Archive for catherine clark

thrift store finds: my so-called life goes on

Posted in thrift store finds with tags , , , , on June 4, 2011 by Christopher Pearce

Alright, first some backstory: My So-Called Life was a teen drama which aired on ABC in the 1994-1995 TV season. The show turned on the life of Angela Chase, a precocious teenager whose running inner-monologue on the ins and outs of her friends, family, and school life made for gripping television.

The show featured a more realistic portrayal of teenagers than American TV viewers were used to at the time, and although highly acclaimed by critics, MSCL (as I will occasionally refer to it from here on out) hurt for mass viewership. The show became lost in the programming shuffle at ABC, who seemed understandably befuddled as to what they had. MSCL wasn’t escapist soapy drama like Beverly Hills 90210… but with the teenage cast, it wasn’t the type of show that older viewers normally tuned in to see in droves.┬áNeither fish nor foul, MSCL limped to the end of its’ first season.

MSCL received one hell of a reprieve when MTV started playing reruns daily. This, I would argue, was the move that turned MSCL into a certifiable hit to people my age.; it’s surely the major reason the show is so well-remembered by my generation. Given the publicity from the MTV airings, ABC was prepared to bring MSCL back for a second season despite the anemic ratings… however Claire Danes, the star of the show, expressed doubts and concerns about returning. These doubts put the kibosh on Season Two.

This bothered quite a few fans of the series, as the last episode of My So-Called Life ends on an ambiguous note. Angela finally nets the guy she’s been in love with since the first episode, the dreamy but dense Jordan Catalano… but realizes the only reason she has fallen for Jordan has been the love notes written to her by the nerdy Brian Krakow, Cyrano de Bergerac style. The final episode leaves viewers hanging- Angela goes with Jordan, but looks (longingly? pityingly?) off at Brian as the credits roll. Fans never knew what was to come next…. until Random House decided to settle the question!

My So-Called Life Goes On, by Catherine Clark, published in 1994 by Random House, details the summer after the first season finale.

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