Fox Family cuts it up ... dammit

Discussion on bringing the show back on tv. Is "My So-Called Life" going to be shown in your country? Note: See international airdates from the last years here.
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Fox Family cuts it up ... dammit

Post by SteveReed007 » Jan 28th 2000, 11:19 pm

Well, that's enough for me. After watching or listening to the first episode of the Fox Family Channel's new weekly showing of "MSCL," we're seeing cuts that I had expected to happen, but had hoped would not.

Rupert Murdoch's Fox combine bought this U.S. cable channel last year from preacher Pat Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network, and still has the obligation to run his "700 Club" show six nights a week. The effort is obviously there to make cuts, not only for time, but also to bowdlerize it on the edges for the channel's supposed audience and its tender ears.

(Yes, I'm a hopeless "fanboy" for this series, to borrow a comics-fan term, but even I didn't have every line and nuance in my head, even after a half-dozen or more viewings. I put the fan-created transcript up on the computer screen and heard the sound from the living room, after the first act.)

Cut from the dinner scene (obviously, a line that's going
to be inciting teenagers to violence[!]):

[Angela, VO] Lately, I can't even look at my mother without
wanting to stab her [hits fork on plate] — repeatedly.

Cut from Angela and Graham standing on the stairway,
she wrapped in a towel from the shower:

[Angela, VO] The sad truth is, my breasts have come between us.

And an entire scene cut, with the loss of a crucial line from
Angela that sets up the story arc for the rest of the series,
let alone losing the setup for much of the rest of this episode:

[Rayanne, in hallway] Angela, get in here a sec.
[They enter the girls' restroom]
[Rayanne] You wanna have sex with him.
[Angela] Who?
[Rayanne] Who! ... Jordan. ... Catalano? Come on, I'm not gonna
tell anyone, just admit it.
[Angela] I just like how he's always leaning. Against stuff. He
leans great. ... Well, either sex or a conversation, ideally both.
[Rayanne] Well, you have to come to Tino's tomorrow night. Angela,
Jordan Catala—
[Angela] Ssshhh!
[Rayanne, half-whisper] Jordan Catalano's gonna be there.
Ssshhh. [Leaves]
[Angela, VO] Rayanne always knows who's going to be there.

No cuts in the second act, up to Danielle's "What -really- happened?"

In the third act, they saved all of 1.5 seconds (!) by slicing out the last four words from this line:

[Patty, to Angela] No, go. [To Graham] And you, go shoot pool with
your brother, or wherever the hell you're going. [Leaves]

The oh-so-moral audience can, apparently, be assumed to take several lines of byplay about "He's bisexual?" that preceded this, but can't take hearing "hell," lest they be changed into pillars of salt. Go figure. (Especially since "Where the hell have you been?" was kept from Angela's return home on the previous night.)

All of the following action and dialogue, with how it repeats and resonates with the rest of the episode, is cut from the third act. Apparently the actual sight of teenagers drinking is also too much to witness!

[In alley outside Let's Bolt, Rayanne is drinking from bottle]
[Rickie] Where is Tino?
[Rayanne, passes bottle to Rickie] Haven't you ever waited
for anything?
[Rickie, passes bottle with distaste and two fingers to Angela]
Yeah, for my life to start.
[Rayanne] I mean, Tino's coming. It's way early. Look around,
nobody's here yet.
[Angela cautiously takes one swig from bottle]

[Dissolve to later, girls sitting in alley outside club]
[Angela] Look how thin yours are.
[Rickie, standing off to side] Tino, where are you?
[Rayanne] But yours are really little.
[Angela] But they're fat, they're like, fatter.
[Rayanne] Rickie, who has cuter feet?
[Rickie] Me!
[Rayanne, with drunken giggle] Let's trade shoes.
[The girls try to remove their shoes and end up laughing]

[Dissolve to later, standing and leaning between two parked cars]
[Rickie] If you were about to do it, okay? ... What would you want
the other person to say, like, right before?
[Rayanne] "This won't take long."
[Rickie] No, seriously!
[Rayanne] "Don't I know you?"
[Rickie] No, for real, like, like, romantic.
[Angela, after a thoughtful pause] "You're so beautiful ...
it hurts to look at you."
[Rayanne, incredulous] "It hurts to look at you"?
[Rickie] How'd you think of that?
[Rayanne] Where would it hurt?!
[Rickie] I really like that.
[Rayanne] Well, I'm gonna tell Jordan. [Starts running through
parking lot toward club]
[Angela, following her] Rayanne!

The later moment where Rayanne takes leave of Angela in the police car, where she says, "With your hair like that? It hurts to look at you," thus loses a large chunk of meaning. (Angela's line to Brian, carrying several meanings, "These aren't my shoes," also becomes nearly incomprehensible.)

Fox Family created another commercial break between Rayanne being taken home and Angela being taken home by the Three Rivers cop. Nothing else was cut from here to the end of the episode. BUT ...

