Thursday, August 5, 2010

Flashback Friday: Great Teenage Dramas of the Past: My So Called Life


Welcome to Week Sixteen of Flashback Fridays where the old and new collide on everything from books to movies to first loves to favorite vacations. This week on Flashback Friday we're looking at one of the best teen dramas from back in the day. The early 90's was a time before Gossip Girl, Secret Life of the American Teen and Vampire Diaries. Sure there was Beverly Hills 90210, but for those who longed for a more realistic view of teenage life, a show finally came around to fill the void.

My So Called Life
It would be hard to put into mere words how groundbreaking this show was. First of all, it wasn't a show about pretty people with pretty problems. These were your everyday run of the mill teens dealing with serious issues. While most shows of the time period dealt with tough issues through a one time "special episode", My So Called Life barreled on through on a weekly basis with teenage alcoholism and drug use, homophobia, physical abuse, and school violence. You couldn't get any more realistic than how the main character, Angela Chase, perceived herself and the world around her. Angela forever felt like a social outcast, but she found solace in her friendship with wild and rebellious, Rayann Graff, and sweet, openly gay, Rickie Vasquez. Angela's love life was always throwing her curve balls. While nerdy but kind, Brian, crushed on her, she pined for the school heartthrob, Jordan Catalano. Finally, Angela and Jordan became a couple, and she had to deal with the ups and downs of the relationship. With Angela's voice over narration, the audience truly connected with her. Claire Danes was just sixteen herself when she was playing sixteen year old Angela. Even though critics and audiences praised the show, it was canceled after one season.

Even though a decade has passed, the angst and the issues are still the same. I would highly recommend this show to anyone writing Contemporary YA.

I leave you with one of the most popular scenes in the show. This is when Jordan finally makes it known the world, or the Liberty High School population, that he and Angela are an item.

And here's a tribute video of the show

****************ARCS OF AUGUST CONTEST TIME**************

Did you guess what ARC was up for grabs this week? Yep, that's right it's Personal Demons by the very fabulous Lisa Desrochers. I loved, loved, the book, and I know you will too! There's three things you need to do to win.

(1). Be a follower

(2). Tweet the contest

(3). Leave a comment

Pretty easy huh? And don't forget Leah's Awesome Mad Libs Contest or Sarah's Mockingjay Preorder Contest. It's a contestapalooza up in here!


Horserider said...

Wonderful post :) I'm definitely going to have to check out the show! Though I hate it when amazing shows are canceled too soon.


Sarah Harian said...

No fair. I wish I could enter. ;)

John Smith said...

Hi Got YA,

Great post! I've started following your blog and I think that it's great. I'm an aspiring writer. I write horror, fantasy, scifi,... just anything that interests me. Anyway, check out my blog:

You could follow me too if you like it.

Warmest regards,
John Smith (pen name)

J. L. Jackson said...

Another great giveaway and post!

Here is my tweet:

Crystal said...

Your post reminded me of high school, when my friends and I would get together and watch the episodes when they came out. There was much oohing and ahhing over Jared Leto's brooding looks and we called Rayanne every name in the book. We loved that show, because the characters looked and acted like us. That's one of the reasons I write YA, to try to capture that spirit of reality, and maybe to give some other girl that feeling that my characters are like her. Anyway, just wanted to say that you inspired me to go to itunes and buy the series. Thanks.

Mary Brebner said...

OMG--My So Called Life was such a fantastic show. I think I'll have to find it on NetFlix and rewatch it. LOVE!

Mel said...

There's no better way to start the morning than with Jared Leto. I'm still upset that they cancelled the show. It was one of my favorites.

Bee said...

I've never seen this show. I was into Full House and Small Wonder then, lol. But I'm gonna go hunt for this, 'cause it sounds wow-ish.

Also, I tweeted:

And obviously, I've been following you since you started GotYA.

And you guys are freaking awesome and so is this contest!

Sarah N Fisk said...

I was in middle school when My So Called Life was on, and I wasn't allowed to watch it but I did anyway! In secret! Love that show.

Dorothy Dreyer said...

Great post. I loved My So Called Life.

Been following for ages, and here's my tweet:

Happy weekend! :)

~M.A.CHASE said...

I loved your post :D I just clicked follow right now :D

Have a nice day and I hope I can talk to you soon :D


I tweeted:

Jessica Secret said...

Ooooooh I SO want to win this.


shutupjessicasreading @ gmaildotcom

Stacey said...

that post was awesome, I loved that show! Favorite episode is when she found out that her neighbor bryan actually wrote the letter that Jordan gave to her! Oh man I loved that show, wish they would show reruns!


WulfLuva said...

I'm a new follower and I really hope I win (crosses fingers)!

I tweeted here:

Thanx for the contest!

DforDarla's Definite Reads said...

Great post! I hit that follow button way at the bottom too! Tweeted.

hannah said...

My next YA is based on My So-Called Life.

Steph Kuehn said...

