren't very considerate of their son). Interestingly, one part of Brian's assumption is not completely true - remember in the pilot that Angela says, "I can't bring myself to eat a balanced meal in front of my mother - it means too much to her." Whether Patty or Graham (who's pro butter!) is doing the cooking, you can bet that the Chases are getting their recommended daily allowance of vitamins, minerals, and the basic food groups in their packed lunches and home cooked dinners. Patty probably tries out recipes that Camille ripped out of the latest Redbook :wink: I mean that in a good way though - Patty seems like the kind of mom who would read articles about healthy dinners while she's standing in line at the grocery store.

Brian's statement about Angela's normal family is a segueway to Danielle screaming, "Child abuse!" while Patty tries to detangle her hair. When she gives up, Danielle stomps off muttering, "Fine, I'll do [braids] myself," which illustrates her Younger Sibling attitude - she was asking Patty to do something that she was capable of doing herself. Maybe she just likes the attention or perhaps it's because she likes being babied (or it's possible that she's just lazy) but so typical.

Sharon is so pushy when doing her little Brian/Delia matchmaking. "Ask her to the dance!" She is so overly enthusiastic when she says that - ugh! I also found it funny that Sharon equates school spirit with going to the dance. So anyone who doesn't go to the dance has no school spirit? At my high school, going to a dance was a social excursion which had nothing to do with how much anyone liked or disliked the actual school or if they cared about the football team's record or anything similar, but given Sharon's peppy do-gooder attitude, this isn't a surprising revelation.

Graham's wallpaper analogy reveals that he is afraid to make a choice because he will have to live with it for a long time. Given this attitude, I understand why Patty brought home the adult education bulletin and then signed Graham up because she knows "how hard it is for [Graham] to focus." It does seem a little underhanded and sneaky, but she does have his best interests at heart.

Brian asks Graham if he should wait until the really great wallpaper is cheaper. I realize that is using an analogy, but under what circumstances does Brian think that Angela will be "cheaper" or somewhere in his "price range"?

I was a little surprised that Brian took a sip of Delia's drink - he seems so anal retentive that I assumed he would be the kind of guy who feared other people's cooties :crazyeyes:

While Brian and Delia were talking outside Big Guy Burger, I noticed a guy pacing in front of the abandoned theater (across the street, behind Brian). There didn't seem to be a bus stop, so the pacing combined with the abandoned theater gave the street a "questionable safety" vibe - great that Brian is riding his bike in the dark to a place like that!

Another thought I had during this scene was Brian and Delia's curly hair. Imagine what their kids' hair would look like! :puppydogeyes:

Although we have seen the characters at their lockers in previous episodes, this particular episode lets us see most of them all in 40 minutes. Brian's has a hand on top of a blue artsy looking picture AND a little school mascot sticker - so much for Sharon accusing him of not having school spirit! Sharon's locker has a drawing of eyes inside. Rayanne's has an abstract picture (which I couldn't see very well) on orangish paper. We don't see Rickie's locker in this episode, but he has that picture of a guy with his eyes closed on a blue background. Any thoughts or interpretations of their locker adornments?

One of the great aspects of this episode is how we see that Brian is similar to Angela in many ways, in thought and action. When he prepares to ask Delia to the dance ("I have to ask Delia Fisher to the dance - on the count of three... SPEAK!"), he mirrors Angela preparing to talk to Jordan in Why Jordan Can't Read ("Hi. Oh, hi."). Brian's assessment of Angela's "babbling" and "blathering" when she asks for a ride to the dance is even funnier considering the way he babbled and blathered only minutes before when asking Delia to the dance. Later Brian thinks, "Okay, this is the simplest thing in the world. People do it every day. Just -- start a conversation," which echoes Angela in Why Jordan Can't Read: "Huge events take place on this earth every day. Earthquakes, hurricanes. Even glaciers move. So, why couldn't he just look at me?"

