One of the most acclaimed series on TV during its brief run in the '90s, My So-Called Life pioneered the modern teen drama and made a star out of 15-year-old Claire Danes. Ostensibly centering around the trials and tribulations of high schooler Angela Chase, My So-Called Life actually expanded to include everyone in its protagonist's orbit, from school friends to extended family, and gave its stellar ensemble cast ripe material to work with during its too-short life. Produced by thirtysomething creators Marshall Herskovitz and Edward Zwick, MSCL evoked that yuppie-friendly show with its emphasis on finding extraordinary drama within ordinary situations, but was far more heartfelt and heart-wrenching, echoing the dizzying highs and lows of adolescence. As such, it developed a cult following among young viewers who identified strongly with Angela's high school traumas and followed her every move with rapt attention (after cancellation, the show enjoyed a popular reprise on MTV). Avoiding the sensational, My So-Called Life tackled every teen hot-button issue imaginable (and pioneered the then-controversial topic of teen homosexuality), but with a clear-eyed perspective, never dissolving into soap opera-even when Angela mooned over heartthrob Jordan Catalano (dreamy Jared Leto). Even as it mined adolescent angst, though, My So-Called Life never lost sight of its adults, with Bess Armstrong and Tom Irwin both phenomenal as Angela's parents, whose marriage was one of the most complex seen on TV since... well, thirtysomething. Through it all, Golden Globe winner and Emmy nominee Danes was a neurotic, touching, and funny centre, whether obsessing over a zit or negotiating the rocky terrain of first love. Her funny, sobering, and empathetic portrait of teendom reminded us that in some ways, life was just an extended version of high school.
My So-Called Life follows the trials and tribulations of 15-year-old Angela Chase (Claire Danes) as she navigates through the adolescent dramas of middle-class American high-school life. Danes won a Golden Globe for her portrayal of the angst-ridden Angela, bringing universality to the character that has granted the show its timeless appeal. Although the mopey redhead is always the focal point of the episodes, there's no shortage of excellent supporting roles, including Angela's heartthrob crush Jordan Catalano (Jared Leto); shy admirer Brian Krakow (Devon Gummersall); wild-girl best friend Rayanne (A.J. Langer); closeted gay friend Ricky (Wilson Cruz); and often-clueless parents Patty (Bess Armstrong) and Graham (Tom Irwin). With its great acting, smart dialogue, and sharp direction, My So-Called Life deserved more than its single-series run and retains a loyal cult following.
Actors: Claire Danes, Jared Leto, Devon Gummersall, A.J. Langer, Wilson Cruz
Region: Region 2 ( DVD formats.)
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Number of discs: 5
Studio: Universal Pictures Video
DVD Release Date: 14 May 2007
Run Time: 874 minutes