December 28, 2019

My So-Called Life 18, Weekend: Life of the Patty

Posted in TV tagged , , , at 1:24 pm by Jenn

Look at all of us, displaying perfectly normal behavior! There is nothing weird about this!

Summary: Angela voices over…oh, no. No, no, no. Danielle is narrating this episode. Sigh. Okay. Danielle voices over that her whole life has been spent waiting for something to happen. She pretends to play on a Gameboy while Patty and Camille discuss clothes. Camille insists that Patty will drive Graham crazy (in a good way) if she wears a backless dress. Patty doesn’t think it’s her style. She mentions that Graham is at a meeting with Hallie, then tells Camille to shut up.

She claims to be okay with it, just annoyed that he’s not home when Neil and his girlfriend Marla are coming over soon. Camille can’t believe that Neil and Marla have been together for six years. Patty says it’s like a prison sentence. Danielle voices over that she has the power of invisibility. Suddenly that power fails and Patty remembers she’s there. She tries to send Danielle to the kitchen, but Danielle says Angela and Rickie kicked her out of there. Patty sends her away anyway. Danielle claims that her life is just different people kicking her out of different rooms.

Patty tells Camille that she and Graham haven’t had any time alone for a while. She knows they won’t really be alone, since they’re spending a weekend away with Neil and Marla, but she’s comfortable with them (or at least with Marla). She thinks their marriage needs this little trip. Camille has a better idea of what they need and gives Patty a box containing some handcuffs.

Danielle goes to the kitchen, where Angela immediately tries to send her off somewhere else. Rayanne calls asking for Rickie; he tells her not to put him in the middle of her fight with Angela. After Camille leaves, Patty chastises Angela for kicking Danielle out of the kitchen. She wants to make sure Angela is a responsible caregiver while Patty and Graham are gone. Angela says nothing will happen; it’ll just be her, Danielle, and Rickie hanging out all weekend.

Rickie’s still on the phone when Angela goes back to him, calling him Enrique. Rickie decides to hang up and avoid any awkwardness. Patty stashes the handcuffs under a pillow on the bed as Graham comes home and tells her he’s late because Hallie had car trouble. He looked under her hood (Patty seizes on that), trying to be all manly and stuff, since Hallie and Brad broke up. Patty doesn’t think he told her that before.

Neil arrives, but not with Marla. His new girlfriend is Cheryl. He gives Danielle a present, which she pretends to love, though she voices over that he gives horrible gifts. Graham pulls his brother aside for an interrogation, and Patty ditches Cheryl in the foyer to join the conversation. Neil says he and Marla broke up again, but he’s sure Patty and Graham will love Cheryl.

Cheryl talks the entire car ride to the bed and breakfast where the couples are staying. She excitedly tells the story of how she and Neil met, then laughs like some sort of wild animal. She searches her purse for pot, which, honestly, would probably make Patty and Graham bearable for the weekend. Angela tells Rickie he can go hang out with Rayanne, but he promises he wants to stay with the Chases. Angela asks if Rayanne asks about her. Danielle is thrilled to be with her older sister and her cool friend, even if Angela barely acknowledges her existence.

Camille made a good call picking out lingerie for Patty, but it’s hard for her and Graham to get in the mood when they can hear Cheryl laughing through the wall. Graham wants to forget about her and not let her ruin their weekend. Instead, they keep laughing over Cheryl’s mannerisms and loudness.

The next morning, Rayanne goes to the Chases’ claiming she’s there to get money Rickie owes her. She finds him on the phone in Patty and Graham’s room and makes herself comfortable on their bed. Rickie reminds her that he’s staying there the whole weekend, so he can’t hang out with her. She asks if Angela asks about her.

Rayanne finds the handcuffs and thinks Graham and Patty have been putting them to good use. She handcuffs herself to the headboard, joking about the dirty talk the couple must exchange. Rickie suddenly realizes the key is missing. When Angela comes in, Rayanne tells her she might be staying a little longer than expected.

Patty calls Camille and asks her to go to the house and check on the girls. She’d also like Camille to make sure the handcuffs get hidden in a safe place. At breakfast, Cheryl and Neil argue about what he says are crazy beliefs. No, not her spirituality or belief in aliens or anything like that – she doesn’t agree that the 1971 Pittsburgh Pirates were as great as he thinks. Patty suggests that the couples go ice-skating. She wants to plan out all the day’s activities. The guys disagree, but Cheryl thinks ice-skating is a cute idea, and Patty is equally cute.

Rayanne tells Angela that the handcuffs she’s currently trapped by belong to her parents. Angela denies this, of course. Danielle joins the group, refusing to leave a room in her own house. Rayanne and Rickie cuddle on the bed, trying to hide the handcuffs from her. Camille and Sharon come by, and Camille tries to sneak up to the bedroom while Sharon shows Angela her new jumpsuit. Angela stops Camille from going upstairs by asking to talk about justice.

Cheryl is impressed that Patty runs her own business. It’s something Cheryl would love to do someday – “that, or have a cappuccino cart.” She has lots of paths open to her, but Patty has a settle life, with all her choices behind her. Cheryl thinks that must be comforting. Patty says it is. She shares the day’s schedule with the others, and Cheryl asks Patty to plan her whole life for her. Neil and Cheryl quickly screw things up by deciding to go into town to buy booze, since the bed and breakfast doesn’t offer any. Patty sends the others off while she rents their skates.

Angela’s idea of a conversation about justice is really about whether she should be allowed to return clothes she doesn’t like. Sharon thinks she means a shirt she gave Angela for her birthday. Camille finally gets fed up and goes upstairs, where she finds Rayanne pretending to be sick and convalescing in Graham and Patty’s bed.

Angela cracks up so hard that Rickie thinks she’s choking. (The story is that a crew member got this reaction out of Claire Danes by appearing just off-camera in his boxers.) Camille is skeptical, even though all the kids back up the story, and pulls Angela outside to ask if Rayanne’s “illness” has anything to do with her drinking problem. Angela says no, and Patty definitely knows she’s there. Camille decides to let it go.

Patty’s been waiting for the rest of her group for a while, but they’re still off on their shopping trip. She tries to chat with Warren, the owner of the bed and breakfast, who, for someone in the hospitality industry, could stand to be a little more hospitable. Patty admires a happy, romantic couple who are keeping their plans to go ice-skating, unlike Patty, who has to skip it because apparently she can’t just go do stuff by herself.

Angela, Sharon, and Rickie try to explain the handcuffs to Danielle, who says she’s not interested. She’s lying. Patty makes an origami swan. Warren isn’t interested, for real. Her group returns with brandy and an inside joke. Cheryl’s wearing Graham’s sweater, since Neil wasn’t chivalrous to give her his jacket.

Rayanne asks Rickie to leave the bedroom so she can talk to Angela alone. Angela doesn’t want to talk about the whole Rayanne/Jordan thing, since talking won’t change what happened. Rayanne doesn’t want to talk about it, either – she has to pee, and she needs Angela to get her something to do it in.

Guess who has the handcuff key? Patty! She tells Graham about the handcuffs, and he seems bummed that she didn’t bring them. He’s also surprised that they’re something Camille has. Angela keeps denying that they belong to her parents. Sharon has an idea of who could help them get Rayanne out of the handcuffs without a key. Angela adamantly says no.

But, oh, yes, here comes Brian to try to brain things out. Danielle’s response to him brushing by her and touching her shoulder is exactly how Angela reacted to Jordan at the beginning of the series. Brian suggests wire shears, which any “normal dad,” like Graham (but not Brian’s father), would have. Danielle says he doesn’t. Brian says they can go to the hardware store on Monday.

Graham, Neil, and Cheryl pass the brandy around at dinner while Patty talks about all the stuff they can do tomorrow. She skips the booze, not wanting to break the rules. Cheryl says Patty’s the most adult person she’s ever met. But even adults give in to peer pressure every now and then, and Patty asks for the “hooch.”

Danielle gazes at Brian adoringly while he tries to puzzle through the handcuffs conundrum. He suggests finding a place that sells the same kind and getting a new key. Sharon says a store called the Pleasure Center could suit their needs. Everyone nominates Brian to go check it out, and Sharon agrees to take him.

