Why did the writers have Jordan and Rayanne sleep together?

General discussion about the nineteen episodes of "My So-Called Life". Note: Our episode guide can be found here.
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sunshine11
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Why did the writers have Jordan and Rayanne sleep together?

Post by sunshine11 » Jul 29th 2004, 11:31 am

This is a question that has plagued me for years. What were the writers trying to accomplish (besides drama)? I know that mostly everything that happens on this show happens for a reason but I can't figure out why the writers decided to take that route with Jordan and Rayanne. I remember when I first watched this show I hated Jordan/Rayanne for what they did to Angela and I hated the writers for that storyline. I loved Angela and Rayanne's friendship but because of what happened their friendship will be forever changed and I don't believe they will ever be as close as they used to. I don't believe that Angela will ever be able to fully trust Jordan. So in a sense I think the writers ruined two relationships. I wish that someone in that Q and A would have asked Winnie why she wrote that storyline.

I would like to get everyone’s opinion on this to see if you all have any idea why the writers decided to go have Jordan/Rayanne sleep together.
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Post by kandykiss19 » Jul 30th 2004, 2:37 am

they made it happen because is real. its something that would happen, its something thats happened to me and many people i know. Just think about it, it wa slike bound to happen, Rayanne the school slut basically and Jordan the guy basically lookin for sex...its real.
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Post by _RED_ » Jul 30th 2004, 12:08 pm

i'd have to agree with kandykiss19, cause its something that was bound to happen, it makes me mad too though...but its supposed to be something that ppl can relate to, and ppl can relate to that, because it happens all the time.
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Post by muruch » Jul 30th 2004, 12:38 pm

I agree that it was real...in high school, girls slept with their best friends' boyfriends and crushes and all the time.

But I think it was more than that. That episode was a critical turning point both for the show and for the characters. It made Angela, Jordan, and Brian more serious and mature in their interaction with each other, it brought Rayanne & Sharon together because they were both suddenly outside of Angela's world, it even seemed to make Rickie a stronger character because he was more balanced between Rayanne, Angela, and Brian instead of just being Rayanne's puppy. And though the show tackled some serious subjects before that, the tone of the show as a whole seemed to darken a little bit after "Betrayal". And that's the way life is, one event can begin the process of losing our innocence...growing up.
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Post by JammerMan » Jul 30th 2004, 11:01 pm

I soooooooooooooo did not like that event in the show. I'm a huge fan of the Angela/Rayanne/Rickie triangle and it totally broke it up. Now it's like a square that's missing one side and Rickie's the one side that connects the two opposite sides. Half of me wishes it would've never happened, but half of me thinks it was a great event for the characters. They really changed so much after that episode. That's my guess on why the writers did what they did. To give the characters a chance to change and grow and deal with extreme events within their social circle.
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Post by Guest » Jul 31st 2004, 2:47 pm

I think it was just something that happened.And yeah, altough these thing happen all the time I don't think it was something they planned, they had a few beers and it happened.And believe it or not I actually think Angela will benefit from this event.She's better off without them.Nothing like a cold shower to make you see who your real friends are.

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Post by sunshine11 » Aug 2nd 2004, 11:16 am

JammerMan wrote:I soooooooooooooo did not like that event in the show. I'm a huge fan of the Angela/Rayanne/Rickie triangle and it totally broke it up. Now it's like a square that's missing one side and Rickie's the one side that connects the two opposite sides.
I completely agree. Jordan/Rayanee was the one thing I loathed about this show. I still cringe when I think about it. Like you I enjoyed the Angela/Rayanne/Rickie dynamic and because of that one event all of that was changed. I do believe in time Angela will be able to forgive Rayanne but I don't think their friendship will ever be the same and I hate that.
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Post by Debs » Aug 2nd 2004, 4:34 pm

One word: Conflict.

Without conflict drama doesn't happen. In this particular story, this action gets three different people (with different motives) to move on while also getting them to realise what they mean to each other.

Take Angela for instance: Angela and Rayanne are living in each others pockets at the beginning of MSCL. Rayanne is her best friend. Meanwhile, Angela is obsessing about Jordan; Jordan is the perfect guy.

After the Betrayal, Angela is suddenly forced to grow up. She realises Rayanne isn't a faithful friend and Jordan isn't the perfect guy. If Jordan and Rayanne hadn't slept together Angela would still be the adoring girl she was through most of the series. And as an audience, where would we be then? We need to go on a journey with a character. We need to grow with them. Angela needs this to happen so she can 'move on' in terms of her character.

Same goes for Rayanne (never hurt anyone before because she never mattered to them) and Jordan (admits Angela means a lot to him).

If this twist in the storyline makes you feel angry or breaks your heart, or makes you feel an emotion in any kind of way, it means it's been successful. It has evoked something within you... and you feel so strongly about it you write about it on a forum. I'm sure that's what the writers wanted way back when they had Rayanne sleeping with Jordan.

