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 14, 2019

My So-Called Life 16, Resolutions: New Year, Same Problems

Posted in TV tagged , , , at 1:22 pm by Jenn

I want to hug him even more now

Summary: It’s 11:58 on New Year’s Eve, and Angela’s thinking about resolutions. She’d like to stop getting so caught up in her own thoughts. In her own voiceover, Sharon resolves to not have sex with Kyle or anyone else unless she really loves them. This resolution is made while naked on a couch with Kyle. His resolution is to spend more time with his dog…and Sharon. Nice save, Kyle’s voiceover. Mr. K decides to give up coffee, which he thinks will be easy. Brian resolves to stop obsessing over Angela. Good luck, Krakow. Danielle wants to get Patty to let her wear makeup. Rickie wants to feel like he belongs.

Angela wonders if not thinking will turn her into a shallow person. She’ll have to rethink overthinking. Rayanne wants to stop drinking, for real this time. Patty resolves to be less judgmental and suspicious, and more supportive. Graham resolves to make it clear to Hallie that he’s not going into business with her. He’ll also try to stop having long talks with her. Jordan, alone in his car, is just now realizing it’s New Year’s Eve. Angela decides she can still be introspective, so her real resolution is to stop doing Jordan’s homework. Dick Clark counts down to midnight, and Angela, Rayanne, and Rickie give each other celebratory kisses.

A couple days later, Rickie makes pancakes for the Chases and tells Danielle where her missing sweater is. He’s a better parent than Patty and Graham. They’re thrilled with what a great house guest he is, but they’re concerned that they haven’t heard from his aunt and uncle, who are supposedly going to take him in. Rickie hears them talking about how he can’t stay with them forever.

At school, Mr. K has a classroom full of apathetic students. His last few hours without coffee have left him a little agitated. The students are reading The Odyssey, so Mr. K asks Rickie what Odysseus wants. Rickie can’t answer. Mr. K tells the students to write two pages answering that question.

Elsewhere, Angela breaks her resolution by doing Jordan’s homework in his car while he just lies around, doing nothing. He notes that this is wrong; he’s taking advantage of her. Somehow, it would be different if they were still together, but since they’re just friends, it has to stop. Angela calls this a victory in sticking to a resolution.

Sharon avoids Kyle in a hallway, accidentally interrupting Rayanne during a makeout session. Kyle comes looking for her and confronts her in front of Rayanne (her makeout partner flees). Kyle announces that he loves Sharon and doesn’t care who knows it. After a cooking class, Graham tries to keep his resolution by telling Hallie he won’t start a restaurant with her. She’s not shocked by this news, but she also won’t drop the subject. She thinks he can still give his opinion even if he’s not involved. She’s found a location and wants to know if he likes it.

Danielle fails to convince Patty to let her wear makeup, even if she doesn’t leave the Chases’ property with it on. Graham comes home and tells Patty he let Hallie know he’s not working with her. Patty wants to make sure he’s bowing out because he wants to, not just because she wants him to. Rickie packs up his things and tells the Chases he’s off to move in with his family. His new resolution will have to be finding a place to live.

All of Mr. K’s students hand in their Odysseus essays except Rickie, who fell asleep in class. He claims he couldn’t write his paper because he stayed at the Chase’s last night and had to take Danielle to the emergency room with a headache. When Angela comes in, she almost blows his lie. She urges Rickie to tell Rayanne that everything’s okay, since she thinks Patty kicked him out of the Chases’ house.

After Rickie leaves, Mr. K follows up on his story, but Angela says he’s back with his family now. She hopes everything has calmed down at his house. Angela then starts to ask what a person who’s smart but struggling in school can do for help. He tells her about a peer tutoring program and she signs Jordan up.

Rayanne successfully climbs a rope in gym class while Sharon struggles to do sit-ups. Rayanne teases her about Kyle’s declaration of love, which must mean Sharon’s fulfilled. Sharon says they broke up, but then he called on New Year’s Eve and she got weak. Rayanne says Sharon should be more like her; she was with that guy she was making out with (Sharon has to tell her his name) but they’re not in love.

