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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Post by Natasha (candygirl) » Jul 6th 2005, 4:07 am

I first heard about MSCL from this Sassy interview with Claire Danes a few months before the pilot aired. The article was enough to convince me to watch the show from the beginning, despite the fact that some of the print ads I'd seen for the show were confusing (some focused on Patty & Graham, others featured Angela and Jordan).

I was 19 when the show began airing, and I watched it religiously every week. Even though I had a VCR (that thing that came before TiVo), I insisted on being home to watch every episode. I remember I made my friend leave the mall while we were Christmas shopping because I couldn't miss even the very beginning of the episode.

I don't think that the show helped me in any personal situations because at that point in my life, I'd already had a few boyfriends (one of whom was bad news and reminded me so much of Jordan) and, not to make myself sound wise beyond my years, but dealing with that kind of stuff helped me see what I did and did not want in my relationships. I'd already spent two years in the dorms and I'd learned from a lot of my mistakes. I wish I could say that watching the show helped me understand my parents better, but it didn't until years later. The one thing that this show changed for me was my belief that there were no shows brave enough to show what teenagers really felt and went through.

I graduated from high school in 1992, so I was in college when MSCL aired. I think that MSCL captured certain things about the 90s very accurately, but you have to keep everything in context. Yes, there were people who dressed like Angela, Rayanne, Sharon, Brian, and Rickie, but they did not represent every type of clothing that was worn at that time. To put in another way - when people watch reruns of Friends or Seinfeld in the future, will you tell them that everyone dressed just like Kramer of Phoebe?

As far as social groups, I believe that has less to do with the 90s and more to do with high school in general. At most schools in most time periods, there were, are, and will be the jocks, the cheerleaders, the nerds, the outcasts, and everyone else. There will always be parties, kids who smoke, people who feel left out, people who love yearbook, people who ditch, etc. MSCL portrayed high school in a far more convincing manner than most teen movies do (although I know there are the keggers in huge suburban houses when the popular kids' parents are conveniently out of town). For some people, high school IS a John Hughes movie. For other people, it's more like Freaks & Geeks.

Like Kristin, I had different friends in different groups, partly because I was involved in a lot of different activities at a large school. With almost 900 kids in my freshman class, it was pretty common to have six different classes with no overlap in the people in my classes (meaning that whenever I was sick, I had to call six different peoplet to see what I had missed). There were definitely people who I was closer to, but going to such a large school provided the opportunity to move fluidly from one group to another. I sometimes felt that I didn't really belong to one particular group, but I never hated high school.
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Post by Arch Geek » Jul 7th 2005, 3:05 pm

I only recently heard about the show. I first learned about it when I was reading articles about the MTV show Daria which I had recently discovered and become addicted to. I noticed that many of them were comparing Daria to MSCL so I did a google search for MSCL and came to this website, just to see how it had influenced the creators of Daria. I didn't really expect that I would actually end up liking MSCL. So the first thing I did was read the character descriptions. I was basically unimpressed until I read the entry on Brian, who I could totally identify with. I was instantly fascinated by the fact that he and Angela were neighbors who had known each other since they were 5 and that he was now secretly in love with her. Then I read something (I forget what exactly) that described the last scene of the series and the way it got canceled and I was traumatized. All I knew about the show at that point was what I had read in the character entries but it was still so utterly sad that it ended like it did that I didn't even want to read any more about the show because I knew it would just depress me. But I couldn't resist, because I wanted to understand what had led up to that haunting final image. So I read the parts of the transcripts in which Brian interacts with Angela. Each one was traumatic, I think about 2/3 of the episodes basically end with Brian being left alone in miserable agony and despair. So I was seriously depressed for an entire weekend and I decided that watching the show would just cause even greater emotional trauma. So I avoided thinking about it for about a month and then finally I decided that the only way to predict what the rest of an unfinished work of art would have looked like is to study the parts that exist. So I TIVOed the Pilot on the N. It was incredible. The scene in which "Everybody Hurts" is playing actually caused me to shed physical tears, as in the kind that fall from one's lachrymal glands of their own weight and roll down one's cheek. I don't think I've been that emotionally affected by anything since I was a child; I mean, I normally yawn in movies when everyone else is crying.
So I've been watching the episodes one by one, and I'm really starting to dread the final episode...

Anyway, that's how I started watching this show.

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Post by Kryzbn1 » Jul 8th 2005, 1:48 am

Last edited by Kryzbn1 on Jun 9th 2008, 4:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Jewelsx14 » Jul 13th 2005, 7:32 pm

My favorite episode would be Self-Esteem, I loved that one, my heart skipped a beat when jordan grabbed Angela's hand **sigh** so awesome! And they are good kissers:D:D:D:D :D

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Post by lecter5761 » Sep 14th 2005, 1:38 pm

I was 17 when the show first aired...and being a guy, I couldn't exactly discuss each episode on Friday morning with my buds (I've always been weird though: look through my cd collection for instance, Slayer and Tori Amos, side by side). :oops: It was like this secret that I had. But anyway, the fashion on the show probably was a little exaggerated (strangely enough, Rayanne would be considered a pretty conservative dresser now), but accurate for the most part. We did smoke cigarettes under the bleachers, and go to parties with bands. I think I happened upon the first episode by accident, and was hooked by my instant and painful crush on Claire Danes :p

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Post by season » Sep 15th 2005, 5:35 am

I came across the pilot by accident. This was the first and still only show that didn't insult the intelligence of the audience, and it was personal. In some ways I could compare the characters issues it with my own to see how far I had come the beginning of my adult life of 21.

I had friends like who were self-reliant like Rayanne and envied them for that. I felt a little like an outsider in comparison to them because their parents gave them room, while I had alot of responsibility for my siblings.
In a twist for me as a mother - and my age, I now find myself siding more with Patti and her constant worrying, and at times dislike Angela for being too self-centred. But, it will be my turn to go through that before I know it.

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Re: MSCL First Viewing!

Post by majesty » Aug 3rd 2008, 3:50 pm

nicki wrote: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?
I stated part of this in another thread, but:

I remember the show premiering when I was about 8 years old. I always thought the title was interesting, and I remembered small segments of the pilot episode and Angela's character thereafter. But I never caught the show after that. I wasn't yet aware of prime time programming and all of that at that age to catch the show from week to week.

I watched the show about 10 years later in college because I remembered liking it as a child. I simply fell in love. It has become one of my all-time favorite shows and, though I missed almost the entire run of its original airing, I'm one of the show's biggest fans. :)

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