Discussion for Episode 19: In Dreams Begin Responsibilities

General discussion about the nineteen episodes of "My So-Called Life". Note: Our episode guide can be found here.
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Jody Barsch*
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Post by Jody Barsch* » Aug 5th 2004, 12:41 am

But there are still differences between Brian and Graham. Graham might not have been popular with the ladies, but he was cutting class, doing drugs, going to Dead concerts, he never went to college ... that sounds more like Jordan than Brian to me. (I know we've covered this territory many times before -- Graham's similarities to both Jordan and Brian). Also, I'm not sure we can really say that Jordan and Patty are that much alike. People seem to take it for granted that Jordan is popular, but I don't think that is necessarily true.
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Post by grim4746 » Aug 5th 2004, 12:48 am

I agree the list of similarities between Graham and Jordan and between Graham and Brian is probably only as long as the list of differences between them. I've always thought that Patty and Sharon are probably the most similar of the characters from different generations.

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Post by Jody Barsch* » Aug 5th 2004, 3:07 am

grim4746 wrote:I've always thought that Patty and Sharon are probably the most similar of the characters from different generations.
Huh, I never thought of that one, it's probably pretty true.

(Although Patty proabably wouldn't have been named Best "Global endowments" :mrgreen: -- although clearly she would have made the list)

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Post by Natasha (candygirl) » Aug 5th 2004, 3:11 am

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Post by grim4746 » Aug 5th 2004, 8:36 am

Jody Barsch* wrote:(Although Patty proabably wouldn't have been named Best "Global endowments" :mrgreen: -- although clearly she would have made the list)
I'm guessing Patty would have been "Hottest Sophomore Babe" or "best legs". Tony Pool wasn't the jock type and likely wouldn't have been involved in making the poll but maybe Patty was into jocks earlier in high school. Maybe Shane would have been Sharon's Tony later on.

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Post by LauraLee81 » Apr 16th 2005, 5:47 pm

In my mind...Angela always asks Jordan to stop the car and she runs back to Brian....

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Post by oaksand » Apr 30th 2006, 10:07 am

I would definitely have gone with Jordan and IMHO he was going to explain about the letter. Regardless of the letter though he has apologised in his own words and the speech he gave to Patty about needing Angela shows how much he does love her - who could resist him after this, not me!!!

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Post by Jody Barsch* » Apr 30th 2006, 10:37 am

oaksand wrote:I would definitely have gone with Jordan and IMHO he was going to explain about the letter. Regardless of the letter though he has apologized in his own words and the speech he gave to Patty about needing Angela shows how much he does love her - who could resist him after this, not me!!!
I agree with this. Even though Angela definitely sees Brian in another light now, and may have even kissed him had Jordan not shown up when he did, it seems to me that there's no real way Angela's not getting in that car with Jordan that night. She may be conflicted/distracted, but I believe, that for that one night anyway, she's sticking with Jordan. … Over the past few years from discussing this with so many people, and listening to everyone else's points of view, and from making connections to my own life, I am starting to think that it's more and more possible that eventually Angela might consider starting something with Brian. I think, however, that it will take several weeks of mulling it over for her to move past the initial surprise and her long-standing fixation with Jordan, in order for her to be able to consider Brian in any real capacity. But as far as Jordan goes, I think he's apologized as much as he needs to (at least in the eyes of the audience and Patty - Angela doesn't know about his conversation with her mother, although, he really should be saying all of that to her, and not to her mom.) I think this what I wanted to post (I got distracted half way through writing it) …
Anyway, welcome to the forum oksand!
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Post by oaksand » Apr 30th 2006, 4:12 pm

Thanks, I may be extremely biased towards Jordan but I don't think Brian and Angela would make a good couple. I am not sure how good A+J would be though there is the nuturing aspect to this - he needs her!. I would like to see Brian 'get some' from Rayanne!?!

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Post by Jody Barsch* » Apr 30th 2006, 4:58 pm

oaksand wrote:I may be extremely biased towards Jordan but I don't think Brian and Angela would make a good couple. I am not sure how good A+J would be though there is the nuturing aspect to this - he needs her!. I would like to see Brian 'get some' from Rayanne!?!
I am a big champion of Catalano myself. These two threads come to mind under the topic of defending Jordan, although there are a lot of threads just dedicated to him:
http://www.mscl.com/forum/viewtopic.php ... e+sex+code
http://www.mscl.com/forum/viewtopic.php ... e+sex+code
If you're interested in fanfiction, there are tons of stories posted in the fanfiction Library (which you can access in the side menu) and a few more recent ones posted in the fanfiction forum.
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Post by oaksand » May 1st 2006, 6:32 am

I just read those threads and I must say there is some hostility towards Jordan. Up until 'Betrayal' he hasn't really done anything any other teenage boy would't do, obviously in 'Pressure' he acts badly but when they 'break up' it actually shows how much he cares about Angela.