Sharon pretty much admits that Kyle loves her but she was just using him because she got hot while watching Brad Pitt in A River Runs Through It. The post-breakup sex was better than it was when they were together. Sharon decides she needs to tell Kyle the truth. She repeats her resolution to abstain from sex until she’s in love with her desired partner.

Graham and Hallie meet up at the space she wants for the restaurant. She tells him that Brad thinks Graham is secretly desperate to open the restaurant with Hallie. She really wants to know what Graham thinks about the space, and when he says he loves it, she thinks he’s agreeing to work with him. Brad’s other theory is that Graham will cave in at the last minute.

Neil’s over at the Chases’ again, and Patty brings up the restaurant. Graham hasn’t said anything about it to his brother. Neil hasn’t heard about Hallie, either, though he tries to pretend Graham has mentioned her. When Graham gets home, Patty dismisses herself and lets the brothers talk about Graham’s recent activities.

At school, Angela tells Jordan that she signed him up for tutoring. Brian has been matched with him. Jordan is surprisingly okay with all this. Rickie ducks out of Mr. K’s class, where, for some reason, he’s having two groups of students yell at each other. He tries to call his aunt and uncle but learns that they’ve moved away and haven’t left a new number. Mr. K finds him getting upset but doesn’t follow when Rickie walks off.

Rickie comes in early the next day, asking to speak to Mr. K about The Odyssey. Mr. K gives him a donut, not seeing the point in eating it now that he’s no longer drinking coffee. Rickie asks for an extension on his essay about what Odysseus wants. He promises he read the book and gets it. He admits that he doesn’t have a place to live right now, but he’ll be okay. Rickie lies that he’s still staying with the Chases’, though being with such a happy, normal family makes him feel lonelier. He worries that that makes him feel ungrateful.

Rickie continues that he was living with his aunt and uncle. Once his story is out, Mr. K takes him to Mrs. K so they can discuss his options now that his aunt and uncle have moved. Mrs. K knows of a place called Pride House that could take him in. Mr. K is pleased with the idea, though Rickie won’t get his hopes up yet. After he leaves, Mrs. K tells Mr. K that Pride House has a waiting list, and they don’t even know if Rickie is qualified to live there. He’ll have to find a place to stay for at least a few weeks.

Brian tries to make some cheerful conversation with Sharon, even asking how Delia’s doing. He wants Sharon to switch with him in the tutoring program so he doesn’t have to tutor Jordan. Brian spots Kyle and asks Sharon if they’re back together. She says she can’t discuss it. When she asks why he can’t tutor Jordan, Brian says he can’t discuss it, either. It makes him feel like a hypocrite. Sharon knows how he feels.

Brian says he doesn’t respect Jordan, so wouldn’t tutoring him be like using him? Sharon’s distracted by a bear Kyle gave her and babbles that using someone is wrong, but she won’t let Brian back out like a coward. He needs to tell Jordan the truth – he made a mistake and doesn’t want to use him anymore, but also doesn’t want to hurt him. “I’m supposed to say all that to Jordan Catalano?” Brian asks, confused.

He winds up with the bear, which he takes to the tutoring session. He tells Jordan he’s not the right person to tutor him, so Jordan should find someone else. When Jordan asks about the bear, Brian says a girl gave it to him (technically true). Jordan watches him interact with a girl who asks for a pencil and tells Brian that the girl would totally sleep with him. He urges Brian to get her number. Brian finds the idea laughable, so Jordan does it for him. Maybe while Brian’s tutoring Jordan in English, Jordan can tutor Brian in dating.

Angela comes in and interrupts the guys as they’re actually getting along. While Brian gives them a moment together, Angela offers to tutor Jordan if it’s too weird for him to be with Brian. Jordan says he’s okay with it. He’d accept sex from Angela, though. She laughs loudly, which Jordan will take as a no. It’s definitely the best laugh Angela has had since 1995 began.

Mr. K tries to give Rickie some news, but Rickie first thanks him for taking him to Mrs. K so he can get some help. Calling him Rickie instead of Enrique, Mr. K tells him he’s on the waiting list at Pride House, which is good, but not what Rickie wanted. Until he can get in, he’ll stay in a “facility.” Rickie is understandably concerned about what that means. Mr. K says he’s confident that things will work out, but he doesn’t seem that confident.

