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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slimeball
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Post by slimeball » Aug 10th 2004, 10:43 pm

Jody Barsch* wrote: Something that does always strike me about this scene is the way Jordan kind of pushes his friend away as he smiles a very beautiful smile. It is not a good-natured slug you give your buddy, he does it with his finger tips. Something about it always seems flirtatious to me. (side note: Jordan's friends are all very physical, there is a lot of touching between them, but this moment is definitely the most intimate)
Would you please expand on the above comment. While I agree that the moment is intimate (as in a friendship kind of way), I would by no means call it flirtatious. Since we aren't privileged enough to hear the conversation that Jordan is having, we simply don't really know the context of the push and smile. So I based my opinion on both Jordan's character and my being a guy. After watching that clip again, I do understand how you could call it flirtatious (from a woman's point of view), but I think it is just a good-natured slug (from a man's point of view). Or maybe I'm misunderstanding your use of "flirtatious"?

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Post by Guest » Aug 12th 2004, 4:31 pm

What is it with that guy Jordan?In the dance episode that smile of hiswas pretty sleezy, not to mention the way he just ignores her and afterwards just expects her to come to him.I mean what kind of person acts like this?

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Jody Barsch*
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Post by Jody Barsch* » Aug 15th 2004, 5:51 am

to clarify :D :
I don't think that Jordan is actually flirting with his friends -- I don't imagine him making little sexual inuendos or flattering etc..., and I don't think that he means that touch in a flirtatious way -- I see no evidence that Jordan desires his friends in any way that would involve flirting -- but still, the moment remains, for me, one of flirtatious energy. I'm not sure what I'm saying about, or even if I have anything to say about it, but I do see it.
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Post by Amika » Aug 19th 2004, 8:59 pm

Jody Barsch, what movie is this episode named after? It is on the tip of my tongue but I just can't think of it.

I am confused about the scene outside the dance when Jordan stops to talk to Angela and Rickie:

Jordan : Be there in a minute.
Rickie : It's okay. [Angela kisses him]

I always thought this to mean that Rickie is acknowledges something is going on with Angela and Jordan. But at the punch bowl:

Rickie : Hey.
Brian : Oh, hi.
Rickie : So, um -- you and Angela come together?
Brian : Um, sort of.
Rickie : So I was thinking of, you know, hanging with you guys, but I
didn't know if you were here as friends, or -- as an actual thing

How could Rickie not know that Angela has the hots for Jordan? She talkes about him constantly around Rickie. Unless he thinks that Angela is two-timing with Jordan and Brian...hmmm...Rickie is sort of clueless you know? (excuse me what's a volumeter?, You know Brian wrote the letter right?) So maybe this is just one of those times when Rickie doesn't know all there is to know. What do you all think?

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?

Candygirl, I thought Corey was talking about Rayanne's shoes. It's all very ambiguous. If he were talking about the dance or her shoes then there'd be a bigger possiblity that he could be gay. If he were talking about Rayanne, it may lead us to believe he is interested in her and give us more evidence to argue that he's not.

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Post by Jody Barsch* » Aug 19th 2004, 9:38 pm

Amika wrote:Jody Barsch, what movie is this episode named after? It is on the tip of my tongue but I just can't think of it.
It's Monty Python's Life of Brian. A GREAT film if you've never seen it.
Amika wrote:I am confused about the scene outside the dance when Jordan stops to talk to Angela and Rickie ... I always thought this to mean that Rickie is acknowledges something is going on with Angela and Jordan.
I think that's exactly what Rickie is referring to. There's a thread on that moment http://www.mscl.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3284

Amika wrote:But at the punch bowl:
Rickie : Hey.
Brian : Oh, hi.
Rickie : So, um -- you and Angela come together?
Brian : Um, sort of.
Rickie : So I was thinking of, you know, hanging with you guys, but I
didn't know if you were here as friends, or -- as an actual thing

How could Rickie not know that Angela has the hots for Jordan?
I think Rickie knows exactly how she feels about Jordan, and how she feels about being there with Brian: "Well then excuse me, I'd be at the dance with Brian Krakow." I think Rickie is just trying to be tactfull with Brian. (If you're in the mood to go out on a limb... Maybe because Rickie is feeling vulnerable, and because he has a pretty good idea that this date means a lot to Brian, he may be wary of being rejected again. On another far reaching limb, Rickie did kind of bail on Angela when she needed him; maybe, now that his plans have fallen through, he senses this, and feels she and Brian might rebuff him as he had her.
Amika wrote: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?
Hard to say...
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Post by MyLifeIsBrians » Aug 20th 2004, 8:49 am

