This TV season marks the 25th anniversary of the short run of the acclaimed ABC teen series starring Claire Danes, Jared Leto and Wilson Cruz. Because of the quarantine, The Hollywood Reporter critics Inkoo Kang and Daniel Fienberg decided to revisit (or, in Kang's case, visit for the first time) My So-Called Life. "Having watched it for the first time this past weekend, over a quarter-century after its debut, I can say that it's a show I admire more than one I connect with," says Kang. "Most teen stories onscreen (your Riverdales, your Buffy the Vampire Slayers, your American Pies) seem to be more about reaching milestones in fantastical fashion than actual teenage experiences (one wonderful recent exception: Eighth Grade). So I greatly appreciated that My So-Called Life felt like a channeling of adolescence rather than (creator Winnie) Holzman's version of, say, The Breakfast Club. Angela (Danes) is both profound and inarticulate, transparent and incoherent. The writing, and especially the jokes, are frequently great (e.g., the immortal line when Angela's dad asks, sincerely, 'Who's scarier than Madonna?' in the Halloween episode), but the writers also know when to put themselves in the backseat to the looking and being looked at that are so much the currency of high school."
TOPICS: My So-Called Life, Retro TV, Teen TV