The ebb and flow of being a fan…

General discussion about the nineteen episodes of "My So-Called Life". Note: Our episode guide can be found here.
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The ebb and flow of being a fan…

Post by Jody Barsch* » Jun 26th 2005, 3:46 pm

I’ve been a MSCL fan since it originally aired, but during these 10 years, my interest and enthusiasm for the show has definitely swelled and dwindled several times over. I definitely recall a time in high school when I was obsessed with this show – I would sneak downstairs and watch my tapes when I was supposed to be sleeping, I started my first fanfiction, I strongly considered dying my hair red – but I also recall a time in high school when I had overdosed on the show – I had seen every episode so many times I felt sick, and even taped over entire tapes of episodes as I was sure that I would never be able to stomach watching a single episode ever again – all the while still loving the show. This has happened several times – sometimes it is an intense interest, and others it’s an acknowledgement of being a fan of an acknowledged great show, and nothing more. Senior year of college and the following year in graduate school, I found myself in another intense-fan period, which coincided with the Another Universe DVD debacle, which got me visiting the site much more frequently, and then finally posting somewhat regularly. Right now, and perhaps for the past two years, I have definitely been ebbing in my interest in viewing the actual show. I’m still interested in the show itself, the characters, the plot arcs, etc., slowly writing the fanfiction, visiting the mscl.com site, but I currently have no taste for actually screening the show. (Coming across the N the other night on my sister’s cable (I only have 2-13) an episode was playing and I just skipped right past it.) And currently, separate from the natural rise and fall of interest, as much as I love MSCL, and for as long as I have been defending it as the greatest show, I’m starting to think that Freaks and Geeks is better. :oops: Uh-oh, have I committed MSCL blasphemy? I actually do not want to see this thread develop into a debate of F&G vs. MSCL, but wanted to hear from some long-time fans – have you guys had similar experiences in terms of interest in and fondness for the show? There are threads for the first time you watched the show, and how the show affected you, and who have you exposed to the show, and what’s your favorite moment, etc. I guess this thread is for the other side of being a fan. (It’s not why I started this thread, but now that I’m writing, it would be funny if we could get a list of stories of how the show itself, or being a fan affected people in negative ways. I’m sure I could muster up a few…)
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Post by Gilly » Jun 26th 2005, 10:27 pm

I watched the show for the original season on ABC and then a few years later when it aired on Showcase in Canada. Then I didn't watch the show for years and started again last year. I've always loved it but I go through phases of wanting to watch it. Right now I don't go out of my way to watch it but if it's on I have a hard time turning past it. I'm sure I'll get sick of it soon again though.

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Post by Irish_Girl » Jun 27th 2005, 8:56 pm



I watched the show when it was originally aired and absolutely fell in love with it. I'm still heartbroken that there was only one season of it because I think they really could've made an even bigger smash hit out of it. I didn't even know that it had finally been put out on DVD until I was browsing around a Planet Music one day and just so happened to see it !! Stupid me, I didn't buy it that day, and I've been kicking myself ever since because I've been unable to find it anywhere else since it's out of print. I went back to that same store for it but lo and behold their one copy was gone. Now I've reduced myself to trying to buy it off eBay without much luck so far. But I digress. I think it was a great show for my generation and I'm so happy that I got to experience it. I can't wait to see it again. :D

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Post by Mighty K.C. » Jun 28th 2005, 4:51 pm

Unlike the others in this thread, I did not regularly watch the show when it originally aired. I was in high school and even remember watching the show several times with my high school girlfriend. I thought it was a good show but never really got sucked in. She, on the other hand, loved the show and was quite upset when it was cancelled. While in college I remember catching one of the MTV weekend marathons and watching it off and on all day. I really enjoyed the episodes I watched but once again, did not get sucked in. Fast forward to the spring of last year. I was flipping through all the extra channels I pay a bunch of money for but never watch, and came across a commercial for MSCL. I had completely forgotten about the show and thought it would be fun to check it out. The first episode I watched was Father Figures and was immediately sucked in. My wife and I could not believe how great the show was and how much better it was than we remembered. We religiously watched every episode on Friday night and usually again that night when it replayed. I remembered most of the general events from episodes 6-15 but for the most part it was like watching it for the first time (didn't remember eps 1-5 or 16-19 at all). After I had watched Weekend I couldn't stop thinking about how it was going to end with so many loose ends to tie up. I knew the show only lasted one season and that the next episode was it. After watching In Dreams I could not believe that's the way it ended. It left me wanting more and needing to have some closure for all of my emotional investment. I also could not understand why or how a show this great could get canceled. I soon found this website and pretty much read it backwards and forwards. I read hundreds of post (but never posted) and many of the fan fictions. I later purchased the DVDs and watched them through several times. I sometimes even watched the show at night on the N when they would play them at 10:00. After a while I knew every episode word for word and soon became bored watching. Around Christmas of last year I had some time off and had the urge to watch MSCL. It had been a few months since I had seen MSCL but after watching a few episodes, my interest quickly faded. From then on the DVDs have stayed on the shelf collecting dust. I still check the website every once in a while to see what's being discussed (I have actually never posted before but decided to join when I saw this post). I still think the show is complete greatness and by far my favorite of all time, but I think I will give the DVDs some rest. Maybe a once a year marathon just to keep it fresh in my memory.
Concerning Freaks and Geeks- I've seen all the episodes of F&G and for me it doesn't stack up to MSCL. I found it very entertaining but didn't have an emotional attachment to the characters like MSCL. All the Geek characters were great but Aside from Lindsay and Ken I could care less about the Freaks. I did like how the show ended better than MSCL (I guess F&G had the advantage since they knew they were getting canceled).

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Post by SanDeE* » Jun 29th 2005, 7:02 pm

To give you an idea... I didn't bring my dvd set to Madison for my summer break - left it at my apt in KC.

A trick I use while composing music is to have the TV on, so when I get frustrated or stuck I can look at the tv for a few minutes and get back to my composing. Sex and the City is PERFECT for me for this work. I've tried to do this with MSCL playing, but I get too distracted by it. Maybe because the SATC episodes are half as long. There's more to the story in an MSCL episode. I can't composed while having a movie on either. Too much information. I get sucked into the dvd then.
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Post by Jody Barsch* » Jun 30th 2005, 12:07 am

Great post Mighty K.C.! Welcome to the forum!

Krisitn, that's so funny, I totally did the same thing when writing term papers in college, and grading papers now. It's so true, some shows/movies are too distracting, and others are just the perfect background noise. I use Sex and the City a lot also, and also Orange County and Center Stage. I don't really care too much for either of those movies, but for some reason, Center Stage got me through senior year and some awfully long papers on Hamlet, Beloved and Corregidora!
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Post by Natasha (candygirl) » Jul 6th 2005, 4:12 am

Hee, the way I look at it is this: I have so many obsessions that I can't devote 100% of my OCD to any one thing indefinitely, no matter how much I love it! Hence the rotating. The great thing about having tv shows on DVD is that a 40 minute episode is a good amount of time to exercise. I already know what's going to happen so I don't have to worry if I miss a word or two, and watching one of my favorite shows (whether it's MSCL, Buffy, etc) makes it more enjoyable.

As for background noise, despite the fact that Seinfeld is one four times in the evening, I still leave it on even if I'm not watching it.
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Post by schris » Jul 6th 2005, 2:27 pm

candygirl wrote:As for background noise, despite the fact that Seinfeld is one four times in the evening, I still leave it on even if I'm not watching it.
Same here! Friends works too :D

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Post by Kryzbn1 » Jul 8th 2005, 12:02 pm

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Post by Jody Barsch* » Apr 30th 2006, 11:16 am

Well, after nearly 8 months away from the forum, and even a longer time away from the DVD’s, I’d say I’m at a higher point of fandom right now than I have been for quite a while. Pghkenny’s shout about not watching the DVD’s in a long time motivated me to break mine out (I got my disc 3 to work btw). Within the series there are still some scenes and episodes I’m a little sick of, but overall, I still get that rush of excitement whenever I watch this show.
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Re: The ebb and flow of being a fan…

Post by Jody Barsch* » Mar 30th 2009, 10:38 pm

Jody Barsch* wrote:Well, after nearly 8 months away from the forum, and even a longer time away from the DVD’s, I’d say I’m at a higher point of fandom right now than I have been for quite a while. Pghkenny’s shout about not watching the DVD’s in a long time motivated me to break mine out (I got my disc 3 to work btw). Within the series there are still some scenes and episodes I’m a little sick of, but overall, I still get that rush of excitement whenever I watch this show.
HA! I'm back here again. :lol: I ususally avoid my MSCL DVD's (both sets of them) becuase I've seen the show so many times, it just never sounds appealing. I watch my West Wing and Deadwood DVDs (and to some extent V. Mars) a kagillion times more than I watch MSCl, but boy, once you get started, they're SO GOOD! ("It's so good! Once it hits your lips it's so good!" ala Frank the Tank).

God do I love Graham! Those Graham and Hallie scenes kill me. I love Patty and Graham togeher, but I'm always a big fan of Miss Hallie Lowenthal (she's not my 'worst nightmare') and the Liberty Guru, Cynthia Hargrove! :mrgreen:
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Re: The ebb and flow of being a fan…

Post by majesty » Mar 31st 2009, 7:35 pm

The ebb and flow of my interest in shows happens all the time. Mine are more like "spurts," though. They are brief periods of a few weeks when I revive my interest in the show, watch the whole series (or most of it), talk about it with people and otherwise happily reminisce. Then, the moment will fade and the DVDs go back in the box.

I'm always assured, though, that another spurt is imminent, likely within a few months (usually 3-5).


This happens with all of my favorite shows, especially MSCL, F&G and Veronica Mars.

By the way, in my personal opinion, all three shows tie for "most amazing show" for their own various reasons. :wink:

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Re: The ebb and flow of being a fan…

Post by Natasha (candygirl) » Apr 1st 2009, 9:08 am

Because MSCL had only one short season, my sister and I used to do viewing marathons, as in we would stay up all weekend watching all of the episodes. Now it's just sort of a habit that if I watch one, I must watch all, so I usually try to set aside time to watch the DVDs in big chunks.

I'm always obsessed, partially thanks to the forum, but the obsession definitely increases when I start watching the DVDs again. Hee, or when I'm trying to convince someone to watch MSCL!
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Re: The ebb and flow of being a fan…

Post by redordead » Apr 5th 2009, 3:03 pm

I think it's interesting that you persuade other people to watch, you must be a very generous person. I keep it very close to my chest and don't tell anybody about it, unless they really pass the close friend i can trust you stage. I think maybe i'm just paranoid that they're not going to love it as they should which is stupid, because does that mean i wouldn't be able to hold up an argument for how great it is. or maybe it's just so much a part of my life that what they think of it houses all my insecurities. Oh god, worries, worries! What do you think?

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Re: The ebb and flow of being a fan…

Post by oaksand » Apr 9th 2009, 9:06 am

i too keep mscl just to people who are really close. i think it is because watching was such a personal experience that i don't trust just anyone with not trivialising the characters who are real to me. i guess that may seem wierd but i love the show and characters so much i couldn't entrust them just anyone!!

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