When Rayanne admits to Rickie that she cried during her counseling session, she follows it up with, "It was hysterical." We have questioned whether Rayanne is telling the truth (especially her story about being afraid of the dark in Halloween), but this is another story that I question. Is she telling the truth and trying to laugh it off, or did she cry to see if she could fool the counselor? My take on this is that Rayanne likes having an authority figure like Miss Kryzanowski to keep tabs on her and worry about her, but she isn't quite ready to admit that to her peers.

Another true to life situation in MSCL is Rickie coming to terms with his sexuality. He hasn't admitted anything yet (although his flamboyant outfits are a pretty bold statement in themselves) and in fact is trying to adhere to social norms by liking girls (i.e. telling Rayanne he wants to ask Pam Troy to the dance). In my experience, when people initially come out to those closest to them, it isn't a shock - after all, how can you be really close to someone and not see it? Similarly, Rayanne scoffs at Rickie's choice and calls his bluff, telling him he should go to the dance with Corey. Rickie admits he would like to, but that would only happen "in some imaginary universe that exists, like, in my mind." This is Rickie's first hesistant step forward in admitting who he is to Rayanne. He takes a similar first tentative step with Angela when he says,"I belong nowhere. With no one. That I don't -- fit." Even before he says it, Angela sees where he is going and asks him a gentle leading question so that he can answer as honestly as he is comfortable with admitting at that time. What is disturbing about the situation is that Rayanne knows Rickie is not ready to completely come out yet, and he warns her, "If you say one word to [Corey], I will kill you." Rayanne ignore Rickie's threat and arranges for Corey to go to the dance with them. I think that this illustrates Rayanne's blatant disregard for boundaries. Instead of taking Rickie's wishes into consideration (and not considering the possible negative consequences of her actions), Rayanne blithely plays matchmaker. Did she ever intend to go to the dance with Rickie and Corey? Is her explanation about not being ready for an event like that and her couselor's advice a lie (or a convenient truth)?

Angela tells Jordan that "sometimes people fill their minds with all these stupid things, you know? To keep themselves from thinking about you know, what's really important. Like this World Happiness Dance?" This is funny coming from Angela who spends most of the episode pondering the dance, which she views as important, whether it's just an excuse to get out of the house or a chance to see Jordan outside school. Given her statement, what does Angela consider to be something that's "really important"?

Jordan is full of crap. He says he doesn't like to make plans because that means he has obligations. "And that basically blows." The fact is that he DOES make plans and have obligations - he had to go to the track with his friends on Halloween, and he had to go with his friends to find the guy who egged Tino's car. "That's, like, something I can't get out of." He also manages to commit himself to Frozen Embryos and go to rehearsal (even if not everyone else always shows up). The fact that he is at the dance with his friends and then leaves with them shows that he is quite capable of making plans and following through with them. Does he exclude them from his "obligations blow" generalization? Or is he trying to rationalize not showing up to meet Angela's parents in Why Jordan Can't Read? Interestingly, the other guys in Jordan's little group don't seem to have a problem with obligations. As they are leaving the dance, one guy says he has to go pick up Kimmie from work, and another says they're going to Kathy's first. Even if they are only referring to some Friends with Benefits, they are still able to make commitments to show up at a certain time and follow through. Jordan didn't know about the dance until Angela told him about it - so whose idea was it to go?

It's not entirely visible, (let's just say it was very clearly implied! :wink: ) but when Angela walks by the science room and sees Brian with Delia, he draws away from Delia (you can see his shoulder move) so it appears that he pulls his hand away from Delia.

Graham unconsciously echos Jordan's philosophy (and as we will see later in Pressure, this isn't the only time this will happen) "whatever happens, happens." Brian repeats this because he heard it from Graham, but Angela does not know this - she heard it from Jordan. Similar to Other People's Mothers when Angela did not want to hang streamers or move furniture for Patty's party but volunteered to do it for Rayanne, Angela "really respects" Jordan's philosophy, but when it comes from Brian's mouth, it's "the stupidest thing" she's ever heard. I wonder what her assessment would be if she heard Graham say it!

I love the use of color in this episode. When Rickie and Angela are sitting outside at lunch, his violet vest matches her dress. Later at the dance, Rickie's blue matches Delia's outfit. If we want to see color as symbolic, then it's interesting that Corey's painted sneakers are multi-colored. Mmm hmm.