Patty’s had plenty of brandy and has to try to play it cool when Warren comes over to chat with the group. Graham says he likes the food, but Patty stage-whispers that he’s lying because he’s a food snob and hates anything he doesn’t cook himself. Either Warren is too clueless to notice that the table’s been drinking or he doesn’t care. Patty celebrates with more hooch.

Brian and Sharon return to the Chases’ with Kyle and a friend (the guy Rayanne hooked up with previously), having run into them near the Pleasure Center. Sharon makes out with him on the porch while Brian tries to unlock Rayanne’s handcuffs. Rayanne realizes the key is the wrong size. Cut to Kyle entering the bedroom just as Rayanne yells, “No, it’s too big!” To make things weirder, Angela, Rickie, and Danielle are all piled on a chair in the corner. Kyle tells his buddy and the two laugh at the antics.

Patty (wearing a flower in her hair) and Cheryl are definitely buddies now, and Graham seems unamused. Warren returns to the table, trying to politely get the couples to leave so they’ll stop bugging the other guests. He does agree to get Patty an ice cream sundae, though. Patty spills brandy on her shirt and jokingly asks to borrow a sweater. When she starts to take off her shirt, Warren gets fed up and sends the couples to their rooms. Patty argues that she’s an adult, but Warren isn’t so sure. Graham and Neil carry her out of the dining room as she babbles about ice cream. “I really admire her,” Cheryl coos.

Danielle goes to check on Rayanne during the night, and Rayanne asks for some booze. Danielle tells her underage drinking is wrong, and her parents say Rayanne is a bad influence. She asks why Rayanne does the things she does. Rayanne says that when she looks at herself, everything’s in slow motion. She thinks something has to happen, but it doesn’t, so she has to make it happen.

Patty wakes up hungover the next morning and learns that the couples have been asked to leave the bed and breakfast. Angela finds Danielle and Rayanne sharing Patty and Graham’s bed. Patty apologizes to Neil and Cheryl for her behavior the night before and invites them to do something when they get home. But Neil and Cheryl have broken up, and he’s apparently ready to go back to Marla.

Brian’s next plan is to take apart the headboard to slip off the handcuffs. Instead, he breaks the bed. At a gas station on their way home, Patty apologizes to Graham for making a fool of herself, but she’s annoyed that he ditched her at the bed and breakfast. Really, though, she’s mad that he was late getting home two nights ago because he was with Hallie. Cheryl interrupts to say that she had a great weekend and they should do it again sometime. Just without Neil.

Brian finally frees Rayanne, who wants to run off to try to make the most out of what’s left of the weekend. Angela yells at her for causing trouble, then leaving Angela to deal with the fallout. She calls Rayanne a curse on her life. As Rickie and Sharon are trying to keep the two of them from killing each other, Danielle answers a phone call and reports that Graham and Patty will be home in 20 minutes.

Everyone cleans up the house and fixes the bed together, and when Patty and Graham arrive, it all looks normal. The kids all pile on the bed and pretend they’ve just been watching TV together. Patty puts the handcuff key on her dresser and Danielle nabs it and slips it to Angela. The girls give their mother a big hug to distract her while the others unlock the handcuffs still stuck on Rayanne’s wrist. Then everyone takes off.

Patty realizes that with everything else going on all weekend, she and Graham never got the chance to reconnect. They head to the bed together and find the handcuffs, realizing that Camille never picked them up. They decide to put them to use. Graham asks too late where the key is.

Angela sees her guests off but asks Rayanne to stay behind, though it’s just to get the key back. Angela dubs this the weekend from hell. Danielle says it was the best of her life. Angela thanks her for being cool but doesn’t want to go so far as to spend next weekend with her, too. Upstairs, the fishing show the kids were pretending to watch is still on as Graham looks for the missing key to free a handcuffed Patty. He gets distracted by a big fish, then suggests finding wire shears. He thinks he can borrow some from Brian’s father.

Thoughts: Cheryl is played by Laura Innes, in a role that’s about as far from Kerry Weaver as you can get.

I hate when TV characters use other people’s full names when there’s no need to. Stop saying “Hallie Lowenthal”! We know her last name! We know who you’re talking about! We’re not going to mix her up with Halle Berry!

There’s a nice little throwaway moment where Rickie calls Mr. K to say he’ll be home for dinner the next night. His aunt and uncle never cared where he was, but Mr. K does.

December 21, 2019

My So-Called Life 17, Betrayal: Sweet and Innocent

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , at 1:13 pm by Jenn

Bad! Idea!

Summary: Angela voices over that she spent a long time obsessing over and being in love with Jordan, but one day…she got over him. She gleefully dances around her room in her pajamas, the happiest we’ve ever seen her. She feels like Jordan has been surgically removed from her heart, and she’s free.

At school, people are auditioning for a production of Our Town. Abyssinia reads for Emily, doing such a good job that Rayanne, who also wanted to play Emily, gets psyched out. Angela thinks Rayanne can do just as great a job. Rayanne admits that she just channels Angela when she reads the part. Angela’s surprised that Rayanne sees her as sweet and innocent. She wouldn’t if she knew about the dream Angela had about Corey last night. (Rickie’s been there.)

Angela insists that she’s over Jordan. She’s gotten that they were never really meant for each other as anything other than friends. She feels like she’s gotten her life back. Mr. K calls for Rayanne to do her audition. Angela tells Rayanne that acting is like lying, which means Rayanne is a great actress. Rayanne teases her again about being like Emily, then goes up on stage.

Brian videotapes Sharon and Delia as they work on the school yearbook. He’s putting together a kind of video yearbook, but no one’s going to watch it unless they want to see a bunch of shots of Sharon’s chest. Okay, maybe a lot of people will watch it. She tells Brian to get a lot of shots of the places people hang out the most. Brian doesn’t know where those places are.

Rayanne is sure that Abyssinia got the role. Rayanne didn’t cry enough like Angela. As she demonstrates, Rickie comes up and asks why she’s crying like Angela. Heh. They spot Corey passing by, and Angela starts to tell her friends about her dream. He stops by to compliment Rayanne on her audition. Angela starts a conversation with him after she sees Jordan down the hall. She voices over that she likes Corey and really does want to pay attention to him, not just pretend she is because Jordan’s watching. She offers to help out with the sets for the play.

At the Chases’, Graham tries to avoid a call from Hallie. Camille calls and asks Patty to contribute to a church clothing drive. Graham says he has a couple of things to donate. Patty says he has more than a couple of things. He agrees to let her clean out his closet if she’ll answer the phone and lie to Hallie so he doesn’t have to talk to her.

Brian films at a …bar? Okay. It’s called Louie’s. Rickie and Rayanne are there, and she’s drunk. She’s trying to convince herself that she doesn’t want to be in the play anyway, since it’s dumb. Rickie’s tired of just watching Rayanne drink, so he leaves. She goes to hang out with Jordan, and they head outside to share a flask.

He tries to talk about Angela, who Rayanne says talked her into auditioning for the play. She knows she could never be Emily. Angela could, though, since she’s just like Emily. She’s so innocent that she doesn’t even know it. Jordan asks if Angela’s into Corey. Sometimes he feels like he really knows Angela, but other times, it feels like they’re strangers. They start giving each other meaningful looks, and then there’s touching, followed by kissing. Ruh-roh! They stop there, but then Rayanne invites herself into Jordan’s car. Brian’s filming the whole thing. Double ruh-roh!

The next day, Brian has a hard time looking at Angela at school, and Rayanne avoids her altogether. This makes Angela feel lonely. She runs into Corey, who invites her to help painting sets after school. Rickie invites himself along. Jordan avoids Corey, then approaches Rayanne, who’s waiting for the cast list to go up. They briefly mention the previous night but clearly don’t want to talk about it.

At the Chases’, Patty and Camille are sorting clothes for the drive when Hallie comes by. She thought they were meeting at the house, not their office. The three women bond over how many notes they have to write themselves to remember things. Graham calls, having guessed Hallie would be at the house, and Patty relays a message to bring home paper towels. Hallie coos over one of the girls’ dresses from childhood. Patty invites Hallie to come over for dinner again sometime, clearly not aware that she and Brad broke up.

