January 4, 2020

My So-Called Life 19, In Dreams Begin Responsibilities: Unconscious Wishes

Posted in TV tagged , , at 1:12 pm by Jenn

Brian Krakow, forever alone

Summary: Angela wakes up from a dream she tells us she keeps having about Jordan. She’s trying to catch up with him in the hallway at school, but her shoes get stuck to the floor and he walks away before she can reach him. Sometimes Graham is there, mirroring Jordan’s movements. Sometimes it’s mixed in with her great-aunt’s funeral. Patty and Graham try to wave her over to the ceremony, but she leaves them. At the end of the dream, Angela finally catches up to Jordan and yells at him for hurting her. He just takes it, like he doesn’t care what happens to him.

Angela voices over that “hatred can become like food.” It gives you energy you can live off of. She goes downstairs, where Graham tells Patty that the restaurant investors are getting cold feet. Angela wants to share her dream, but no one wants to hear it. Patty says she dreamed about Tony Poole.

At school, Delia tells Sharon that she had a dream about Rickie. They were dancing in a vegetable garden. She asks how much Sharon knows about Rickie. She figures Sharon would know him because they’re both friends with Rayanne. Sharon denies that she and Rayanne are friends.

Graham and Hallie are fighting at the restaurant space; the investors’ drawback about putting up the money turns out to be because of him. Patty brings them some food, but Graham’s too upset to eat, so he goes for a walk. Hallie thinks Graham is right to be angry since she didn’t tell him as soon as she knew that the investors were nervous about him. On the other hand, the investors are right to be nervous because they’d be backing a chef who’s never cooked professionally before. Hallie thinks he’ll win them over if he cooks for them.

Patty tells Hallie that one of her ex-boyfriends wound up in the restaurant business, so she can contact him if Hallie wants advice. Graham returns and says what Hallie said after he left, about how he can win over the investors by cooking for them. Hallie and Patty pretend that he’s the only one who came up with that idea.

After an English class, Jordan and Sharon both approach Angela. She voices over that it’s weird to run into someone you’ve just had a dream about. It makes you worry that you’ll give something away about the dream. Sharon goes to talk to Mr. K, and Jordan tries to make small talk with Angela before revealing that Brian figured out the name for his reading difficulties.

Brian asks Sharon about Delia, but Sharon says she’s interested in Rickie now, since Brian didn’t treat her right. Jordan tells Angela that the Frozen Embryos have renamed themselves Residue. Angela asks why he’s telling her all this. He walks off, and Sharon comes back over, saying she can’t believe his nerve in trying to talk to Angela after what he did. She tells Sharon that she had her dream about him again. As Sharon is about to reveal what she dreamed, Mr. K interrupts and asks Angela to help sell tickets for Our Town. Sharon says she dreamed that she and Rayanne appeared in a charity water ballet together.

Jordan goes to a tutoring session with Brian but can’t focus – he’s upset about his failure to have a conversation with Angela. He’s pretty sure she hates him, and he deserves it. He tried to apologize to her, but he couldn’t figure out what to say. Brian thinks he just needs to say he’s sorry. He can’t believe that Jordan, who has the guts to approach any girl and get her phone number, is scared to talk to Angela.

Jordan asks Brian to help him figure out how to apologize. Brian says he did something unforgivable and created his own prison. There’s no way to help him with that; he’ll have to find his way out himself. Jordan thinks this kind of language would be perfect, so he asks for more. Brian refuses to get involved in whatever Jordan says or doesn’t say to Angela. They agree to work separately for the rest of the tutoring session, but Brian can’t help asking what Jordan has decided on so far.

Rayanne and Rickie are having a conversation in a school hallway about whether or not she’s a happy person. (She says yes, he says no.) Brian approaches, and after Rayanne leaves, Rickie says he’s signed Brian up to sell tickets to the play. Brian says he has no free time. Delia joins them and asks Rickie, who’s stage-managing the play, how she can get involved. He tells her she can help sell tickets. Brian brightly volunteers his help as well. Once Delia’s gone, Brian tells Rickie that, according to Sharon, Delia “has it” for Rickie. Rickie’s proud to be the object of someone’s affection.

Patty has gotten Tony Poole’s number from Camille and places a flirty phone call making arrangements to get together so she can ask his advice. Angela and Danielle eavesdrop, then reveal themselves and dig for information. Patty shows them an old picture in an album, trying to keep them from focusing on a picture of her hitchhiking.

She tells them she hasn’t seen Tony since high school, but she dreamed about him last night. She was taking out the garbage, and Princess Diana was there. (Apparently she shows up in Patty’s dreams a lot.) In the dream, Patty has longer hair and is wearing a white nightgown. Tony arrives on a motorcycle and they make out. Patty claims she doesn’t remember anything after that.