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Post by Nostradamus » Aug 4th 2004, 12:45 am

I understand and agree with the dramatic reasoning of the betrayal, but it does feel awfully sudden, like they came up with that plot at the last minute and kinda crammed it in. Where's the foreshadowing?

For example, in a typical suspence/thriller yarn, the writer will make the timing of the big plot twist or action scene a surprise, but there will be subtle little hints and clues leading up to it, so as to build that delicious feeling of queasyness and tension in the audience. Maybe I'm being absent-minded, but I don't recall much of that before the big "umm"; it just happened out of the blue.

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Post by Natasha (candygirl) » Aug 4th 2004, 1:52 am

I think that the lack of foreshadowing is one of the signs that Jordan and Rayanne sleeping together was not premeditated on either side - it's not like they were always secretly attracted to each other and then finally gave into it. For anyone who is a BtVS fan, it's like Spike and Anya sleeping together. As Anya later told Xander, "That wasn't vengeance. It was solace." In addition, I think that the lack of foreshadowing helps the audience identify with Angela because it IS out of nowhere. She and the audience are blindsided by this development, which makes it that much more shocking.
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Post by Megs » Aug 4th 2004, 10:09 am

There was one scene that I can remember in Guns & Gossip where Rayanne approached Jordan about the rumor in the hallway, and Angela sees them talking. She doesn't know what they are talking about, but from afar it looks cozy. I wouldn't call this foreshadowing exactly, but I always wondered why they showed Angela looking at them, but nothing really came from it.
[In the crowded school hallway afterward Rayanne
chases down Jordan.]

Rayanne: Hey Catalano.
Jordan: Hey.
Rayanne: So, ah, what about this gun thing, hu? Hate to
be that soda bottle. Splat.

[Angela walks into the hallway and sees police searching
lockers, and Rickie being bullied by two guys on the
stairs, and Rayanne and Jordan talking.
She leaves in the
other direction.]

Rayanne: So, do you know what everyone is saying?
Jordan: What?
Rayanne: Oh, about you and Angela. How you guys had
sex.
Jordan: Who?
Rayanne: You and Angela.
Jordan: No. Who's saying that?
Rayanne: I don't know. People. I mean. She told me the
truth, of course.
Jordan: What truth?
Rayanne: How far you guys went, you know.
Jordan: Well. Yeah. Cause nothing happened.
Rayanne[as Jordan walks away from her]: Right, so how
come it's all over school. I mean, you're not
talking it up like some low-life derelict cretin telling
everyone you did her are you?

[Jordan shakes his head no and walks away.]

Rayanne[smiling]: Just checking.
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Post by Natasha (candygirl) » Aug 4th 2004, 3:34 pm

My interpretation of that scene is that Angela wants to know who started the rumor about her and Jordan. To her knowledge, the only people who even knew that Jordan came over to the house on the night in question are her, Rayanne, Rickie, and Jordan, which means one of them started the rumor. Earlier in the episode, she says, "Rayanne! We barely made out. You haven't been telling people...?" Rayanne replies, "Oh, Angela, come on. I wouldn't blab about your personal life. I promise you." Later that day, Rayanne tells Angela that the rumor might be a good thing, saying, "You got to start thinking of this as a positive thing. I mean, this could help you get to the next level with Jordan." The next day in gym class when some guys look at Angela and say hi, Rayanne reiterates, "See, I told you that note was good." Those two statements might lead Angela to suspect that, despite the initial protestation, perhaps Rayanne DID have something to do with the rumor since she (Rayanne) sees nothing but good as a result of the rumor.

Angela knows that she didn't start the rumor, and she never questions Rickie about it because she knows he wouldn't do something like that. The problem is that the process of elimination leaves only Rayanne and Jordan.
Rayanne: Maybe Jordan started the rumor.
Angela: Please, don't be ridiculous.
Rayanne: It's a very guy thing to do.
At this point, Angela's options as to who started this rumor are her new best friend or the guy she just made out with. When she sees them talking together in the hallway, I think that reinforces the doubt in her mind. In addition, up until this point she has been able to view Rayanne and Jordan as separate but related entities, meaning Rayanne is the impetus to Angela seeing Jordan at parties or Let's Bolt, arranging for her to procure a fake ID from him, etc. but Angela has never had to deal with the fact that there is some overlap in Rayanne and Jordan's social circles. This is the first time that she has actually witnessed them talking to each other (despite the fact that Angela knows Rayanne asked Jordan to get Angela that ID in the previous episode). I believe that Angela walks away for two reasons:

(1) she doesn't want to believe that either of them started the rumor, so she leaves to avoid confirming that they are having the sort of conversation that goes, "Hahaha, can you believe everyone believes what I told them?" from either party

