My So-Called Life (and Style)

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Before Meredith Grey, Carrie Bradshaw, and other philosophising voice-over-ers on modern-day TV, there was My So-Called Life's Angela Chase, a girl wise beyond her years. Sure, she may have been filled with angst, but who wouldn't be if Jared Leto A.K.A. Jordan Catalano went to your high school? On the show, Angela reflected on the issues facing teenagers in the '90s, though much of what went on in My So-Called Life remains fresh. Plus, she made apt and groundbreaking observations such as, "My whole life became, like, divided into kissing and not kissing"... Or when she perfectly articulated our feelings about Sunday nights (obviously excluding the hours spent watching Mad Men and Game of Thrones): "There's something about Sunday night that really makes you want to kill yourself."

Sure, she may be melodramatic, but remember: she was just a mere 15-year-old girl struggling with an insane mother who had a terrible haircut, an annoying little sister, a sketchy father, a neighbor who was in love with her, an ex-best friend who had a fully developed body and found a boyfriend to match her new boobs, a bat-shit new bestie (with great hair), a pretty rock-solid friend who was there to listen to all of her problems while he dealt with many of his own, and the hottest guy in the world to lust after. All in all, the message was clear: high school is tough, especially when you're living in the heightened and dramatized world of television!

Claire Danes, the actress who brought Ms. Chase to life, turns 34 on Friday and, in honor of her birthday, join us for a stroll down Memory Lane, will you? And while you click through many of Angela, Jordan, Rayanne, and Rickie's greatest moments, take the time to do some reflecting just like Angela... We've included some of her best one-liners below:

"People always say how you should be yourself. Like 'yourself' is this definite thing, like a toaster or something."

"I hate everyone."

"Sometimes someone says something really small and it just fits right into this empty place in your heart."

"It's so weird that teachers actually, like, live places."

"If only there was a button somewhere that I could push. To force me to stop talking."

"There's this dividing line between girls who have had sex, and girls who haven't. And all of a sudden you realize you're looking at each other across it."

[Ed. note: Ok, fine, after reading all of those lines, she may have been slightly depressed, but whatever, most of us were in those days, right? She dyed her hair a weird red/maroon color in the first episode—she clearly was not full of sunshine. Anywho, if you've never seen the show, you should—Hulu!]

Claire, we LOVE you as Carrie Mattheson in Homeland, but Angela Chase will always have a special place in our hearts.

P.S. For all of you wondering where Angela and Jordan ended up, we might not have a definite answer, but we can give you this.

[1] Angela Chase, [2] Jordan and Angela, [3] Angela and Rayanne, [4] The My So Called Life cast, [5] Angela and Jordan, [6] Rickie Vasquez, [7] Angela and Rayanne, [8] Jordan Catalano, [9] Angela Chase, [10] Rayanne Graff, [11] Angela Chase, [12] Jordan Catalano, [13] Rayanne Graff, [14] Angela and Jordan, [15] Sharon and Jordan, [16] Patty and Angela Chase, [17] Angela Chase, [18] The Chase Family, [19] Angela and Jordan, [20] Jordan Catalano, [21] Rayanne Graff, [22] Jordan Catalano, [23] Angela and Rayanne, [24] Angela Chase, [25] The kids of My So Called Life, [26] Rayanne and Rickie, [27] Jordan Catalano (described by Angela Chase)

Let’s Talk About It! JOIN IN
  • http://fancylauren.blogspot.com/ Lauren Ashley

    Oh man, this takes me back. I love love loved that show! Once my mom even used it as an example when she was trying to have "the talk." Ha!

  • Ava

    My So-Called Life will, forever and always, own part of my soul.

    Jordan Catalano 4ever

  • bluesky557

    Oh, that Vulture photo! Hahahahaaaaa! That is EXACTLY how I pictured Angela and Jordan would have turned out. She is elegant, gorgeous and fabulous, and he's still a douchebag trying to be cool. Perfect.

  • sev2108

    I dyed my hair red in 1995 (when I was also 15) because Angela did. It looked worse on me than it did her. Her wardrobe above was my wardrobe. Her angst was my angst. Thank god the nineties (and my teens) are long gone.

