Why does the letter work for Jordan, but not Brian?

General discussion about the nineteen episodes of "My So-Called Life". Note: Our episode guide can be found here.
Post Reply
411314
Nicky Driscoll
Posts: 17
Joined: May 27th 2010, 10:46 pm

Why does the letter work for Jordan, but not Brian?

Post by 411314 » May 27th 2010, 11:01 pm

I just recently finished watching all the episodes on Hulu, and there's something I don't get:

When Angela thinks Jordan wrote the love letter, she wants to be his girlfriend again, but when she finds out Brian actually wrote it, she apparently still doesn't want Brian. Are the words really so much more impressive coming from Jordan? I don't understand it.

User avatar
Natasha (candygirl)
MSCL.com Team
MSCL.com Team
Posts: 5374
Joined: Dec 7th 2001, 3:05 am
Location: California

Re: Why does the letter work for Jordan, but not Brian?

Post by Natasha (candygirl) » May 28th 2010, 6:20 pm

I believe it's simply because Angela already has feelings for Jordan and he never verbalized his feelings for her, which is what she wanted. Getting that letter was exactly she wanted: Jordan telling her how he felt. I can relate because I remember being a teenager and thinking why won't this boy who I've been making out with just admit that he likes me using words?

The letter coming from Brian, on the other hand is an entirely different story. I think realizing that he wrote it made her see him in a different light and realize that he had feelings for her, something that she may have known subconsciously (as seen in Life of Brian) but hadn't admitted to herself on a conscious level.

The letter is not a magic wand that will automatically make any girl fall in love with you, so it's not a matter of the letter "working" for Jordan and not Brian because it's not as simple as a car working for one person but not another.

Think of it this way: if your dream person gave you a letter saying all the things you had wanted to hear, how would you feel? Now imagine that a platonic friend of yours who, during most interactions, acts like condescending jerk, gave you a letter saying the same things. Would it make you automatically fall in love with that person any more than if a random stranger off the street had given you that letter?
Natasha aka candygirl :: MSCL.com

Look, if this is weird for you, being tutored? I don't mind helping you a little longer.
You could have sex with me if you really want to help...I guess that's a "no"?

411314
Nicky Driscoll
Posts: 17
Joined: May 27th 2010, 10:46 pm

Re: Why does the letter work for Jordan, but not Brian?

Post by 411314 » Jun 22nd 2010, 9:34 am

Well, I've haven't had a "dream person" yet, so I guess I can't really imagine myself in that situation, but I think I see your point. Thanks.

User avatar
emmie
Liberty High Graduate
Posts: 606
Joined: May 27th 1999, 10:34 pm
Location: NYC
Contact:

Re: Why does the letter work for Jordan, but not Brian?

Post by emmie » Jul 29th 2010, 7:23 pm

I agree with Natasha, it's not about the letter working for Jordan and not Brian. for one thing, Jordan meant the things in the letter just like Brian did. Jordan was trying to write something himself for her, but that just wasn't a skill for him. he could have given her a simple note saying, I like you do you like me, and she would have reacted the same. admitting his feelings is all she wanted; those feelings being reciprocated of course. having just anyone admit their feelings (Brian) doesn't mean very much if you don't feel the same.

emeraldmartini
Frozen Embryo
Posts: 1
Joined: Sep 30th 2010, 11:52 pm

Re: Why does the letter work for Jordan, but not Brian?

Post by emeraldmartini » Oct 1st 2010, 12:15 am

I would add to this though, that the letter does "work" for Jordan, as the others have said, because Angela already felt something for him.

But, though the letter didn't (and realistically, of course it wouldn't have) instantly transform Angela's feelings toward Brian, I do think it made her see him differently. The way she watches him as she gets into and heads off in Jordan's car, it's like she's only just now realized the reality of his feelings, and sort of seeing him as an equal. What I mean, is I think she was vaguely aware that Brian was a little attracted to her, but I don't think she ever got outside her own head enough to see that what Brian felt for her was as intense as what she felt for Jordan. And the way she uses him throughout the show, but doesn't seem aware of the toll it takes on him, I think prior to this she almost didn't see Brian as different from the kid she knew when she was littler. As if she suddenly realized that while she was growing up and experiencing all this change, he was too.

I think, if this had gone a second season, or if it were 'real life' something might have happened between Brian and Angela, and though nothing would change instantly, this would have been a turning point in how Angela saw Brian.

