Lots of articles about MSCL...

Found a reference to "My So-Called Life" in a book, movie, tv show or somewhere else? Then post here!
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Lots of articles about MSCL...

Post by Sascha (sab) » Mar 27th 2004, 6:59 am

Sarah D. Bunting (from televisionwithoutpity.com) wrote a long and (IMHO) beautiful article about MSCL for msnbc.msn.com - really worth reading:

http://msnbc.msn.com/id/4402166/
Last edited by Sascha (sab) on Apr 19th 2004, 3:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Sascha (sab) » Mar 27th 2004, 7:03 am

Wow, seems like "The N" really got that PR machine working: Here's another long article:

http://www.whas11.com/sharedcontent/fea ... b3640.html
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Post by Sascha (sab) » Mar 27th 2004, 7:22 am

hee, found this snippet in yet another article:
The N has acquired "My So-Called Life" -- the 1994 cult teen melodrama -- and will begin re-airing the series this spring. "We took it into some focus groups, and the kids asked us if it was from the 70s," says Tomassi-Lindman.
"from the 70's" !?!?? LOL!

http://www.azcentral.com/ent/pop/articl ... 12-CR.html
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Post by Natasha (candygirl) » Mar 27th 2004, 6:26 pm

Don't worry - some kids just have no clue about the decades that happened before they were around. I took one of the kids I tutored to a 50s diner and he asked if it was supposed to be the 70s.

:roll:
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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"?

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Post by Sascha (sab) » Apr 2nd 2004, 8:13 am

Another article in the New York Times:

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/04/02/arts/ ... 76&ei=5062


And the Detroit Free Press has a short mention in today's issue:

http://www.freep.com/entertainment/tvan ... 040402.htm

"My So-Called Life" (8 p.m., Noggin). Angst for the memories. Claire Danes starred in this exquisitely insightful portrait of adolescent torment. The smart, uncompromising cult classic lasted only one season on ABC in 1994. But it remains the most honest emotional chronicle of teen life ever captured in a network drama. Welcome back, Angela Chase.
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Post by YvBaBy » Apr 2nd 2004, 10:45 am

that articles are great, but the first one doesn't work for me :?
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Post by Sascha (sab) » Apr 2nd 2004, 3:48 pm

YvBaBy wrote:that articles are great, but the first one doesn't work for me :?
You mean the one from msnbc? Hm, I have no problems. Try to go to the msnbc.msn.com home page and search for "My So-Called Reruns" on their website (there's a search field below the navigation links on the left side).
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Post by YvBaBy » Apr 3rd 2004, 7:45 am

it works now...don't know what the prob was..thx though
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Post by grim4746 » Apr 3rd 2004, 6:40 pm

Most of the articles I've read about MSCL are great and I'm always happy to read others opinions about the show, especially the glowing reviews. But the NY times article Sascha posted yesterday irritated me. The article has more to say about how trashy "the OC" is than it does about MSCL. And the last lines
teen hating writer at the NY times wrote:"The newest, most fanciful nighttime soap operas, like "The O.C." and "One Tree Hill," are, paradoxically, most realistic in the sense that they more accurately mirror the way teenagers view themselves. "My So-Called Life," on the other hand, feeds the nostalgia of viewers who mourn the days when adults were in charge of television"
suggests to me that the writer has completely missed the point. As one of the other articles mentioned in this thread states, if teen viewers had been considered the significant demographic they now are, at the time MSCL aired then it would have been thought of as a hit and been kept around. Basically it's because "adults were in charge of television" that the show didn't last. It has been a few years since I was a teen but I think it's total BS to say that "the OC" is a realistic reflection of how teens view themselves. I'm sure there are people who, when "the oc" premiered thought, "ooh! Finally a show about how my life really is" but they are vapid airheads who would have thought the same thing about 90210 (which is suspiciously absent from the article probably because it would have stepped all over her weak assertion). If I believed these shows are representative of a typical teen I'd probably be as hostile toward them as the writer of the article appears to be.

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Post by Sascha (sab) » Apr 7th 2004, 4:47 am

And another one (more general about teen soaps)
The return of teen soaps
In a dreary TV season, youth-driven dramas are floating to the top

By MELANIE McFARLAND
SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER TELEVISION CRITIC

You’ve heard it before – the complaint about our society’s youth obsession and all the ways it manifests itself on television. But this season, it may not be such a bad thing. With a large number of shows earning failing grades and others expelled altogether, teen-driven shows are among the few worth keeping.

FOX
Benjamin McKenzie and Mischa Barton steam the screen in "The O.C." The Fox hit has fueled interest in other teen-centric shows.

