Discussion for Episode 13: Pressure

General discussion about the nineteen episodes of "My So-Called Life". Note: Our episode guide can be found here.
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TomSpeed
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Post by TomSpeed » Apr 9th 2003, 8:38 pm

I always feel for Angela during the scenes in the abandoned house. Although we can't hear what they are saying, Cynthia Hargrove and some of the other girls are clearly talking about Angela. Someone says something like, "Yea, that's her." And they laugh. I can certainly imagine being in that type of situation. Their attention is unwanted, yet unavoidable. Of course, this situation is different from walking down hallways holding hands. "Only I didn't even get a magazine to read" is a great line. It shows that despite what's happened and what might happen, Angela has maintained a little dignity and detachment from the situation. I can't get over how awkward that would be for anyone -- OK, I'm waiting for my appointment to lose my virginity. Ugh. No place can be perfect. But that house wouldn't be first choice for my first time. I'd rather do it in the car in a secluded spot.
Last edited by TomSpeed on Apr 9th 2003, 9:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Patty: If Rayanne's not seeing you, and we're not seeing you, who is seeing you?
Graham: And how much of you?
Angela: Dad!
Graham: Oh, I'm sorry! I asked a question about your life, didn't I? Woah, what came over me?
http://www.last.fm/user/TomSpeed/

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Post by TomSpeed » Apr 9th 2003, 9:09 pm

I just love Graham's facial expressions in this episode, esp. in the scenes with Jordan. One the one hand, he immediately understands Angela's attaction to Jordan (he's good looking). On the other hand, Graham can't believe how (I'm going to try to be charitable here) dimly the bulb in Jordan's head shines. Jordan's saying "Is that where Angela told you we were going?" and "I would have got a letter or something [about having a major]" really almost push Graham over the edge to laughter. I don't really think Graham feels unkindly toward Jordan, but I get a definite impression that he thinks Angela could do much better. Graham's line, "What does meeting someone prove?" says a great deal.

Here is another example of Jordan being very uncool. Maybe he has never had to meet a girl's parents before. All guys are somewhat nervous in this situation. But when you blow the cover story for taking your girl out, something is definitely wrong.
Last edited by TomSpeed on Apr 9th 2003, 9:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
TomSpeed

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

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Post by Natasha (candygirl) » Apr 9th 2003, 9:12 pm

I agree that Jordan has probably not had to meet a girl's parents before. I get the feeling that he tends to be "involved" with girls who have a home situation more like his own (as well as Rayanne's and Rickie's) - meaning, the parents aren't as present as Angela's are, so Jordan probably has no experience in meeting parents/making a good impression (unlike someone like Kyle).
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Post by TomSpeed » Apr 9th 2003, 11:08 pm

What do you guys think about the scene between Angela and Jordan in Jordan's garage? He really lashes out at her emotionally in this scene. His body language, choice of words, and his tone of voice are very declarative. His saying that Angela isn't normal because she doesn't want to have sex with him now really stings. I really hadn't expected something like this from him.
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 » Apr 9th 2003, 11:40 pm

candygirl wrote:I love when Angela compares sex to a rash or a Rottweiller! I have had similar conversations about how sex can be something that people do, like bowling...

I find it interesting that Angela asks Dr. Skolnik for statistics. I realize that she just wants some reassurance that she's normal, but what would she have done if Dr. Skolnik had said, "Well 99% of 15 year olds have sex"? Would that have been enough to convince her to have sex with Jordan? Throughout the episode, Angela is looking for someone to tell her not to have sex with Jordan. Instead, Dr. Skolnik tells her to use a condom and a sponge, Sharon brings over a sex tape, and Graham lets her go out with Jordan to the house on Cloverdale. All the signs seem to point to the world tacitly giving approval and encouraging Angela to have sex with Jordan...

Speaking of the sponge, who would have thunk it would be discontinued and then brought back years later? Crazy!
Angela seems to see sex like a physical object instead of an action. You have sex like you have a car. You either have a thing called sex or you don't. I'm not sure if this means anything, except that she doesn't seem to understand the physical act of sex and the impact that sex has on people.

I think Angela in her conversation with Dr. Skolnik wants the doctor to say that it is normal for girls her age not to have sex. She wants her to say that it's OK to be scared. I think Dr. Skolnik assumes that Angela wants to have sex. She doesn't pick up on her anxiety. Of course, it's easy for her to fail to see what Angela might be driving at since Angela gives her so little information.

In many ways, the signs of tacit approval Angela gets from Dr. Skolnik, Graham, and Sharon are reinforcing her view of herself as an abnormal person. The scene with Jordan in his garage spells things out for her.

When I was in high school all those years ago, I didn't really think everyone other than me was having sex. Many of my friends weren't having sex or they didn't talk about having sex. Of course, I might not have been paying attention. I know that I wanted to have sex a great deal. I can remember playing games, making schemes, and bailing on said schemes in pursuit of sex. But I really didn't consider myself abnormal because I wasn't having sex in high school. I did consider myself lonely because I didn't have a girl friend throughout long stretches of high school. But I didn't really think I was behind my peers in the sex dept. (Am I going in circles here?)

Oh, I had no idea about the sponge being discontinued. I guess I wouldn't since I'm a guy. But the women I've slept with used the pill and/or I used a condom. Of course, pregnancy isn't the only thing people have to worry about. So, using a condom is a very good idea. The first problem I had with using condoms is that I discovered I need a <ahem> larger than normal one. :twisted:
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 loveme » Apr 10th 2003, 11:19 am

The first problem I had with using condoms is that I discovered I need a <ahem> larger than normal one.

:jumplaugh:
Last edited by loveme on May 12th 2003, 4:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by TomSpeed » Apr 10th 2003, 11:44 am

candygirl wrote:Rayanne's reaction to seeing Angela at the house is, "That's so cool!" Why is Rayanne so excited at the prospect of Angela having sex with Jordan? Is it because she credits herself with getting them together? Is she glad that Angela is going to be part of the sisterhood having sex? Or is she genuinely happy that Angela's relationship with Jordan is progressing?
I think Rayanne's reaction to seeing Angela in the Cloverdale house comes from both things. She's happy for Angela because Rayanne knows Angela has wanted Jordan very much. And Rayanne feels some satisfaction in that she set in motion Angela's relationship with Jordan. It's kind of funny that Rayanne asks, "So, you are here with Jordan?" Who else would Angela be there with? Of course, she is probably surprised to see Angela at the house. And, although she has doubts about Angela's relationship with Jordan, Rayanne probably sees going to the house as a definite move forward for them. Rayanne wants Angela to be happy. So, that's probably the greatest thing Rayanne feels.
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 starbug » Apr 10th 2003, 12:23 pm

candygirl wrote:
One of my favorite conversations ever between Jordan and Angela:
Jordan : So, you like me?
Angela : Oh, shut up.
Jordan : I mean, your mother says you like me.
Angela : [laughing] Oh, shut up!
I think that this is the one time that they both seem at ease with each other and joking. Maybe I have different standards, but most of my boyfriends were my friends first and most of my friends have the ability to make me laugh. I realize that there is a lot of Angela and Jordan's relationship that BF has taking place offscreen, but given the moments we have seen between them, this is the one where they seem the most normal and natural (instead of tense or horny or nervous).
Exactly. This is the first time we see them behaving like a normal couple; relaxed with each other to the point where they can just be together and have a laugh. It sort of brings out and devalues everything that has gone before it: the fact that they haven't had a proper relationship before, even though that's how Angela referred to it.
candygirl wrote:
Sharon tells Angela, "The only strange thing is that after that, having sex was, like, expected, because, you can't like, go back. I mean, it kinda stopped mattering if, like, I wanted to." I definitely remember feeling that way, which is sad. I guess the male perspective is that he's won the battle so there's no need to fight it again.
I totally heard sharon on this one. I was like 'thank god I'm not the only person to feel like that.'

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Post by starbug » Apr 10th 2003, 12:25 pm

And on the sex and death theme, there's a really good poem that links the two. It's by a poet called Elizabeth Jennings. I've been trying to find a copy of it on the web but as I can't even remember what it's called, it's been difficult. I might see if I can find the book when I get home tonight as it is a really good poem...

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Post by Megs » Apr 10th 2003, 1:44 pm

starbug wrote:
candygirl wrote:
Sharon tells Angela, "The only strange thing is that after that, having sex was, like, expected, because, you can't like, go back. I mean, it kinda stopped mattering if, like, I wanted to." I definitely remember feeling that way, which is sad. I guess the male perspective is that he's won the battle so there's no need to fight it again.
I totally heard sharon on this one. I was like 'thank god I'm not the only person to feel like that.'
Word. Welcome to marriage.


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Post by Natasha (candygirl) » Apr 10th 2003, 2:51 pm

I found a few Elizabeth Jenning poems - are any of these the one you were thinking of?

One Flesh

Lying apart now, each in a separate bed,
He with a book, keeping the light on late,
She like a girl dreaming of childhood,
All men elsewhere - it is as if they wait
Some new event: the book he holds unread,
Her eyes fixed on the shadows overhead.

Tossed up like flotsam from a former passion,
How cool they lie. They hardly ever touch,
Or if they do it is like a confession
Of having little feeling - or too much.
Chastity faces them, a destination
For which their whole lives were a preparation.