Why does Angela decide to go to the dance without Rickie? Who did she think she would hang out with? Did she deliberately sabotage Brian's date? After all, she didn't know he was going with Delia before she approached him.

Why does Brian assume that Angela is asking him to the dance when she clearly states that she just needs a ride? Is this a case of "you hear what you want to hear"? Interesting that she goes out of her way to ask Brian for a ride to the dance since he isn't really the one who is driving - his dad is the chauffeur for the evening.
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Post by Natasha (candygirl) » Mar 24th 2003, 4:49 am

Rickie tells Rayanne, "You've driven my crazy in the past." Is he referring to her drinking or her antics or something else that we haven't seen? He later describes her as "changeable" to Corey. Is he finally coming to terms with her personality (and treatment of him and their relationship)?

Delia is so classy - even in the face of Brian's rejection, she is still polite enough to ask him to leave. She even says "please"!

Patty seems surprised at Brian's explanation about the dance and asks if Bob is picking them up after the dance - does that mean Angela didn't bother to inform them of her plans? Considering that she usually asks permission to go out on the weekends, this seems unusual. Then again, as I said in Halloween, Patty is either loosening up or has more important things on her mind than micromanaging Angela's social life.

The opening scene at the dance - I love seeing Miss Lerner dancing! I can't stand that blonde attention whore flinging her hair around though.

Corey's statement about having a picture of how something's supposed to be - is he simply referring to Rayanne being there, or did he have a completely different picture of what was going to happen at the dance?

Despite Brian and Rickie's brief, awkward conversation about the dance in the hallway, they have reached a turning point in their relationship. When Angela chastises Brian at the dance by saying, "Rickie's my friend," Brian replies, "He's my friend too." I love seeing the karass expanding and everyone becoming interconnected.

Brian's lame excuse to Rickie ("Maybe you shouldn't come over. We might wanna like dance or something.") is so lame! It's interesting that Brian is trying so hard to make this into an old fashioned date, especially when we recall Angela's reply in Dancing in the Dark when Graham asked her if the volumeter project with Brian was a date: "Dad ! It's...they're not....people just hang out. They're not...it's not, dates. Just people. Together. In a bunch." Angela is very honest when she confronts Brian by asking, "What do you think is happening here?"

Why does Brian go outside? Is he looking for Angela? Was he going to apologize? Maybe ask her to dance? See if she wanted to go home?

In the World Happiness Dance thread, I initially stated that I thought Sharon was looking at Kyle appreciatively. Now that I have watched the scene again, I see how much I misinterpreted that look. She is wistful :cry: It's such a pity that her relationship with Kyle turned out the way it did - he seemed like a nice guy when he stole her shoe and told her how much he liked her in the band room. Then again, he disappeared when her dad was in the hospital - jerk! :bad-words:

When Brian watches Delia dancing with Rickie, I remembered Rickie's words: "I don't fit" which seemed to apply to Brian. Although Rickie has more obvious reasons to feel this way, I think most people feel that way at some point in high school.

Angela admits to Brian, "This was all my fault. I ruined your night and Delia's night. I should have stayed out of it." Is she saying that she deliberately sabotaged his date? How could she have known what would happen?

Why does Angela ask Brian to dance? A moment of weakness? Wanting to be like everyone else for the three minutes that make up one song? An urge to actually dance at the dance? Why does Brian say no? His dream girl finally asked him to dance - he might have his second erection from physical contact - and the chance might never come again.
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Post by TomSpeed » Mar 24th 2003, 2:33 pm

I've been swamped at work today -- a typical Monday. :hammer1:

"Life of Brian" is probably one of my favorite episodes. The last scene in particular stands out. Angela has come back inside the gym to talk with Brian. I love how she stands on the tips of her toes to speak into his ear. She explains how everything was her fault. She asks him to dance.