Oh, how I loved "My So-Called Life." We watched it every week when I was in college. The show had great adult moments as well; the parents were perfect with slacker dad and type-A mom.

Jordan Catalano...mmm....

J.S. Wood said...

Hey, ummm, can I quit for like 24 hours so I have a shot at the book? No? Oh well.

This made me want to watch My So Called Life.

Tom M Franklin said...

my so called life was a great, great show.

i was bummed when it was cancelled. (still am)


Jill Wheeler said...

Best. Show. Ever.

Jodan is my boyfriend.

Lisa B. said...

Great post. I'm feeling all nostalgic now :)

I'm a follower
I tweeted:

Krista Ashe said...

HR, you totally need to check it out. It so still resonates today and shouldn't feel dataed.

Thanks for following us, John! Congrats on your writing.

Crystal, I never really liked Rayann myself. I would've been right with you guys wanting to slap her, lol. And thanks for the awesome comments.

Krista Ashe said...

HAHA, you sound like me sneaking MTV when I was really little.

Mel, Steph, and Jill: Jordan/Jared Leto still does it for me all these years later I kinda liked him better when he let his hair grow out. Soooo hott!!!

Mary, Dorothy, Steph K, and Tom it was an awesome show, wasn't it?

Bee, you totally need to check it out. And thanks for the awesome comments! :)

OOH, Hannah, that has to be an awesome idea! Can wait to read that.

Krista Ashe said...

Sorry Jen and Sarah, lol

Thanks JL, Wulflova, MA Chase, Jessica, and D for Darla

Raven said...

Hadn't heard of the show before now. I'll have to check it out. Great post!

I tweeted:

*crosses fingers*

I've had my eye on this book for a while and I can't wait til it comes out.

Chanelley said...

Yay! Cant wait to read this book. And tweeted here:

Annie McElfresh said...

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh Jordan!!!!! I Soooooooooooooooooo Heart Him!!

littletinkerbell1995 said...

I want that book!it looks awsome!, great post i never saw that show but it looks good.

littletinkerbell1995 said...

oooops, sorry forgot to say i tweeted.

Diana said...

I'm a new folloer and your contest is awesome.
Please count me in if it's International (I'm from Mexico) if not, thanks anyway! ^^ (sorry, but it doesn't say)



Heather Dougherty said...

Amen. My So Called Life figured prominently in my life - I so miss those days.


Loved that scene. both of them...

Erin said...

I'm a new follower and I really like your blog. My So Called Life was a fantastic show. I miss it!

I tweeted here:

Thanks for the awesome giveaway!

Erin =)

Max said...

What a amazing post cool blog i'm a follower. I'm dying to read it i read some awesome teasers and heard nothing but awesome things about it:D

Sara said...

Wonderful blog! I'm not a writer, but I definitely enjoy the posts - and the contests are a plus!


Sara @ The Hiding Spot

Melissa said...

Awesome post and contest. I'd love to win!


Melissa said...

Oops forgot to leave my email address:

melissa {at} yabookshelf {dot} com

~The Book Pixie said...

This is a great giveaway! I've really been wanting to read this book.

I'm a follower! :D



Erika Lynn said...

Pure awesome! I tweeted and I follow


RoseCBR said...

Im a Follower
This is the link to my tweet of the giveaway

Cool giveaway!! thanks for the chance!!


kjovus said...

I have not thought about my so called life in so long. This post made me smile.

rachel445 said...

Awesome post. I'll have to look up My So Called Life.


aria said...

I never heard of My so called of life, I'm more caught up with the shows of today.

already a follower


Mireyah Wolfe said...

I never watched My So-Called Life but I've heard a lot about it. =D


Follower! XD

Tahereh said...


Maidenveil said...

I haven't seen this My So Called Life but it's interesting! :D

I'm a follower!

retweeted: (@maidenveil)

Thanks for the contest!


Alex said...

Great post! Tweeted and follower! @Book_Girl2010

Alex @

Candace said...

Follow, Tweet:

email: candace_redinger at yahoo dot com

Been trying to get my hands on a copy of Personal Demons! Thanks for the giveaway!

Michikit said...

I really really really want that book. (yeah I know, just a little bit obsessed)
I'm following you and I tweeted here:

And now I'm waiting.
E-mail: kaguya2000[at]gmail[dot]com

Sharli said...

Hi! Thank you for the giveaway!! I'm a follower and I tweeted here:

entrelibros_blog at

Ashley said...

Thanks so much for this giveaway! :) I've been dying to read the book.

I'm a new follower and I tweeted here:


Sherry @ Flipping Pages for All Ages said...

Loved the tribute videos! I've never seen My So Called Life but it is on Netflix so maybe I will watch it!

I am a follower and I tweeted!

Thanks for the awesome giveaway! I can't wait to read this! :)

ferretvamp14 said...

Loved My So Called Life!


latishajean said...

I so remember that show it was good. great post by the by the way :) great giveaway thank you for the chance!

Llehn said...

I've love to play please!

I follow.