Although sleeping with Rayanne is 'undefendable' he wasn't actually going out with Angela at the time and as far as he was concerned she was going after Corey ( I can't workout why as he is quite dull!). In addition as previously mentioned by other posts this act is probably the catalyst for Jordan realising his true feelings for Angela

'IMHO' if Jordan and Angela actually had a conversation with each other instead of other people then their relationship could have been wonderful.
Obviously they are teenagers so this wouldn't realistically happen and the show would have been less interesting but I think Jordan and Angela could be good together.

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Re: Discussion for Episode 19: In Dreams Begin Responsibilities

Post by Yukino » Jan 21st 2008, 8:03 pm

This episode made me with even more questions and I was particulary intrigued by the dreams each character had and the relation between Patty's life and Angela's life.

I mean, that men in Patty's dream (her ex boyfriend), he seemed much like Jordan (considering all the things she said about him during the episode). Another possible significant hint about him being used as a reference to Jordan, is how Patty is waiting for the guy, then someone knocks the door and who appears is Jordan.

On Patty's conversation with her ex (when he calls to explain why he didn't show up), it kinda shows that he changed and he's now more responsible and mature (considering the driving thing - you guys will know what I mean). Patty tells about this to Jordan and Jordan say "how ironic". This might be a sign that Jordan is changing... he didn't knew what 'ironic' was but he learned and now is using this word. Also remember how Jordan changed some of his attitudes on the previews episodes. He accepted taking tutoring class and he seems involved in the class and really wanting to learn. Plus he really seems like he wants to fix his "unforgivable mistake" and considering the fact that he used to be a very "whatever happens, happens" type of guy (the type that would simply leave things the way it is and wouldn't care much about it), it's a big change. So it seems like Jordan wants to improve in order (maybe) to catch up, connect, or
even better, communicate with Angela.

So back to Patty, she ended marrying Graham, but their marriage is kinda 'warm', they never have scandalous fights, but at the same time they aren't 100% satisfied with their life as a couple. They haven't betrayed each other (yet) but seems like Graham noticed a sort of "chemistry" between him and his restaurant girl (I forgot her name). And Patty, want's to make things right in her marriage but she noticed their lack of "chemistry" these days and she seemed a bit excited to meet again her ex boyfriend (maybe more to see Graham's reaction, to see if he would stay jelous).

Anyway, if we take the similarities between the 2 guys in Patty's life and the 2 guys in Angela's life, would this mean something?

Like, would this mean that if Angela ended with Brian, she would end having a "warm" relationship with him. And have the same lack of chemistry after some years together? Or would it mean that Jordan although remaining the same Jordan, would change in a good way, learn from his mistakes and become more mature and with the years (and his commitment to trying to improve) be able to communicate with Angela more? Or would Jordan remain the same and Brian be her best option?

If you notice...
-Jordan has the chemistry with Angela. The chemistry that lacks in the relationship between Patty and Graham. We don't know if Brian would have that kinda of chemistry with Angela. But on the last episode, Angela seems to see Brian in a less harsh way than she used to.
-Brian and Jordan both have trouble in communicating their feelings for Angela. But Brian is sensitive in a way similar to Angela so maybe he would understand feelings more than Jordan.

Graham seems to have the low points of Jordan and Brian:
he doesn't know how to communicate with his wife and he lost the chemistry with her.

Anyway, about the meaning of some of the dreams:

Patty's Dream - she doesn't want to face a divorce but on the other side there's temptation (symbolized by her ex). So Graham has his temptation (the restaurant women) so would in this dream mean that Patty herself is willing for a temptation?

Angela's Dream - She tries to talk with Jordan (which surprisingly appear in one moment beside Graham), but he doesn't seem to be affected by her yelling. So in her dream he's not connecting with her.

Jordan's Dream - His dream is the opposite of Angela's. He dreams he's actually being able to communicate with Angela.

I believe that in real life, dreams in a general way reveal some hidden thoughts, desires and sometimes even what's going to happen.So would these dreams reveal some hints about the fate of the characters?