Sharon asks Brian if he taped anything interesting at Louie’s. Brian is vague and refuses to hand over the tape. He sends Delia away (that’s not going to help their already shaky relationship) and fills Sharon in. Later, Sharon spills everything to Delia in the bathroom, wondering if she’s obligated to tell Angela. If she does, she’ll come across as saying she warned Angela that Rayanne was a bad person. But Sharon would want to know if she were in Angela’s place. It’s a moot point, because Angela was in a bathroom stall and heard everything.

Brian is bursting to talk to someone about what he saw, so he picks Rickie. Later, Rickie joins Angela and Corey with the stage crew, feeling awkward for knowing something that could hurt Angela. Angela tells him first, though she thinks Sharon lied about Rayanne sleeping with Jordan because Sharon’s still jealous. Rickie confirms that it really happened.

The next morning, Angela surprises Brian at home, where he’s listening to music in bed, shirtless. She wants the tape so she can see for herself what Jordan and Rayanne did. Brian tries to keep it from her, thinking that watching it would just make her feel worse.

In gym class, the girls are doing gymnastics. Angela jumps the line so she’s partnered with Rayanne, but the bell rings before they have to actually interact. In the bathroom, Rayanne taunts that Sharon now has a great excuse to never talk to her again. She thinks Sharon was eager to tell Angela what happened. Sharon says she just wanted to protect Angela and tell her the truth, like any real friend would. She says Rayanne brought this on herself. Rayanne thinks Sharon’s happy with how things turned out, but Sharon says she’s not.

Graham and Hallie meet up at a restaurant, though she hates the food there and has brought her own. She guesses that Graham hasn’t read her prospectus yet because it means their plans become real. He tells her she can be a real pain, but he says it in a nice way. Hallie says she’s a Jewish girl from Texas, Graham’s worst nightmare. Patty’s worst nightmare, maybe. She tells him he’s hard to deal with, too. He tells her he’ll finally look at the prospectus.

Rayanne goes to the Chases’, but Angela’s still at school, painting scenery. Patty invites her in, and Rayanne asks her not to tell Angela she was there. She figures Angela has told Patty what happened, which of course isn’t right, since Angela never tells Patty anything. Patty catches on that Rayanne hooked up with Jordan. Rayanne guesses that Patty hates her, but Patty just says she can understand how Angela feels. Rayanne admits that she’s never hurt anyone this badly before. She guesses that means Angela really matters to her.

At school, Brian gets nervous when Jordan approaches him. Brian destroys the tape, saying that won’t matter anyway, since it doesn’t erase what happened. Jordan just wanted to talk about tutoring, and had no idea the tape existed. Rayanne confronts Rickie for freezing her out, though Rickie doesn’t think she should be surprised. Rayanne whines that Angela won’t even let her tell her side of the story.

Rickie goes into the girls’ bathroom looking for Angela (poor Delia gets surprised), who’s understandably furious with Rayanne and Jordan. He tells her that both of them are avoiding each other, so she definitely won’t have to see them together. He advises her to stop letting Jordan and Rayanne’s actions affect her. She has to live her own life. Angela decides it’s time to stop being an innocent doormat.

The cast list is up, and Rayanne is shocked to see that she’s been cast as Emily. Her first instinct is to share the news with Angela, who doesn’t care. Camille has heard that the girls aren’t speaking, so when she’s over at the Chases’ again, she asks Patty for details (Sharon won’t tell her the gossip). Patty pretends she doesn’t know. Camille tells her that she doesn’t like Hallie. Patty just appreciates that she and Graham get along well. Camille says that’s a great sign. If they start fighting, it means there’s passion there.

At school, Jordan tries to talk to Angela so he can give her back a pen she loaned him. She says it’s not hers but takes it anyway. He asks for it back, if it’s not yours, but she refuses. She throws it in the trash right in front of him. Brian’s hanging out with the stage crew, talking to a girl about his directorial style (“like Tarantino, only less violent”). Angela shows up dressed up like Rayanne and pulls Corey aside. Doing her best Rayanne impression, she asks him for a drink. He’s surprised, which she thinks is because she comes across all innocent. She kisses him, but he’s not ready.

Rayanne comes over and calls Angela out for acting so different. She tells Angela she got the role she wanted, but Angela doesn’t care. Rayanne says Angela isn’t the only one who got hurt. Angela only lost a selfish friend and a guy she never really had. Rayanne has lost a great friend – “everything.” After Rayanne leaves, Rickie tells Angela he’s glad she got the part, because she really wanted it. He’s on Angela’s side in the fight, but he also feels for Rayanne. She’s always wanted to be Angela, in a way, and getting the role of Emily meant she could be Angela, even if just for a night.

Rickie then asks why Angela is going after Corey when she knows Rickie likes him. Angela reminds Rickie that he said he was over Corey. That doesn’t mean it hurt any less for Rickie to see his friend pursuing his crush. Angela realizes she’s the Rayanne of this situation.

Patty gives Graham a shirt she bought him to replace some of the old stuff she made him donate. She tells him about Angela and Rayanne’s fight. Graham thinks Rayanne did something low, though Patty notes that Angela and Jordan weren’t together. Graham doesn’t think that’s the point – Rayanne did something self-centered.

Patty admits that she dated a guy Camille had a crush on in college. Camille was mad for a while but eventually forgave Patty. Graham realizes that Patty slept with five guys before him, not four like she’s always said. She tells him the new shirt is for the restaurant. He complains about how Hallie’s always late and never parks legally. Patty tentatively asks if they ever fight. Graham says yes, but it’s never that major. Patty gets him back by flushing the toilet while he’s in the shower.

Mr. K oversees a play rehearsal, where Rayanne’s line readings aren’t exactly spectacular. Mr. K enlists Angela to take an absent girl’s place in a scene with Rayanne. He tells Rayanne to stop acting – her character is dead, and she’s just now realizing how precious every moment of her life was. Rayanne only needs to imagine what it’s like to take something for granted, then lose it.

This time, Rayanne does the scene beautifully, reading lines about not realizing how wonderful things were until they were over. She’s ready to go back to her grave, but first she wants one last look at the world so she can say goodbye. Once she’s said it to her loved ones and family, Angela’s character asks if she was happy. Both girls are crying. “Emily” says she should have listened to Angela’s character, but everyone’s blind. The girls leave the stage in opposite directions.

Thoughts: I’m so mad I used “Sex, Lies, and Videotape” as a previous recap title.

I’ve never noticed how much A.J. Langer looks like Blake Lively.

How in the world did Sharon think her conversation with Delia in the bathroom wouldn’t get back to Angela (before she realized Angela heard them)? She wasn’t exactly being quiet.

’90s music alert: Violent Femme’s “Blister in the Sun”


October 19, 2019

My So-Called Life 8, Strangers in the House: The Chases Get a Replacement for Danielle

Posted in TV tagged , at 1:28 pm by Jenn

Seriously, what teenager has a room like this?

Summary: Patty and Graham are at work, but he’s about to leave to meet with a potential client. She’s confident that he’ll land the account and wishes he didn’t get so negative. As Graham is leaving, Patty gets a phone call that leaves her speechless. At school, Angela and Sharon’s teacher gets a message that she quietly passes on to Sharon. Angela’s confused to see that Graham has come to the school to talk to Sharon. He tells Angela that Sharon’s father had a heart attack and he’s going to take her to the hospital. He asks Angela to go to the Cherskis’ house after school to keep her former best friend company.

Patty’s also at the Cherskis’ that afternoon, helping take care of the family while Mr. Cherski is in the hospital. Angela goes into Sharon’s room, which looks like it still belongs to a little girl. She voices over that they spent all their time there as kids. In flashback, she hangs out with Sharon after a tonsillectomy, telling Sharon to squeeze her hand as hard as her throat hurts. Patty leaves Angela behind while she goes to the hospital.

Graham waits with Sharon for news, but the doctors haven’t told Camille anything helpful. Graham spaces out a little as Camille talks about how she feels like she’s underwater. They’re able to see him on a TV monitor in the waiting area, and Graham is a little freaked out. Patty arrives and is more tearful than Camille is. Graham shares his anxieties with her – he and Mr. Cherski (Andy) are the same age, and too young for heart attacks.

