what other characters would you have wanted to narrate?

General discussion about the nineteen episodes of "My So-Called Life". Note: Our episode guide can be found here.
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what other characters would you have wanted to narrate?

Post by 411314 » Jun 26th 2010, 10:51 am

I don't know about the rest of you, but Life Of Brian and Weekend where two of my favorite episodes partly because of the perspective flip. Not to say I don't like Angela's narration, I do, but sometimes it's interesting to get an outsider's perspective on her. If the show had continued, I would've wanted to see more episodes narrated by all the other characters, including more by Brian and Danielle (especially Daniele, since I don't think we learned as much about her as we could have from her narration) but I'd especially want to hear from Patty because, as the more antagonistic parent, her perspective is probably the most different from that of the other characters, and Jordan since he seems to be the main character we learn least about.

If the show had continued, what other characters would you have wanted to narrate besides Angela? Which ones most of all? Why?

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Re: what other characters would you have wanted to narrate?

Post by stburr91 » Jun 27th 2010, 8:53 pm

It would have been great if the show would have lasted long enough to have all the characters do a show from their prospective.

I think a show from Jordan's prospective would have the most interesting, that's why I wrote a Life of Jordan fanfiction episode.
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Re: what other characters would you have wanted to narrate?

Post by Brunkster » Jul 7th 2010, 6:42 pm

Hmmm, I think a Tino narration - from off camera, of course! - could be interesting. Or at least amusing!

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Re: what other characters would you have wanted to narrate?

Post by emmie » Jul 29th 2010, 7:13 pm

Brunkster, I think Tino narrating would have been awesome!! plus a great opportunity for some inside jokes.

I would have loved to have heard Rayanne's narration. to me, she's one of the more 3-dimensional characters on the show. plus, she's the one who grew the most of anyone through the season.

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Re: what other characters would you have wanted to narrate?

Post by saintsandpoetsmaybe » Sep 16th 2010, 5:31 pm

I'll second the Jordan narration shout. I think that would have been extremely interesting.

However, at the same time, I do like the fact that Jordon always remains somewhat of an enigma; that there is always something new to find out about him. I think it is because that is how Angela gets to know him: she knows very little at first other than he leans really well, and then gradually she gets to know more and more, bit by bit, and so do we. I quite like the way his character kind of unfurls and that after a while you realise there is a lot more to the eye. I don't know if I'd like to have a whole episode from his perspective as that might reveal too much too quickly.

I think an episode from Patty would be great. I'd love to hear her a much fuller version of her perspective on the changes that are going on in Angela's life.

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Re: what other characters would you have wanted to narrate?

Post by Bacchante » Sep 16th 2010, 9:58 pm

I think an episode narrated by Jordan would be enlightening and above all amusing. But I agree that it would probably reveal too much. Actually, I think maybe the authors didn't really intend for us to see Jordan's perspective. I have no idea. We should ask them :)

But I was thinking today-- we often see Angela as the victim and Jordan as the wrong-doer, but it would be interesting to see in what situations Jordan can be seen as a victim too (not necessarily Angela's victim). I mean, it's pretty sad that in the environment where he grew up, sex is "expected." Poor boy must have missed out on so many beautiful experiences because he wasn't brought up in a loving atmosphere (or at least that's the impression I get.) And like someone implied in another post (it was about the significance of food in the relationship between Jordan and Angela), Angela is sort of "nurturing" him and helping him "heal" maybe?

Of course, I'm not defending Jordan-- some of the things he did are quite rude and insensitive. And he generally appears rather non-self-aware, on the surface at least. But I think he has potential to learn to be a better person. And it would be interesting to see his growth process, through a narration by him perhaps :)
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Re: what other characters would you have wanted to narrate?

Post by saintsandpoetsmaybe » Sep 22nd 2010, 9:30 am

That is really interesting :D I think that is a very good point; I totally agree with you. Further down the line, in fact, I now think I would have really loved a narration from Jordon. He really is, as you note, a very complex character. As the storyline progressed in later seasons, I would have loved to see it broaden out further to the other characters and their growth processes. If only we could have more seasons to see these characters grow; they are all characters who are deep, complex, and somewhat enigmas.

I actually think there are a lot of characters in My So-Called life who leave us feeling ambivalent where we would usually be totally sure-footed and confident in our opinion of them. I totally agree that it is very difficult to place Jordon on the negative side of the spectrum, or to see Jordon wholly as the wrong do-er, as there are definitely factors which we are made aware of--admittedly only briefly, but still there nevertheless--which we can use as mitigation for his behaviour. I think his talk with Rickie in the car is a good example of this, a good example of how his environment has clearly shaped him and could definitely be used as an explanation for his behaviour.