Think Fox’s “The O.C.,” returning next Wednesday with a new episode at 9 p.m. on KCPQ/13, and to a far lesser extent, The WB’s “One Tree Hill,” airing a new episode tonight at 9 p.m. on KTWB/22. Both fuel millions of guilty pleasures each week, but “The O.C.,” in particular, has become appointment television, and its halo effect has inspired renewed interest in other teen-driven shows such as The WB’s “Everwood” and even NBC’s “American Dreams,” which ended its second season on Sunday.

Whatever you do, don’t even think about calling “The O.C.” a teen drama. Its creator Josh Schwartz may have invoked “Beverly Hills 90210” to get his foot in the door, but his show has much more in common with “Dynasty” and other prime-time soaps of the past.

Everyone's beautiful in "The O.C.'s" realm of eternal sunshine, where the girls are so plentiful even the nerd has a lovely one on his arm and in his bed. A recent story line created a secret tryst between teenage surfer boy Luke (Chris Carmack) and his ex-girlfriend's youthful mother, Julie Cooper (Melinda Clarke). Certainly not suitable fodder for Noggin's teen lineup, The N.

And the lives of "The O.C.'s" adults are as insane and melodramatic as those of their high school-age kids, who, as far as we can tell, never go to class.

Same goes for the parent-child dynamic on "One Tree Hill," the chronicles of a bitter rivalry between half-brother basketball stars Nathan (James Lafferty) and Lucas Scott (Chad Michael Murray) and the acrimonious adult relationships between the boys' loathsome father, Dan (Paul Johansson), Lucas' mom (Moira Kelly) and Dan's brother, Keith (Craig Sheffer). The teen basketball players and their cheerleader girlfriends are at the heart of the action -- but again, not really a teen show.

Odd how the hierarchy mirrors that of a high school. You have your cool kids, their second-tier rivals and the squares doing their own thing over in the corner.

All fill a hole that has existed on network television since the demise of Aaron Spelling's "Beverly Hills 90210" and "Dawson's Creek."

Yet not a one wants to be acknowledged as a teen drama. And why not, given that a large slice of their viewers probably haven't set foot inside a high school for years?

"The problem with the label 'teen drama' is, it doesn't acknowledge the great work of the adults on our show," said "One Tree Hill" creator Mark Schwahn. "When the show began, it was about fathers and sons, but moreover it was about a mother and her son."

What's made this season so teen-friendly?

First, there's the rest of the schedule. Detectives, lawyers, murder and catastrophe dominate almost every other TV drama.

The teen-dominated shows, ranging from Ivory pure stories to steamy, sexy sudsers, are rays of light cutting through the darkness.

Both "American Dreams" creator Jonathan Prince and Schwahn credit another unlikely reason -- the drama in reality TV, which made real people into characters. "Reality TV scared a lot of people, and I think that dramatic storytellers were threatened by reality TV shows. But for me, I saw soap operas in those shows," Schwahn said. "They weren't successful because they're real people going through those predicaments, they were successful because of the soapy story lines. So I think networks saw there was a need for human stories to offset the detective shows."

A third reason: the tween revolution on cable, a demographic that has been capitalized upon by the Disney Channel and The N. Indeed, The N has resurrected ABC's cult favorite "My So-Called Life," airing it at 5, 7 and 9 p.m. Fridays. In many ways, "My So-Called Life" and the angst-laden trials of its protagonist, Angela Chase (Claire Danes), provided a negative example for teen shows that came in its wake. The way it tapped into the pain and confusion unique to being an adolescent felt all too real, perhaps, for wide audiences to bear.

This current teen batch is the antithesis of "My So-Called Life." In most episodes, the worst that happens is that the sensitive hero gets in a fistfight at a party while defending a friend's honor. "It feels almost voyeuristic, I think, watching kids live the teenage lives we wish we had," Prince observed. "If you watch 'The O.C.,' there is no better fantasy for teenagers. However, I don't think any adults would wish to be those parents. And God forbid that those would be our kids. But it's so well done in fulfilling almost every dream come true."

Here's the catch: Most mothers and sons, or fathers and daughters, wouldn't watch "The O.C." and "One Tree Hill" together, anyway.

This is where parent-friendlier shows like "Everwood," "Gilmore Girls" and "American Dreams" step in.

"Look, I wanted to have a show with two portals of entry. I wanted adults to watch the show because it was about big issues and our country's adolescence," Prince said. At the same time, he reels in young viewers by hiring famous music stars, such as Wyclef Jean, to play past legends like Curtis Mayfield.