Danielle asks if Patty loves Tony more than Graham. Angela’s defensive about the question, but Danielle says she gets nervous that Patty and Graham might get divorced. Angela thinks there’s nothing to worry about – Patty and Tony are just going to talk for a little while. Someone can dream about a person she used to have feelings for but doesn’t anymore. It doesn’t mean anything.

Patty says she loved Tony a long time ago, but she chose Graham to spend her life with. However, she and Tony did have a lot of wild times together, and “it’s always tempted to lose yourself in someone who’s maybe lost themselves.” Eventually, though, you’ll want to leave your dream and go back to reality.

Later that night, Patty casually tells Graham that she called Tony and invited him over on Friday to talk about his experiences in the restaurant business. (He owns a Jeep dealership now. Also, he’s married.) Graham says he’s cooking for the investors that night. He doesn’t seem worried about Patty spending time with her ex alone, though.

At school, Sharon has told Angela that Delia has a crush on Rickie and wonders if he’s interested in girls. Angela’s surprised, since she thought Delia liked Brian. She spots Rayanne and the two ignore each other. Jordan’s trying to finalize his speech to Angela, with help from Brian. He wants to include something Brian has gotten from his parents about an unconscious wish. Maybe he had an unconscious wish to hurt Angela.

Jordan steels himself and approaches Angela, telling her everything he and Brian put together. To an eavesdropping Brian’s despair, she’s really impressed with Jordan’s words. She’s ready to have a serious talk with her ex. Jordan thinks they just did, but Angela says his little speech can’t be the end of the discussion. He runs off before they can get any further.

At a tutoring session the next day, Jordan tells Brian that he was close, but he needs to say more to Angela. She seems “starved.” He wants to write everything down so he doesn’t screw up. Brian again refuses to help. Angela tells Rickie that Jordan’s speech was “like a dream.” Just as she realized that they could actually communicate, he ran off. Rayanne interrupts to ask for one of the posters they’re hanging up for the play. Her mother’s really excited that Rayanne’s in the show.

Angela leaves before the conversation can go deeper than surface-level, and Rayanne follows suit. She bumps into Brian, snapping at him, and he asks Rickie why she hates him so much. They start talking about Angela and Jordan, and Brian admits that he gave Jordan all the words to say to her. Rickie accuses Brian of using Jordan to express his feelings to Angela. Brian hadn’t thought of that before. Delia comes by and reminds Rickie that she’ll be selling tickets for the show. Brian says that she really likes Rickie. Rickie wishes he liked her back; it would make his life a lot easier. It could be his chance to be straight.

Graham and Hallie work on their menu for the investors’ meal. He mentions that Patty’s meeting with Tony and promises that he’s not worried about it, even if there will be flirting. Hallie and Graham agree that people can flirt without it meaning anything. Hallie notes that Graham can still act jealous – it would be “considerate.” Uh, to whom?

Brian hangs out late at school, writing down some thoughts on the back of an Our Town poster. He gives the notes to Jordan – they’re a letter to give to Angela. Jordan rewrites it in his own handwriting as Brian reads it in voiceover. It’s about how he wants to be holding Angela, and how he can’t tell her the whole truth. She can burn the letter if she wants, or tell Jordan to go to Hell, and it wouldn’t matter. He’d just send her a letter from Hell.

Angela rereads the letter on the bus to school the next day, then tells Brian that it showed her another side of Jordan. She thinks it’s incredible and shows how much work he and Brian have done together in their tutoring sessions. Brian asks what her favorite part was, but Angela says it’s too personal to talk about. As soon as she sees Jordan, she ditches Brian.

Angela tries to tell Jordan how much the letter meant to her, but he’s uneasy now about passing off Brian’s words as his own. He tells her that in his dreams, he always knows what to say, and Angela always forgives him. The real Angela must, too, because she kisses him. Brian sees, realizing that his hard work has paid off, but for someone else.

Rickie comes over to tell him to pick up his tickets at Mr. K’s that night. He notices the kissing, and Brian says it doesn’t matter. They’ll all be dead someday. He confesses to Rickie that he wrote a letter for Jordan. Rickie urges him to tell Angela the truth, but Brian doesn’t think it would be right. Jordan asked for help, and Brian can’t go back on that now.

Sharon runs into Rayanne in the bathroom, where Rayanne is crying over the fact that she doesn’t have any friends. Angela ditched her, Rickie isn’t fully there for there, and Tino’s not dependable. Rayanne thinks Sharon believes she doesn’t deserve friends. Sharon chastises her for being “non-shockable.” Rayanne thinks it’s refreshing, and Sharon admits that it is. She adds that she’s Rayanne’s friend, even if she’s not someone Rayanne would choose for friendship. Rayanne says she screwed up. “Duh squared,” Sharon replies.