Patty comes home to find Graham on the phone with Hallie, also having what’s probably his best laugh so far in 1995. Patty asks if Graham is or isn’t considering going into business with Hallie. Graham says he’s not. She asks what his New Year’s resolution was. Graham lies that it’s to exercise more. Patty lies that that was hers, too.

Rickie’s “facility” appears to an overcrowded group home for foster kids. He sneaks out in the middle of the night. The next day, Mr. K goes to the Chases’, thinking Rickie went there. Patty offers him coffee, which makes him more upset. He can’t believe the Chases just let Rickie leave without confirming that he had a place to go.

Patty starts crying, and Mr. K realizes he’s come on too strong. Graham doesn’t even know who he is. Patty admits that she’s felt horrible about the situation since Rickie left. Mr. K apologizes for taking out his anger on the Chases. He tells them that Angela’s a good student but doesn’t work to her full potential. When Patty offers coffee again, Mr. K accepts.

At school, Sharon tells Rayanne that she needs to tell Kyle the whole truth. She doesn’t want to end up like Rayanne. Kyle returns the bear to Sharon, having found it in the boys’ bathroom, and invites her to watch Thelma and Louise with him. Sharon tries to turn him down, but guess who’s in the movie? Brad Pitt. She can’t resist him (or Kyle).

After Mr. K leaves, Graham and Patty lament Rickie’s situation but aren’t going to do anything proactive to help him. Graham decides this is a good time to come clean about wanting to open the restaurant with Hallie. He missed Angela’s birth because he was stuck in an airport. He missed college and Woodstock. He doesn’t want to miss this. Patty promises to be completely supportive. Graham wonders what she was steeling herself to hear from him. Brian is still thinking about how impressive Jordan was in just approaching the girl and getting her number for him. Jordan tells him they’ll start with the basics, then move on to asking girls for their numbers.

Rickie calls Mr. K from a pay phone to let him know he’s okay. Mr. K says he talked to the Chases’, and Rickie can go back and stay with them. Rickie insists he’s fine and found a place to live, though he won’t give any details. Mr. K isn’t surprised that he doesn’t feel like he can go back to the “facility.” He believes Rickie when he says he has a place to spend the night.

Hey, so guess who’s gay? Mr. K! His partner, Ted, has clearly heard all about Rickie and knows Mr. K has been worried about him. Mr. K is sure Rickie will end up fine, but it’s these few weeks before he can get into Pride House that won’t be fine for him. Ted knows Mr. K would like to invite Rickie to stay with them, but Mr. K is worried that news of his sexuality would get out and he would lose his job. He doesn’t want to think of himself as the solution to Rickie’s problems; that’s egotistical.

Graham meets up with Hallie at the restaurant space and tells her Patty’s totally on board with their plans. Hallie hopes that she hasn’t pressured Graham into this. She wants to make sure he’s only there because he wants to be. She says that Brad has another theory (does this guy do anything other than theorize?). Then she reveals that the two of them broke up. The new year has made them both take stock of their lives and come to some realizations. Graham asks for Brad’s third theory, but Hallie won’t share it.

Rickie shows up at Mr. K’s door while he and Ted are having dinner. “It just got so hard to be alone,” he tells Mr. K, crying. Mr. K hugs him, then welcomes Rickie into his home.

Thoughts: I’m surprised Rickie hasn’t moved in with Rayanne. Amber probably wouldn’t even notice.

So Mr. K is the only teacher in the school who actually cares, huh? No wonder everyone gets away with skipping so many classes.

Kyle’s a joke, but resolving to spend more time with your dog is pretty nice.


November 9, 2019

My So-Called Life 11, Life of Brian: Whatever Happens, Happens

Posted in TV tagged , , at 1:09 pm by Jenn

She deserves better

Summary: Angela voices over – no, wait! Brian voices over, as his mother calls through the house for him, that his mom is a behavioral psychologist and his father is a Freudian psychiatrist. Oh, that poor, poor kid. They disagree over whether he’s currently in latency. Brian tells us they actually disagree on everything. He’s using a telescope to spy on Angela through her window, thinking that she and her family are really normal.