THE WB/FRANK OCKENFELS
High school basketball players and their cheerleader girlfriends create a tangled web in The WB's "One Tree Hill," starring, clockwise from top, James Lafferty, Hilarie Burton, Sophia Bush, Chad Michael Murray and Bethany Joy Lenz.

"Nowadays, you ask yourself, how do you really unite everyone around the TV set? ... You're not going to want to watch 'The O.C.' with your mom and dad because they're going to look at the parties and coke and say, 'Are you doing this stuff?' "

Last week, "The O.C." came within a few tenths of a ratings point of matching "The West Wing," nudging CBS's Wednesday night comedies to take third place. Having "American Idol" as a lead-in helped, but not even that show has proved to be a surefire boost to every program. "The O.C." has slowly built an audience on its own merits.

So has "One Tree Hill," although much more slowly. The WB suffered by launching it in the fall after "The O.C." made a splash in its August debut.

After its lackluster start, "One Tree Hill" took a break and returned with a strong promotional push in midseason. The show's ratings have improved steadily, although it hasn't yet been picked up for next season.

Modest ratings didn't prevent an early renewal of "American Dreams," a program viewers either adore or detest. That may be because it is a perfect teen show in its own way. "American Dreams' " '60s-era teenager Meg Pryor (Brittany Snow) and her best friend Roxanne (Vanessa Lengies) are obsessed with "American Bandstand," and deal with issues like pot smoking and teen rebellion.

However, these are the teenagers parents used to be. They're cool, but in a more chaste, retro sense. "(NBC entertainment president) Jeff Zucker once told me that ours was the only show to have a sweeps episode about a teenage girl having her first kiss," Prince said. "Every other show was about whether or not the girl had an orgasm."
http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/tv/167765_tv06.html
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Post by TomSpeed » Apr 7th 2004, 9:36 am

Sascha (sab) wrote:Wow, seems like "The N" really got that PR machine working: Here's another long article:

http://www.whas11.com/sharedcontent/fea ... b3640.html
I like this article. The last line resonates.
It was part of the era of Twin Peaks, Northern Exposure, Picket Fences, Homicide: Life on the Street and other unconventional series that took risks and still managed to see the light of day. That may well be an era that has permanently passed.
Do we have shows like these today?
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?
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Post by TomSpeed » Apr 7th 2004, 9:48 am

Sascha (sab) wrote:Another article in the New York Times:

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/04/02/arts/ ... 76&ei=5062


And the Detroit Free Press has a short mention in today's issue:

http://www.freep.com/entertainment/tvan ... 040402.htm

"My So-Called Life" (8 p.m., Noggin). Angst for the memories. Claire Danes starred in this exquisitely insightful portrait of adolescent torment. The smart, uncompromising cult classic lasted only one season on ABC in 1994. But it remains the most honest emotional chronicle of teen life ever captured in a network drama. Welcome back, Angela Chase.
I like this line from the NYT article:
"My So-Called Life," on the other hand, is a backward look at adolescence, viewed less with nostalgia than with recovered dread. Parents are victims, too; even Angela's mother, Patty (Bess Armstrong), tightly wound and humorless, has sympathetic moments. "I cannot bring myself to eat a well-balanced meal in front of my mother," Angela says in a voice-over. "It means too much to her."
That sums up a great part of what MSCL means to me. I'd never want to go through my high school years again. Most people wouldn't either, I think, if they looked at those years realistically.
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 Sascha (sab) » Apr 7th 2004, 10:46 am

TomSpeed wrote:
It was part of the era of Twin Peaks, Northern Exposure, Picket Fences, Homicide: Life on the Street and other unconventional series that took risks and still managed to see the light of day. That may well be an era that has permanently passed.
Do we have shows like these today?
Mostly on PayTV stations like HBO and Showtime, I'd guess. "The Sopranos", "Six Feet Under", "Dead Like Me" and in some way even "Band of Brothers" and "Taken" are/were IMHO continuing the spirit of these unconventional shows mentioned above. HBO can give them the (financial) freedom to develop in some rather unusual storylines and characters. Other shows on the regular (cable) networks manage from time to time to see the light of day, but are getting killed off faster than one can program a TiVo. Some examples are "Freaks and Geeks", "Once and Again", "Firefly" and - most recently - "Wonderfalls". They all took risks and failed. In times of "Big Brother" and "Idols", quality tv is probably less and less mass-compatible. So one has to pay for our "minority taste" and get HBO. I just hope that in the future they find new ways to finance and distribute tv shows (e.g. "payperview" over the internet) - so shows like "Wonderfalls" could survive if there are *really* enough viewers to pay for it - not depending on figures from the probably highly inaccurate "Nielsen Family".



