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My Life in TV

March 12, 2011

I’ve been rewatching “My So-Called Life” on Netflix lately, because it became available streaming. Watching it again…wow. It’s like taking a time machine back to high school.

I had a love-hate relationship with this show when it came out. I was exactly the same age as Angela, the main character. This show, paradoxically, was so completely my life, yet it was the fantasy of what I wished my life was like. I loved that I could relate, but hated that I did. I hated that some TV writer out there knew my experience and could put it up there on TV for every single person to see. I felt exposed by that show. It spoke to me, but it also revealed to everyone else in the world just what was running through my head. At the time, I was still caught in my web of adolescent egocentrism–there was no way anyone else could ever truly understand me or my experience. Yet, there it was, on the screen for an hour, one episode at a time.

Angela Chase was a cooler version of me. For one, I never had a Jordan Catalano. I mean, I did, in the way that I had that guy who I pined for and he totally ignored me 90% of the time. My crushes were never reciprocated in any way, shape or form. Her friends were also cooler than mine. I hung out with the band geeks (despite not being in band myself) and there were never clubs or shows to go to. We hung out in school and then went back to our tame home lives at the last bell, studying in our rooms and not out having adventures like Angela, Rayanne, and Ricky. I didn’t live near anyone I went to school with or have former friends from elementary school hanging around, so there were no Sharon Cherskis or Brian Krakows constantly popping up in unexpected places when I was at home. Despite the intrusion, I would have really liked that, though.

I also have never owned a single thing that was made of plaid flannel. I failed at the 90s.

I suppose I could keep up the nostalgia by following this up with a review of “Felicity”, which pretty much summed up college. I don’t think there’s anything that corresponds to grad school, adulthood and beyond. Or wait–“How I Met Your Mother” does this pretty well. Sigh. Art imitates my life far too well sometimes.

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