Anyway,
I ended this episode with more questions than answers. I guess we all did...
I do like Brian but I wouldn't like to see Angela and Jordan breaking up. Watching 'My So-Called Life' make the viewer (specially, us female viewers) as obsessed with Jordan as Angela. So I do cheer for Jordan becoming a bit more mature and also more able to express his feelings, this would make his relationship with Angela even more intense and more likely to last a long time. But, at the same time I think...would this happen in real life? Like...would the boys like Jordan be able to change like this? If no, would this mean that Jordan and Angela's relationship be just a passing teen-romance that would last only until Angela realize they'll never be able to 'communicate' in the same way? And would this mean Brian is the right guy for her? He for sure is a nice guy, but Angela doesn't like him in a 'boyfriend' way. And sometimes in real life we are surrounded by boys like Brian, that seem to be the perfect type of boy to marry and spend the life together, and so "perfect" gentlemen, and so responsibles that although we try to like them in other way (besides the "friend" way) we can't. We try to like the Brian type but in the end we just can't, he'll always be the "friend" or "brother like" type.

I guess all these questions and the fact that "My so-called life" ended in this way that doesn't gives us answers of the fates of the characters makes it special. Because just like life we never know what will happen next and there are many paths that life can take, but these paths are always a surprise.

PS: Sorry for the long and confusing post, I didn't planned much what I was going to write so that's why the ideas and opinions are all not organized. :lol:

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Re: Discussion for Episode 19: In Dreams Begin Responsibilities

Post by Mike B » Jan 24th 2008, 8:29 am

I like your analysis! I totally agree with your assessment of the 2 men in Patty's and Angela's lives. Especially how Brian and Graham are alike as are Jordan and Patty's old flame. Seeing Graham with Jordan in Angela's dream throws me, too.

I also like how you compare Brian and Jordan and explore who could be a better fit for Angela. In the last ep, when Patty shows the girls her photo album she says, "Eventually, you want reality." I think Brian, like Graham, is 'reality'. Until the final moment, Angela doesn't see that. Personally, I don't think that Angela and Brain would be able to communicate openly about mutual interest for several years.

I think Angela has a strong interest in Brian, but it manifests primarily as confrontation. There are a few moments during which I think the show suggests something significant between Angela and Brian.

One is Angela's apparent jealousy over Brian finding a date for the World Happiness Dance in Life of Brian. I think she sabotages that one pretty effectively. Although they fail to communicate at the end, the two of them stand side-by-side, looking out at the dance kind of like a couple.

Another is in Why Jordan Can't Read. Angela expects Jordan to come over and meet her parents. Brian comes over and asks her to return some book or other. They have an energized and intense argument:

Br: The Bicycle Thief? You didn't even understand that movie until *I* explained it to you!
Ang: That's *such* a lie.
Br: You're taking him to see the Bicycle Thief? That *idiot*?
Ang: Don't you *dare* call him that. You don't understand. Not for one second. (Brian tries to say something) You just *think* you do, but all you do is analyze something till it barely exists.

They stand feet apart, silent and lean in a bit for a really long moment. Then, they move in as though they might kiss but instead storm past each other.

Although Graham and Patty's reality is lukewarm, I don't think that necessarily has to be the case with a future Brian and Angela. It sure could be. I hope they might do better together than their parents!

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Re: Discussion for Episode 19: In Dreams Begin Responsibilities

Post by AniAnnika » Jan 26th 2008, 2:19 pm

Okay, I've been up for many hours in a row so I apologize if this post doesn't flow as well as if I had slept. Still, I finally felt the need to add my two cents to this discussion that I've largely "lurked" in for a long time but never responded to.

It is funny because I have such an extremely different point of view as an adult (25 years old) than I did when I first watched the show (when I was 12?) so many years ago. At that time, I (like most other female pre-pubescent teens) completely understood the infatuation with Jordan Catalano. He's "really ridiculously good-looking," mysterious (his past, his inner-most thoughts), brooding, so far from perfect he seems perfect. I wanted more than anything for Angela to be with him long-term. Before I go on, I have to add that I completely agree with people who say, despite her very new outlook on Brian in this episode, I still believe she would've gotten in the car with Jordan no matter what.

Now, as an adult, I have quite different views on their longterm potential, though. I will say that I agree Angela and Jordan have chemistry. Chemistry's important, at least initially. They also do have things to discover about each other. Angela knows nothing of Jordan's relationship with his father and other possible members of his family. She doesn't really understand what is going on in his head most of the time, and he doesn't understand her either. So good, they've got this discovery phase to go through and that's great. That should keep 'em occupied for a couple years. Maybe long-term potential?