The Chases offer to take Sharon to their house so she doesn’t have to be alone. Sharon objects but decides not to make a big deal out of things. Patty decides to stay with Camille, saying Camille needs her. At the Chases’, Danielle asks questions about Andy and death. Mainly, she wants to know who would give her away at her wedding if Graham died. Angela teases that it won’t matter, since no one will want to marry her.

Angela and Sharon greet each other awkwardly when Graham and Sharon get home. Angela finds a sleeping bag, voicing over that she wants to say something comforting, but she doesn’t feel like she has the right because she and Sharon aren’t friends anymore. As an act of kindness, she offers to take the sleeping bag so Sharon can have her bed. As Graham studies his face in a mirror, Sharon falls asleep in her clothes, curled up on Angela’s bed.

In the morning, Patty asks Angela to make an effort to be friendly to Sharon, even though they haven’t been on great terms recently. Angela doesn’t need to be reminded to be a good person. Patty tends to Sharon like her own child, and it doesn’t go unnoticed by Angela. Even though she’d be justified in staying home, Sharon goes to school, and Brian gets stuck in the band room with her while she’s yelling at Kyle for being unavailable. Brian lies that he didn’t hear anything, even though he was only a few feet away. Sharon goes to him for a hug and breaks down crying.

Rayanne and Rickie pass by the room, and Rayanne makes a dumb remark. Sharon feels ridiculous for crying on Brian’s shoulder and tries to act like everything’s normal. She tells him she’ll see him on the bus home, since she’s staying at Angela’s. Rayanne accuses her of throwing herself at Brian.

Brian uses Rickie as a sounding board as he tries to work out what Sharon might have meant when she said she’d see him on the bus. Is she interested in him? What does that mean for Kyle? Rickie thinks she’s moving out of her jock phase and into her sensitive-guy phase. Rayanne is totally jealous that Sharon gets to stay at the Chases’, and she tells Sharon that if she and Angela are going to be friends again, that’s fine.

Patty goes back to the hospital to be with Camille, who still doesn’t seem that upset about her husband’s heart attack. Graham comes by to get something for his meeting, which he postponed to help out the Cherskis. He brings Camille a tort he made the night before while waiting up for Patty to get home from the hospital. Camille is really impressed.

As Graham leaves to use the phone, Patty tells Camille that he’s sabotaging the account he’s going after, but she can’t say anything. Camille suddenly realizes that she could lose her husband, and she doesn’t know how she would survive without him. She’s not like Patty – she needs Andy. Patty looks across the room at Graham, possibly wondering how much she really needs him.

Brian visits Sharon at the Chases’, remarking that Angela’s room has changed since the last time he was there. She gives him and Sharon some time alone but can’t help feeling jealous of their sudden closeness. Patty pulls Graham away from the phone, where he’s on hold, and takes him to an empty hospital room for sex. Patty, no! All Graham can think about is the account they want to land.

When Patty wakes up the next morning, Graham is sitting on the side of the bed, thinking deep thoughts. Sharon is also thinking deep thoughts in Angela’s room. Angela leaves for school early, and Sharon decides to go there as well. Patty checks to make sure Graham’s ready for his rescheduled meeting. He doesn’t seem as enthusiastic about it anymore.

Rayanne hears Sharon crying in a bathroom stall at school and checks on her. Rayanne thinks she should be taking advantage of her father’s situation to play hooky. Sharon admits that she’d rather be with her mother, but it’s hard to be at the hospital. Rayanne tells her she should go anyway. Angela interrupts, and Rayanne tells her they need to take Sharon to the hospital. They’ll bring Rickie and Tino along. Angela comes up with an excuse to skip the field trip.

She catches Jordan sneaking a cigarette under some bleachers, where she’s come to cry. She voices over that she’s lonely, has no friends, and is a terrible person. But she tells Jordan she’s upset because of Andy’s situation. She moves closer and closer to him until he turns and hugs her. When someone spots them, Jordan quickly moves away and just says, “That’s rough. Gotta go.”

The Chase house is very quiet when Angela gets home, as everyone’s depressed except Danielle. Brian comes by and agrees to pay for the pizza the girls want to order. Patty approves of that idea, though at least she gives Angela money to pay for it so Brian doesn’t have to. She checks on Graham, who’s brooding and doesn’t want to talk. He promises to tell Patty how his meeting went later, but for now, he needs to keep brooding. Patty thinks that means he didn’t get the account. Graham decides he can’t be in the house right now and leaves.

Kyle calls Sharon, and suddenly Brian’s not hungry for pizza anymore. Sharon’s making other plans as well; Kyle wants to take her out. Angela blasts her for using Brian, then dumping him for Kyle. Sharon says that Brian’s in love with Angela, and she totally uses him, too. Angela denies that Brian’s in love with her, but Sharon says that Rayanne disagrees. She asks why Angela can’t be nice to her when she’s going through something horrible. Angela doesn’t know why Sharon needs more kindness when everyone else in the world is already showing it.

A little after midnight, Camille calls Patty to thank her for sending Graham to the hospital to sit with her. Patty was unaware, and also didn’t know that Sharon wasn’t in the house because she supposedly wanted to spend the night in her own bed. Graham praises Camille for how well she’s handled everything with Andy.

He asks if something brought on Andy’s heart attack, since he’s only 40. Camille has no idea, though she does think he works too hard. His boss even tells him to go easier on himself. But Andy loves his job, something Graham isn’t familiar with. A doctor gives them good news: Andy’s angioplasty was successful, and he’s going to be fine. Camille cries for the first time all episode, leaning on Graham for comfort.

Graham gets home early in the morning and tells Patty that a) Andy’s going to be fine and b) he landed the account. Graham didn’t know how to react because he didn’t want to land it. It means this is really his job and his life. Graham figures that Patty is just happy he got the account, and that’s all that matters. Patty says that’s not true. She’s proud of him…and he’s fired. If he’s not happy, something has to change. Graham doesn’t know what to do, but Patty says this is his chance to figure it out.

Rayanne and Rickie find Angela reading at school and tease that she’s avoiding them. Angela learns for the first time that Andy will be okay. Before she can pick on Rayanne for suddenly being friendly with Sharon, Rickie calls them both out on their crap. Rayanne’s jealous, and Angela doesn’t know how to react to Rayanne’s kindness toward Sharon. He assures them that they’re still each other’s friends and tells them to shut up.

After school, Angela goes to see Sharon and tries to make small talk. Sharon’s upset that Angela didn’t seem to care that Andy could have died. Even strangers were nice to her. Angela says she didn’t know what else to do. She thought she was the last person on earth Sharon wanted to deal with. Sharon says Angela’s the only person she wanted to deal with.

Both girls cry as Angela says it didn’t seem like Sharon wanted her help. They hug and admit they miss each other’s friendship. Sharon says that Angela’s coldness toward her hurt. Angela tells her to squeeze her hand as hard as it hurts.

On her way back home, Angela comes across Brian, who’s outside fixing his bike. She tells him Andy will be okay, which Brian already heard from Rickie. She thinks that since Brian and Sharon are kind of friendly, he would want to know. Brian says they’re not close. Sharon needed him, or at least someone, and he was there, so they hung out. Anyone else could have filled that role. Angela disagrees – she thinks Sharon needed him specifically.

Brian asks why. “Because of certain ways that you are,” Angela replies. He asks if she’s given this thought. She heads off, voicing over that there are multiple ways to be connected to people. Some are unspoken, like her connection with Jordan. There are connections you have with people you’ve known forever, who know you in ways others don’t, because they’ve seen you change, and let you change. At school, Angela and Sharon pass each other with their separate groups of friends but flash each other big smiles.

Thoughts: Sharon’s bedroom looks like a guest room you’re never allowed to set foot in because your mom wants to keep it impeccably clean at all times, even though you never have overnight guests.

People on this show really have to stop layering clothes with different patterns over each other.

Graham is having the weirdest midlife crisis ever.

October 12, 2019

My So-Called Life 7, Why Jordan Can’t Read: Red Alert

Posted in TV tagged , , , at 1:10 pm by Jenn

Angela needs someone to vet her outfits before she’s allowed out of the house

Summary: Lying in bed, Angela voices over that love is looking into someone’s eyes and seeing through to their soul. She thought she would fall in love in an extreme situation, like war or a blizzard, and definitely by the age of 15. Not only does she not have a love life, she doesn’t have any kind of life. Elsewhere in the house, Patty worries about gaining weight and looking older. She asks Graham if she looks fat. “…Um,” he replies. Ooh, bad answer. When Patty learns it’s the 12th, she gets concerned.