  • Janine

    It's funny how shows with such a short life make such an impact on so many persons' lives. I love the theme song....and everything else. It was so thoughtful. And well written. Claire Danes was like this phenom...so talented and articulate. Thank you for bringing us back.

  • Jen

    ITG, you have been reading my mind grapes lately! A post about the perfect spot treatment and now My So-Called Life?? I lived and breathed this show when I was in middle school!
    One of my favorite quotes:
    "How come I have to be the one sitting around analyzing him in like
    microscopic detail, and he gets to be the one with other things on his
    mind."

  • Dru

    To me she'll always be the best screen Juliet of all time**, but a tip of the hat to this show is never out of place <3

    **tied with Olivia Hussey of course

  • Lolanr1

    JOY! L.O.V.E. looove that show. I still have a bunch of VHS tapes with all of the episodes on them, now THAT'S dedication. Oh, and that intro... Fantabuloustic. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=znVBqSI4ghQ

  • Harlowrose

    I loved this show and still do, but it's so different when you watch it as a adult. haha

  • E

    Red/maroon?!? Dude. It was 'crimson glow'

  • Morgan Brooks

    This is truly the most epic post. My-So Called life is some of the greatest television ever, making this post one of the greatest...ever.

  • http://frivolousgirl.com/ Isabel

    I'm just on my last episode... well, I've been on it for weeks now because I don't want it to ever end.

    One of my favorite quotes doesn't come from Angela's mouth but from her sister:
    - I hate this outfit. I wish I was dead. (Episode 10 "Other People's Mothers")
    It is so melodramatic coming from a ten-year-old(?) and gets me cracking every time.

  • Lana

    Just found all the episodes on Hulu! Watching them from the beginning. I am so in love. Where was I when this came out?? How on earth did I not hear of this amazing show?? Claire Danes is pulling on my heart strings! The life and struggles of a 15 year old, I can definitely remember how crazy mine was. Yikes!

  • http://twitter.com/egabbert Elisa Gabbert

    This is my all-time favorite show. I just want to go on record as pointing out that her parents are actually pretty great. They drive her crazy because she's 15, not because there's anything objectively wrong with them as parents. Even Rayanne knew that!

    • Anu

      I came here to point that out too! Insane mother? Sketchy father? They were pretty awesome if you ask me. They weren't perfect, but I think that's one of the strengths of the show - no one was an extreme caricature of good or bad.

  • http://twitter.com/Barbsye Barbara_Barbsye

    ITG, please: a Jared Leto Topshelf! He hasn't aged a day, and though I suspect it's genetic, I wouldn't mind sneak into his cabinet, just in case...

  • http://twitter.com/SaraT1011 Sarita

    Oh, this show was everything to me! I was 15 when it came out, and I had not only just started at a new high school, but it was a high school across the country, away from the life I'd previously known. I felt that Angela Chase (I love how everyone was referred to by their first and last names--"Rayanne Graf said..." and "Brian Krakow saw..."--except for Tino because he was just "Tino") was so identifiable because I was having my own 15 year old melodrama.

    • Janet Lee

      And ALWAYS Jordan Catalano. He was NEVER Jordan. It's like his name was Jordancatalano.

  • estreo

    i love this blog so much

  • ROKderm

    MSCL for liiiiiiifffffeeee!!!! http://rokderm.com/

  • Isabel

    I've started watching My So Called Life thanks to this post and I LOVE it! Oh my god, thank you for turning me on to it!

  • Janet Lee

    "My parents keep asking how school was. It's like saying, "How was that
    drive-by shooting?" You don't care how it WAS, you're lucky to get out
    alive"

  • Lola

    I looooove this show!!! Used to watch it in 1995! I was 13! Felt so identified, then all of the sudden it stopped, and I've recently found all the episodes in youtube. Re-watching it was like opening a time capsule. My favorite character, Rayanne!!! We all had a Krakow, a Rayanne and a Jordan in our lives :D

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