Ya Rickie knows. How could he not know? He is there almost all the time when Rayanna and Angela are talking Jordan. I agree with Jody. He was being tactful with Brian. He knows how Brian feels and did`nt want to bring him down on a night when things were already kinda tense.
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Post by JammerMan » Sep 7th 2004, 1:33 pm

*hopes this hasn't been mentioned 700 times before*

What's with the basement in the beginning? Where'd it come from? :shock: I specifically remember Patty saying "we don't even have a basement" in The Substitute, yet there it is in Life Of Brian.
Jordan: Hey, I know that girl.
(Angela looks at Jordan and smiles)
Jordan: Angela!

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Post by TomSpeed » Sep 7th 2004, 6:06 pm

JammerMan wrote:*hopes this hasn't been mentioned 700 times before*

What's with the basement in the beginning? Where'd it come from? :shock: I specifically remember Patty saying "we don't even have a basement" in The Substitute, yet there it is in Life Of Brian.
Yes, this topic has been mentioned. The consensus opinion is that this is a writer's gaffe.
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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 svenkid » Sep 15th 2006, 9:01 pm

this ep. shows how angela trys to control events bw her and jordan. She attempts to get to the dance so that it "appears" to be a coincidence to run uinto jordan, when it was "actually" her plan.
the episode so-called angels, does it to me every time!

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Post by JasonM » Oct 11th 2006, 4:43 pm

I can't say this is my favorite, but I think it's the best episode.

Jody Barsch wrote:

Even though we are closer to Brian in this episode than in any other in the series, as through his voiceovers we are privileged with an intimate connection with him, we still find it difficult to like him fully. We empathize with him, we understand where he is coming from, but he is selfish and unfeeling towards others, just as Jordan is..."

And that's what make this a great episode. One minute we want to pat him on the back, give him encouragement, the next we want to smack sense into him.

At the end, Brian's expression says everything:he knows he's just as bad as the people he looks down on (Jordan, jocks who pick on him, etc.) and he got nothing out of it either.

I've watched this more than any other episode, no matter how many times I see it, I still get sick to my stomach watching Brian dump Delia, and seeing the look on his & Angela's faces at the end. I still scream at the tv "Brian No! Don't do it" when he breaks Delia's heart.

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Post by stburr91 » Oct 11th 2006, 5:42 pm

I'm not sure I see Brian as a the bad guy in this episode. He was being selfish and unfeeling when he dumped Delia. I too feel really bad for Delia every time I see that scene. But it is Angela who is being overly selfish and unfeeling to others. She know Brian asked Delia to the dance, she know how Brian felt about her, but she used him anyway, and in the process, hurt Brian and Delia. She cost Brian a chance at a relationship with a very nice girl. Yes, Brian made the decision to dump Delia, but that was the right thing to do. He thought that the girl he loved forever, wanted to go out with him. Anybody in his position would have done the same thing. It took him a little while, but he was honest with Delia, about wanting to go to the dance with another girl.

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Post by Jody Barsch* » Oct 11th 2006, 10:09 pm

Maybe the writers want us to see it that way, but I never see Angela asking Brian for a ride to the dance as using him. I agree that there have been other moments when she has used him, taken him for granted, and possibly even manipulated the feelings she affects to not know he has for her, but I'm convinced that in this scene, she's really just asking for a ride. Okay, she is using him in the sense that she doesn't really want to hang out with Brian and Delia, but doesn't want to be at the dance by herself while she's waiting for Jordan to show, so she's using him as her entourage, but his to me seems like a very innocuous kind of using. I don't think Angela's at fault for this situation. And I know we can't help it sometimes, but it's my impression that Brian lets himself interpret things one way even though he's aware that that's not the actual situation (he knows she's out of his price range.) But that's why its such a great episode, because that's so what life is -- we know better, but we, or at least I, just can't help creating all kinds of tangled messes anyway. I like that both Angela and Jordan set themselves up for something that some part of them, on some level, must be aware is totally unrealistic.
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Re: Discussion for Episode 11: Life of Brian

Post by MonnyUK2 » Feb 11th 2008, 7:02 am

Wow! The Life of Brian! What an episode. I still think it is the best episode. I watched it again over the weekend and I always hide behind the covers when Brian dumps Delia. I agree with everybody who said they shout at the TV and say "Brian, Don't do it!" Brain would have turned up at this dance with two girls. Imagine how he would have risen in the eyes in everybody at Liberty High? Rayanne calls him guy with no life but he would have been the guy with no life with two girls,lol!