Angela and her classmates take a field trip to an art museum, where a chaperone is very insistent that everyone stay with the group. Angela wonders what the big deal is. What if Amelia Earhart had stayed with the group? “Or Diana Ross,” Rickie adds. Angela gives Rayanne some thoughts about Jordan, which she wrote when she couldn’t sleep. She thinks she’s finally gotten over him. She admits that she was a little obsessed with him, but that’s all in the past. Rayanne promises not to show her writing to anyone.

Sharon and Kyle make out while Brian pays more attention to Angela than the sculptures they’re looking at. Jordan is also in the room, and Angela follows him as he wanders off. Brian tries to stop her from leaving the group. Rickie tries to actually appreciate the art, while Rayanne sips from a flask and flirts with a security guard. Sharon and Kyle are still making out. Sheesh, guys, how do you breathe?

Angela and Jordan end up at an art piece together, and he tells her he’s had a song stuck in his head all day. It’s one he’s been working on for his band, Frozen Embryos. He invites her to come see them sometime. Before they can solidify any plans, Rayanne interrupts and confesses that she lost the page Angela gave her. But she met a cute guard, so really, this wasn’t a bad day. Angela worries that Jordan was being nice to her out of nowhere because he found the letter.

At school the next day, Angela approaches Jordan, who offers her the letter she wrote. She pretends she wrote it about someone else and just used Jordan’s name to disguise the other guy. Who died. He’s dead. Jordan tells her he didn’t read the letter, which Angela doesn’t believe. He admits he read parts of it, but it didn’t hold his interest.

Angela asks why – was it too emotional or personal? Or were there too many big words? Jordan yells at her to shut up. She suddenly realizes that he didn’t read the letter because he couldn’t. Jordan says he’s never told anyone that he has trouble reading. They’re interrupted by one of Jordan’s bandmates, who reports that they’ve found a loft (well, Tino found it) where they can rehearse. Angela invites herself to attend. In the bathroom, Angela tells Rayanne that she now understands Jordan in a new way. It’s changed everything.

At a deli, Patty tells Camille that her period is eight days late. Camille notes that she could be premenopausal. Patty asks if that’s like “pre-death.” Camille points out that their eggs will run out sooner or later. Patty thinks it’s depressing – guys get to have midlife crises and buy sports cars while women have to suffer. Camille hopes to look like Tina Turner when she’s 50. She reminds Patty that they’re only 40, too young for menopause. Her late period probably means something much different.

Rayanne gleefully tells Rickie that Angela’s going to the Frozen Embryos’ rehearsal. She thinks Jordan found the letter, and it made him want her. Angela and Jordan are about to get together. Since Rayanne lost the letter in the first place, she should get credit for this. She heads off to beep George, the security guard. Rickie congratulates Angela on her good news, then demonstrates that he knows more about Jordan’s class schedule than Angela does.

Patty has shared her possible pregnancy with Graham, and they’re trying to figure out when it happened. She notes that they could have their first boy. Brian has let himself into the house to get a book Angela borrowed, and everyone pretends he didn’t hear anything. Danielle shows up to earn a paycheck. She tells Brian that, wherever Angela went, she must be expecting to see someone she likes, because she tried on a bunch of outfits. P.S. Danielle totally has a crush on Brian.

Angela, Rayanne, and Rickie all go to the rehearsal, where the band ignores them. Angela voices over that there are huge events on the planet every day, like hurricanes and earthquakes. Why can’t Jordan just do one small thing – look at her? He offers to play the song he’s been working on, which is about being lost until he found “her.” The “her” in question is called Red, so Rickie figures the song is about Angela.

Rayanne and Rickie leave Angela behind at the loft, and since Tino doesn’t appear to be coming, Jordan decides to leave, too. He offers Angela a ride home. Outside her house, she wonders if he might have dyslexia. She knows a lot about it because her uncle has it. Jordan doesn’t want to talk about it, but Angela assures him that dyslexia doesn’t mean a lack of intelligence. Jordan insists that he can read, just not well.

He starts talking about getting a job making snow, and his face moves closer to Angela’s. They kiss, and it’s much better than their first attempt. Afterward, she can’t stop smiling. She twirls in circles on her way to the front door.

The next day, Patty tells Graham she’ll take the pregnancy test tomorrow. Danielle reports that Angela’s in love. She’s in the kitchen, drinking coffee (like Jordan does) and humming to herself. She asks her parents if she’s allowed to go on dates. Patty says yes, but there are some ground rules. Graham is unfamiliar with those rules. Patty lists off a curfew, info about who Angela’s with, and absolutely no drinking. Plus, they need to meet the guy first.

That last one dampens Angela’s mood. Why can’t her parents just trust that she has a guy who means something to her? Why does she have to parade him around? Patty sarcastically asks if Angela thinks he would be dragged down to their level. Danielle asks if she would have to introduce her parents to a guy she wanted to date if he was someone they already knew. Graham’s like, “Yes, please, let’s have another child.” Patty says it’s not about whether she wants to or not – if she’s pregnant, she’s pregnant. Graham worries that they’re too old for this.

Rayanne stares at Sharon and Kyle as they make out in a school hallway. Kyle says he heard that Rayanne had sex with George. Sharon notes that if one of Kyle’s friends hooked up on a field trip, the other guys would give him a medal. Kyle doesn’t know why Sharon’s defending Rayanne, since they don’t even like each other. Sharon says they can hate her without bringing up Rayanne’s sex life.

Angela tells Rickie that she’s been playing the kiss over and over in her head, like a movie. “That’s just what I would do,” Rickie says, somewhat sadly. He tells her to be near the gym after fifth period if she wants to run into Jordan. She practices some casual greetings before they cross paths. Angela tells Jordan she’s been thinking about his song, which reminds her of a movie. She kind of wants to see that movie again. Jordan takes a while to get the hint that she wants to go with him. She tells him her parents will want to meet him first, and he agrees to stop by that night.

Graham is nervous when he gets the news – he thought he’d have more time before Angela wanted to bring a guy home. Patty warns that Jordan is probably good-looking, so Graham will need to prepare himself. He slams her for setting ground rules. He wishes they could just lock Angela in her room. Patty wishes this weren’t happening while she’s bloated and “very, very interested in chocolate.”

The doorbell rings, and the Chases tense, but “it’s only Brian.” Aww. Angela comes downstairs all glammed up and gives him the book she borrowed. Danielle thinks he’s there for a music lesson he kind of, sort of agreed to give her. Angela tries to rush Brian out, telling him that Jordan’s coming over and they’re probably going to see The Bicycle Thief together. Brian taunts that Jordan won’t understand it. Angela only does because Brian explained it to her. He calls Jordan an idiot, and Angela tells him to never say that again. Brian analyzes everything but doesn’t actually understand.

The Chases sit around for a while, waiting for Jordan, who’s with his band. He tells them there’s something he said he would do. But after they leave, he stays behind at the loft. Angela tells her parents that the plan to have Jordan come by wasn’t set in stone. She tells them she’s going to bed. She cries in her room as we hear Jordan’s new song.

In bed the next morning, Angela voices over that this life has just been a test. Otherwise, she would have gotten instructions on where to go and what to do. At school, Rayanne and Sharon run into each other in the bathroom. Rayanne asks if Sharon and Kyle have had sex yet. Sharon says that’s none of Rayanne’s business. Rayanne knows that, and she knows they’re not friends, but she doesn’t care. Sharon can ask her anything she wants.

Sharon says she promised herself she wouldn’t have sex until she’s ready, and she’s sticking to that. Rayanne says she was just “vaguely curious.” Sharon seems to really enjoy her marathon makeout sessions with Kyle. Rayanne admits that she doesn’t always feel that much when she makes out with a guy. Sometimes she’s actually numb. Sharon says she might not have found the right person yet. Rayanne says it’s not a big deal.

Angela tells Rayanne that she wishes she could have real relationships like Rayanne, even if they’re short. Rickie notes that Angela hasn’t heard Jordan’s side of things yet. Angela claims she doesn’t care and doesn’t even want to see Jordan again, but when he comes down the hall, she can’t take her eyes off of him.

