I had an hour spare, so I watched the pilot episode of My So-Called Life (what else was I going to do, READ?). Here is what happened in that episode, for those who’ve been under a rock and never got to experience this coming-of-age drama first hand. And like all adolescence.. Its mostly about periods.
Opening scene: Angela and Rayanne are trying to get money from strangers in the street (which is also, the viewer, us) .. They pretend they’re sisters.. Do you remember doing that? And pretending to cry and then laughing when the poor strangers get concerned and angry. No. Neither do I.
Lots of internal monologue from Angela: She’s being really dramatic but poetic. “Can’t people just cheer.. On their own.. To themselves” – classic Angela. Her hair is gross and mousy, she’s wearing a gross knit cardi and her friend Sharon has way bigger boobs than her and wears a scrunchy, so it’s not looking great for their friendship. She’s so depressed and has no way out. There’s nothing to live for when you have to wear cardies like that. Her life is basically over.
“School is a battlefield, for your heart” – Angela, again
Angela’s bathroom: Turns out it was just her hair holding her back. No wait.. Actually, Rayanne wasn’t talking about her hair, she was talking about her life! But they change her hair anyway.. to Crimson Tide; sub-shade: Menstruation (Gene Hackman was in a film about it.. (Where the submarine is a metaphor for a tampon and the nuclear weapon is a metaphor for emotions.))
Cut to a kitchen: Angela’s mum, Patty, is awkward about Angela’s new hair. But knows not to embarrass her about it in front of her new weird friends, like the professional mother she is. She leaves Rayanne a block of cheese and backs out of the room. ITS A TRAP, I fruitlessly yell at the TV. It’s too late, Rayanne has devoured all the cheese.. I sense this will come up again at some point, as there’s already been too much tension about the cheese.
Dinning room, later: Angela is very angry about her mum, we can tell because she narrows her eyes at her and says she wants to stab her.. If it’s because Patty mentions the cheese, we don’t know (cheesegate). She’s also a teenager and she has troubles.. Like, with her hair. (That was a previous trouble.. We get the impression from some clever scriptwriting, that more is to come.. They lay some groundwork. Another trouble could potentially be that her dad works for her mum.. But he doesn’t want to. So when that boring story rears its ugly head we can all pretend like we give a shit..) ..
Parents bedroom: Graham is reading a cookbook in bed. *sigh* Good one directors.. LAYING THE SHIT FOUNDATIONS FOR THE LATRINE SUBPLOT.
School Int: Oh, we’re back at school because life as a teenager has absolutely no continuity. We see Jordan Catelano. Catelano is retarded. He’s always closing his eyes, “like it hurts.. To look at stuff“.. Because he’s retarded. (“He leans great.”) If you can’t read or write you have to emote physically.. Leaning shows your tired or sad. Sometimes relaxed. The directors would have told him to think like a horse.. Imagine you’re a horse.. No, not War Horse.
School corridor: Rayanne is like, a free spirit. Her hair is all cray, she has a nose ring, and her clothes are all tight and fishnetty.. Like she’s robbed the corpse of a prostitute. Or Madonna. And obviously, she has a gay friend, called Ricky. He wears eyeliner. It’s the 90s GOD. They’re confused but cocky. An aspect I wouldn’t usually expect from teenagers.. Oh.
A classroom: Brian Krakow takes photos like the little perv he is. He’s also Jewish. I don’t know if the two are synonymous. *Wiki*.
Girls bathroom: Ricky is always in the girls bathroom, like the gay fat one in Mean Girls. Gays gotta be somewhere, right?
Cut back to a fucking classroom (we’re all over the place at school): a light flickers and Angela can’t even relate to Anne Frank.
And we’re back home: Graham is back in the fucking kitchen, the directors are really keen to push this angle. He tries to ease the tension between Angela and Patty, but like, that’s not because he’s a good dad, its obviously because he doesn’t want to put up with Angela or Patty’s whiny voice. Angela hoodwinks him into going to some night school thing. But its totes a wild party. GRAHAM YOU IDIOT. Patty is going to be so mad!
Cut to someones garden: They’re at a wild house party, all the guys have long hair, and are wearing ripped jeans and probably listen to RHCP. It’s a fucking nightmare. There’s a guy with a massive stadium spot light in the garden.. House party stadium spot light. Jordan is inside watching the TV on mute.. Because he can’t read the remote control.
House interior: Patty and Graham fight because he’s not the mean parent, it all gets out of hand because they’re all shouting and no one is listening and everyone cares about everyone so much. This never happens, in real life, families hold their feelings deep inside, storing resentment and pain and blame for years, until you’re at your cousins wedding and they run out of wine, and suddenly its Nuremberg, and everyone is throwing up.
Oh God, we’re back at school: And they’re in the cafeteria, it’s like a prison, but they have jelly, so its probably awesome. Sharon is flossing in the girls toilets. And has a backpack and a handbag.. Jesus Sharon, Get a grip. Oh, I love it when teenage girls cry for no reason. PERIODZ. Crimson Tide – The Hunt for Red Riding Hood. Citizen Pain; Lady and The Tamps etc.
Exterior house: Angela’s hair is pretty in the moonlight. Like a glowing bowl of period blood. The Phantom Menstrual.
Brian’s comebacks are the best.. “You’re not stupid, don’t act like it. It’s a stupid act“… Ricky could use the heat off that burn to cook his beans.
Outside: So apparently they’re going to a rave now.. But they just end up hanging out in the car park. We’ve all been there. Some men try to buy Angela and Rayanne, but don’t want poor gay Ricky. He seems ok with it.. Guess he has his beans. Rayanne’s not great at diffusing tension. Nor at acting. “It’s actually happening, but it’s too actual.” It’s okay though, Rayanne blacks out when she drinks. Even when it’s 3 sips of cherry brandy.. “Guys ermahgerd ahm soooo waaaasted.“
Police car Int: It must be so hard for police officers.. How can you tell if teenagers are on drugs, or just fucking stupid. I can’t tell. I can’t. I have no idea.
House Ext: Brian is sitting in a tree like Winnie The Pooh.
Angela spies her dad talking to a strange flirty woman and ‘Everybody Hurts’ starts playing.. She jumps to a conclusion. The directors are using this as a potential future story. We start to assume that the director is also the actor who plays Angela’s dad (Graham) as he’s stealing a lot of future story. Brian tells Angela that the theme to their ‘yearbook’ is the year 2000………… It’s a completely inappropriate moment, but he was just in a tree reading a book, at what can only be imagined as late at night. So he’s probably autistic.
House Int: Angela knows to take her shoes off when walking around the house at night.. It makes you more cat-like. I GET YOU ANGELA. We’ve all been there pre-falling in to your wardrobe and crying on your shoes because you had them when you were younger and now your old, and you’re trapped in the wardrobe and know you’ll fall asleep in there and your neck will hurt tomorrow. Angela then goes to say sorry to her mum.. And has a cry and has a mum hug. FEELINGS DIARRHOEA. We definitely have all been there.. Especially at 26 when you’re tired and sad and have thrown up on yourself at 6pm because you’re rubbish at life and couldn’t get out of the wardrobe.
Cut to school: Angela is wearing a denim gilet. And apparently.. She “had a time“.. I don’t know if this is about menstruation or not.