(2) "What I like, dread, is when people who know you in completely different ways end up in the same area. And you have to develop this, like, combination you on the spot." Not only has Angela not had to see Jordan and Rayanne socializing before, but she has never had to deal with both of them at the same time and it looks like she wants to keep it that way for now.
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Post by Jody Barsch* » Aug 4th 2004, 3:47 pm

candygirl wrote:In addition, I think that the lack of foreshadowing helps the audience identify with Angela because it IS out of nowhere. She and the audience are blindsided by this development, which makes it that much more shocking.
Totally. Although, at different moments throughout the series the show always played with the possibility that Rayanne would somehow hurt Angela, even if it was unintentional.
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We don't see Rayanne and Jordan sleeping together coming (no pun intended) but we are prepared for the possibility that somehow things will go wrong between Angela and Rayanne, the show keeps bringing us back to that -- from Sharon in the pilot, "And by the way, she's just using you like she did with Jody Barsh. I just thought you should know," to Rayanne's own mother even, "Oh, okay. What did you do? ... to make Angela mad at you." This act of "betrayal" is harder to see coming from Jordan because that is Jordan Catalano -- he is hard to predict. MSCL makes this very clear -- Angela can't figure him out, and the show does not allow us to either.

When it comes down to it for me, this scene in the parking lot of Louie's is one of the exciting moments in the series. The dialogue, while very simple, is very real. As is the staging and the performances. And with the help of Brian's video recorder, it is filmed very differently from the rest of the series, and I love it. I've never questioned why this moment happened, even the first time I saw it on ABC, and I think the reason for that is the credibility of the characters MSCL created, and the authenticity with which this scene was executed.
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Post by Nothingman » Aug 4th 2004, 4:12 pm

candygirl wrote:To her knowledge, the only people who even knew that Jordan came over to the house on the night in question are her, Rayanne, Rickie, and Jordan, which means one of them started the rumor.
What about Brian? I always assumed Brian was the one who started the rumor.
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Post by Jody Barsch* » Aug 4th 2004, 4:51 pm

When Rayanne says to Angela, “Oh, Angela, come on. I wouldn't blab about your personal life. I promise you” she says it with conviction and sincerity. I believe her, and I believe Angela does as well. Even when Rayanne starts to argue that the note was a good thing, I don’t think Angela begins to think that Rayanne might have done it. I can see how someone might come to that conclusion, but I don’t think that in these given circumstances they would, and I do not see Angela coming to it. She trusts Rayanne; yes, she felt the need to reestablish that trust, “Rayanne ... You haven't been telling people...?” but she does trust her. I also disagree that she thinks Jordan is spreading the rumor. “‘Rayanne: Maybe Jordan started the rumor.’ ‘Angela: Please, don't be ridiculous.’” Of course it is a definite possibility, but I don’t think we have enough evidence to say that Angela really starts to think Jordan started the rumor.

As far as the scene where Angela sees Rayanne and Jordan together in the halls, I disagree that she may be thinking that they are congratulating themselves on spreading the rumor about her. I think possibly she is uncomfortable recognizing them as friends, as Candygirl said, “ In addition, up until this point ... Angela has never had to deal with the fact that there is some overlap in Rayanne and Jordan's social circles. This is the first time that she has actually witnessed them talking to each other.” I agree that this moment, even without the rumor, may make Angela a bit nervous. **

But I more than that, I think that Angela is embarrassed. I read the scene as Angela having a pretty good idea that Rayanne is confronting Jordan about the rumor and Angela is embarrassed to see her friend calling the guy she like out on such personal an embarrassing subject. If Jordan did spread the rumor, she doesn’t want to hear that, if Jordan didn’t then she doesn’t want to think about how it looks to have her somewhat crazy friend accusing him, and she really doesn’t want to think about these two sexually experienced peers discussing what exactly did happen between them, that would require him remembering and Rayanne hearing that she wouldn’t kiss him, he thinks she’s immature, and her comment about the dentist. Basically this whole experience from that night in his car, the note, the rumors and propositions, and now this conversation are too embarrassing and Angela doesn’t want to have to deal with, or even acknowledge it.






** As Candygirl said, hanging out with Rayanne and Jordan at the same time probably makes Angela feel on the spot. Hanging out with your friends and an established boyfriend is one thing, but hanging out with your friends who know everything abut you, while you are with the person you are trying to get interested in you, who you may be trying to show a different side of yourself to, one your friends do not see, is VERY awkward. More than that, I can see this interaction being awkward for Angela as she may have some feelings of inadequacy. While she doesn’t like to think of herself as naive and innocent, there are certain facts she has to know about herself (like that she doesn’t have the experience that Rayanne and Jordan have) and being with Jordan around Rayanne (in those early episodes) may may have made Angela feel like she was in a competition, one she might not be able to win. “AngelaVO: The worst feeling is suddenly realizing that...you don't measure up. And that in the past, when you thought you did, you were a fool.”
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