About the time I said to myself out loud, "If they cut one more line from this, I'm organizing a boycott," Angela and Brian turn the corner and witness Graham talking to The Mysterious Woman on the street ... and we suddenly see the Bedford Falls and ABC logos. Did those bastards cut the rest of the story??? No, some incompetent pushed the wrong Roll Tape button. Almost gave me heart failure.

After it resumed, and it got to Brian saying that the yearbook theme was "the year 2000," building up to the poignant shot of the two of them silhouetted against an empty street, a red light coming on in the distance ... we suddenly have the blaring music and animation of the Fox Family Channel logo. It disappears quickly — the same idiot punched another wrong button — but the mood of one of the series' best moments is ruined.

True, that's not editorial absurdity, that's just technical incompetence. But if this is how careless they're going to be, I don't think I can stand to catch these truncated repeats even when I have nothing better to do.

And after this, of course, no Snuffy Walden music over the credits, which are squeezed into the familiar right-hand-side-of-screen quick-flash format, so that FFC can promote its next show. To be expected, but still sad to see.

Well, this clearly isn't the MTV run — where the same mechanical use of time-compression was done to squeeze in ads, but nothing was ever cut. (Except one line of Rayanne's in one episode, over a black screen.)

Those who want to may tune in on Fridays at 8 pm ET, or the following Tuesday at 10 pm ET. I won't bother.

No boycott (yeah, as if I had the time *sigh*), and I might normally say that 95% of such a series is better than nothing ... if it weren't for "MSCL" being a closely-woven storytelling tapestry.

Several crucial lines and scenes, for the characters' attitudes, the rounds of life shown in that pilot story, and motivations for the rest of the series, were all stricken out of it. That impairs a story in 19 parts, such as this, and I can't endure it. I'm going back to pulling out my ancient tapes ... and wondering if this series will ever make it in full to commercial video, let alone to DVD.

(The transcripts of the episodes as originally broadcast are, o'course, available on this very same and truly valuable Website.)
Last edited by SteveReed007 on Apr 15th 2008, 5:18 am, edited 1 time in total.


I hear ya

Post by Guest » Jan 29th 2000, 1:17 am

Sigh... well, I have to say that I missed the Fox Family broadcast of the first episode, but I have all 19 episodes on VHS anyway. I'm surprised that Fox is cutting scenes and/or dialogue from the original versions. After hearing this, I'll most likely skip watching them on Fox Family. I might check out an episode or two just to see that MSCL is still getting aired on TV. But other than that, I'll just pull out my old trusty VHS copies of the original airings and enjoy the series the way it was made to be enjoyed.

- Mike

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Re: Fox Family cuts it up ... dammit

Post by ataris » Jan 29th 2000, 1:33 am

I was very upset for all of the cut outs. You know it really makes me wish that Fox Family Channel wouldn't have showed it at all. I hate them cutting out of these crucial scenes and that makes me wonder what about all those episodes later on? How are they going to be able to show any of those? I don't live on the east cost so I didn't get to see it till well after you all had seen it. And they didn't mess up the last scene like SteveReed007 said happened to it where he watched it. I'm glad that didn't happen here cause I would have gone through the roof. Sorry I'm just really upset about the whole thing as well.

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Contact FOX Family Channel

Post by Sascha » Jan 29th 2000, 9:40 am

Tell FOX Family Channel what you think! Show them that you care!

  Fox Family Channel
  10960 Wilshire Blvd.
  Los Angeles, CA 90024


or use the web comments form of The Fox Family Channel:

<a href=" ... m#comments"> ... omments</a>

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VHS tapes

Post by trippingbillie41 » Jan 30th 2000, 12:43 am

i have the two box sets, but i'm still missing a few, like "Halloween," "Pressure," "In Dreams Begin Responsibilities," "Betrayal," "Weekend," and probably one or two others. since you have all of them on tape, in presumably decent quality, would you be willing to copy the ones that i'm missing if i send you blank tapes and complete postage? this goes for anyone else that has all of them as well. it would only be something like 7 or 8 episodes, which i think can fit on 2 or 3 tapes. contact me at if you can do this or just reply here. MUCH, MUCH, MUCH APPRECIATED FROM ONE FAN TO ANOTHER!

~You're so hurts to look at you.~

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Re: VHS tapes

Post by angelika » Jan 30th 2000, 5:08 pm

I also need the last 7 episodes on tape, and, although I realize he must be swamped, I haven't heard back from Matthew. If any of you have good quality copies of those, could you let me know? I'd be willing to pay you for the tapes and postage. Thanks a ton, for all of you who have been kind enough to make copies for other people. You rock! :-)


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Re: Fox Family cuts it up ... dammit

Post by Alee » Jan 30th 2000, 10:09 pm

I have to say, that the commercial says, "Remember the show that was bold enough to tell the truth about being a teen?", but they can't be bold enough to show it, full & uncut?

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Re: Fox Family cuts it up ... dammit

Post by ataris » Feb 5th 2000, 11:03 pm

Did anyone see Dancing in the Dark friday night? I didn't think that it was as bad as the Pilot as cutting out scenes go, they didn't seem to cut out anything that had a big importance. Maybe something good will come out of this maybe some company will release the last 7 episodes because of it who knows.

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