Ack! I need to run. More later.
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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 » Mar 24th 2003, 5:24 pm

Angela stands on the tips of her toes and speaks into Brian's ear throughout most of the above dialogue. This action establishes intimacy between them. Angela seems to be reaching out to Brian, who stubbornly refuses to reciprocate her attention. Of course, his inattention to Angela is only on the surface. Internally, he notices how her hair smells like an orange grove. He is captivated by her. He always has been captivated by her. He cannot bring himself to tell her how wonderful her hair smells.

Angela says that the evening turning out poorly is all her fault. Of course, it's the results of the evening are not solely her fault, but she did play a role. She notices Brian helping Delia discover the mysteries of biology through a microscope. Seeing Brian with Delia in the classroom and later outside surprises her. Brian previously has always been a constant "stand-by" man for Angela. He has always been available for her to ask for favors. She has always known that he would give her what she wants. She never considers what the costs are for Brian. Even though she says she is glad that Brian asked Delia to the dance, Angela adds herself as a third wheel. Would Angela want Brian to tag along with her and Jordan? She knows that Brian will say yes to her tagging along. She does not stop to think about the consequences of her request.

At the dance, Angela makes her feelings clear -- she and Brian will not dance. However, Angela asks Brian to dance after her brief encounter with Jordan. Why does she ask him to dance? Does pity factor in the equation? Or is there a hidden attraction at work here? If Brian's someone to be used and tossed away, why does she feel the need to apologize?

Brian says that he doesn't want to dance with her. This is a lie. However, he feels the need to reject her the same way that she rejects him. The camera pulls away from them. They are stuck together alone.
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 » Mar 24th 2003, 5:40 pm

INT. LIBERTY HIGH SCHOOL - HALLWAY - MORNING

Brian walks alone through the CROWDED HALLWAY. He camouflages himself
behind a doorway and lifts his camera.

BRIAN’S VOICE: The problem with life? Is that it’s so *obvious*.

POV THROUGH CAMERA: HOLLY GALANOY, attractive, flirts shamelessly with
KYLE. We zoom in on Holly, moving down her body, lingering on her bare legs.

BRIAN’S VOICE (cont’d): For instance, the fact that the really hot girls
automatically *adhere* themselves to poor scholastic achievers.

SHARON approaches from down the hall with two GIRLS. They hold a stack of
oak tag POSTERS. She sees Kyle with Holly and heads past them, obviously
hurt. Brian and Sharon exchange a look just as Sharon rounds a corner.
Brian follows her out of frame.

INT. LIBERTY HIGH SCHOOL - ANOTHER PART OF THE HALLWAY - DAY

Sharon checks that the poster she just hung isn’t crooked. Brian steps up.
After a beat...

SHARON: What!

BRIAN’S VOICE: I just saw what happened. And I just want to say that if it
would help to voice your feelings. I’m here.

BRIAN: So... Ya get dumped?

SHARON: Wipe that smirk off your face, Krakow.

And she storms away. Brian reads the poster: “WORLD HAPPINESS DANCE: Come
one, come all and *DANCE* in a support of WORLDWIDE HAPPINESS!”

BRIAN’S VOICE: School dances are a *plot*. To destroy what’s left of your
self esteem. I mean...

Suddenly Brian stops, mid-thought seeing ANGELA approach. He continues to
read the poster with studied intensity. She stops to read it.

BRIAN: Hate to tell you, Chase. But your hair’s like *faded*.

ANGELA: Shut up, Krakow.

BRIAN: But maybe you want it that way. Maybe you’ve like tired of that fast
lane. Red hair, wild parties, leather *whips*.

ANGELA: In your dreams.

BRIAN’S VOICE: Okay, stop picturing her with a leather whip. Like
immediately.

RAYANNE (O.S.): Angel Food! Where have you been *hiding*?! It’s been
*minutes*!

Rayanne and Rickie walk up; Brian is less than thrilled.

RAYANNE: So, Krakow, trying to score some big points with Angela?

BRIAN: Oh, that is like *so* accurate.

BRIAN’S VOICE: The most challenging part of talking to Rayanne Graff is
trying not to stare. At certain parts of her.