Patty, Graham, and Danielle are in the basement, getting ready for Graham to embark on a project: wallpapering the bedroom. They’ve had the wallpaper for years and have never put it up. Graham wants something to keep him busy, now that he’s unemployed. Patty tries to get enthusiastic.

At school, Brian takes pictures and voices over that he joined yearbook to watch life without being part of it. However, this means he’s never in the picture. Guys, I don’t think he just means that literally. Sharon introduces him to a new student, Delia, who already seems to have a crush on him. Brian gives her the bare minimum of conversation. After Delia leaves, Sharon urges Brian to ask her to the World Happiness dance that’s coming up. She’s helping to organize it and wants to see more school spirit. Sharon tells Brian that Delia works at Big Guy Burger, so he can always run into her there.

Rayanne complains about the World Happiness dance, which Angela and Rickie agree must have been Sharon’s idea. Angela wants to go, thinking it would be fun in an “obvious” way. Rayanne tells her Jordan won’t be there, but Angela can always let Brian ask her. Angela doesn’t like the idea of having to hang out with him. A guy comes into the classroom where they’re talking and asks if a teacher is around. Rayanne sends him away, but first he compliments Rickie’s vest.

At home, Brian voices over about fisherman, who wait patiently for a tug on their line, then don’t panic when it comes. He’s semi-interested in Delia (whose last name, coincidentally, is Fisher), but he’s still constantly thinking about Angela. He wants to stop being her puppet. He promises he’ll never again show up at the Chases’ door with a dumb excuse to see her.

Cut to Brian showing up at the Chases’ door with a dumb excuse to see Angela. She’s not home, so Brian makes small talk with Graham, then helps him put up the wallpaper. He’s curious as to why Graham isn’t going to work anymore. Graham says he’s working on plans so he doesn’t blindly jump into his next job. It’s like wallpaper – you have to pick the right pattern because you’ll have to live with it for a long time.

Brian asks how he might go about picking a particular pattern. He knows he really likes one, but he’s not sure the other is right for him. However, the great one is out of his price range. Should he settle for the second, or wait until the first is cheaper? Graham says it depends how badly Brian needs wallpaper. Brian says he needs it badly, so Graham thinks he has his answer.

Brian goes to Big Guy Burger and sees that Delia is cheery and friendly to everyone. He guesses she comes from a small town where everyone’s nice and smiles at each other for no reason – the kind of town he hates. Brian tells Delia he stopped by because he was in the neighborhood. As he leaves with his food – which he immediately throws out, since he didn’t actually want it – he voices over that nothing ever happens in his life.

Delia follows Brian out and apologizes for not having much of a conversation with him; she was trying to stick to her regular script. She offers him a sip of her drink, and their hands touch when he takes the cup from her. There’s a car alarm going off in the background, and Brian voices over that it’s suddenly the best sound he’s ever heard. The two share a smile as Delia goes back inside. Brian isn’t so down on his life anymore.

At school, things aren’t so great for Sharon and Kyle. She’s waiting for him to ask her to the dance, which he’s dragging his feet on. She tells him she’s under a lot of pressure and doesn’t want to have to worry that she’ll be dateless at the dance she organized. Kyle asks her unenthusiastically, and Sharon warns him not to screw things up.

Brian voices over that he knows he needs to ask Delia to the dance, so he counts to three to psych himself up. Just as he gets to 3, the bell rings. He can’t force himself to speak to her, so he just leaves for class. He runs into Rickie, who’s not going to the dance, and says he’s probably not going, either. Rayanne snags Rickie as she leaves a session with the guidance counselor and tells him that she fake-cried when asked if she was going to the dance. But she hasn’t had a drink or taken any drugs in ten days.

Rickie tells Rayanne he’s thinking of asking some girl to the dance. He can’t keep his eyes off of Corey, the boy who complimented his vest, so Rayanne tells Rickie to ask him instead. Rickie can’t find the courage to do that, so Rayanne says she’ll take care of it. Rickie warns her not to say a word to Corey.

