MSCL: It Hurts So Good?

General discussion about the nineteen episodes of "My So-Called Life". Note: Our episode guide can be found here.
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MSCL: It Hurts So Good?

Post by Arch Geek » Jul 8th 2005, 9:12 pm

Does anyone else find it psychologically painful to watch MSCL? When I watch it, I find myself constantly cringing, wincing, grimacing, clenching my teeth, and just generally writhing in agony. It occurred to me that the fact that I continue to subject myself to this abject mental torment must make me some kind of masochist. Now don't get me wrong, I definitely love the show, but I love it in a very complex way. It reminds me of the way the ancient Greeks liked to watch tragic plays. I never understood that either.

So does anyone else feel like this when they watch the show, and if not, how do you avoid it?

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Post by Gilly » Jul 9th 2005, 4:37 am

I can't watch Pressure. I feel so uncomfortable and embarrassed for Angela. I am always turning away and wincing. I just can't handle the stress of watching that episode.

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Post by season » Jul 9th 2005, 5:06 am

I agree with you both. Strangers in the House is probably the one I least like. I only got the dvd in April and watched it over for a good couple of weeks, and since left it alone because I definately started to feel the way you described Arch geek.
I may not watch for some time, until a time comes I fancy watching one again. I don't know if it is because of the hassle it took to get a copy.

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Post by crimson-glow » Jul 9th 2005, 6:51 pm

I always cringe or turn away at the scene when Angela is making an excuse to leave the house where Jordan wants her to have sex. I feel embarassed or nervous for her. I definitely hate that part.
- " 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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it's not just you...

Post by so-called victoria » Jul 11th 2005, 1:47 pm

...and it's not just me, what a relief. here I sit, twenty-nine years old, reliving the angst word for word. I just wrote about it yesterday:

if you read it today it should be the top entry, otherwise it's called "remind me to tell you about synchronicity and the two red jettas" - and if you don't feel like going to read it, not only do I experience emotional diress while watching mscl, it bleeds into the rest of my life and I'm all like, thinking too much, like, all the time, and it's just - it's everywhere. I can't shut it off.

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Post by Kryzbn1 » Jul 12th 2005, 12:08 am

Last edited by Kryzbn1 on Jun 9th 2008, 4:53 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Post by season » Jul 12th 2005, 8:44 am

What makes me cringe is when Ricki describes and does an impression of Mr Katimski to Rayanne. When he opens his eyes and sees Katimski standing there watching him I still feel embarassed for him. Rayanne running away was funny.

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Post by ele_93 » Aug 10th 2005, 9:36 pm

I always thought it was just me who would turn when emberassing things happen!
I'm addicted to My So-called Life!

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Post by lecter5761 » Sep 14th 2005, 1:15 pm

Yep, painful for me too. Both the situations onscreen and the fact that I relate so closely...some personal things happened to me around that time ('94-'95) and I've always felt like I missed out on being an actual teenager so I almost feel like part of me (like the characters) is a perpetual kid in a flannel and Soundgarden t-shirt. Not that I haven't moved on: I'm married, own a home (in Pittsburgh, no less :P ) and have a pretty good job. Sometimes though, when watching certain scenes, I have to stop the's just feels too much like something lost that can never be regained.

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Post by Jaye » Dec 19th 2005, 2:49 pm

MSCL is a very special drama series. It is different from most dramas because I think it is very personal. You get to experience, through the storyline, Angela's feelings, struggles, and disappointment. Many movies are constructed in this way, but MSCL was a series which enabled it to expand on Angela's ongoing development. I think the audiences of MSCL view Angela as a very sensitive, emotional, and caring individual; this is what makes her so susceptible to experiencing pain throughout the incidences and relationships she endures and possesses. Claire Danes has a face that expresses emotions superbly and this allows the audience to become "involved" in what is happening to Angela. The bottom line is that MSCL allows the viewer to feel the density of the occurences and outcomes of conflict, which leaves a greater impact on their perceptions of each episode.

