so-called Angels

General discussion about the nineteen episodes of "My So-Called Life". Note: Our episode guide can be found here.
richard
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so-called Angels

Post by richard » Aug 10th 2000, 12:58 pm

I just watched the Christmas episode again, with Juliana wotsit, and notiiced something that I hadn't noticed before, I had often thought it weird that MSCL suddenly went off on its little Fantasy tangents, but I have noticed that in this episode, the only people that actually see the girl are Angela and her mother, and all that the girl does is guide people, so showing why it is that she was never really talked about, and giving it that little extra touch that made her real.

This is the same in Haloween, the only person that actually acknowledges any of the 'Ghosts' is Angela, so this could easily be in her imagination. So making it all possible.

Problem solved, job done

SarahHall82
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Re: so-called Angels

Post by SarahHall82 » Aug 11th 2000, 7:47 pm

I have to say that the just the other day I was thinking to myself 'I'm always saying to everyone that MSCL is soooo real and yet they had that whole ghost thing in the Christmas one' and that depressed me somewhat actually because it's great for a lot of reasons but it's the pure reality of it that is so great in this world of phony crap ! So..anyway after that outburst I should just stop writing !
Sarah
:-)

PS What I meant to add was that it does show the similairty between Angela and her Mum that they're the only two and it DOES take away from the pure silliness of it (In other words I agree with you !)

oldguy
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Re: so-called Angels

Post by oldguy » Aug 12th 2000, 3:40 am

To be honest, I am not sure what either one of you are
trying to say ---- and that's not a criticism, it's just
my own ignorance and isolation, most likely.

But I do want to say that I think "So-called Angels" is
one of the top two or three best MSCL episodes. I LOVE
the fact that it plays a little bit with the mystery of
a real angel --- that this girl with the guitar was a real
person who died and now has enough spirit left to appear
to Angela and her mother. It's very powerful --- whether
you take it literally --- or just as a story-line metaphor.

I think MSCL was extremely effectively at playing with reality
--- whether it was in portraying a dream, or portraying a possible
hallucination/vision with a real angel. For us here in the real
world, we rarely (if ever) have visions, but sometimes we have
powerful moments where a dream takes on more meaning than day-to-day
reality, and sometimes we share Angela's abstract musings and
passions. I for one, absolutely LOVE this aspect of MSCL.

It's an interesting debate, really (I'm not sure if this is a
real debate, but it could be one). I used to tell other MSCL
fans that I didn't really think the strength of the show was
its realism ---- I still think the main strength of MSCL is
its remarkable ability to capture the feeling of being 15 years
old --- which includes a mixture of reality, fantasy, distortion,
misperception, truth, lies, and dreams and illusions.

Best wishes --- and I hope you hold on to whatever reason
it is/was you like this show.

Patrick

richard
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Re: so-called Angels

Post by richard » Aug 12th 2000, 9:13 am

By saying what I said, have to say that the strange story lines did not detract from my enjoyment of the show, I have to say that Angels and Haloween are my favourite episodes, all that I found strange was that they seemed so diferent to the rest of the show, but I feel that what I noticed explains it to some small extent.

If you know what I mean, I'm not sure that I do.

Joanna
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Re: so-called Angels

Post by Joanna » Jul 11th 2001, 3:17 pm

I love 'so-called Angels' and always cry at the end of that episode although I can't explain why! I also like the fact that quite early on in the episode Angela's parents are watching the black and white film 'It's a wonderful life'....which is a film all about a guardian angel at christmas time (which I love too!) - it's cool! I think that is actually where the writers got their ideas for this episode from!..........in fact (and I'll have to go and check this) but I think they actually sing a song about lassoing the moon....."buffalo tom won't you come out tonight, come out tonight, come out tonight, buffalo tom won't you come out tonight...and dance by the light of the moon!" Right, now I'm gonna have to go and watch that and look for any similarities between the two!

"And dance by the light of the moon!"

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Re: Buffalo Gals (reply to above)

Post by Joanna » Jul 11th 2001, 4:39 pm

So, I've just watched that clip and they sing "buffalo gals can't you come out tonight, come out tonight, come out tonight" etc and they do end the song by singing "and dance by the light of the moon"....I think that linking the movie to 'so-called angels' and the jingle at the end of every episode's credits is very clever from the MSCL team - yes, very clever indeed! (even if it was by accident?) I also think it is interesting, with so many similarities and links, that both the film and the series have titles with the word LIFE in them (of course one is used as a positive as in 'wonderful' and MSCL, by definition, is negative!) I think perhaps I am analysing too much!

"And dance by the light of the moon!"