Patty oversees Graham’s wallpaper hanging, cautioning him to line it up correctly. She notices a bubble, which Graham says he can’t get rid of; it’ll be there forever and outlive them all. Patty gives him a continuing-ed brochure she picked up at a college while dropping off a print job. She’s circled some cooking classes, since they’ve talked about him becoming a chef. They can’t afford a culinary institute, so this is a good plan B.

Angela spots Jordan on her way out of school and tries to make small talk. She thinks people obsess over stupid things to keep themselves from thinking about important stuff. Like, for example, the dance. As if it’ll actually make the world happier. Jordan hasn’t heard about the dance, despite all the posters advertising it. Angela passive-aggressively angles for an invitation, but Jordan has a philosophy about not making plans. That just leads to obligations. He just likes to let things happen naturally – “whatever happens, happens.” Jordan starts to drive off without her, so Angela pretends she needed to go back inside anyway.

Brian finds Delia in a classroom but chickens out before approaching her. She spots him, so he comes in and pretends he’s been busy all day. He helps her with whatever she’s working on, and their close proximity gives him an erection – his first from “actual physical contact.” Angela walks by the room and pauses for a moment, probably confused as to why Brian’s hanging out with a girl.

Brian goes back to the Chases’ for more wallpaper assistance/advice from Graham. He reveals that he’s chosen his “wallpaper,” and he thought it was what he wanted, but the other wallpaper still makes him happy. Graham finally tells him he knows they’re not talking about actual wallpaper. Wait…they’re not??

Patty comes in and asks Graham if he had a chance to look at the courses. He only has a day left to register, so Graham casually says he’ll wait until the next semester. Patty notes that some big-time chefs are teaching, like one who Graham is pretty sure is dead. She thought Graham was planning on doing this now. Graham, like Jordan, would rather let whatever happens happen.

After school the next day (I guess), Delia asks Brian if he’s thought about going to the dance. She needs to set her work schedule, so if she’s going to go, she needs to decide pretty quickly. Rickie’s still keeping an eye on Corey, so Angela tells him that Rayanne said he has a crush. She can obviously relate to having feelings for someone you don’t have a chance with.

As Brian puts forth some sort of debate-style offer to go to the dance with Delia, Rickie tells Angela that they should go to the dance together. They’re happy to not attend alone. But Corey approaches and says that Rayanne has already invited him to go with her and Rickie. Angela says she’ll tag along, but Rickie doesn’t want it to look like a double date. However, if she doesn’t come, it might look obvious what Rayanne’s trying to do.

Angela says she’ll bow out, then immediately goes to Brian. She figures out that he already invited Delia to the dance, though Brian brushes it off like it’s not a big deal. Angela tells him about Rayanne’s matchmaking scheme, then babbles as Brian realizes what she’s about to do. She tells him it would be “convenient” for the two of them to go to the dance together – just to drive there together, not go as dates, since he’s already going with Delia. Brian stays calm as he agrees.

Rickie interrupts while Rayanne’s flirting with a guy (“can he excuse us?” Hee!) so he can confront her about the Corey setup. He’s annoyed that she meddled after he told her not to. He’s also annoyed that Corey painted Rayanne’s shoes with colorful stripes. Rickie says he’s overlooked Rayanne’s crazy plans in the past, and he’s willing to overlook this one, but she’d better keep her mouth shut while they’re at the dance.

Rayanne says she’s not going, since she’s not ready to attend a school function. “Who cares about your stupid drinking problem?” Rickie exclaims. “This is my life!” She tells him she’ll call Corey and explain everything. It’ll all be fine. “Fine” for two guys to go to a school dance together in 1994? Sure.

Brian thinks for a while in his room, then goes to see Delia. He tells her he forgot about a previous commitment. He voices over that he regrets backing out of the date, but that doesn’t stop him. Delia guesses that he already made plans with another girl. She tells him that the timing of the plans shouldn’t matter – he should go with whoever he wants to go with. She just wants him to be honest. So Brian is, telling her he’d rather go with the other girl. Delia cries and tells him to go away.

