“My So-Called Life” Is Worth Living

Movie Review

My So-Called Life aired for only 
one season before it got cancelled 
by ABC.


My So-Called Life aired for only one season before it got cancelled by ABC.

Emma Matson, Staff Writer

The short lived 90’s television show, My So-Called Life, is still very relevant and relatable today. The ABC TV show ran from mid 1994 to early 1995, with only 19 episodes in its one season. The show follows the life of Angela Chase (Claire Danes) and her best friends Rayanne Graff (A.J. Langer) and Rickie Vasquez (Wilson Cruz). Angela details her experiences with school, parents, friends, and crush Jordan Catalano (Jared Leto). It may sound like a typical high school drama with 25 year olds playing 15 year olds and strange and unrealistic plot lines, but it is the furthest from that. My So-Called Life is relatable to teenagers, interesting, understanding, and downright lovable.

In its short life on TV, My So-Called Life went ahead of itself and did something that no other TV station or TV show did. They showed real life problems with seriousness. Self-image, dating, high school, expectations from parents and peers, sexuality, alcoholism, homelessness, abuse, cheating, health problems, loneliness, bullying, changing relationships with parents, growing up, gun violence, and peer pressure are just some of the issues this show tackled and succeeded to address.

(From left to right, top to bottom) A.J. Langer, Devon Gummersall, Claire Danes, and Wilson Cruz all starred as teenagers in My So-Called Life. (ABC)

The actors and directors were amazing at their jobs, from unique transitions to the specific quirks of a character. The characters are the best part of the show. As the audience, you get to see significant details of the characters’ lives that nobody else does, and you get important insights on who they really are. I can promise you this, you will fall in love with Jordan Catalano and the way he leans. As character Angela says, “He leans great.”

Claire Danes played 15-year-old Angela Chase on My So-Called Life. (ABC)

This show can be related to some John Hughes movies such as Pretty In Pink and The Breakfast Club. Both of these movies represent real life issues as well, which is what John Hughes was going for, such as poverty, child abuse, mental health, and the fear of judgment by other people. My So-Called Life is easily on the list of relatable films and shows. Sadly, it can also be connected to other shows like Freaks And Geeks Undeclared and Everything Sucks! which are all one-season wonders. My So-Called Life was competing with Friends for air time, and you can guess who won that battle. It was unfortunately cancelled and never picked back up again.

Jared Leto and Wilson Cruz in My-So Called Life. (ABC)

This show is also very appealing if you are someone who loves or misses the 90s. It can make you feel nostalgic in a way, even if you were born after it aired. The fashion, humor, and grainy, worn out look of the show all tie together to create this masterpiece that can be pleasing to the eye and spirit.

This one-season wonder is incredibly unique and definitely worth the watch. I would absolutely recommend this show to anyone, but especially to teenagers and parents of teenagers, or just someone who wants to rewatch their favorite childhood show.  As someone who has watched it more than one time, I can say you will absolutely be wanting more from it. The plot, relatability, characters, and feel of the show give My So-Called Life a 4.5/5 — a minus .5 because of how short it is. My So-Called Life is timeless, and I don’t think any other TV show can match up to how beautiful, engaging, and dear it is.