BTW, there's an article about cancellations at the washingtonpost.com:
Good Ratings but Bad News: The Cancellation Conundrum

By Lisa de Moraes
Sunday, April 4, 2004; Page N05
Who hasn't experienced the devastation of losing a favorite prime-time TV
series. Saying goodbye to all those fictitious people who have been such an
important part of your life, knowing you now have nothing to chat up your
boss about at the water cooler -- it can be pretty painful, particularly if
the cancellation took you by surprise because many other series were
suffering far worse ratings. But sadly, ratings are just one of . . .


The Six Reasons Your Favorite Show Gets Canceled:

-All those people watching, besides you, of course, are not the audience
advertisers want to reach. Usually, this is a euphemism for "show skews too
old." But sometimes it has meant that the audience is too narrowly young --
remember when ABC killed "My So-Called Life" in 1995? But perhaps the most
famous example of this phenomenon was CBS's early-'70s decision to kill its
still-strong bubba series, including "Green Acres" and "The Beverly
Hillbillies," because the audience was too "rural" for Madison Avenue.
Ironically, the CBS '70s bubba series have become the height of urban
hipness since Fox launched its reality remake of "Green Acres" starring
Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie. CBS even tried to remake "The Beverly
Hillbillies" as a reality series, but met with unexpected opposition from
agrarians who thought that, although it was okay to poke fun at rich girls
shacking up with a hardworking farm family in Arkansas, it was definitely
not cool to yuk it up at the expense of a farm family shacking up for a year
in Hilton's Beverly Hills 'hood.

-Lousy retention. The most watched new comedy of the 2001-02 season was
NBC's "Leap of Faith," which the network yanked off its schedule after six
episodes. That's because although "Leap" averaged 16.5 million viewers, its
lead-in, "Friends," was averaging 24 million. NBC thought it could do better
in the period with another scripted comedy. It was wrong, of course, but
that's 20/20 hindsight.

-Star cashes In. Not every actor is obsessed with matching James Arness's
record for the longest role portrayed by an actor on prime-time TV -- Arness
played marshal Matt Dillon on "Gunsmoke" for 20 years. Sometimes, when
you've made as much money as Jerry Seinfeld, you decide you want to go out
on top after nine years, when your show is still No. 1. Others are like
Kelsey Grammer, who decided to hang on to his role as Frasier Crane (first
on "Cheers"), matching Arness's record -- while the show plunged to No. 43
in the rankings, with only about 11 million watching.

-The show has become too expensive. Sometimes, when an older series' ratings
slide but it is still doing fairly well, the network kills it anyway. This
may be because the network wants to pay less for the show (because it has
lower ratings), but the folks working on it want raises. Of course, if
you're David E. Kelley and ABC wants to cut in half the fee it pays for your
lawyer drama, you make ends meet by whacking most of your highly compensated
cast, and presto -- you're back in the black.

-Doesn't play well with others. If the producers of a series are suing a
network that broadcasts their series, that can cast a pall over the future
of the show. The word in the biz, for instance, has NBC canceling "Good
Morning, Miami" in part because its creators, Max Mutchnick and David Kohan,
have sued the network, claiming NBC didn't pay them as much as for their
other NBC sitcom, "Will & Grace," which is produced at NBC Studios. Some
industry wags, however, say it's more a case of NBC deciding not to continue
to do M&K a favor by keeping this low-rated series just to make nice with
the hit producers.
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Post by Guest » Apr 13th 2004, 4:57 pm

Great article... and soo true.

I love the show end with style and many questions to debate. Also Televisionwithoutpity is such a good website.. that had funny recaps of each MSCL episodes.

Also...I never thought Sharon's boyfriend was "in the closet". :o

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Post by Sascha (sab) » Apr 19th 2004, 3:42 am

Wow, with all this amazing press it seems more and more likely that we'll get soon a second season... ;-) j/k. The new season would anyway be cancelled after three episodes...

The N network's resurrection of 'My So-Called Life' a godsend


By Karla Peterson
UNION-TRIBUNE

April 19, 2004

The four hours of television Americans watch per day haven't done much for our average American waistlines, but they have given us industrial-strength stomachs.

From "CSI's" blood and bile to "Fear Factor's" worm slime and cow guts, no TV scenario is too icky or unnerving for the intrepid Nielsen family. Apparently, America can handle the goop. But are we ready for the "Life"?