Rayanne grabs Angela and whispers something. They both dissolve into
giggles. Then Rayanne looks back to Rickie and the three of them start to
walk off. Brian watches them go, his expression souring.
Wow! The shooting script provides some deleted scenes just like a DVD. Brian has a certain edginess in this scene. I especially like the leather whips line he says to Angela. "Stop picturing her with a leather whip." Priceless. Has Brian been watching Showtime late at night?
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 Nostradamus » Mar 24th 2003, 6:52 pm

I really loved the musical selections at the dance; they did a great job of matching the highs and lows of the songs to the on-screen action. Yet, while watching the dvd, Rickie's dance seemed slightly out of synch with "What Is Love". Could this be one of the episodes that was given a flawed surround sound track during the dvd manufacturing, or was there an error when the show was first made?

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Post by Natasha (candygirl) » Mar 24th 2003, 7:06 pm

I would guess that if it is out of sync, it's the original (as we saw with Other People's Mothers, the sound was out of sync for the entire episode).

I'll have to watch the scene again (yes, twist my arm!), but it's possible that during some of the closeups it appears that Rickie is out of sync because his upper body is slightly behind his hips and legs. Hope that makes sense.

Another possibility is that most nightclub/dance scenes have the music added later. They usually tell the extras to dance and move their mouths but there is no music playing (because they are filming the dialogue), which is why extras in dance scenes seem to have no rhythm! Since Rickie's dance was a choreographed routine, they most likely had the music playing on a boom box or maybe just counted it out for the filming then added the music during the final editing. In big spaces (like the gym or even high school theaters), there is often a really bad echo with music when it hits the opposite wall that can confuse the dancers (which is why there are usually feedback monitors backstage) so maybe that affected the timing.

Speaking of music and sync, when Angela is outside (after the "how are you?" interaction with Jordan), there is an audible "woooo!" and the beginning of "What Is Love?" coming from the dance, but when the camera moves inside, we see that Rickie and Delia haven't begun dancing yet...so what is the "wooooo" for? Maybe everyone really likes that song (before SNL did the Night at the Roxbury guys, no less - MSCL was ahead of its time!)?
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Post by Nostradamus » Mar 24th 2003, 7:33 pm

candygirl wrote:I'll have to watch the scene again (yes, twist my arm!), but it's possible that during some of the closeups it appears that Rickie is out of sync because his upper body is slightly behind his hips and legs. Hope that makes sense.
You mean, something about the way it was shot :?:
Another possibility is that most nightclub/dance scenes have the music added later. They usually tell the extras to dance and move their mouths but there is no music playing (because they are filming the dialogue), which is why extras in dance scenes seem to have no rhythm! Since Rickie's dance was a choreographed routine, they most likely had the music playing on a boom box or maybe just counted it out for the filming then added the music during the final editing. In big spaces (like the gym or even high school theaters), there is often a really bad echo with music when it hits the opposite wall that can confuse the dancers (which is why there are usually feedback monitors backstage) so maybe that affected the timing.
Yes, those are good possibilities. I've even heard of scenes being filmed with one song playing on set, and another piece altogether inserted in post production.
Speaking of music and sync, when Angela is outside (after the "how are you?" interaction with Jordan), there is an audible "woooo!" and the beginning of "What Is Love?" coming from the dance, but when the camera moves inside, we see that Rickie and Delia haven't begun dancing yet...so what is the "wooooo" for? Maybe everyone really likes that song (before SNL did the Night at the Roxbury guys, no less - MSCL was ahead of its time!)?
SNL skits aside, I thought "What Is Love" was one of the better dance tracks of the early 90's. It makes sense that the kids would cheer when they recognized the start of a popular song.

<unconsciously bobs head>

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Post by Natasha (candygirl) » Mar 24th 2003, 7:48 pm

Nostradamus wrote:
candygirl wrote:I'll have to watch the scene again (yes, twist my arm!), but it's possible that during some of the closeups it appears that Rickie is out of sync because his upper body is slightly behind his hips and legs. Hope that makes sense.
You mean, something about the way it was shot :?:
Sort of - I mean that because Rickie is doing a full body dance (unlike many of the head bobbing guys you see at bars!), it's possible that he is in sync with the music but that some of the tight shots (I'm specifically thinking of the one that shows him from the shoulders up, throwing his head back) make it seem like he is out of sync because you can't see the rest of his body. Even though dances are choreographed on the beat (or half beats), the movements don't always "hit" exactly on the beat. This would be a lot easier to explain if I could do some visuals :D I noticed that in some of the videos of my high school dance performances, things aren't always portrayed on camera the way they look in real life. Sounds silly since the camera only captures what is going on, but sometimes the videos change the look of a dance. Hard to describe (and a pain for you to try to understand), but sometimes the way a dance is filmed can make it look different from the way it appeared on stage - especially with those closeups.