In a similar way, I think it is very hard to place Angela firmly at the positive side of the spectrum. Even though we are predominantly given her narrative, her experience of the plot's events, we could still view Angela as being far from being morally and ethically perfect. For example, how much of her friendship with Rayanne is based on her fondness and respect for Rayanne as a friend, and how much is based on what Rayanne represents? That is, does Rayanne initially represent a new best friend who Angela thinks she is truly well-suited to, a friend who is a much better fit for her than Sharon is? Or, alternatively, is Angela's friendship with Rayanne motivated by possibly more selfish and even shallow reasons: does Rayanne, instead, simply represent for Angela a radical break from, and a rebellion against, Sharon and her previous social group and, perhaps more importantly, a viable connection to Jordon?

If I had to make a decision I would say it is a bit of both. But I again think it is very hard to make such decisions as the characters of the show are so deep and complex. For example, in the same way as we could provide mitigating circumstances for Jordon's shallow and selfish behaviour, we could also do the same for Angela's possibly shallow and selfish behaviour. She is, after all, carrying the burden of bearing witness to Graham's possible marital indiscretions from the pilot onwards. In this way, we could certainly be inclined to understand why she "acts out" in this way, and we could even offer sympathy for her.

Again, when trying to pin down a lot these characters down into single categorisations I always conclude that they are a mixture of both. They are never simply either/or, simply good/bad; right/wrong; innocent/experienced; kind/selfish; satisfied/dissatisfied; secure/insecure etc.. They are always both; somewhere in the grey-zone between them. I think that is what I really love about the show. It is the perfect show about adolescence: adolescence is the grey-zone, the no-mans lands between childhood and adulthood, and so many of the characters reflect this kind of ambivalence.

In fact, I think that even the adults strongly reflect this ambivalence too, and in this way the show reveals that adolescence and adulthood are themselves never as distinct as they seem to be. But I think trying to work that one out is for another post, and another time.

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Re: what other characters would you have wanted to narrate?

Post by Bacchante » Sep 24th 2010, 11:42 pm

Regarding your last point about adolescence/adulthood, I totally agree (well, I agree with your other points too :)). In fact, I don't even think of MSCL as a teen show. A lot of quite serious and important problems are brought up that are more than relevant for adults too. And it always bothers me how teenagers' love lives are dismissed as immature or unimportant... Well, I have to say, watching the show made me think a lot about my own "adult" love life :)
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Re: what other characters would you have wanted to narrate?

Post by Jody Barsch* » Jun 1st 2011, 2:42 am

Probably no big surprise here, I want an episode narrated by Graham Chase!

For a long time I was really anti a Catalano voiceover. I really don't think that it ever would have happened on the show, as they tried so hard to keep him elusive. I now think that my being opposed to it was my inner teen buying in to the Catalano mystique. So, I guess, bring it on. If it brings more lines the New Years classic, it'd probably be pretty entertaining. I guess I'd kind of like to see what the show's writers would have put into his internal monologue.

Graham though, definitely. And Patty. Never Kyle.
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Re: what other characters would you have wanted to narrate?

Post by Bacchante » Jun 1st 2011, 12:32 pm

Definitely not Kyle. But I'm not sure about Patty either-- I'm not anti-Patti at all, to an extent because I'm like her in some ways, but I think we kind of get a lot of her inner world anyway.

But yes, Graham, and Jordan, clearly :P Which makes me wonder-- would Jordan be the same sort of parent that Graham is? I think someone here said that Patty picked her "Brian" but I'm not sure-- I think Graham and Jordan have a lot in common.
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Re: what other characters would you have wanted to narrate?

Post by Jody Barsch* » Jun 1st 2011, 9:05 pm

Bacchante wrote:But I'm not sure about Patty either-- I'm not anti-Patti at all, to an extent because I'm like her in some ways, but I think we kind of get a lot of her inner world anyway.
I actually agree with this; I was thinking about that when I wrote her name. I'm really not sure that we would learn anything new about her if Patty had the voice overs for an episode, but I think she's pretty funny, so I'd be interested in hearing what she has to say. I also think that something the show does well, if not all the time, is turn expectations on their ears. So, if we think we know everything Patty might say or think, maybe we'd be surprised.
Bacchante wrote:But yes, Graham, and Jordan, clearly :P Which makes me wonder-- would Jordan be the same sort of parent that Graham is? I think someone here said that Patty picked her "Brian" but I'm not sure -- I think Graham Jordan have a lot in common.
I think compared to Tony Poole Patty "picked her Brian" but I don't see Graham as either Brian or Jordan. (Partly because he's a man and has grown into himself while Brian and Jordan are still figuring out who they are.) Graham clearly shares attributes with both boys, and I appreciate what fun the show had, particularly in "Life of Brian" and "Pressure", playing with these, but I don't think Graham would have been like either of them in high school (I'm pretty sure there's a thread about this somewhere... Graham, cut class did drugs, had bad skin, did not get the girls, didn't go to college...).
As for Jordan as a dad, I guess I could see it going several ways, but I'd venture that he'd be a great dad, mellow and laid back, like Graham.
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Re: what other characters would you have wanted to narrate?

Post by Bacchante » Jun 2nd 2011, 12:37 pm

Hm, apparently I'm forgetting what exactly Tony Poole was like. I think there was an episode where Patty was telling Angela (?) about him? But I forgot what exactly she said. I think she said that he was a crazy driver?

And yes, I didn't mean that Graham is more like Jordan than he is like Brian, I was just saying that he isn't exactly on the Brian side of the Brian-Jordan spectrum.

I agree that Jordan probably would be an awesome parent like Graham. Now the question is, what sort of parent would Angela be? Would she be uptight like Patty? I'm less sure what I think about that, since Angela is more of a "work in progress" than Jordan is, I think. Not that Jordan doesn't have a lot to figure out and a lot of issues to take care of, but I think he's a tiny bit more "fixed" as a personality than Angela is. Which would make sense, I guess, since Angela is who we're interested to see change, given that she's the main character. But of course that's just how I see it.
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Re: what other characters would you have wanted to narrate?

Post by Jody Barsch* » Jun 3rd 2011, 1:37 am

Bacchante wrote:And yes, I didn't mean that Graham is more like Jordan than he is like Brian, I was just saying that he isn't exactly on the Brian side of the Brian-Jordan spectrum..
I totally got that.
Bacchante wrote:Hm, apparently I'm forgetting what exactly Tony Poole was like. I think there was an episode where Patty was telling Angela (?) about him? But I forgot what exactly she said. I think she said that he was a crazy driver?
Tony Poole was in "In Dreams Begin Responsibilities". Tony appeared in Patty's Princess Diana dream :mrgreen: with a motorcycle and wearing a leather jacket. While looking at an old album, Patty tells Danielle and Angela that they were wild and crazy together, and that Patty was susceptible to losing herself while with him. Patty told Jordan that he drove so fast her parents wanted him dead ("Wow. Ironic.")
Bacchante wrote:I agree that Jordan probably would be an awesome parent like Graham. Now the question is, what sort of parent would Angela be? Would she be uptight like Patty? I'm less sure what I think about that, since Angela is more of a "work in progress" than Jordan is, I think. Not that Jordan doesn't have a lot to figure out and a lot of issues to take care of, but I think he's a tiny bit more "fixed" as a personality than Angela is. Which would make sense, I guess, since Angela is who we're interested to see change, given that she's the main character. But of course that's just how I see it.
I totally agree.
My ff has Jordan with two girls and a wife, and Angela, not. I can't specifically see her with kids (but maybe that's because I don't have kids). But when/if Angela becomes a parent, I think there would definitely be some Patty in the mix, but that doesn't exclusively mean uptight, it also means warm, funny, dependable, etc. While different in lots of ways, Patty's so my mom; I think, fight it how we may, our mothers are in our future selves.
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Re: what other characters would you have wanted to narrate?

Post by Superjesus » Jul 15th 2011, 5:06 am

Bacchante wrote:
But yes, Graham, and Jordan, clearly :P Which makes me wonder-- would Jordan be the same sort of parent that Graham is? I think someone here said that Patty picked her "Brian" but I'm not sure-- I think Graham and Jordan have a lot in common.
Graham is neither Brian nor Jordan - he's somewhere in between. That ties in to Angela and her choices in relationships. It's true that girls (and boys) tend to look subconsciously to their parents for the traits they seek out most in a partner. When Angela talks about wanting sex and a conversation, she knows that this is what Graham provides her mother with (although she only actually knows about the former - hopefully).

I too would love to see a Graham narrated episode, partly focused on the changes in his life (being a professional chef, his relationships with Patty and Hallie and his feelings for both) and also about Angela and her changes through his eyes.

Jordan as a parent is a very interesting question. We know that he doesn't have the greatest home life and that his father is or at least was abusive towards him. It's a sad truth that many children of abuse go on to become abusive parents themselves. Yet that would appear to be pretty out of character with what we know of him - clearly he doesn't like to cause harm to anyone.

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Re: what other characters would you have wanted to narrate?

Post by Jody Barsch* » Jul 15th 2011, 5:20 am

Superjesus wrote:clearly he doesn't like to cause harm to anyone.
:mrgreen: I could name some members that would disagree...
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