Discussion for Episode 13: Pressure

General discussion about the nineteen episodes of "My So-Called Life". Note: Our episode guide can be found here.
Juli
Nicky Driscoll
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Post by Juli » Nov 20th 2004, 12:05 am

I don't know. Sure, Jordan was acting like a dick when he freaked out at Angela about the sex.

BUT she should not have lied to him about her reasons for wanting to leave. Jordan wasn't as unreasonable about the sex thing as he is made out to be. She didn't say to him "I don't want to have sex, I'm not ready" so while the way he worded his outburst was unjustified, he did have a right to be upset - she didn't even try to tell him the truth and explain to him what the true problem really was. He is not a mind reader and she should have come out and just said she was not ready. He may not have taken it well in this case, either, but at least he wouldn't have been lied to and he would have the record set straight (as we know he likes to have as per Guns and Gossip with the rumour). I think the fact that she lied was a large part of why he was so angry as well, aside from the lack of sex. No one likes to be lied to.

And you know what good thing came from the fact that they didn't have sex? Angela didn't do something she wasn't ready for and Jordan didn't get what he wanted. This only helped to intensify his REAL feelings for Angela, not his I'm-a-horny-highschool-guy feelings, when he realized that she wasn't like all the other girls. She wasn't just going to be an easy lay - but he still liked her anyways. This intrigued him further to the point where the chased (Jordan by Angela) becomes the chaser (Angela by Jordan).

He may not have been the nicest guy or the smartest guy but it took time for him to realize that Angela was someone worth the effort. He never had to make that effort before and she was someone who he compelled to become better for, especially when he came to terms with how terrible he acted when she went to see him at his house.

By him going to see her at her house after the incident, that shows how much he realized what he did and said was wrong. How many girls had he felt the need to go out of his way for just to apologize? I doubt that there were many, if any at all besides Angela.

His tenderness with her in the scene in her house truly showed a different side of Jordan that she brought out in him. I really love that scene because the way he continued to wander further into her house even though they were breaking up seemed to me as though he didn't want it to end and that by walking further in, he could hold onto her for just that little bit longer. He is looking at her house and pictures in it, trying to learn more about her. There was something about her that was holding him back which made him not want to completely let go of her.

So, while Jordan said what he said in a terribly worded way, Angela should have been honest about it. Though he did say it, it only helped him to see that he hated the fact that he hurt her so much and because he cared for her enough to come to this realization, he needed to try to shape up his act. She was able to reach him in a way that no one could - she convinced him to come back to class after he was threatened to be kicked out, she helped him when she found out he had trouble reading and she made him see that the ones who don't give you what you want right when you want it might very well be worth the biggest effort you have or else you will lose out on something special. She was the only one who could do that for him.

Angela understood and encouraged him in a way that no one else could and I think that's why Jordan's feelings for her were true and genuine. He just needed to learn how to be with her because it was all so new to him. That's why I don't think Jordan is as big of a jerk as I know a lot of people do.

TooCool4Skool
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Post by TooCool4Skool » Nov 20th 2004, 12:27 pm

Hear Hear! (Is that the right hear/here)

Here here!
Moltar- Well hey, Thom asked me if he could see my knife, and Thom's doing a song about knife, and he wanted to see what one looked like. Isn't that right Thom? (Pulls out knife again)
Space Goast- (Turns to Thom Yorke) Is that right?
Thom- ...No.
Space Goast- Cuz it sounds like a good idea... so do it.

-Space Goast With Thom Yorke

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svenkid
Nicky Driscoll
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Post by svenkid » Sep 20th 2006, 11:54 pm

Rickie : But maybe it shouldn't be. So simple. I mean, not that I know --
I know what I'm talking about, or anything, since I've
never, you know, experienced this, or what have you. But
even if I did meet the perfect person, I just think that it should be
like a miracle, like seeing a comet -- or just feeling like you're
seeing one. Seeing the other person's perfectness -- or something.
And if you do it before you're ready, how are you going to see all
that? Not that I would like know, or anything.
Cynthia : [emerging from a stall] What you said -- how it was like so
beautiful that's exactly what it's like. [to Angela] I know -- we
don't like know each other or anything, but -- could I just ask you
something?
Sophia CH4 wrote:
Anonymous wrote:
Speaking of Cynthia,in that scene in the stall,after Rickie gave his romantic speech about sex,why does she says "it's exactly what's that like?"What ?Does that mean that she and Jordan had incredible in love sex in his Plymouth?Or whatever?
'cause she's a really sleezy person who doesn't even understand the meaning of Rickie's extremely beautiful and poetic words, Rickie is such a beautiful person, it hurt's to look at him, is there still such kindness in the world, oh no it's just a show
that was also me
no. no.
She said that because that is what it SHOULD be like. apparently she also got burned by jordan after having slept with him.

at least that's how Ive been interpreting it.
the episode so-called angels, does it to me every time!

Walter Paisley
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Post by Walter Paisley » Sep 24th 2006, 6:00 am

Sorry to break flow, but I was thinking about Jordan and Angela's fight, and his "normal" comment.

I think his self-esteem was bruised. I alwys got the feeling that Jordan was all too aware of the differences between him and Angela. I think he viewed Angela's departure as rejection and her "Rayanne excuse" as maybe condescension (as someone mentioned earlier, he seems like an aloof, but straightforward kind of guy).

Obviously, Angela did neither out of malice, but when your a teenager every infraction is filtered through your short-comings (like "The Zit"). Jordans short-comings being his learning difficulty and his home-life (doozies, as far as someones own psyche would go . . .), maybe he felt like Angela was looking down on him and (subconsciusly, because maybe he sensed her unease with sex) the "not normal" comment was meant to hurt her back.

Not saying he was justified, but when young hormones, young egos, and young self-esteem start ricocheting, there's usually collateral damage (on both sides).

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grim4746
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Post by grim4746 » Oct 1st 2006, 9:39 am

svenkid I'd never looked at Cynthia's statement that way. I don't think she feels burned by Jordan. She seemed very matter of fact to me when saying that it is exactly like that. I think that whatever there is to her perspective she was well equipped to feel pretty good about her sexual experiences.
And she did seem just as interested in finding out if Angela ever worked at big guy burger.

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svenkid
Nicky Driscoll
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Post by svenkid » Oct 1st 2006, 4:43 pm

grim4746 wrote:svenkid I'd never looked at Cynthia's statement that way. I don't think she feels burned by Jordan. She seemed very matter of fact to me when saying that it is exactly like that. I think that whatever there is to her perspective she was well equipped to feel pretty good about her sexual experiences.
And she did seem just as interested in finding out if Angela ever worked at big guy burger.
yeah, my interpretation of that was my gut feeling when I watched it, and Im stickin' with it!

:popcorn:
the episode so-called angels, does it to me every time!

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Natasha (candygirl)
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Post by Natasha (candygirl) » Oct 1st 2006, 5:28 pm

I never got the feeling that Cynthia got burned by Jordan or felt at all bitter about her experience with him at all. When she came out of the stall and agreed with Rickie, she was very positive in her response. She didn't say it in a way that made me think she meant sex COULD be that way as long as you didn't sleep with a big fat jerk like Jordan.

:lol:

She said "that's exactly what it's like," not "that's what it's like with certain people." If anything, her statement makes me think that she could be saying that she saw Jordan's perfectness when they slept together.
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"?

AniAnnika
Jody Barsh
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Post by AniAnnika » Oct 1st 2006, 9:25 pm

I completely agree. Her response has no negativity in it towards anyone. She related to the description personally and Rickie had the words that perhaps (actually, more likely, "most likely") she couldn't come up with on her own.

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Jody Barsch*
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Post by Jody Barsch* » Oct 2nd 2006, 8:37 pm

AniAnnika wrote:I completely agree. Her response has no negativity in it towards anyone. She related to the description personally and Rickie had the words that perhaps (actually, more likely, "most likely") she couldn't come up with on her own.
Or hadn't thought to, since she seems to be the only one on the show completely satisfied with their sex life. I agree with Grim, Candygirl, and Annika, Cynthia definitely doesn't seem to have been 'burned' and appears to be quiet happy with her sexual experiences (this doesn't necessitate that she's had this 'perfectness' sex with Jordan, but it doesn't rule it out either.

Getting back to what Walter Paisley said, although I agree that Jordan was embarrassed being left at the house by himself, especially considering that he was surrounded by people like Cynthia Hargrove who have slept with him the past (and irritated also in the manner in which Angela left), I don't think Jordan meant to hurt her with the "abnormal" comment. It just seemed to be what came into his head as he was talking through his frustration, and he clearly regrets saying it to her once he sees her reaction (but then, sometimes we say things in arguments to take a jab at the other person, not intending it to hurt the person as sometimes it actually does).
And she did seem just as interested in finding out if Angela ever worked at big guy burger.
Very true.
Kickstart The Riches movie!

