Premium- Retro Recaps -The 'My So-Called Life' Pilot Might Be a Perfect Hour of Television
Welcome to Retro Recaps, where we revisit your favorite old shows and give them the modern recap treatment that they always deserved. We've done, to just name a few, The O.C.'s Chrismukkah episode, Lost's "The Constant," Gilmore Girls' dance marathon episode, that bonkers One Tree Hill episode where a dog ate a heart, The Real World pilot and the RHOC pilot. (Check out all our Retro Recaps here.) Today, we dive into the one, the only, My So-Called Life. Caution: snark ahead.
When My So-Called Life premiered on ABC in 1994 I was about to enter my sophomore year of high school, making me the exact same age as Angela Chase and the rest of her friends. When I watched the premiere — with my mother, who I was in a raging fight with at the time, just like Angela and her mother — it was the first show that I related to in a visceral way. I was Angela and Angela was me. I even dyed my hair bright red with my friend Carolyn Donovan that summer. Just like Angela’s mom, my mom hated both my hair and the friend who convinced me to do it. This thing was like a window into my soul.
Because I loved it so much, I never rewatched it when it aired on various cable channels or streaming services over the years. I was afraid that either it was as good as I remembered it and it would unlock the Cranberries-listening, Hot Top-shopping, Dunkin’ Donuts parking lot hanging out-ing part of my teenage brain and my adult life would never recover. Either that or it was a lot worse than I remembered and, like so much nostalgia bait, I’d have to deal with the donuts-for-dinner sugar high stomachache that ensued.