The girls walk off, and Rickie tells Jordan that Angela’s a little upset with him. Jordan says he wasn’t in the mood to meet Angela’s parents. Maybe she knows too much about him and makes too big a deal out of things. It makes them complicated. Rickie says that Jordan’s new song added to her feelings, especially since it’s obvious who Red is. “Yeah,” says Jordan. “My car.” D’oh!

Patty is in the bathroom at home, and Graham is waiting nervously for the results of the pregnancy test. Patty happily says it’s a miracle and exits the bathroom with a big smile on her face. Graham thinks they’re happy about the same thing, but they’re not. She’s relieved because she finally got her period. Graham hides his disappointment as she says she’s grateful not to have their lives change. She doesn’t want to go back to what they went through in their younger years. Patty finally realizes that Graham doesn’t feel the same way; he would have liked to have a son.

Patty takes Angela some ice cream and says she knows how Angela’s feeling. She had a pregnancy scare and spent the week preoccupied with the possibility. Angela thinks this is hilarious. Brian comes by the house and offers to give Danielle a sax lesson, but she’s over it. Brian starts playing catch with Graham, who gives Angela his glove and tells her to play instead. Brian brings up Jordan, and Angela tells him they’re never discussing him again. Brian will never understand her situation until it happens to him. She can’t wait, because she’ll laugh and say she told him so.

Thoughts: One of Jordan’s bandmates is played by Jared Leto’s brother Shannon, who’s also in 30 Seconds to Mars with him.

If I didn’t already love Rickie, his Diana Ross comment would have sealed it for me.

Angela wears pink plaid shorts over black tights, and a gray sweater vest over another sweater. All at the same time. Sweetie, no.

September 21, 2019

My So-Called Life 5, The Zit: Metamorphoses

Posted in TV tagged , , at 1:06 pm by Jenn

Sigh. High-school boys

Summary: Angela is surprised to see that Sharon now has a boyfriend, Kyle Vinnovich. Angela voices over that, while Sharon’s life is developing normally, her own life feels clogged. Rayanne has already heard about Kyle and Sharon; it’s apparently big news around school. Angela studies a zit on her chin, then Sharon’s chest, as her English class discusses Kafka’s Metamorphosis. Brian defines the title, then “Kafka-esque,” which he says is when something seems like a total nightmare but is actually happening. Angela thinks being single while Sharon has a boyfriend falls under that category.

In the bathroom, Rickie and Rayanne discuss how people see his habit of hanging out there. He’s decided it’s time to stop. As Angela enters, someone slips a piece of paper under the door. It’s rankings of the top 40 sophomore girls. Sharon’s breasts are mentioned, which annoys Angela. Rayanne’s thrilled to be listed as having the “most slut potential.” Angela pretends she doesn’t care that she’s not on the list. Rickie thinks it’s good; it means she blends in.

As they leave school, Angela says she’s offended on Rayanne’s behalf. Rayanne thinks Angela just doesn’t want to be associated with someone who’s been branded a slut. Brian and Sharon go to band class, and the guys in her row watch her chest as she plays her clarinet. After class, Sharon asks Brian what’s going on. He tells her about the rankings, saying he doesn’t condemn or condone them.

Angela studies her zit at home, trying to convince herself that it’s not the end of the world. Patty tells the family that the annual mother/daughter fashion show is coming up. It’ll benefit a battered-women’s shelter, and Patty promises it’ll be better than last year. Angela doesn’t want to participate, and though Danielle does, she’s too young. The girls tease their mother about how many compliments she always gets. Patty plans to sew matching outfits again. Angela says it’s “sick.” Graham will only go so far as “corny.”

Patty says she doesn’t ask much of Angela, so she wants some cooperation just this once. Angela reluctantly agrees. Later, Patty tells Graham that she has to find opportunities to spend time with Angela now because in a few years, she’ll be out of the house. Plus, it’s a chance to give back to the community. Angela might even end up feeling better about herself. Graham assures Patty that she’ll be the prettiest mom there. Patty has a hard time taking the compliment. She says her face is changing; for example, she’s getting more lines. Graham pretends he hadn’t noticed.

In the school bathroom, Angela’s putting some concealer on her zit when Sharon enters. Angela almost ignores her, then asks if Sharon’s doing the fashion show. Sharon doesn’t answer her. They bicker about how Angela has suddenly decided that Sharon is worth talking to. Sharon mentions Angela’s zit, so Angela tosses back congratulations about her ranking in the poll. Sharon still hasn’t been completely clued in, but she’s getting a better idea of what’s going on.

Patty and Camille look at possible outfits for the fashion show, which Camille can’t believe Angela agreed to do. She had a hard time getting Sharon to agree even before the poll. Patty hasn’t heard anything about that. Camille is upset that Sharon’s “global endowments” are now making her self-conscious. She herself was self-conscious in high school even after she lost a lot of weight. However, it worked out well, because she had nowhere to go but up. Now she likes the way she looks.

Sharon gets ready for gym class while two classmates talk about the model on the front of the same magazine Patty and Camille were looking at. Sharon wants to wear a sweatshirt to class, even if she’ll be hot. Her classmates are looking forward to a party that night. Angela feels like she doesn’t measure up to her more developed classmates.

Rickie runs into Brian in the boys’ bathroom and wonders if he’s not welcome in there, either. At lunch, Brian complains to Rickie that Sharon and Kyle are always holding hands. Not that Brian has a problem with it or anything. He just doesn’t remember when everyone started pairing off. Rickie can relate.

Kyle tries to kiss Sharon before he goes off to some sports practice, but she’s not in the mood. She asks what he and his friends like to talk about. She’s pretty sure he and his friends started the poll. Kyle says he knows who started it, but he wasn’t there. Sharon says that eight guys have asked her out since the poll came out. Before the rankings, she wasn’t completely sure that Kyle actually likes her. Now she thinks he’s just been dating her because of her breasts. They’re done.

Angela and Patty go to the mall, where Angela can’t believe a guy at a skin-care counter thinks she has nice skin. He suggests that they get makeovers for the fashion show. He offers Patty a product for the lines around her eyes. She tries it out at home that night while Angela studies her own skin.

Patty tries to get Angela interested in the fabric for their outfits (while ignoring a much more interested Danielle), but Angela doesn’t want to be scrutinized right now. She doesn’t appreciate Patty’s recommendations for getting rid of her zit. Angela says she “may not” want to do the fashion show. Yeah, hon, that’s pretty obvious. Patty says she’s already put a lot of time and effort into it. Angela falls for the guilt trip. Danielle remains ignored.

Angela’s history class watches a speech by Malcolm X asking his audience who taught them to hate how they look. They’re the way God made them. In English, they’re still discussing The Metamorphosis. Angela passes Jordan in the hallway and feels self-conscious about her zit. She sees Rayanne surrounded by admirers, completely unconcerned about how she looks. Sharon holds something in front of her chest as she walks.

Kyle finds Sharon practicing her clarinet and takes off one of her shoes. Brian comes in, decides he’s interrupted something weird, and leaves. Rickie asks if he caught them kissing, or something more. Kyle promises to give Sharon her shoe back if she’ll listen to him. He promises he’s not interested in her just because of how she looks.

She asks why else he wanted to date her. Kyle says he likes her smile and her cheerfulness, and he thought she liked him. It’s not just those aspects, though; he likes everything about her. But he has to admit that he also likes her breasts. He wonders why she doesn’t. Sharon says she’s working on it.

Rickie tells Brian that he wears eyeliner because Egyptians thought it warded off evil spirits. He’s Catholic, though, and just likes how it looks. Angela obsesses over her zit, voicing over that it feels like it’s become the truth about her. She imagines the model from the magazine in the bathroom with her, criticizing her own appearance and complimenting Angela’s.

At the Chases’ house, Rayanne tells Angela to just pop the zit already and move on with her life. Angela worries that it’ll leave a scar. Rayanne tells her everything leaves a scar, including living. Rickie advises against concealer, which will just make Angela’s pores worse. He compliments Patty’s sewing skills, getting exactly the style she was going for.