I fully understand Brian's position because when you lack confidence with girls and then suddenly you have this opportunity with the girl you are love with, then I think all us geeks would have chosen the girl who we love. I don't agree with what Brian did but I think both he and Angela were selfish and they got their just deserts.

I really think Brian and Delia would have hit it off and they would have made a good couple and maybe it would have bought Brian out of his shell a bit more. I don't think Angela is free of any guilt here. She even says at the end that she didn't know why she got involved. Why did she get involved? Maybe she felt more him than she could ever admit to herself. After this episode she still never realised that Brian had feelings for her. As soon as she sees Jordan she has forgotten about Brian.

I think the only people who come out this episode with any credit are Delia and Ricky. They are the two who end up having a good time and I think they deserve it. I love the dance routine at the end and the way the last 15 minutes of this episode was shot was amazing.

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Re: Discussion for Episode 11: Life of Brian

Post by Max Vasquez » Dec 31st 2009, 1:55 am

I agree with the posters who say that Rickie's dance is a kind of coming out to the school. I LOVE that dance. Possibly one of my favorite moments in MSCL.

I was in high school when this show came out (pun unintended), and I empathized with it deeply. My situation was much like Rickie's -- gay and harassed for it -- although I was more explicitly out, and I had friends who were too, unlike Rickie.

I think his character -- and particularly Cruz's performance, even beyond the script -- is not stereotypically gay. I can definitely see how you can argue this -- the clothes, the eyeliner, the high voice sometimes, the drama queen moment on the steps with Brian, being an "awesome dancer".

But many gay men also claim such signifiers as genuine aspects of a gay male identity, ways of identifying with gay culture. Rickie's coming out is as much about gender as it is about sexuality. If Rickie were more traditionally masculine -- if he looked like Kyle -- he would have an easier time passing and the story arc of his sexuality might lose some urgency.

Rickie's "outsider" status is amplified by his being one of the few people of color fully developed on the show. Abyssinia is excellent, but appears in only two episodes. I hate Mr. Foster regardless of race. But the whiteness of the show really hit home to me at the World Happiness Dance. It was a very white world.

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Re: Discussion for Episode 11: Life of Brian

Post by Mutajon » Jul 11th 2011, 12:13 pm

Well, for starters I'm just gonna list my favorite scenes and moments from the episode (still trying to decide if it's my favorite one, so damn hard to choose just one...).

Favorite Scenes:

Image
- Brian and Delia outside the burger place at night. I love this scene because it's so honest and beautiful yet so simple. it depicts the awkwardness and innocence of those first moments of falling in love (or at least the prospect of falling in love) so perfectly it's just amazing. And that moment with them passing the drink between them is just genius - how when Brian returns the drink to Delia their hands touch again, and they try to linger the moment as long as possible - with the background music lingering in the moment as well, intensifying the whole moment. Perfect scene.

Image
- Graham and Brian putting the wallpaper up. First, I like to see the both of them sorta bonding with each other. I also found it a very nice touch how each of them uses choosing a wallpaper as a metaphor for what's on their minds at the moment - Graham is in a professional cross road and is not sure wich direction to go, and Brian is in a "romantic" cross road between two girls (where one road is actually, like, a 6 lane highway [in Brian's mind] - Angela, and the other is a dirt road - Delia).

Image
- Rickie and Rayann at the hallway near the lockers. This one I simply love because of the dynamics between Rickie and Rayann. How Rickie is still very hesitant and afraid to face his true (gay) identity, while Rayann is so easy going on everything... :)

Favorite Moments/Quotes:

Brian (voice over): "My life is so ridiculous, I have to ask Delia fisher to the dance, I have to! And I'll do it now. On the count of three. One, two, three (school bell rings like a buzzer in the background). Speak!!!"

Jordan:"See I have this philosophy."
Angela (sounding surprised!):"You have a philosophy?"

Brian:"Finally, an erection from actual physical contact."

Graham:"Brian, we're not talking about wallpaper here are we?"
Brian:"Maybe not." :lol:

P.S
Clair/Angela looks soooo beautiful at the dance...!
"Aaaand dance by the light of the mooooon"

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