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Re: so-called Angels

Post by lizardcub » Aug 19th 2001, 10:00 am

I hate that goddamn angel, because it takes me out of what is otherwise an incredibly powerful and moving episode, since I can't believe in the dumb old thing. Plus, why does Juliana Hatfield talk in that irritating, wispy way? I think she may be trying for ethereal, but it sounds quite off to my ears.

Re: "Problem solved, job done": well, except for the fact that at the end of Halloween Angela has that flower in her notebook, and if the angel isn't real, why would Patty and Angela have the exact same vision of it? Also, doesn't it help them find things? (I haven't seen this episode in ages, so please excuse the shakiness of my memory!)

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Re: Buffalo Gals (reply to above)

Post by lizardcub » Aug 19th 2001, 10:02 am

Well, "And dance by the light of the moon" is the theme for Bedford Falls Production Company. It follows all Bedford Falls productions (try Once and Again, currently on ABC), not just MSCL.

I don't actually think MSCL was inspired by It's a Wonderful Life, although I admit I have no actual way of knowing. In any case, both having It's a Wonderful Life on TV around Christmastime and Christmas angels are cliches, so I don't think one necessarily inspired the other.

richard
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Re: so-called Angels

Post by richard » Aug 22nd 2001, 1:23 am

OK, so the flower is hard to explain, maybe it was just a co-incedence. Patty and Angela both seeing the same could be the mother-daughter twist, and the angel helping find people could be just female intuition????

It sort of works?? Maybe?? Ithink so anyway.

And yes she is a bit annoying, but I still think it is the best episode, they wrote it quite well so that she said very little and mostly just sang, which was good.

Rchard

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Re: so-called Angels

Post by lizardcub » Aug 24th 2001, 10:05 am

I don't buy at all that they were leaving it ambiguous in either episode, for the reasons explained (the flower, which she hadn't seen before, wa a coincidence? Female intuition??). Besides, you see the dumb old angel's wings at the end, in a shot that isn't from the perspective of either Angela or Patty.

So-called Angels is a fun episode. Bess Armstrong is amazing. But I don't think it's as good as, say, the Pilot or Self-Esteem.

Guest

Re: so-called Angels

Post by Guest » Aug 25th 2001, 10:45 am

I rather enjoyed the beyond reality aspects of these episodes. ANd myself would prefer to take it as that than as a connection between angela and her mother because for me that would be even more quaint and cheesy. But hey for a lot of people a big part of the show's appeal is that everyone can take whatever they want to from the show and relate it to themselves in any way they can. For me I am happy with life as it is but I am a little bit waiting for the principles of reality to suddenly change one day and to discover that things like angels, spirits, magic all those dream like things might be possible. NO that isn't realistic but that's kind of the point. I guess episodes like So-called ANgels and Halloween are an outlet for my beyond reality hopes and wonderings. If these episodes are something else for others then that's great. ANd I don't believe that angels and spirits are really any less likely than the possibility of ANgela choosing Brian (at some point) and there are enough people out
there who believe in that possibility. Just my thoughts.
samiam.

oldguy
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Re: so-called Angels

Post by oldguy » Aug 30th 2001, 2:59 am

I think you guys are missing the point here to an extent. The supernatural elements that are part of the Halloween and Christmas stories are meant to raise the level of the story-telling to a higher order --- These episodes in effect become comparable to myths or fairy tales. On this level, there isn't one "correct" interpretation. The whole point in introducing these fantastic elements to the show is that multiple interpretations are simultaneously valid --- Did Angela only dream about the dead boy Halloween night --- or did she really see him? --- and does this distinction even matter (or is it valid?). Once MSCL opens itself up to dreams and angels --- we are looking at life from a totally different, more spiritual perspective. To quibble over what is real or what is imagined is to miss the point entirely.

Oldguy

Jack
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Re: so-called Angels

Post by Jack » Aug 30th 2001, 3:09 am

Good to see a post from you, Patrick. It's been a long time. Hope
all is well.

Jack

Joanna
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Reply to above 3 messages!

Post by Joanna » Oct 24th 2001, 8:21 pm

Forgot to point out that the Bedford Falls is the name of the town in that film (hence the name of the MSCL production company). I think it did inspire MSCL not because the film was featured in So-called Angels (with a similar story line) but also because the film (it's a wonderful life) is shown in the PILOT episode of MSCL also...at the end when Angela goes in to her mum's room (it's on the TV in the background). So I think I may have been right in my initial comment to point out that this film did indeed inspire the show in more ways than one!...name? production company name? end tune? and story lines!!! If you're reading this thread and are a bit lost then read the three comments above this one :-)

Jo

"And dance by the light of the moon!"

Jack
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Re: Reply to above 3 messages!

Post by Jack » Oct 24th 2001, 11:28 pm

Also, in one scene, Jimmy Stewart is wearing a shirt with the number
three on it which we see Brian wearing quite a bit throughout the
series.

Jack

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