JasonM
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Post by JasonM » Dec 9th 2006, 5:25 pm

I just re-watched 'Pressure' this morning when Jordan says this:
"It's accepted -- it's what you're supposed to do!"

Do you think Jordan was trying to say "expected"?

Only Ellen Harman (who wrote the episode) knows for sure, but this could be a case of Jordan's words betraying him. That's how I heard it.

Just a thought,

JasonM

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Jody Barsch*
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Post by Jody Barsch* » Dec 11th 2006, 1:37 pm

There was some discussion in a thread of expected vs. accepted. I've always taken Jordan at his word, and taken it as "accepted". That's not to say that he doesn't expect it, but I've never taken it to mean that he wanted to sleep with Angela, or thought she should sleep with him because others expected it, but that he is trying to convince/persuade/pressure her into it by assuaging her anxiety by saying that it's accepted by people, that it's okay (similar to his modifying her "breaking and entering" to "just, entering").
Kickstart The Riches movie!

Superjesus
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Re: Discussion for Episode 13: Pressure

Post by Superjesus » Jul 13th 2011, 5:52 am

Everyone's analysed the episode so well I don't have much to add - but I will admit that I was a bit amused by this ep in a way the other 18 didn't. The concept just feels kinda dated to me.

It's probably my upbringing as a child of the 2000s, but for me it just seems, you know, abnormal (to paraphrase Jordan a little) that a couple (particularly a high school fling) goes from kissing straight to sex. Admitted, the options in between were probably not as widely used in those pre-internet days - but Catalano surely has watched porn at some point in his life. You're telling me that it wouldn't even occur to him to suggest an option like oral sex if he can see Angela isn't keen on going the whole way? (Or, for that matter, it didn't occur to Rayanne, who is also probably knowledgable on such matters, to give her best friend some similar advice once she realises that Angelika is a little freaked about complete sex?).

Of course, that opens up a whole different line of questioning - specifically, how far is Angela willing to go. We know she doesn't want to have complete sex, but we do know she wants something more from Jordan. How much that something is would be a question worth considering.

I don't know. I just find this whole episode very Nineties (not necessarily in a bad way, because I love the 90s even though I was a kid at the time) in its approach to sex and intimacy.

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Mutajon
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Re: Discussion for Episode 13: Pressure

Post by Mutajon » Jul 13th 2011, 7:46 am

Do you think that depiction has something to do with 90s in particular? I don't know, seems kinda weird to me.. :?
I'm in no way an expert on teenage (or otherwise) sexual habits over the years (far from it), but ,being a teenager in the 90s, I'm pretty confident that teenagers back then didn't go straight from kissing to complete sex. Sure there was "sex" with clothes on, oral sex etc that usually preceded the complete act.
I think it has more to do with a conscious decision of the show not to go into those "graphic" details on this sensitive subject than with the 90s. As I see it, the show wanted to deal with the subject (and so it did), but in a way that would qualify as adequate even for relatively young viewers (like young teenagers).
"Aaaand dance by the light of the mooooon"

Superjesus
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Re: Discussion for Episode 13: Pressure

Post by Superjesus » Jul 13th 2011, 8:01 am

I actually did a 2nd year sociology paper on the subject of teenage sex. Basically, my findings were that while experimentation has always been a part of such relationships, stuff like oral and cunnilingus has only really become commonplace since the late 90s/early 00s. Therefore, I figured that for MSCL the time period would be something to do with it - Jordan would surely have been aware of his options, but probably didn't believe that Angela would be open to them if she wasn't open to sex. Where as these days many girls who won't necessarily have sex will generally be open to the CJBJ (as it's known in my neighbourhood - what the acronym stands for doesn't require a great deal of imagination) or similar because it provides intimacy but not on the level of sex.

(If anyone's interested - I chalk it largely down to the twin whipping boys of internet porn and social engineering).

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Mutajon
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Re: Discussion for Episode 13: Pressure

Post by Mutajon » Jul 13th 2011, 8:21 am

These are very interesting findings! Though as a former scientist I would have to see the actual paper to know if I can be confident in the results. Are you aware of any other, perhaps more large scale, studies on the subject that came to similar results? (not that I am in anyway disrespecting your paper! Just want to know if this is a known "fact" in teenage sociology).

Anyhow, I still think that not wanting to get into "all the particulars" had a bigger influence on the treatment this subject received on the show.... Although your point makes me realize that perhaps those concepts were much less accepted back then than I would've thought, and this may have somehow influenced as well on the way things were depicted in the show.
"Aaaand dance by the light of the mooooon"

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