Angela, however, hates the dress, and especially doesn’t like dressing the same as her mother. Patty doesn’t know why Angela’s uncomfortable with an activity she always enjoyed in the past. Why wouldn’t she want to dress up and look her best? Angela asks who she’d be dressing up for. Patty says it would just be for herself.

Angela blurts out that she’s ugly, and Patty needs to just face it. She thinks Patty looks at her like she agrees. Angela hates how Patty tells her to wash her face so she won’t get zits, as if Patty needs to fix her. She thinks Patty expects her to be beautiful because she herself is beautiful.

Patty tells Graham that she screwed the whole thing up. She took all the fun out of it and put too much pressure on Angela. Graham says she lost perspective because she got caught up in something. It’s as if she needed approval from people other than Graham. Patty hates the timing of making Angela feel worse about herself while she’s dealing with a zit and Sharon’s ranking. Graham blames himself for the acne, since Patty never had it in high school.

Patty says that, like all women, she’s becoming less attractive and more expendable as she ages. Graham and other men become more attractive and desirable. The trade-off is that men die sooner than women. Patty doesn’t think Graham knows how attractive he is. She wonders if anyone in the world really believes they’re beautiful. Graham picks RuPaul. Patty laughs because she didn’t think Graham even knew who RuPaul was.

Jordan asks Brian about the paragraph they’re supposed to write about “that bug guy.” He got an extension, and if he doesn’t turn it in, he’ll be sent back to remedial English. He asks how the book ends. Brian says Gregor’s family kills him. (Uh, spoiler.) Rickie’s present and gets interested in the conversation.

Brian explains that Gregor’s family is repulsed by him, so they turn on him. But really, he seems to die of loneliness. Rickie asks why Gregor doesn’t just leave. Sharon speaks up that Gregor is the same person inside, no matter what he looks like. Rickie says that he’d still leave if he were Gregor. Rayanne enters, seemingly drunk, and flirts with Brian. Jordan asks if The Metamorphosis was a true story.

Angela runs into Sharon in the bathroom again and they make awkward small talk about the fashion show. Sharon also wants to drop out but says Camille’s in denial about her participation. “Why do girls have to tear each other down?” she wonders. Angela thinks part of it is jealous. She admits that she’s a little jealous of Sharon’s chest. Sharon in turn is jealous of Angela for being flat.

She thinks it all goes back to what they once learned in Girl Scouts: What you have is God’s gift to you, and what you do with it is your gift to God. They reminisce about their time together in Girl Scouts until Rayanne enters. After Sharon leaves, Rayanne says that Angela can be friends with Sharon again if she wants. Angela denies it. Rayanne thinks Angela would prefer to hang out with the girl who hasn’t been branded a slut, at least not yet. Angela says that who Rayanne sleeps with is none of her business and has nothing to do with their friendship.

At home, Angela looks at the magazine model again, then tries to read The Metamorphosis, but Danielle keeps yelling a loud cheer about girls winning because they have sexy legs. Danielle knows Angela’s annoyed because of her disagreement with Patty. Angela says she doesn’t measure up to Patty. Danielle thinks she measures up even less, since she wasn’t even considered for the show.

Angela apologizes to Patty for wasting her time, but Patty says she may have needed Angela with her in the show too much. Angela looks at a picture of her mother when she was younger and asks if she loved being pretty. Patty says she didn’t really let herself know she was. She didn’t want to seem vain or stuck up. She wishes she’d been able to enjoy her beauty, and that’s all she wants for Angela. They hug, and Angela decides to try Patty’s zit treatment.

Patty says that Camille is going to find another mother/daughter team to model the dresses she made. Angela has a suggestion: Patty and Danielle. They have a great time, and Angela (now zitless) gets choked up watching them. She voices over that sometimes it feels like we’re all in prison, and the crime is hating ourselves. It’s nice to get dressed up and show the truth. People are complicated, but they’re beautiful, possibly even Angela.

Thoughts: I cringe every time Angela touches her zit. Stop doing that! You’re making it worse!

I like that Rickie and Brian are become friends. Brian really needs some.

Oh, hey, corduroy overalls. Haven’t seen you in a while. Can’t say your appearance was welcome.

August 24, 2019

My So-Called Life 2, Dancing in the Dark: Under Pressure

Posted in TV tagged , at 1:23 pm by Jenn

Now Patty looks like a gymnast

Summary: Angela’s class is watching a movie about space, and she’s definitely not paying attention. She voices over that she’s been kissed three times, all by people she never saw again. One was a counselor at camp who was probably trying to make his girlfriend jealous. The film narrator talks about a star exploding, releasing intense pressure. Angela’s second kiss was with an usher at a wedding. He only kissed her because he’d lost a bet.

The third kiss was with a guy Angela met on a beach last summer. She swam out too far, and a lifeguard rescued her and gave her mouth-to-mouth. Angela admits that that might not count as an actual kiss, since she was unconscious, but it was still exciting. She’s never had a real boyfriend, and isn’t sure if that’s normal.

Rayanne and Rickie are talking about a girl named Dayna, who has perfect feet but annoys Rayanne. Angela notices Jordan walking by and gets really into the conversation. As soon as he’s gone, Rayanne tells her she can speak normally again. She thinks Angela needs to move things forward with Jordan already. Angela’s worried that she’ll look like she’s throwing herself at Jordan. Rayanne tells her that’s the “basis of civilization.”

Angela voices over that she always knows when Jordan is around; it’s like her body can instinctively sense it. She goes to biology class, where they’re dissecting pig hearts. Brian’s sitting with Sharon, who can’t stop looking at them. The bio teacher tells the students that when they form a hypothesis, they must convey information concisely and clearly.

Cut to the Chases’ house, where Patty and Graham are not communicating concisely or clearly. She’s disappointed that he doesn’t kiss her goodbye in the morning anymore…even though they work in the same place and will see each other again in half an hour. Graham says that kissing will just lead to sex. Patty wonders why he believes that they can’t just kiss for kissing’s sake. He kisses her goodbye passionately.

Back in class, the teacher talks about experiments and solving problems. Rayanne has a unique problem – she can’t get fruit out of a vending machine. Jordan comes by and Rayanne asks him to help her get Angela a fake ID. Jordan asks why Angela isn’t talking to him herself. Rayanne says she’s French, and she has a mental block on some English words. Jordan questions this claim but agrees to help.

Rayanne and Rickie pull Angela out of her class, and when the teacher notices, Brian says she left because she almost fainted. He even says Angela’s working with him on an extra-credit project. Sharon’s annoyed, and after class, she calls Brian out for lying. She tells him Angela takes advantage of him, and he lets her. Sharon pities him.

In the bathroom, Angela freaks out about Rayanne’s conversation with Jordan. She thinks she’s going to die of embarrassment. Rickie backs up everything Rayanne said, even though he wasn’t there. Rayanne thinks Angela should be grateful. Angela asks how Jordan acted during the conversation. Rayanne says he flopped around on the floor.

Leaving the bathroom, Angela runs into Brian, who calls her “Chase.” She voices over that she hates when people she knows from different places are all together. You have to develop a combination self. Brian is annoyed that Angela left him to clean up their lab work by himself. He tells her he lied about her helping with his extra-credit project, so she might as well do something to help.

Rayanne and Rickie joke around about the project partnership until Rayanne learns that Brian’s parents are out of town. She promises Angela will come over the next night to work…but really, to take Jordan for some alone time. Angela thinks that’s crazy, but it’s very hard to say no to Rayanne, so Angela agrees.

Later, at the Chases’, Rayanne tells Angela that she, Rickie, and Jordan will get her fake ID and bring it to her at Brian’s house. Angela doubts that Jordan will go along with this. As they go upstairs, Patty comes home with Sharon’s mother, Camille. She knows about Angela and Sharon’s confrontation in the bathroom, but not what’s going on between them. Patty says that’s more than she knows.

Brian comes across Sharon outside the house and tells her Angela’s coming over the next night. He thinks that proves that Sharon’s wrong about everything. Inside, Patty and Camille talk about their own teenage arguments. They’ve known each other since childhood. Camille notices a figurine that Patty’s father bought her, which Camille was always jealous of. Angela sees Sharon outside but ignores her. Rayanne and Rickie think Jordan is interested in Angela but just has other things on his mind. Angela wishes she weren’t the only one analyzing him in such detail.