Patty has gone behind Graham’s back and enrolled him in cooking classes. She pretends it’s because he was busy with the wallpaper and didn’t have time. She also knows he can have trouble focusing. Graham is mad about her meddling. It’s not just that he likes to cook – it’s the one thing he’s good at. Brian shows up, dressed for the dance, which surprises the Chases. They think Brian and Angela are going as a group with Delia. Brian lies that she had a family emergency and can’t go.

Later, Patty tries to apologize to Graham, who’s transformed the bedroom with the wallpaper. She notes that that’s something else he’s good at. They laugh over Angela’s discomfort when she found out Delia wasn’t coming, which leaves her alone with Brian. They think it’s funny that Angela’s going to have a bad time. Patty semi-apologizes for nagging Graham and says she’ll get him out of the classes. He tells her not to. He needs to see if that probably-not-dead chef is still good at it.

People seem to be having a good time at the dance, so Sharon should be pleased. Rickie and Corey are sitting in the stands, having a great conversation. Corey asks where Rayanne is – she never called to explain the setup. He’s disappointed that she’s not coming, since he wanted to ask her how she likes her sneakers. Rickie says she’s “changeable.” Corey says he had a picture of how things would be, and they’ve turned out differently.

Brian tries to make himself start a conversation with Angela, apparently not getting that she would clearly rather be with anyone else. He goes to get her a drink, and Rickie asks if he can hang out with Brian and Angela. Brian tries to be gently as he says they’d like time alone. When he goes back to Angela, she asks what they were talking about. She’s upset when Brian says he told Rickie to keep his distance so they could have privacy. Angela has no idea why they would want privacy. What does Brian think is happening?

Brian says they might want to dance, which Angela thinks is a ridiculous idea. He says they should just see how things progress. He doesn’t even believe in making plans – “whatever happens, happens.” Angela says that’s the dumbest thing she’s ever heard. They both see Delia talking to Rickie, which alerts Angela to the fact that Brian lied about her not coming to the dance. She calls him heartless and says he doesn’t understand people.

Angela starts to leave, then stops when she sees Jordan at the dance with his friends. Brian thinks it’s ironic that Angela would call him heartless when she’s the same way. As Jordan sees that Angela has spotted him, Brian approaches Delia and apologizes for being…well, heartless. Sharon and Kyle join them, and Sharon says she’s glad Delia came even without a date, because there are tons of cute guys for her to meet.

Angela joins Rickie outside and learns that Rayanne didn’t explain things to Corey. Killing her would only solve half of Rickie’s problems. The other half is that Rickie feels like he doesn’t belong anywhere or with anyone. Angela gives him a comforting hug. Jordan and his friends pass him as they leave for more interesting places, and Rickie tells Angela it’s okay if she wants to go talk to him.

Brian starts to come outside but goes back in when he sees Angela and Jordan together. Jordan does what he does best, leaning over Angela as if he wants to kiss her. He asks her why she likes this. She doesn’t know what he means. “Like how you are,” he replies. Angela still doesn’t know what he means, but he goes off with his friends without explaining.

Back in the gym, Delia and Rickie find themselves standing near each other, so he invites her to dance. It’s awkward at first, but then Rickie just goes for it, dancing like he doesn’t care what anyone thinks of him. His enthusiasm is contagious, and Delia joins in. Even Kyle’s impressed. Brian just watches from a distance as the girl he could have had fun with has fun with someone else.

Angela finally goes back in and apologizes to Brian for ruining his night. All he can think about is how great her hair smells. They both say school dances are dumb, so it doesn’t matter. She asks him to dance, but he says, “Not with you.” He backtracks, saying he doesn’t care about dancing that much. Angela says she doesn’t, either. So they just stand and watch while the rest of their classmates enjoy their lives.

Thoughts: Delia is awesome and Brian sucks for hurting her.

It’s 1994, girls. Time to grow backbones and ask boys out yourselves.

Delia manages to adorably combine two major ’90s trends with a plaid scrunchy.

’90s music alert: “What Is Love?” by Haddaway

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.