If you’re sick of the glitz, gloss and glam of teen soaps like One Tree Hill, Gossip Girls and Vampire Diaries, you might want to give a certain critically-acclaimed and highly underrated little TV drama from the 90’s a try: My So-Called Life.
The show features Claire Danes (Temple Grandin, Brokedown Palace, Stardust) in her breakout role as 15 year old Angela Chase, as well as Jared Leto—sometime movie star (Requiem For A Dream, Prefontaine, Panic Room, Alexander) and now frontman of the alt-rock group 30 Seconds To Mars—in the role of Jordan Catalano, with Tom Irwin and Bess Armstrong as Angela’s imperfect, realistic parents.
Here’s an excellent overview of this poignant and very well-written and -performed show (review written by Monique Waters and published on IMDB.com):
Just like other people who have commented before me, I also had watched “My So-Called Life” over the summer while The N had aired it. I found it to be a well written show about a subtle and perceptive 15 year old girl. Reading past articles about the show the network ABC regretted canceling the program years before. They recently have tried to redeem themselves by airing a new teen drama (Life as we know it) but after watching it, I realized that its not going to last as long as MSCL should have.
My So-Called life dealt with real issues. It wasn’t about a bunch of good-looking rich kids off somewhere having sex, then complaining that their parents will buy them a car but won’t spend time with them. Claire Danes was perfect as the role of Angela. She wasn’t a tall skinny model posing a teenager with a unblemished face. She is real!! The show was real!! It delt with real issues like having a friend who homosexual, a friend who got all the attention while you sat on the sidelines and envied her. The show also shined light on her not so perfect parents. Angela didn’t fall in love with the captain of the Football team and win his heart.
In this show their was love, hate, drugs, child abuse, sexual identity, neglect, family & friends issues, and angst that many teens deny having yet, rebelling against angst itself, shows how much of a teenager you really are.
Anyone who’s ever been a teenager will relate to this wonderful show, and regret that it didn’t run longer. Individual episodes of Season 1 are currently available for purchase (digital download) for $1.99 each, and the entire first season can be purchased as a digital download for $30.99. The entire series is also available in a boxed DVD set that includes a bonus, behind-the-scenes book for $44.99.