Saturday, August 20, 2011

Did we really, like, say "like" quite as often as, like, that?

I happened to catch an episode of My So-Called Life today while flipping through channels in an effort to find something to entertain me as I measured clothing.

I probably haven't watched it since I was in high school... maybe I caught a few episodes of it on MTV or wherever it may have resurfaced when I was in college, but viewing it now as I am quickly approaching my (hold me, I'm about to type it) middle age years, it is a totally different experience.

The main character, Angela, is every confused, white middle class American girl in the mid-90's. She is confused, trying to find herself, bathed in cranberry colored hair dye and swabbed in a flannel shirt. She is artistic and full of angst and in love with a boy that isn't good enough for her.

When I was 17, my heart ached for Angela. I loved her, I identified with her, I felt that she and I could have been best friends. If only she were real.

There's Rayanne, funky and free-loving. Seemingly unafraid of the world or what anyone thinks of her. She was the girl we all wanted to be on the surface. Filled with talent and beauty, yet deeply troubled and misunderstood.

And we can't forget Rickie, oh Rickie. Rickie, who was battling the world's perception of homosexuality in the 90s when being different was only beginning to be embraced.

Back in high school, I couldn't believe how real this show was. Angela, Rayanne, Rickie, Jordan, Sharon, and Brian would have fit right in (or beautifully not fit right in) at my high school. I could have cast the show right from the halls of good old John I Leonard.

It's too bad it was so short-lived. By the time I was out of high school, My So-Called Life was already canceled and future generations of high school students had to make do with shows like Beverly Hills 90210, That's So Raven, and Boy Meets World.

My So-Called Life went the way of River Phoenix, Kurt Cobain, and Sassy magazine... beautiful, amazing, insightful, and taken from us way too soon.