Making its debut in the summer of 1994, the beautifully written, exquisitely acted "My So-Called Life" captured the agony and occasional ecstasies of adolescence with excruciating accuracy. Which is probably why ABC canceled the viewer-deficient drama after one season.


Danny Feld / ABC
In "My So-Called Life," actresses Claire Danes and A.J. Langer bring adolescence roaring to life.
But 10 years later, it's back. Now airing at various times on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays on the teen-friendly N network (which takes over from the kid-friendly Noggin cable channel at 3 p.m. daily), "My So-Called Life" is just as potent in reruns as it was the first time around. And it's scarier than a box of Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches.

Take this week's installment. Poetically titled "The Zit," this squirm-worthy episode finds Angela struggling with three of teendom's biggest horrors: her complexion and her friend's breasts.

"It had become the focus of everything," Angela says of the volcanic pimple that has erupted on her chin. "It blotted out the rest of my face, the rest of my life. Like the zit had become . . . the truth about me."

Meanwhile, Angela's former best friend Sharon has become such a wonder of nature, the widely circulated "Sophomore Girls: The Top 40" list has given her the Best Hooters award.

And on the home front, Angela's mother has signed the two of them up for a mother-daughter fashion show. Where they will wear matching mother-daughter dresses. Home-made matching mother-daughter dresses.

Zits! Hooters! Fashion abuse! Those of you who have not already fled to the safety of the "CSI" autopsy room might be having some doubts right about now. If you are an adult, you have suffered through adolescence once, why suffer again? And if you're a teen now, why watch this when you can watch "The O.C.," where no one has acne (or geometry), and everyone is hot, including the parents?


Fox
No acne, no curfew, just drama. Life is never ordinary for the fantasy teens played by Benjamin McKenzie and Mischa Barton on "The O.C."
Of course, there are plenty of good moral reasons to tune in. After the gauzy tanning-booth fantasies of "The O.C." and all those Abercrombie & Fitch ads, it is a comfort and a relief to see teenagers who look like teenagers, instead of teenagers who look like supermodels with Paris Hilton's clothing allowance.

And after years of getting our Nielsen jollies from humankind's bottomless capacity for greed, stupidity, masochism and evil, isn't it time we got a little wisdom from watching good-hearted characters grappling with the milestones and minutiae we all face every day?

Of course, enlightenment doesn't come cheap. It is harder to watch Angela and her fictional family deal with curfews, gossip and unfortunate hair-coloring experiments than it is to watch the "Fear Factor" folks scarf down sea cucumbers and sheep eyes.

Prom night and midterms are the stuff real nightmares are made of, and if you can handle Angela's paralyzing crush on the swooningly inarticulate Jordan Catalano without chocolate and sedatives, you could win the next "Survivor" without leaving the couch.

But the best reason to give the show a second shot is that it is great TV. Really, really great TV.

Created by Winnie Holzman and executive produced by Marshall Herskovitz and Edward Zwick (the team behind "thirtysomething" and "Once and Again"), "My So-Called Life" nails adolescent angst so perfectly, you want to embroider the dialogue on throw pillows, which you will clutch to your heart and promptly lock in the attic.

Lines like, "Cafeteria is the embarrassment capitol of the world. It's like a prison movie."

Or, "It just seems like, you agree to have a certain personality or something. For no reason. Just to make things easier for everyone."

Or, "There is something about Sunday night that really makes you want to kill yourself. Especially if you've just been totally made a fool of by the only person you'll ever love, and you have a geometry midterm on Monday."

It helps that many of these lines are spoken by the startlingly talented Claire Danes, who plays Angela with a ferocious delicacy that makes her painful to watch and impossible to stop watching. It also helps that everyone else in the cast is just as good.

As Patty Chase, Bess Armstrong is a ray of steel-belted sunshine, while Tom Irwin gives Angela's father a wry watchfulness that never lets you dismiss him as the doofus dad. Wilson Cruz plays Angela's gay friend Rickie with loads of eyeliner and a beautifully calibrated vulnerability, Devon Gummersall is all twitches and heart as the nerdy Brian Krakow, and Jared Leto plays Angela's bad-news boyfriend with a stoner charisma that is totally addictive.

It is smart and funny and better than pretty much anything you're watching right now that isn't "The Sopranos." In this age of extreme thrills and voyeuristic chills, "My So-Called Life" presents audiences with the kind of viewing challenges that make us better for having survived them. And maybe this time around, we'll be ready.

Karla Peterson: karla.peterson@uniontrib.com; (619) 293-1275.

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/feat ... karla.html

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