Continuity Problem between Life of Brian and Self-Esteem?

General discussion about the nineteen episodes of "My So-Called Life". Note: Our episode guide can be found here.
JPP13
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Continuity Problem between Life of Brian and Self-Esteem?

Post by JPP13 » Apr 20th 2003, 2:01 pm

Upon watching Self-Esteem, I found something unsettling, so much so I had to go back several times to confirm I had not skipped an episode.

In Life of Brian we watched the interaction between Angela and Jordan outside of the dance. There was a certain distance between the two of them, a certain awkwardness. Obviously Angela at this point was unsettled as to where she stood at all with Jordan. And Jordan was far from showing any type of affection towards Angela. And thats how it ends, with Angela forlorn over the situation she has found herself in.

Well, next episode arrives, and all of a sudden they are making out daily in the boiler room? How the hell did that happen? I realize that oftentimes we the audience are asked to fill in the blanks with certain events happening offscreen (XFiles fans had to make a career out of this), but this advancement to a regular physical relationship between the 2 main characters is quite the jump. Something so momentous should have been given some time, or at least explained. Who approached who? Did Jordan just say, hey Chase, lets go make out during 5th period? It just doesn't jibe with what we saw in the previous episode.

Am I missing something? For such a smartly written show it seems as though either an episode was cut, or there was some severe editing going on. Or did the Network Brass order it in an attempt to salvage ratings? I much wuld have preferred at least 10 minutes of explanation for just how Angela found herself there in the clutches of her crush in the boiler room.

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Post by TomSpeed » Apr 20th 2003, 9:43 pm

We discuss this topic here:

http://www.mscl.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2327&start=4

I agree with Candygirl; the jarring effect is intentional.
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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 tigerlilly711 » Apr 21st 2003, 7:23 am

I think In life of Brian it is pretty obvious that there is something going on with Jordan and Angela during the scene where he asks her why are you like this? I think Jordan just started leaving notes in her locker to meet him there and of course she went. It did seem kinda abrupt though. So does the transition to the next episode "Pressure" when all of a sudden they are a couple after holding hands in the hallway once.
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Post by JPP13 » Apr 22nd 2003, 10:57 pm

hi tigerlilly. I don't mind abrupt surprises. Like for example when Graham blurts out they want him to teach the cooking class. But Angela and Jordan's relationship is so central, so key. I'd love to hear from a writer why they chose that path.

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Post by TomSpeed » Apr 23rd 2003, 12:17 am

I can tell you that I would have added one or two buildup scenes between Angela and Jordan. We go from one bad kiss, one good kiss, one slightly intense scene in "Life of Brian," and then they are in the boiler room. Too me it just seems too abrupt. I like to develop things. I can understand why the writers chose to make it an abrupt transition. People do move too quickly into things. And usually bad thing happen. But I find it a little hard to believe that Angela immediately jumps at a chance to go to the boiler room. There has to be some seduction or enticement or at least conversation. Yes, we can assume all of those things take place, but we have very little to hang Angela and Jordan's relationship on. It seems like a unfair request for a leap of faith.
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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 meggrrrl » Apr 23rd 2003, 8:26 am

It seemed realistic to me because there were so many times as a teen that I found myself in odd situations and had no idea how I had gotten there. Perhaps this goes along with the thread about Angela being an airhead, but this is exactly how I was at that age. I was the quiet girl with the wild best friend and though I wasn't drinking or doing drugs (much) I was really out of it. Just not really paying attention to life. It seems realistic to me to one day be making out with a guy in the boiler room and not really sure how I got to that point. (It's us flighty, eager-to-please girls that guys can take advantage of so easily!) I guess what I'm saying is that Angela's somewhat flightiness makes it realistic.