It’s Friday, and all the Chases are going in separate directions for the evening – Graham to the investors’ dinner, Patty to dinner with Tony, Angela to Mr. K’s, and Danielle…eh, who cares? At Mr. K’s, Rickie tells Angela he knows about the letter, then reveals that Brian wrote it. Angela pretends she’d already figured that out.

Mr. K invites the students who’ve come to get their tickets out for pizza, but Angela just wants to go home. Rickie stays back for a minute to talk to Delia alone. He asks her to a movie, saying he thinks they would be good together. Delia says okay, though she knows about Rickie’s sexuality. He tries to hedge, about to say he doesn’t like to label it, but then confirms that he’s gay. This is the first time he’s said it out loud. Delia says she feels a little honored.

She confesses that she has a huge crush on him because he’s such an awesome person and a great dancer. Plus, Brian hurt her, and she wanted to have a crush on someone who wouldn’t hurt her. Rickie tells her that if he liked girls, he would be attracted to her. But really, who wouldn’t? Delia’s adorable.

Patty waits nervously for Tony at the house, but Jordan shows up instead. As Graham and Hallie serve the investors, Patty gets a call from Tony canceling their plans. She tells Jordan, after hearing his whole story, that he obviously never meant to hurt Angela. He says he felt safe because he could walk away at any time. He didn’t feel like he needed Angela, or anyone. Of course, he was wrong.

Jordan asks Patty if she always wears this much makeup. She explains that she was supposed to meet up with an old friend. He called to cancel because he’s sick and took too much medicine, then got scared to drive. Never mind that, when they were teenagers, he took all sorts of risks.

Graham and Hallie second-guesses their menu as the investors finish the meal. They’re very impressed with Graham’s work. Mr. K drops Angela off at home, where she sees Jordan’s car outside. Graham calls to tell Patty that the investors have signed on to the restaurant. He asks whether Tony’s still there and what it was like seeing him again. Looking at Jordan, Patty says it was like old times. Graham says he’s a little jealous, and Patty says she’s glad. Hallie and Graham congratulate themselves with a hug that’s juuuuuust about to turn into more when he says he needs to get home.

Angela’s still outside her house when Brian rides by on his bike. She asks him whether he wrote Jordan’s letter, and he corrects Rickie’s claim, saying that he just proofread it. Angela can’t believe she fell for what was obviously a bunch of lies. Brian says he meant every word. Well, the person who wrote it did. Probably.

Brian asks her to just forget the whole conversation. But he’s glad that the letter made her happy. Maybe that’s all that matters. To the writer of the letter, at least. Jordan comes outside and takes Angela away for a ride, assuring her that Patty said it was okay. She goes off with him, not completely happy about it, and leaves Brian behind, also not completely happy. So basically no one’s happy at the end of the series, except maybe Rickie and Delia. Yay?

Thoughts: The big question: If the show had come back for a second season, would Graham have cheated on Patty with Hallie? I say yes.

Imagine if this had been Dawson’s Creek. Mr. K’s class would be reading Cyrano de Bergerac to underline Brian and Jordan’s scheme.

Those 19 episodes flew by, and we’ve come to the end of the series. I…don’t necessarily feel more fulfilled having seen it. I’m sure it felt more unique when it first aired, and I might have found it more relatable when I was younger, but now…it was fine. Just fine.

Up next: more school.

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”


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 16, 2019

My So-Called Life 12, Self-Esteem: Everyone Deserves Better

Posted in TV tagged , , at 1:20 pm by Jenn

Ouch, this is painful

Summary: Angela voices over that some places at school seem reserved for certain people. She passes a classroom where Sharon is telling some friends that she regrets breaking up with Kyle before midterms. Angela voices over that there are lines that aren’t supposed to be crossed. There’s a spot in the boiler room where people only go for one reason…and now Angela’s there with Jordan, for that reason: making out. Look who got her guy!

Angela’s missing her (optional) geometry review for this, and she gets busted by her teacher, Ms. Lerner, who’s showing around yet another new English teacher. Ms. Lerner warns that she might not pass her midterm. Another teacher, Ms. Chavatal, pops in and says that Angela has low self-esteem. She introduces herself to the new English teacher, Mr. Katimski. The women think he’s a catch. I don’t see it.

Neither does Rickie, who’s in Mr. Katimski’s class. His classmates make fun of his real name, Enrique, and he tries to play along. After class, he complains to Rayanne about the classmates and Mr. Katimski. He does an impression of Mr. K, then realizes he’s standing right in front of him.

Later, Rickie tells Rayanne that instead of getting in trouble, Rickie got an invitation to join the drama club. He thinks he might consider it, if he was really bored, but not if Mr. K is in charge. The topic of conversation turns to Angela, who’s currently making out with Jordan again. Rickie thinks it’s romantic that they’re together. Rayanne is skeptical that it’ll last.

