My So-Called Life

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Sars: B+ | Grade It Now!
Too Hot For TV

Go, now. Go.

The kettle drummy background music ushers us into the opening scene, a turned-ninety-degrees shot of "Sant" Angela Chase lying in bed, staring stonily ahead. AVO explains, "I loved Jordan Catalano so much, and talked about him so much, and thought about him so much, it was like he lived inside me. Like he'd taken possession of my soul, or something. And then one day…" As the Violent Femmes' "Blister In The Sun" kicks up on the soundtrack, Angela suddenly grins. "…I got over him," AVO concludes in a tone of relieved wonder.

Cut to Angela dancing around her bedroom in her nightie, whipping her hair around and doing clumsy somersaults on her bed and flirting with her mirror. The vogueing goes on for a few minutes, and then we wipe to the kitchen table, where Angela sits, smiling happily, and AVO tells us, "It was like Jordan Catalano had been surgically removed from my heart." Angela pours syrup on her waffles, still smiling; in the background, Patty "Hearst" Chase and Graham "Nash" Chase give her the customary "to what do we owe this fleeting good mood" furry eyeball.

Cut to Abyssinia delivering a vintage-high-school stilted line reading from Our Town in the My So-Called Theater. Pull back to a perch in the balcony, where Angela asks Rickie "Don't Lose That Number" Vasquez, "Abyssinia Churchill's auditioning?" Rickie says yeah, "she's good." Rayanne "Boleyn" Graff agrees, "Yeah, she's really good! Screw this," and stomps away. Angela and Rickie follow her down the stairs, Angela telling her not to let Abyssinia's audition "psych [her] out," but Rayanne -- clad in a camo mini-dress and furry moon boots -- isn't having it, saying she can't believe she let Angela and Rickie talk her into this, and it's a stupid play anyway: "It's a town, it's ours, end of story." Angela continues to encourage her, and there's expository back-and-forth about Rickie "crashing at the teacher's," and Angela tells Rickie that he should have seen Rayanne practicing the night before: "She, like, became Emily." Rayanne scoffs that, actually, she became Angela, sing-songing that "Emily's supposed to be sweet and innocent." Angela flinches a little and says defensively, "So?" "So, I just imitated you," Rayanne shrugs, not seeing the big deal. "Do you really think I'm sweet and innocent?" Angela asks, dismayed, but Rayanne ignores her to whine, "Didya really think I was good?" Rickie tells Rayanne that she's up next, and Angela informs Rayanne in a lofty tone that, if she heard the dream Angela had about Corey Helfrick the night before, "[she] wouldn't think [Angela] was so sweet and innocent." "You had an erotic dream about Corey Helfrick?" Rayanne snorts. "Join the club," quips Rickie. Angela announces that she is "so over Jordan Catalano." Rayanne joins the rest of the viewing audience in laughing that they've all "heard that before," but Angela insists that she means it this time; they only went out "for, like, a split second," and besides, she doesn't think that they "were ever really meant for each other -- I mean, as friends, maybe, but that's it." As Angela talks, Rayanne studies her and imitates her mannerisms. "It's just such a relief to finally have my life back," Angela says. Oh, Angela -- will you never learn to avoid the sweeping declarations? They do you in every time. Rayanne continues to study Angela; over her shoulder, we see Rickie smirking skeptically.

Out front, Mr. "--" Katimski calls Rayanne's name. Angela wishes Rayanne "luck" by telling her with a big smile that "acting is like lying, and who's a better liar than you?" But while Angela is a mere clerk in The Department Of Casually Observed Comments That Cut To The Bone, Rayanne is its minister: "You know when something matters to you, you do this hair-flick thing, and then your eyes get all wide?" Angela starts to look annoyed that Rayanne has her down so well. "And then you stand sort of --" Rayanne adopts Angela's cross-legged, cocked-head posture, and Angela smacks her and laughs, "Quit studying me and get out there!" Mr. K calls Rayanne's name again. Rayanne gives Angela a knowing look and walks out onto the stage. Rickie looks at Angela sympathetically before turning to watch Rayanne strut away.

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My So-Called Life




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