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Post by TomSpeed » Apr 23rd 2003, 9:37 am

I have no doubt that people get carried away sometimes and act without thinking. However, even a little bit like Jordan saying something like "Meet me in the boiler room" and seeing Angela's reaction would have helped put the scene in some context. Angela knows what going to boiler room means for couples. Going with to the boiler room with Jordan is a big step for her. I'm sure she probably had to give it some thought.
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 meggrrrl » Apr 23rd 2003, 4:28 pm

Angela knows what going to boiler room means for couples. Going with to the boiler room with Jordan is a big step for her. I'm sure she probably had to give it some thought.
That's interesting because I didn't read it that way at all. Angela has been a bit out of the loop from time to time and I assumed she was so innocent that she probably didn't know what the boiler room was all about until she got there. Again, I tend to read much of my own life and personality into Angela, so this might not make sense, but I had figured that the jarring effect was intentional in the sense that we learn about the boiler room the same way Angela does - by doing.

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Post by TomSpeed » Apr 23rd 2003, 5:16 pm

Angela does say in VO that everyone knows why people go to the boiler room. She just might not know who goes there all of the time.
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 meggrrrl » Apr 23rd 2003, 6:29 pm

Ha ha! And thus proves the point that I am quite clueless! I've seen that episode how many times? I should know that by now. :oops:

:wink:
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Post by Nothingman » Apr 23rd 2003, 7:02 pm

This is a bit OT but, I get this feeling that 15 yr olds would be doing more than just making out in the boiler room if this took place today. Perhaps I am just tainted from the news stories of how the teacher has to explain to her 7th grade students that hand jobs are inappropriate during class. Maybe this is one of those first signs of being "old and out of touch", but it makes me wonder how much things have changed over the last 10 years.

That might be an interesting thread "How would mscl be different if it was filmed today?"

Anyway, back to the discussion at hand. I never had trouble making the leap between these episodes, but I did feel left out. The development of Angela and Jordon's relationship is so central to the series, and I personally enjoy that aspect so much, that I just wanted to know more. There could have been a whole nother episode worth of develpement that I would have liked to see. I do appreciate the shock factor or how their relationship seems to accelerate, as they do when in high school (mine always had the opposite problem), but I still think they could have filled us in a bit more and kept the same affect.
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JPP13
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Post by JPP13 » Apr 23rd 2003, 7:02 pm

meggrrrl (I love that whole riot grrl thing :) ),

I'm with you on the clueless thing - that is I accept what you say about it (seeing as how I'm a guy and all haha). I read the other thread about that, but I never had that issue with Angela, at least to the point of it being a distraction to me (her cluelessness) - it felt natural.

To me though, the jump to the boiler room did not feel natural. Too rushed.

I'd bet, and I have no real idea, that there was some editing/revision going on which made it seem so abrupt.

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Post by meggrrrl » Apr 23rd 2003, 8:02 pm

Actually I do remember when the show actually aired, seeing the show open with all that kissing stuff and assuming I must have missed a show inbetween. It definately is jarring. If there was editing, I wonder why, and what was cut? It's one of the great tragedies of life that we will never know. :cry:

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Post by JPP13 » Apr 23rd 2003, 10:39 pm

Someone out there who knows much more than I (candygirl?) will help me out here perhaps, but I think that there was an interview or discussion about the network pressuring the writers in regards to Angela and Jordan. Maybe this was a result.

Does anyone remember that?

You're spot on with the idea of a tragedy by not knowing. I can't tell you how mad I was when the show was cancelled. So many questions in my mind.

"I just can't find the answers to the questions that keep floating in my mind" - the Babys.

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Post by SanDeE* » Apr 23rd 2003, 11:49 pm

In my experience, when you are in high school things move more quickly. Here's how it worked: you asked someone, "Will you go out with me?" and if they said yes, that meant they were your boyfriend/girlfriend right there on the spot. You could be single one minute then poof, in a serious relationship the next. This happened to me twice, and later I'd wonder, How did I get in this situation? And Angela is so enamored by Jordan I'm not surprised by her decision to go to the boiler room with him. She thinks they are boyfriend-girlfriend at this point, right? I can't remember, forgive me. But that's the impression I get. At that time in a young person's life, everything is about sex and hormones.
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