Strangely apart, yet strangely close together,
Silence between them like a thread to hold
And not wind in. And time itself's a feather
Touching them gently. Do they know they're old,
These two who are my father and my mother
Whose fire from which I came, has now grown cold?

Delay

The radiance of the star that leans on me
Was shining years ago. The light that now
Glitters up there my eyes may never see,
And so the time lag teases me with how

Love that loves now may not reach me until
Its first desire is spent. The star's impulse
Must wait for eyes to claim it beautiful
And love arrived may find us somewhere else.

Winter Love

Let us have winter loving that the heart
May be in peace and ready to partake
Of the slow pleasure spring would rush to hurry
Or that in summer harshly would awake,
And let us fall apart, O gladly weary,
The white skin shaken like a white snowflake.
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Post by loveme » Apr 10th 2003, 4:50 pm

In france the sentence "use a condom and a sponge" has been translated into "utilise un preservatif et un diaphragme", which is not exactly the same thing...i don't know why...

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Post by likelife » Apr 10th 2003, 5:33 pm

rayanne and angela in the house on cloverdale

tomspeed - i did not take rayanne's "so you're here with jordan?" as an actual inquiry. i took it more as a rhetorical question, like, she thought she needed to say something and that was a good thing to say -- obvious, and yet reasonable to ask. i agree with you that rayanne is psyched by angela's presence because it somehow shows that she (rayanne) "succeeded" in getting them together.


i agree that angela must be SO super uncomfortable in that situation.... WAITING to lose her virginity.

by the way, does anyone else wonder why they have to go from making out to full-on intercourse? i know i have asked this question before in some capacity.. and i think my own answer is that it;s hard to talk about different types of sexual acts on primetime family tv, but jeez, couldn't they do some heavy petting in the car or at the house on cloverdale without actually going all the way? is the reason that both of them see sex as the next step that they are both too inexperienced to realize that you can have fun with your partner and abstain from intercourse? jordan's obviously gotten most of his info from dumb high school guys, so i suppose he would not know how to get creative, and i guess angela does not ask a lot of questions of anyone because she is too afraid to reveal her inexperience and lack of knowledge. ... what are everyone's thoughts on this?

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Post by hurtstolookatyou » Apr 10th 2003, 5:40 pm

black coffee wrote:In france the sentence "use a condom and a sponge" has been translated into "utilise un preservatif et un diaphragme", which is not exactly the same thing...i don't know why...
no idea why there isn't a word for sponge...but (on a really big tangent) did you know there's a small town in France called Condom?

my boyfriend (now husband) and i backpacked through Europe and ended up getting a free car rental in france, so we drove through the loire valley...anyways, we were headed from bordeaux to toulouse when he noticed the town of condom which was a small detour on our route...so we drove the extra bit so he could have his photo taken with the "Bienvenue a Condom" sign.

aah, north american boys. :roll:

sorry, not mscl related but i had to share :lol:

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Post by meggrrrl » Apr 10th 2003, 8:54 pm

by the way, does anyone else wonder why they have to go from making out to full-on intercourse? i know i have asked this question before in some capacity.. and i think my own answer is that it;s hard to talk about different types of sexual acts on primetime family tv, but jeez, couldn't they do some heavy petting in the car or at the house on cloverdale without actually going all the way? is the reason that both of them see sex as the next step that they are both too inexperienced to realize that you can have fun with your partner and abstain from intercourse? jordan's obviously gotten most of his info from dumb high school guys, so i suppose he would not know how to get creative, and i guess angela does not ask a lot of questions of anyone because she is too afraid to reveal her inexperience and lack of knowledge. ... what are everyone's thoughts on this?
This is one of those aspects of this show that so closely resembled my high school experience. Sex is a thing like a rottweiler. It becomes obligatory, and everything that leads up to it can be skipped, in order to get the sex over with. To get it done. To get that label "virgin" off of you as quickly as possible. So the Jordan-types of guys would think I'm cool - which is a very different than getting respect. I didn't understand that, but I think some part of Angela did.
Sharon tells Angela, "The only strange thing is that after that, having sex was, like, expected, because, you can't like, go back. I mean, it kinda stopped mattering if, like, I wanted to." I definitely remember feeling that way, which is sad. I guess the male perspective is that he's won the battle so there's no need to fight it again.


I totally heard sharon on this one. I was like 'thank god I'm not the only person to feel like that.'


Word. Welcome to marriage.
I can't tell you how many conversations I've had with my husband about that. It really goes along with Patty and Graham's conversation in an earlier episode about a kiss having to lead to sex. What's the point of kissing, when as a married person you're entitled to sex? Ugh.

Meg

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