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Friday, September 16, 2011 7:54 AM

Okay, so I’m switching it up again this month to look under the cover of a DVD – a television show, to be exact. This is one of my all-time favorite programs ever, which I know a lot of people have never seen or even heard of – My So-Called Life.

While this television drama was actually on the air at one point time, it did not last, instead getting lost in a sea of top-ten sitcoms like Friends and Mad About You. It did, however, develop a cult following and I am always delighted beyond words to discover another avid fan of the show. Because I have every episode on DVD (and if you don’t, luckily we live in the era of Netflix), I have watched these numerous times over the years, and for me, the plotlines never become irrelevant and the episodes never lose any magic.

The show revolves around 15-year-old Angela Chase and her trials and tribulations in high school as she navigates the halls full of friends, peer pressure and her school crush, Jordan Catalano. Viewers get to experience Angela’s every thought and worry as Claire Danes provides detailed voice-overs along with her impeccable acting. Angela’s parents have troubles of their own, as the show leaves no characters or their issues out of the equation.

I love the television drama for multiple reasons. It was the first I’d seen that portrayed life as a teenager this accurately. I clearly identified with Angela Chase when it aired from 1994-1995, as I happened to be a sophomore in high school the same time she was. It was a breath of fresh air; something I could relate to.

While I’m obviously not a teenager anymore, I still enjoy watching the DVDs, not only when I’m feeling nostalgic and want to reflect on my own time in high school (not that it was always pleasant but I learned something) but now I can watch the plotlines which revolve around the parents and relate to those in a way I couldn’t all those years ago.

My So-Called Life tackles issues such as self-esteem, high school bullying, teenage alcohol use and overall discovery of oneself in the formative years. The dialogue is realistic and honest, something that made the show critically stand out when it aired. It was also named in 2007 as one of Time magazine’s “100 Best TV Shows of All-TIME.”

I love Glee, which provides me with a healthy dose of teenage angst along with a few musical numbers. My So-Called Life is not exactly a comedy; it’s much darker than Glee, but I feel that it was ahead of its time when it comes to covering timeless issues of high school.

Sara Berelsman lives in Delphos with her husband and their two daughters. She has an MA in literature and leads the book club discussions at the Delphos Public Library.


Last Updated on Tuesday, November 06, 2012 4:11 PM

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