I think my biggest problem with looking at Jordan as any sort of long term commitment lies in the fact that it seems to me that Jordan is pretty messed up from his abusive past. He has a lot of VERY serious issues to resolve and work through. He doesn't trust people easily (the only person he's even slightly opened up to is Rickie in So-Called Angels episode), he has a tendency to pull away in uncomfortable situations (hey, so does Angela, for that matter), and he doesn't like to deal with situations straight on. I don't see these issues being resolved with Angela; they're too serious. Maybe I'm unfairly comparing him to people I know who are similar to him; but, I really feel that Jordan wouldn't eventually do much with his life. Wow, that sounds a little harsh. But I just feel like I know "that guy." I feel like he has serious potential to end up in the body shop for good, and unmarried, ultimately. I just don't buy all that fanfiction where Angela and Jordan live happily ever after. It seems forced. Fantasy rather than reality.

Now don't get me wrong. I'm a sucker for the fantasy. I love the idea of Patty and Graham magically staying together and Graham rejecting Hallie outright. But my favorite thing about My So-Called Life, the thing that makes me want to watch it over and over again and revel in its glory, is the fact that it stays true to the characters. It IS reality. It is, in my opinion, the most realistic show ever to grace the television screen. So I just don't buy it. I don't buy that Graham doesn't mess with Hallie and I don't buy that Angela and Jordan live happily ever after.

As far as her potential with Brian, I'm less certain. Brian is a typical insecure, nerdy teen. We don't really know how he'd develop. I could see him going through serious developmental stages in late high school, early college that could turn him into a very decent guy for Angela. Only through the last half of the series does he begin (and boy do I mean begin) to develop social skills. Jordan is way ahead of him in terms of development and life experience in the show, so I find it hard to determine how Brian will be in only even a couple of years. I definitely see her exploring her potential with Brian eventually. My question lies in whether this exploration would actually lead anywhere. I could really see it going either way, completely dependent upon how Brian matures.

So I guess I am one of those people who believes it's not really Brian V. Jordan in the long-term. Someone else, perhaps? But maybe I lean slightly Brian (although conditional on how he matures).

One more thing. Someone posted above that they believe Patty and Graham have no chemistry, but I'd argue that most couples who've been married for 15 + years don't have much chemistry anymore in the way they did for the first couple years...Other things need to be there to take that attraction's place...of course, a couple can (and even should) do things to rekindle that chemistry as much as possible...but I think after a separation (because of Graham's affair with Hallie) and re-evaluation, Graham and Patty would've learned that. All couples who stay together do. I do think Patty and Graham could've, after much turmoil, worked through their problems (maybe that's my fantasy?).

Okay, wow that was long. Sorry. I hope it makes sense. I'm going to take a nap now.

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Re: Discussion for Episode 19: In Dreams Begin Responsibilities

Post by bizzle » Feb 4th 2008, 11:31 pm

In my opinion, My So-Called Life is realism at its best. The writers’ and producers’ designated meaning seems intentionally ambiguous, possibly in hopes for more viewers.

Regarding the antagonism between Brian and Jordan, it’s anyone’s guess. My guess is that there is a much deeper meaning behind their odd, entwined relationship; human interactions and limitations based on animalistic like behavior plague the human race.

Let me explain; while Brian secures his future by performing academically, Jordan concentrates on pleasure. He’s in a band and, quite typically, lays girls. He is the epitome of alpha maleness. Although he would otherwise seem frail; his jacket, multiple layers of clothes and well-endowed face emphasize the creator’s desire for Jordan’s manliness to shine. Instead of standing idly on stage, Jordan takes charge. He grabs the microphone and sings. What he wants, he gets. He wants the girl and, therefore, must stoop to pressuring Brian into doing him favors. He has nothing in common with Angela except brute sexual desire. And even after Angela receives ridiculously-short, unintelligent reactions/responses from Jordan, she still wants.

The irony of it is that Jordan isn’t strong or capable in any real-world sense while Brian is a predator. Even after having that smacked in her face, like, a billion times, she still caves into fundamental human behaviors. She craves the socially dominant male who isn’t dominant in any way except for maybe at the silent game. She applies her imagination upon the most boring of canvases and somehow is conned into believing in chemistry.

Patty is obviously symbolic of Angela. This element emphasizes another real-world situation where children do or don’t grow up to be like their parents, except the cliffhanger leaves us to imagine what would come.

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