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Post by nkatsa » Mar 31st 2006, 9:41 pm

i completely completely 100% agree with the sentiments in this thread. it hurts reeeeaaaal good.

there are definitely times where it REALLY hurts to watch, i think in part because it's reliving high school awkwardness so closely that you just experience all the embarrassment all over again, and also in part because of the excellent performances (especially the way claire danes can convey the most subtle of emotions).

not even referring to the sad moments where i am completely empathizing with angela and thus feeling her pain in the way that i'm sure the producers intended, there are more moments that are just painful to experience. just to name a few of them:
Brian telling Delia that there was another commitment that he had forgotten about and that to be honest he'd "rather go... you know... with her." oh my gawwwd AGONY. that one's a combo: wanting to smack him for being such an idiot, for putting it like that, and feeling absolutely horrible for her (and relating...whaaaa!).

there are actually quite a few moments in that episode... another one that springs to mind is Angela coming down the stairs in her red dress and Brian looking amazed and saying "Oh my God." I just wanted to bury my face in my pillow and scream with embarrassment for everybody. Majorly cringeworthy.

And one of the most painful things to witness: "And I I I used your name... I wanted to remember him... And I didn't want anybody to know it was about him because he... he ... he died. He's dead." Thankfully that one wasn't one i could directly relate to because i never embarrassed myself that much in front of a crush (i always managed to adore from a very safe distance! hahaha), but it's one of those moments where you feel like you want to laugh, but you can't because you're too horrified.
I bet you can actually die of embarrassment. I bet it's been medically proven.

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Post by luvjordan » Aug 26th 2006, 3:06 pm

I thought it was just me. I just recently started watching the show again and have really been put off for the last week or so. I keep thinking about the last episode and reading the fanfiction does not help. I may actually have to write one just to get through this. It's so ridiculous. I'm damn near 40! I just keep seeing how great this experience could have been for both Angela and Jordan. I feel robbed by the fact that we have no closure. I agree with what someone else posted, that the show leaves you thinking and analyzing everything over and over.

The really sad thing is that both Claire Danes and Jared Leto could care less and have so moved on :oops: They barely even talk about it in interviews, especially Jared. Why are we like this? Like what you ask? Like how we are. :lol:

Oh well, I guess I will have to get my closure through the boards.

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Post by Brunkster » Mar 22nd 2007, 12:23 am

I had that same reaction the first time I saw the show. I still feel it watching it now, just not quite as viscerally. I discovered the show during an awkward time in my own life; I had just graduated from college and left all my friends to start a job in a new place where I knew noone. MTV was airing the series and I was instantly hooked. Watching it now brings back memories of that time and I have the luxury of being able to look back and smile. Much in the same way, I imagine, Angela and Co. would look back on their sophomore year of HS through the lens of maturity ground over the last 13 years.

Do you think the characters would still be friends today? Of course we'd like to think so, because that's the only context in which we know them. I'd like to hear your opinions on this. Are they still friends after all these years, or did their relationships fade with the passage of time and inevitable distance as their lives progressed?

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Post by Rainey's_Mischief » Mar 24th 2007, 12:03 am

The only one that is painful for me to watch is Betrayal because from that point on, Rainey and Angela's friendship will never be the same again and it changes the show. Maybe that is one reason i'ts good that the show didn't go on. I don't think things would ever be the same again with Rainey and Angela.

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Post by beachluvr » Aug 1st 2007, 7:27 pm

OMG I just found this thread & I can't believe how much I identify with all the posts,many of which are several years old! but we all still feel the same about this incredible show! I have reached the point when watching the shows where I just skip certain parts completely, b/c I know how badly I will cringe if I don't!

I agree w/all that are listed so far, but another MAJOR embarrassing moment for Angela (and all viewers as well, apparently, lol!) is when she's staked out the hallway on the way to gym class (since Rickie has provided her w/intel about how to "run into" Jordan) and right there, in front of his friends (who are waiting impatiently and making gestures ridiculing their conversation) hits him up about going to a movie & him having to come by & meet her parents first, aghhhh :oops: :oops: :oops:

I just laugh & yell "please make it stop!"

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