Patty confides in Camille that her and Graham’s new work arrangements are pushing them apart. They discuss whether or not Patty should cut her hair. Camille thinks men like long hair and red clothes on women. Patty thinks Graham might like it if she showed up looking different. She complains about all the things women are told to do to put the romance back in their marriages (a phrase she hates). Patty and Camille debate whether Jane Seymour is a good role model for marriage.

Camille says that she and her husband have been doing something new that might help Graham and Patty. The only catch is that Patty will have to wear high heels. At dinner that night, Patty brings up the idea: ballroom dancing. Graham’s brother Neil is present. Angela voices over that he’s unmarried, so her parents always give him leftovers, like he doesn’t get fed otherwise. Angela and Neil laugh over how ballroom dancing sounds made-up.

Patty says she’s thinking of getting a short haircut. Angela and Danielle object. Graham asks if she’s going for Hillary Clinton-length hair. Patty thinks Hillary is brilliant and shouldn’t be judged by her hair. Neil says she should wear more red. After dinner, Neil tells Graham that he’s still in touch with an ex, and they even hook up sometimes. He envies Graham and Patty’s marriage. Graham tells him things aren’t as perfect as they seem, but Neil says they’re the happiest couple he knows.

Angela asks to go to Brian’s house, which is just across the street. Graham interrupts to announce that he wants to try ballroom dancing. Angela eavesdrops as her parents discuss plans for the next night. Patty thinks Angela has a crush on Brian, which makes her happy, since she likes Brian. Graham doesn’t like to think about his daughter getting involved with anyone. Patty practices some dance moves with Angela, singing to herself. She tells Angela she can go to Brian’s as long as she’s back by 9:30. She still can’t get a straight answer about whether she should cut her hair.

The bio teacher still can’t get anyone to engage in conversation in class. She says an experiment is successful if it yields meaningful results. Angela gets ready for her big night, unable to comprehend the fact that she’s about to spend time with Jordan. She goes to Brian’s for the first time in a long time, having spent tons of time there as a kid. She tells Brian that Rayanne and Rickie might stop by to bring her something. Brian knows Angela isn’t there to provide much help with the experiment.

Patty and Graham go to what looks like the basement of a community center for a poorly attended ballroom class. Patty’s cut her hair short and is wearing red. Graham just says that her new hair shows her ears more. How romantic. Jordan, Rayanne, and Rickie arrive at Brian’s with the story that Angela’s there with the money for the ID. Tino told them he would come by to see Jordan, so he has to wait there. Jordan thinks it’s about Frozen Embryos, a band he and Tino might be forming.

As Patty and Graham’s dance lessons go badly, Rayanne tries to kick Brian out of his own kitchen. Angela has the grace to feel bad. Patty has trouble letting Graham lead; she’d like to go forward for once. The other couple in class is dancing well together, and the teacher tells Patty and Graham that they were once beginners, too. Couples usually think things will go great the first time around, but it’s never that way.

Angela’s hesitant to go talk to Jordan, since her obsession with him helps her get through the day. By talking to him, she’ll make it real, and it won’t be hers anymore. Maybe the fantasy is better. Rickie totally gets it, but Rayanne thinks Angela’s nuts. She wants Jordan, but she’s programmed not to admit it. Rickie thinks Rayanne might be on to something.

After class, the second couple keeps dancing, just enjoying their time together. The teacher tells Graham and Patty that they need to work on their pacing; they keep rushing. She thinks they should take group classes and dance with other people. Patty doesn’t get it, since they came there to spend time with each other. She thinks Graham is dying to dance with other people. Graham says he didn’t want to dance with anyone.

The teacher uses Graham to show the couple that dancing involves different parts coming together. It’s about rhythm, speed, and confidence to make the steps your own. Many people try so hard that they can’t hear the music. She keeps speaking about balance and not looking down as Angela goes outside to talk to Jordan. You have to look straight ahead so you don’t lose your footing. Angela does this, giving Jordan a confident “hi” and a smile.

Jordan isn’t very talkative, but he invites Angela to get in his car. She tells him she has to stay, but Jordan hadn’t planned on taking a drive. Inside, Brian teaches Rayanne and Rickie about the volumeter he’s built. It’s about pressure, and Brian’s clearly feeling a lot of it. Rickie figures out that the mouse in the volumeter creates pressure just by breathing. (Rickie can relate.) Rayanne asks the point. Brian tries to explain, but ultimately just says it’s for extra credit.

Angela voices over that it’s amazing to feel your life going somewhere, “like your life just figured out how to get good, like that second.” Jordan gives her the fake ID, then kisses her awkwardly. She’s not impressed with his approach, especially since he interrupted her while she was talking. He tries again, and she’s even less impressed, telling him he has to work up to that.

Jordan asks how old Angela is. When she was 15, he says she acts older. Angela’s offended. Jordan says she talks a lot, but Angela notes that she’s only ever said about eight sentences to him. They stop talking, and Angela notices that his sleeve is touching her arm. Things start feeling perfect, and Angela voices over that now is the perfect time for a kiss, or anything else. Instead, Jordan kicks her out of the car so he can leave.

Patty and Graham get home before Angela, and Neil, who was watching Danielle, asks what Patty did to her hair. She ignores him and just goes upstairs, though Neil didn’t think he said anything offensive. Graham confides to his brother that he met someone. He was working with her, and one day she just grabbed his tie and said she hates him and can’t sleep because of him. All they’ve done is talk, but…

Neil worries that Patty and Graham will get divorced, which will leave him without a place to go on holidays. Yes, Neil, this is definitely all about you. Graham says he’s supposed to meet the woman at a hotel tomorrow. Neil calls that a cliché, and Graham notes, “Clichés happen.” He asks Neil to talk him out of it. Neil just says not to do it. He hasn’t even done anything, and he’s already acting weird, like agreeing to go to a dance class.

Angela goes back into Brian’s house as Brian goes outside, retrieving the fake ID she dropped. Jordan leaves, then comes back, looking for Tino. Brian says that the ID was supposed to show that Angela’s 21, but instead, it just shows that she was born yesterday. Jordan asks why he’s there, not realizing it’s Brian’s house. He asks if Angela’s really from France.

Patty tells Graham that she doesn’t think the evening was as disastrous as he clearly thinks it was. She’s mad about what he said about her hair and ears. Of course she didn’t want to dance with him after that. Graham says that he was under pressure to compliment and lead her. Patty thinks they’ve become furniture to each other. Are they incompatible? How could they have been together so long and be unable to dance?

Graham yells that it’s exactly because they’ve been together so long. Patty throws the figurine Camille admired on the floor, accidentally breaking it. Graham holds her as she tries to put it back together. He asks her to dance with her, correcting her when she says they don’t know how. They kiss as they stand up together.

Across the street, Rayanne and Rickie get ready to leave Brian’s house. Angela’s washing their dishes, finally being a good houseguest. She tells Brian she won’t take the extra credit for a project she didn’t help with. He gives her the ID. Patty and Graham have finished dancing…er, if that’s what the kids are calling it now. She wonders why their generation never learned to dance. They made up their own steps instead of taking the time to learn the real ones.

Graham hears Angela come home and goes down to tell her about the dance lessons. Angela doesn’t feel like talking, but Graham says he doesn’t, either, and certainly not to Angela. He warms up some food for her, and she voices over that the food always tastes better when her father prepares it for her. He asks if she and Brian went on a date. Angela says that people can hang out without dating.

Graham asks if there’s someone else Angela likes, which makes her wonder if he’s psychic. He warns that boys her age don’t always know how to be what Angela will want them to be. It’s hard to figure out how to be a man. Even men Graham’s age are still working on it.

Patty comes down to send her husband and daughter to bed. Graham offers to stay behind and clean up. Angela’s surprised by her mother’s new haircut, but she seems like she might like it. Graham makes a quiet phone call, telling the person on the other end, “I can’t do this.” Angela hears him on the phone, turning down the woman he could have had an affair with. She retrieves her fake ID, her pass to the adult world, where she doesn’t know how difficult things are.

Thoughts: One of Angela’s classmates is named Leander. No matter what Angela’s issues are, I guarantee that person has it worse.

You know, Frozen Embryos isn’t a half-bad band name.

The short hair doesn’t work for Patty. It’s too drastic of a change.