This weekend I stumbled upon a marathon of My So-Called Life, a TV show that, for a short time, defined my early teen years before it was unceremoniously cancelled. Self-evaluation, navigating through the confusing teen years, becoming an individual and most importantly Jordan Catalano – these were things I could relate to at the time.
As a fourteen year old girl watching the show, I could identify with the teenage characters. I even tried, unsuccessfully, to die my hair red like Angela Chase, played by Claire Danes. I have to thank my mom for stopping me. Looking back, I’m not sure that would have been the best look for me, but I digress.
There were a few Jordan Catalano’s during my teen years. I remember the countless hours spent analyzing what certain looks meant and if he asked me a question about the weather, was he really asking me about the weather or trying to tell me how much he loved me? Oh the agony!
Back then, it seemed like everything was life or death dramatic. The world was going to end if I couldn’t (fill in the blank). I remember at times telling my parents half-truths because I knew they would say no to something I really wanted. There were new friends made and old friends left behind. Sweet boys ignored and bad boys pursued.
Watching the show this weekend, over fifteen years after I first watched it, I had a different perspective. When I was younger I thought Angela was so wise, now I found myself calling her an idiot. I couldn’t believe she was lying to her parents to go to a party that Tino may or may not be able to get her, Rayanne and Rickie into so she could possibly see Jordan. I wanted to say it’s not worth it, and all the other things that my parents said to me when I was her age.
I had to laugh at myself and I realized how much time had changed. I couldn’t fully identify with her parents, but I couldn’t identify with Angela either now. I guess since I had already gone through my teen years and come out alive (barely) that I had a different perspective.
Over fifteen years later, there are still many truths and relevant topics in this little series that could. I wish there was something like that on television now for teenagers without all the singing or dancing. I’m just glad I’m not a teenager anymore 🙂