User avatar
stburr91
Liberty High Student
Posts: 122
Joined: May 18th 2006, 2:17 pm
Location: Pittsburgh, PA

Re: Why does the letter work for Jordan, but not Brian?

Post by stburr91 » Oct 2nd 2010, 9:16 pm

emeraldmartini wrote:I would add to this though, that the letter does "work" for Jordan, as the others have said, because Angela already felt something for him.

But, though the letter didn't (and realistically, of course it wouldn't have) instantly transform Angela's feelings toward Brian, I do think it made her see him differently. The way she watches him as she gets into and heads off in Jordan's car, it's like she's only just now realized the reality of his feelings, and sort of seeing him as an equal. What I mean, is I think she was vaguely aware that Brian was a little attracted to her, but I don't think she ever got outside her own head enough to see that what Brian felt for her was as intense as what she felt for Jordan. And the way she uses him throughout the show, but doesn't seem aware of the toll it takes on him, I think prior to this she almost didn't see Brian as different from the kid she knew when she was littler. As if she suddenly realized that while she was growing up and experiencing all this change, he was too.

I think, if this had gone a second season, or if it were 'real life' something might have happened between Brian and Angela, and though nothing would change instantly, this would have been a turning point in how Angela saw Brian.
Wow, great first post. I completely agree with just about everything you wrote.
What's amazing is when you can feel your life going somewhere. Like your life just figured out how to get good. Like, that second."

crystalcourts
Frozen Embryo
Posts: 1
Joined: Jun 28th 2011, 2:08 pm

Re: Why does the letter work for Jordan, but not Brian?

Post by crystalcourts » Jun 28th 2011, 2:24 pm

It isn't a coincidence that the conversation between Delia and Rickie was in this episode.
They placed those two pieces of the story-arch together to draw parallels between them. Rickie realized that as much as he wanted to, he couldn't *decide* to love someone that he didn't have feelings for. In his case, Delia was the completely wrong sex, but the same thing applies to all relationships. You can't force love -- not even your own. I think that Angela would eventually have come to understand Brian better, and understand why he does the things he does for her, but I don't think she is capable of loving him.

User avatar
Mutajon
Three Rivers Resident
Posts: 68
Joined: May 23rd 2011, 3:06 am

Re: Why does the letter work for Jordan, but not Brian?

Post by Mutajon » Jun 30th 2011, 5:59 am

crystalcourts wrote:You can't force love -- not even your own. I think that Angela would eventually have come to understand Brian better, and understand why he does the things he does for her, but I don't think she is capable of loving him.
I very much agree with this statement. And I think that unless either Angela or Brian would have somehow (and against all odds) radically changed their personality, there's absolutley no chance there could ever have been something serious between them (despite that it's the good ending a lot of fans dream of and wish for).
"Aaaand dance by the light of the mooooon"

RCBS
Overlooked Sibling
Posts: 48
Joined: Jun 29th 2011, 7:58 am
Location: 100 miles from Three Rivers, on the good side of the River

Re: Why does the letter work for Jordan, but not Brian?

Post by RCBS » Jul 2nd 2011, 12:18 pm

Sub.
Last edited by RCBS on Dec 17th 2016, 12:02 am, edited 1 time in total.

Superjesus
Overlooked Sibling
Posts: 48
Joined: Jun 15th 2011, 11:55 pm

Re: Why does the letter work for Jordan, but not Brian?

Post by Superjesus » Jul 4th 2011, 2:18 am

I'm Re-hashing here but I'll say it anyway.

Basically, the letter "worked" for Jordan for two reasons:
A) Angela is already in love with him
B) Even if he didn't write it, he meant every word that was in it. Angela realizes this. She knows that Jordan is not the most eloquent or sensitive guy out there - the fact that he would care enough to do something like ask Brian to write a love letter for him says all she feels she needs to know at this stage. Specifically, that Jordan is sorry and he truly cares about her.

As for Brian, it's a bit different. Angela has never seen him in a romantic way. As we all know, whatever cheesy chick flicks may tell us people don't just suddenly change their emotions and fall in love like that. It's a long and slow process and may never happen at all. Had we had future MSCL seasons we would have seen the changes much closer for sure - but we was robbed.

It would have been too unrealistic for the series to end with Angela jumping into Brian's arms as Jordan sits on the kerb/stares/drives away. The ending we got was in a way the perfect ending for MSCL - difficult and obtuse, maybe, but wholly realistic, true to life and thought provoking.

