My So-Called Life: The Complete Series

"Excellent"

My So-Called Life: The Complete Series Review


Few television shows have had such a short life while having such a major impact on the entertainment landscape as My So-Called Life.

The brainchild of Thirtysomething mavens Marshall Herskovitz and Winnie Holzman, the show aimed to present highschool life from the point of view of one emotionally conflicted sophomore named Angela (Claire Danes). As a direct response to Beverly Hills, 90210, the show was meant to be realistic, perhaps overly so, offering a look into Angela's psyche through copious voice over, and presenting real struggles the average kid has to deal with during what might be the toughest few years of everyone's adolescence. Real. Really real. Reality. How real was My So-Called Life going to be? So real it was set in Pittsburgh. (But not too real: It was still shot in L.A.)

The show lasted one season, 19 episodes including the pilot. If it seems like more that's because MTV bought the rerun rights after the show ended its ABC run in 1995. MTV ran those episodes hundreds of times for years, into the late '90s. (You may also have noticed that Danes looks a lot older at the end of the series (which spanned only one school year) than at the beginning. That's because she was: Network troubles gave the show an on-again/off-again schedule. The final episode was shot a full 2 1/2 years after the pilot.)

On the whole, Life follows some well-traveled teen drama territory. A prime plot: Angela is in love with Jordan Catalano (Jared Leto), a sophomore with a mild learning disability who's been held back twice, is never seen without his fur-trimmed leather coat, and who is never referred to as "Jordan" but always as "Jordan Catalano." Angela is also on the outs with her childhood friend Sharon (Devon Odessa), and has picked up with the rebellious Rayanne (A.J. Langer) and her bisexual pal Rickie (Wilson Cruz, who is still playing variations on this character over a decade later). Angela's parents have their own issues: Dad (Tom Irwin) is emasculated by his powerful, shrewish wife (Bess Armstrong, so overpowering she's almost unbearable). In later episodes he leaves their printing company to attempt to start a restaurant... while trying to avoid the temptations of a younger woman (a plot point that actually occurs twice in the series run).



Facts and Figures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Cast & Crew

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Imperium Movie Review

Imperium Movie Review

First-time filmmaker Daniel Ragussis takes an unusual approach to this thriller. Since it's based on...

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

Like a 10-years-later follow-up to 28 Days Later, this small British thriller takes a refreshingly...

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

Director Antoine Fuqua brings his usual fascination with violence to this remake of the iconic...

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

As it's been 12 years since the last Bridget Jones movie, expectations aren't too high...

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

A-list director Ron Howard worked with the surviving Beatles to assemble this engaging documentary, which...

Blair Witch Movie Review

Blair Witch Movie Review

It's been 17 years since The Blair Witch Project shook up the cinema and created...

Anthropoid Movie Review

Anthropoid Movie Review

Outside the Czech Republic, few people know about Operation Anthropoid, a spy mission in 1943...

Advertisement
Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

From Laika (The Boxtrolls), this is one of the most beautiful, sophisticated animated films in...

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

An offbeat comedy-drama with a timely kick, this charming family road trip takes on some...

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Sicario screenwriter Taylor Sheridan delivers another fiercely intelligent, engaging story that maintains high suspense while...

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

With heavy overtones of Hitchcockian mystery and intrigue, this stylish thriller is the enjoyably melodramatic...

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

The 1989 Muay Thai action movie Kickboxer starred a young Jean-Claude Van Damme, who pops...

Julieta Movie Review

Julieta Movie Review

Iconic Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar is back with another powerfully complex female-centred drama, along the...

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

An astute satire of the pop music business, this raucous mock-documentary is consistently hilarious from...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.