Today’s #throwbackthursday is devoted to My So-Called Life, my all-time favourite show.
It’s a show that I re-watch every once in a while. It’s always in the back of my mind, like a secret that whispers in your ear at the most random of moments. It’s a quiet show. It’s not greedy and there are no explosions or ratings-grabbing deaths. Instead, it’s beautifully crafted/acted/written/directed/etc.
I first discovered this TV gem the year I was 15. I had two bedrooms, basically, because my parents knocked down the wall between the two so I could have a massive room (#onlychild) but that year we built the wall again. My second bedroom was my TV room so if you’re wondering where I get my TV addiction/obsession from it’s been in the works for a while now. Every weeknight, I snuck into that space and turned on the Family Channel. It was 11 p.m. and a school night and I should have been on my way to dreamland but sleep was way less interesting than this show I had stumbled upon. At 15, I was the same age as Angela, and I wanted to be her.
I didn’t have to want much, though, because I was her. I was also kind of rebelling, trying out a new personality, wondering if my old one was good enough. I had transferred from a preppy private school where everyone looked the same (and not only because of the uniforms) to an alternative school that was much lamer than it was supposed to be. I was dressing differently, like Angela, and my mixing of patterns was very 90s although I didn’t realize it at the time. I had crushes that didn’t seem to know I existed and a best friend that meant the world to me. Every thought Angela had was something I had thought myself.
Plus, how can you not swoon over Jordan Catalano?
Today, at 26, it’s still my most beloved TV show. It’s my long-term relationship when all the other shows are just crushes, first dates and almost relationships. I will never love a show as much as I love MSCL and that’s just fine with me. I love the plaid shirts, the cheesy music, the smart dialogue, the fact that the parents were people too, the Christmas episode, the substitute teacher episode, the fact that Parenthood showrunner Jason Katims was a story producer and wrote four beautiful episodes, the way that Claire Danes could cry and make you feel so much. I love Rickie and Rayanne and Danielle and even Brian – especially Brian.
I’m 26 and still living my own coming-of-age story. There are still crushes and dates that you’re not sure are really dates and best friends and moments of trying to find yourself and moments when you wonder if this is it, if this is supposed to be your life and times when it all works out and you want it to stay that way forever but you know things will change faster than you want them to. In other words, My So-Called Life is still my life.
And I wouldn’t want it any other way.