RCBS
Overlooked Sibling
Posts: 48
Joined: Jun 29th 2011, 7:58 am
Location: 100 miles from Three Rivers, on the good side of the River

Re: Why does the letter work for Jordan, but not Brian?

Post by RCBS » Jul 5th 2011, 11:20 am

Bacon.
Last edited by RCBS on Dec 17th 2016, 12:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

Superjesus
Overlooked Sibling
Posts: 48
Joined: Jun 15th 2011, 11:55 pm

Re: Why does the letter work for Jordan, but not Brian?

Post by Superjesus » Jul 13th 2011, 6:00 am

RCBS wrote:Does Jordan really care for her, or just enamored with the first girl who can tell him "no".?

Angela is not in love. She is infatuated...there is a difference.
With regards to yr first point, I can't say I agree at all. Jordan is a very proud guy. He may be enamoured with her for having the ability to say no, but if that was all it was he wouldn't be begging Brian Krakow to write a love note for him. The fact that he would take such drastic measures shows that he does truly feel for Angela.

As for Angela, that's a fair point. However, I will say that during the time between their break-up and the Rayanne/Jordan hookup, she showed that she was actually beginning to connect with Jordan as opposed to simply sucking face in the Boiler Room. The fact that they could get on and have some kind of friendly and not even very awkward relationship shows that there is some potential there for romance beyond sheer infatuation - from both sides.

RCBS
Overlooked Sibling
Posts: 48
Joined: Jun 29th 2011, 7:58 am
Location: 100 miles from Three Rivers, on the good side of the River

Re: Why does the letter work for Jordan, but not Brian?

Post by RCBS » Jul 13th 2011, 11:14 am

Soup.
Last edited by RCBS on Dec 16th 2016, 11:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Jody Barsch*
Lifehead
Posts: 1166
Joined: Jun 30th 2003, 1:30 pm
Location: Los Angeles

Re: Why does the letter work for Jordan, but not Brian?

Post by Jody Barsch* » Jul 15th 2011, 5:10 am

Natasha, Emeraldmartini, and Superjesus all said it very well. I'll only add on to this last bit:
RCBS wrote:i still feel that Jordan's feelings toward Angela are based somewhat upon her reluctance to succom to his "game". i had a couple friends like this in high school. if there was a girl that "wouldn't give them play" it would make them want her more. He obviously thinks highly of his charms as evidenced by the scene during tutoring when he shows off to Brain and gets a phone number.
I can't see it this way. People's posts occasionally persuade me to slip out of my longstanding impressions of Jordan Catalano to question if for most of the series Jordan even likes Angela, but if the answer is 'yes, he does' I never am able to explain it through the reasoning that she's 'hard to get' (despite what the song "Shipoopi" might lead us to believe. Sorry, real-life joke slipped into out-of-context mscl post :oops:). I don't know that we know Jordan's never been turned down before. Dreamy as he is, I bet there's a ton of girls who aren't interested, or on whose radars he doesn't even register. I never thought he got anywhere with Casey Hall, for one thing. That being said, he definitely does have confidence in his ability to charm people, male or female, and has no qualms about using it to his advantage. I don't know that he was 'showing off' for Brian so much as demonstrating a tutorial; he seems to just take it for granted as "something [he] can just do." And, in that sense -- his ability to charm/mesmerize, Angela is as much affected as anyone (in the kitchen with cold cuts in "Pressure", by the fence in "Life of Brian"). True, she doesn't sleep with him, but I think her occasional tendency to melt in his hands convinces him that with a little more time and pressure she'd give in to the part of herself that wants to. Maybe that's what's keeping him around, but I don't think so. Again, my reading of Jordan after these oh-so-many years may very well be much too biased for me to see him clearly, but I see Jordan as someone who, although disengaged and disaffected a lot of the time, is truly interested in people (except maybe for Rayanne). He wonders about Brian's bear, he takes time to talk with Rickie, he asks about Patty's makeup, etc. I just think he's interested in Angela -- she's not a cookie-cutter, and she's never just one way. I too would point to their moments of friendship.
RCBS wrote:Angela is in a similar situation. At first she doesn't think that she would have a chance with Jordan. we always want what we *think we can't have.
That might be partially true (when Jordan became even the slightest bit of an actual possibility, it kind of locked her in these feelings that might otherwise have faded), but not wholly.
Kickstart The Riches movie!

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests