MSCL First Viewing!

General discussion about the nineteen episodes of "My So-Called Life". Note: Our episode guide can be found here.
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nicki
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MSCL First Viewing!

Post by nicki » Jun 9th 2005, 5:40 pm

Hey Everyone!
I'm new here. I've done a lot of reading on this forum and it seems like everythings been covered. :P I'm just creating a general disscussion about how the show effected us.


What episode was your first? How did you hear about the show? How old were you? Did watching this show religiously change any of your views on growing up or help you in personal situations?
"It just seems like, you agree to have a certain personality or something. For no reason. Just to make things easier for everyone But when you think about it, I mean, how do you know it's even you?"

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Post by nicki » Jun 9th 2005, 6:17 pm

My first Episode was episode 5 - "The Zit". I was flipping through the channels late one night when I surfed passed the “Family Channel” noticing what I learned to be MSCL. It was only last fall; I was 16 as I still am. This show has had the utmost effect on me, and the way I look at things. Though I've only been a viewer for a short time I have grown to love this show and the characters. I was only a child when this show aired. I always said how much I wish I were a teenager in the early 90’s; things seemed so different (IMHO). This show only makes me envy those who did grow up in that time period. I must say it starts with how simply they dressed in the early 90’s. I LOVED IT. Someone mentioned in their post, as I’m sure many others of you did I how GREAT the show theme song is. In conclusion I feel like I can relate to Angela’s character and I suppose that’s where much of the shows fan base grew from. I know when I saw that episode “The Zit” I was hooked, because I could relate.
"It just seems like, you agree to have a certain personality or something. For no reason. Just to make things easier for everyone But when you think about it, I mean, how do you know it's even you?"

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Post by crimson-glow » Jun 12th 2005, 5:05 am

My first episode was "The Weekend".

Just like you I was flipping through the channels and saw on Family Channel MSCL!

Now I actually didn't pay to much attention, and changed the channel a few times during the show, so my actual full show was the pilot episode, and from then on I watched it religiously. That was in October/November of 04. So I've only been a fan for a little while since I was only 5-6 when they show first aired. But it doesn't make me any less of a fan!! :D
- " It just seems like, you agree to have a certain personality or something. For no reason. Just to make things easier for everyone. But when you think about it, I mean, how do you know it's even you?" - Angela Chase

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Post by nicki » Jun 12th 2005, 8:59 pm

Thank you for replying! I was anxiously waiting for a few days. I was beginning to think this board had died out. It’s not very active is it? Anyways…Crimson-glow I was just curious how the show has affected you if at all.
"It just seems like, you agree to have a certain personality or something. For no reason. Just to make things easier for everyone But when you think about it, I mean, how do you know it's even you?"

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Post by emmie » Jun 12th 2005, 10:25 pm

no fear, this board is still alive and well. there are usually a few new posts each day. and feel free to resurrect old threads, we realize that there are new fans with new ideas or thoughts.

as to your question....I believe my first episode was Why Jordan Can't Read during the original airing. I had seen commercials for the show, but had thought that it was more about the parents. when I realized that Angela was the main character, I watched religiously throughout the remainder of the season and wasn't able to catch the first few episodes until MTV picked it up.

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Post by Jody Barsch* » Jun 12th 2005, 10:35 pm

Hi Niki, welcome to the forum! I don't think it's necessarily that the forum is inactive, but rather, as you noticed, that many things have already been discussed several times over, so that frequent visitors may feel that they're just repeating themselves. When I first read this thread, I remembered one something like it, which kept me from posting here, but I always like seeing new threads!

I don't remember which was the first episode I ever saw. I know it wasn't the pilot (like Emmie, I never saw it until it was on MTV, or maybe i just never realized it was the pilot ... Now that I think back, I remember that it was years until I knew the correct order of some of the earlier episodes, and also before I knew their real names), and it may have been either "Why Jordan Can't Read" or "The Substitute." I watched the show when it first aired on ABC, and then later when it was on MTV. I was 14/15-years-old when the show originally aired -- I was the same age as Angela. I think I started watching it because friends were? I do seem to remember some of the original commercials for the show, with Angela sitting at a kitchen counter, with her parents around her... Uh, yes, I did watch the show compulsively. I remember sneaking downstairs to watch tapes of the show after my parents went to bed. But, I don't think the show in anyway changed my views on anything or helped me in anyway, other than giving me some great one-liners: "choose a sentence and go with it" "You know those guys..." I'd say the only movie/TV show that ever directly influenced me in my teen years would have to be Stealing Beauty.
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Post by nicki » Jun 12th 2005, 11:06 pm

Wow, Thanks so much for everyone's replies! I feel so welcome.

Something I want to discuss:
In one of my post I made a comment about how the show just makes me envy people who grew up in the time period early to mid 90's. I guess this is a question only those who attended high school in the early-mid 90’s can answer. Was high school similar for you as it was portrayed in the show? I mean I always had these big ideas of high school. I'm almost finished my 3rd year and it just is such a let down. I’m curious about the stereotyping (jocks, cheerleaders etc.), smoking in bathrooms, party’s, fashion, and anything else!
Thanks,
Nicki
:D
"It just seems like, you agree to have a certain personality or something. For no reason. Just to make things easier for everyone But when you think about it, I mean, how do you know it's even you?"

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Post by Gilly » Jun 12th 2005, 11:59 pm

I think my first episode was Life of Brian, but I'm not sure. I watched it when it originally aired on ABC. I fell in love because it made me feel normal. I was in the 9th grade when the show aired so I was a year younger than the teenagers on the show and I related to them so much. I thought I was the only girl in the world who didn't put out until I saw Pressure. It really got my hopes up about high school, but while I have some really fun memories of it, high school kind of sucks. I don't know anyone who enjoyed the awkwardness and confusion of adolescence. And it turns out a lot of your "friends forever" and you will never speak again and that super hot guy you're in love with is a moron. Don't get me wrong, it's lots of fun, just not the type of fun you see on tv.

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Post by Jody Barsch* » Jun 13th 2005, 12:06 am

Yeah, when I read that part of your thread, I was a little surprised. I went to high school from 1994-1998, and I can't think of one reason that would make that time better than any other to go to high school in. River Phoenix had just died, Kurt Cobain died, Biggie died, Tupac died, Bradley Nowel died, OJ was acquitted, ... but, on the other hand, Weezer and Ben Folds Five released their first albums.

Anyway, getting back to your questions: I think there was the same exact grouping of students then that there is today. Like Angela describes at the beginning of "Self-Esteem", certain people hang out in certain places, but it was never like in Mean Girls or something when they map out the school with school-recognized code names and everything. I have no romantic feelings about that era's fashion, but I also don't think the show's costumes were ever that accurate either. Ex: I never saw anyone wear leggings under shorts, etc. My wardrobe was strictly: jeans, cutoffs, boxers, white v-neck Tees, little minis, vintage dresses, baby-dolls, big sweatshirts and flannels, docs, reefs, jack percels, all stars, and vans.
I guess there must have been some smoking in the bathrooms, you could smell it sometimes, and there were a few girls who were in there a lot, but there were also frequent bathroom sweeps. There was a swamp somewhere behind our school, where kids went to smoke marijuana, and a McDonalds up the street where kids went to smoke cigarettes. I never went to parties in high school (my parents are worse than Angela's), but I tend to think they're exactly the same as they are now.

Other people on the forum might have different opinions, but I don't think there was anything that wonderful about coming to age in the mid nineties.

But what you talk about about coming to high school with grand ideas, I think that's very common. I knew friends in high school who had that problem, and I had that discussion with my freshman this year after we read Speak. It's that nagging feeling that "there's a little more life, somewhere else" -- life should be a little more exciting, a little more purposeful and climatic, and I think that comes from teen movies and teen shows, pumping us full of exciting images and possibilities.

I doubt that was anything like what you were looking for, I'm sorry. If you have other questions, I'd be happy to give you my perspective, but there are probably others who could respond better than I can. This seems like a topic for Candygirl.
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Post by Gilly » Jun 13th 2005, 12:10 am

I forgot about all the people who died while we were in highschool, it was a real downer. But grunge was fun, I miss not showering. I talk to my grade 10s about how highschool isn't the best time of your life, but I find that they don't get it. They have great expectations too.

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Post by Jody Barsch* » Jun 13th 2005, 12:48 am

nicki wrote:Was high school similar for you as it was portrayed in the show? I mean I always had these big ideas of high school. I'm almost finished my 3rd year and it just is such a let down.
You're not alone ... the show was always good at evoking universal emotions:
See, when I look at myself, I see everything in, like, slow motion, and I think, "Something has to happen." Only, it never does. So I have to make it happen.
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Post by grim4746 » Jun 15th 2005, 9:21 am

I started watching when the pilot first aired. The previews had me convinced I would love it. I think it was that Angela was portrayed as being disgusted with her parents in a reasonable, sane way. Once I watched the show the appeal was so much more diverse.
As for high school in the early 90's, I had a great time but I don't think it would be much different today, or 20 years ago. I do have some romnatic notions about that time but mainly because it was so much better than everything that had come before. And it was exciting for me and I experienced so many new things. Eleventh Grade (95/96) is when things got really good for me personally. While I do believe that for me that was an ideal time in the right place surrounded by the right people, I probably would have had a fine time under different circumstances.

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Post by emmie » Jun 15th 2005, 1:09 pm

I went to high school 93-97. and the world of MSCL was very similar to what I knew, at least in 9th grade. it was the last year that our school was open so basically, anything went. skipping school, smoking anywhere, wearing whatever, very loose. when our new high school was built, it became like a prison and wasn't nearly as cool or exciting as any tv show or teen movie. but I think that's what connected me most with MSCL, because it seemed very real and close to what I knew. just teens dealing with everyday life and issues that come up.

I don't agree that our high school experience is the same as any other decade. we each have our own new issues to deal with. our parents had the vietnam war, civil rights, women's rights, pregnancy among other things. we had to deal with AIDS, and the resurrgence of drugs. the generation now deals with terrorism, and growth of technology namely in the form of cell phones and every other little gadget. and though some of these things seem small, I believe they do make a difference. however, that said, if you strip all these things away the basics of high school still remain. you will always have the different groups people that interact only with each other and the drama that goes along with insecurities and adolescence.

I also think it's difficult to look at your high school experience objectively while you are in the thick of it. I remember when I was in high school, I felt like our generation was being overlooked. it didn't feel like anything exciting or lifechanging was going on in the world. it was like we were stuck in a slump or something. but looking back on it, there is some distinction and our time does stand out from others. like Jody, I also don't have much fondness over our wardrobes. but the thing I liked about our clothes was that they were comfortable. I remember not caring how I looked as long as it was baggy and soft. unlike Jody, though, I do remember leggings being very popular in our area under shorts or skirts. basically, it was anything goes. kind of like being in an art school right now. I feel like I can dress or do my hair in any fashion and simply blame my choices on the fact that I'm an art student!

did I answer anything at all, or simply rant and contradict myself? ha ha

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Post by nicki » Jun 15th 2005, 9:10 pm

That was great, everyones replys were great. I love reading about them and learning about each of you. 8) Keep them coming.
"It just seems like, you agree to have a certain personality or something. For no reason. Just to make things easier for everyone But when you think about it, I mean, how do you know it's even you?"

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Post by SanDeE* » Jun 20th 2005, 12:51 pm

The first time I watched MSCL was when it orginally aired on ABC. I was in 6th grade, so about 3 years younger than the kids on the show. I still felt like I could identify with them, especially Angela of course.

I went to high school from 98-99 to 00-01 and I agree with emmie about the different issues that come up. When I was in high school five years ago, no one had cell phones. Maybe you could borrow your parents' cell phone if you were out late or borrowing the car. But now it seems that every high school student has their own cell phone. That seems like quite a difference to me.

Personally, I didn't care for high school at all. I was waiting to get out. I rarely went to any dances or parties (although I did like the football games... of course I was in marching band...). I had friends in many different groups (and also at different high schools), so I didn't exactly feel like I belonged with anyone in particular. I knew that high school was not the best time of my life and that better things were coming to me in college and beyond, so I just wanted to get through high school. I really do not have many fond memories, and as for wardrobe I didn't follow any certain trends or anything. I just wore whatever was on top in my dresser (just like I do today!). I do remember wearing a lot of flannel however. I was at the tail end of the grundge "era". A lot of black also.
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