I guess before I went on and on about this, I should have asked you whether the entire dance looks out of sync or if it's just certain moments.

:oops:
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Post by Nostradamus » Mar 24th 2003, 8:56 pm

candygirl wrote:I mean that because Rickie is doing a full body dance (unlike many of the head bobbing guys you see at bars!), it's possible that he is in sync with the music but that some of the tight shots (I'm specifically thinking of the one that shows him from the shoulders up, throwing his head back) make it seem like he is out of sync because you can't see the rest of his body. Even though dances are choreographed on the beat (or half beats), the movements don't always "hit" exactly on the beat.
I just now reviewed the dance scene, and I see what you mean. Also, dance music has a strong, intuitive beat, so it is easy for me to second guess Rickie's timing, though from my own brief experience with Swing I know how hard it can be to pull off a twirl or a dip at the right moment. I can only imagine what a pain it is to convey that on shifting snippets of film.
This would be a lot easier to explain if I could do some visuals :D
That's an odd mental picture ... Spike dancing to Haddaway... :wink:
I noticed that in some of the videos of my high school dance performances, things aren't always portrayed on camera the way they look in real life. Sounds silly since the camera only captures what is going on, but sometimes the videos change the look of a dance. Hard to describe (and a pain for you to try to understand), but sometimes the way a dance is filmed can make it look different from the way it appeared on stage - especially with those closeups.
Yes, I think the dramatic implications of the sequence dictated that it be filmed differently than, say, a professional dance competition.
I guess before I went on and on about this, I should have asked you whether the entire dance looks out of sync or if it's just certain moments.

:oops:
Tis hard to be sure, but the close-ups did look slightly off from the full-body frames. I also noticed that the crowd was fairly well synched-up, though their dancing was zombie-like next to Rickie's, and their sheer numbers made it difficult to focus on any one person. Perhaps I perceived the discontinuity in his dance because he is the only dancer to get the camera's full attention. It would have been relatively easy to edit the film so as to match the background extras with the music.

As far as I can tell, the entire dance, including the outside cut scenes, was shown in real time from Miss Lerner's grin at 34:13 to the end of the episode. Pretty cool for pre "24" TV.

Am I confused, or is the smiley Earth banner for the World Happiness Dance the same as the one on the cover of the "Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy"?
I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure.
-- Clarence Darrow

I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it.
-- Mark Twain

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Natasha (candygirl)
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Post by Natasha (candygirl) » Mar 24th 2003, 9:05 pm

Nostradamus wrote:That's an odd mental picture ... Spike dancing to Haddaway... :wink:
Something tells me that as amusing as it would be, nothing can top Angel dancing in She!
Yes, I think the dramatic implications of the sequence dictated that it be filmed differently than, say, a professional dance competition.
You might be surprised at how UNprofessional the video quality is though. Last year my sister's dance team went to nationals, and they didn't permit outside videotaping (meaning the parents), so everyone was forced to buy their $50 videotapes. Many schools enter their teams in more than one category which means, you guessed it, the competition people are smart enough to sell them on different tapes. You'd think after the exorbitant prices they charge for entry fees (for the team, as well as the spectators), they would be a little more reasonable about the cost of the video tapes. You would be wrong if you thought that though! I really gotta get into that dance competition racket and start making some money. :wink:

I did like the occassional closeups on Rickie and Delia - not only could you clearly see the joy on their faces, but the shots also showed that they didn't use dance doubles.
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Post by TomSpeed » Mar 24th 2003, 10:55 pm

There are many differences between the shooting script and the final product. An interesting change is Graham and his efforts to wallpaper Patty and Graham's bedroom. He really comes off as incompetent and ineffectual the shooting script. Hanging wallpaper not only seems to be a challenge to him in the shooting script, it seems like he has to climb Everest. Brian comes to the rescue, he doen't just help. And Patty smooths out the bubble that will outlast them all. Patty seems to defeat Graham in a big way by doing that little thing. I'm really glad they decided to change these scenes for filming. I almost didn't recognize Graham.

I liked the additional interplay between Sharon and Kyle in the shooting script. The problems in their relationship are more clearly defined. It seems like Kyle and Sharon share a problem that Angela and Jordan will have later on -- they aren't having sex.
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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?
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Post by TomSpeed » Mar 24th 2003, 11:37 pm

It's interesting that Brian's parents are heard but not seen. I wonder why the writers decided to not show them. The fact that they aren't shown kind of makes Brian seem abnormal. Hearing them and not seeing them does make an impression though. I can picture Brian in his room and his parents talking to him though a closed door many times. Having dueling psychiatrists as parents can't be much fun. The opening scene in which Brian compares his home life to his impression of Angela's home life is meaningful. He longs to be a part of the Chase family. However, he also longs to sleep with Angela. He must be very conflicted. He practically grew up with Angela. They were probably like brother and sister. Then he gradually grew to like her in another way. His feelings for Angela might make him feel ashamed. He probably can't talk to his parents about his feelings. But he probably knows that Graham and Patty would be there for Angela. So jealousy is probably thrown into the mix with his fraternal and amorous feelings for Angela. Plus, he knows how Angela feels for Jordan. He's in bad shape.

Brian's talking to Graham about women using wallpaper as a metaphor is intriquing. He obviously needs an adult to talk to about his feelings. Graham is standing in for his own father. Of course, one wonders when Angela, the really great and expensive wallpaper, will be within Brian's budget. Although Graham understands that Brian isn't really talking about wallpaper, it's unclear whether he knows that Brian is talking about Angela.

It's also interesting that Brian absorbs Graham's willingness to let whatever happens happen. Of course, this is part of Jordan's philosophy. Although his credo seems to work for Jordan, it doesn't work for Brian. It also doesn't work for Graham.
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 » Mar 25th 2003, 12:19 am

The World Happiness Dance and School Spirit

School spirit can include many things. What is a school? You go to class and learn stuff. All you really have to do as a student is attend class and make passing grades. However, high school is much more than attending classes. Students learn how to interact with their peers. They also form their adult cores. Extracurricular activities are important. However, a student can choose how active he wants to be in school. If a student chooses not to participate in activites, he or she might miss out some growth opportunities. Also, he might feel left out and alone. Yes, the World Happiness Dance might seem like a silly idea, but people can choose to go or not.

We've already seen that Angela has chosen not to attend the school's football games. Attending a football game is an elective choice. However, by choosing not to attend them, Angela wonders if she is missing out on something. The dance provides Angela another opportunity to participate in school life. It's another opportunity for her to choose getting some school spirit. Wearing a costume for Halloween was also a chance to be involved in something outside of books and lectures. Angela chooses to be active in her life after discovering that Jordan is not likely to go to the dance as a "matter of policy." Rayanne chooses not to attend the dance. However, Angela parts with Rayanne on this issue. She asks Brian to allow her to tag along with Delia and him. I've already touched on some of the factors that motivate Angela to ask Brian to let her tag along, but I'll add that Angela feels a need to go to the dance. She feels a need to get some school spirit.

Sharon could be said to have too much school spirit. She is overextended. However, she seems to understand that it's important to be active. She isn't a watcher. She's a doer. Although she doesn't have have everything under control at all times, she does seem more proactive than Angela.

Angela and Brian seem to share an important trait. Angela has chosen to remain on the sidelines of active partipation in school activities. Brian has done so as well. Brian chooses to hide behind a camera. He takes pictures. He isn't in the pictures. Angela isn't in the pictures as well to some extent. She watches as things pass by her. They choose to get involved in an expression of school spirit: the dance.
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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