Patty comes home from work and finds Graham studying terms for his new cooking class. He’s worried that he won’t measure up to his classmates. Danielle spots an unfamiliar word and asks what “mediocrity” means. Hey, Danielle, next ask what “irony” means. Angela comes home in a great mood, which, of course, confuses her parents.

Angela goes upstairs to supposedly study for geometry, but instead she reminisces about making out with Jordan. She voices over that they barely talked during all that kissing, so when they did speak, it was meaningful. Like when she finds a leaf in his hair, and when he wonders whose stomach is grumbling. Jordan’s friend Shane comes looking for him, so Jordan hushes Angela and asks her to keep their trysts there secret. He’ll tell Shane he was there with a girl, but not who the girl is. Always the sign of a healthy relationship.

Back in school, Angela voices over that her life has become divided into two sections: kissing and not kissing. When she’s not kissing, she’s thinking about kissing. She’s missing all the geometry review sessions and is trying to be invisible in class. It’s easy, since the boys are much braver about answering questions and possibly being wrong. Angela gets a 59 and a “see me” on a quiz, which means she can’t stay invisible any longer.

Two of Angela’s classmates chat about their grades; the guy isn’t doing much better than Angela, but the girl, Abyssinia, got a 98. However, she tells the guy that she only got a 60 and will have to attend a review. The guy, Troy, offers to help her, since he got a 66. Wow, they’re somehow managing to reenact a plot from Mean Girls years before the movie even came out! Ms. Lerner chastises Angela for doing poorly in class and reminds her about the review sessions.

Angela hangs out with Rayanne after school and asks her not to tell anyone about her makeout sessions with Jordan. Rayanne notes that Angela’s letting Jordan control her. Angela points out that Rayanne pushed her to do stuff like this; now that she is, Rayanne’s criticizing her. Rayanne has made out with tons of guys and none of them control her. Rayanne says it’s because she leaves her emotions out of it. She’s the type of person who can handle the boiler room – Angela isn’t.

Patty is seeing Chuck out of the Chases’ house as Rayanne leaves for the night. Chuck notices a squeaky floorboard and asks where Graham is, obviously wanting to know why Graham isn’t keeping up with house repairs. Patty says he’s at a cooking class, a big step for his new life goals. She’s very supportive of this turning point of his. Chuck tells her they’re throwing away money; Graham needs a headhunter so he can get a job and stop living off the money Patty’s making. Chuck thinks she deserves better.

Graham chats with a classmate, Hallie, while they wait for their teacher to arrive. She jokes that it’s like they’re in a Twilight Zone episode – they thought they were there for a cooking class, but they’re forced to make awkward conversation instead. Or maybe they’re in a human-behavior experiment to see how long they get along before they turn on each other. Hallie tries to bond with everyone, but no one wants to play along.

After class, Graham tells Patty that the whole thing was strange. He looks through the fridge for spicy mustard (which Rayanne would say means something about sex). Patty thinks Graham hated the class, so they should use the tuition money to hire a headhunter instead. Graham says that’s not what he meant. Later, in bed, he tells Patty that the teacher never showed up. The weirdness was Hallie being loud and annoying. However, she did discover that their teacher was absent because of food poisoning, and she got him to reschedule the class.

Shane catches up with Jordan as he’s on his way to meet Angela in their makeout spot. There’s a band playing that weekend, Buffalo Tom, and Jordan agrees to go see them with Shane. Angela’s very happy to ditch her studying to be with Jordan, who says he’s happy to see her. She tries to fish for an invitation to see Buffalo Tom with Jordan, but he doesn’t extend one.

Sharon runs into Rayanne in the bathroom and asks if she’s ever been to any classes. That’s a great questions, Sharon. She wants to know what’s going on with Angela and Jordan. Sharon can’t ask Angela herself, since Angela will think Sharon’s checking up on her. Sharon worries that Angela will end up getting hurt. Rayanne feels the same way.

Angela catches them together, and Sharon asks why she keeps skipping geometry review. Angela wonders why Sharon and Rayanne are suddenly talking about her. She preemptively refuses to talk to Sharon about Jordan. Sharon says that Jordan’s keeping Angela a secret, at least according to Rayanne. Rayanne says she only chats with Sharon because they care about Angela. She compares this to Angela’s concern over Rayanne’s drinking and drug use. Sharon agrees that the situations are connected – it’s about self-respect.

The girls question why Jordan would keep his relationship with Angela a secret. Does he think he’s cooler than her? That she’s not good enough? Angela says they’re just not like Sharon and Kyle, and don’t have to walk around holding hands all the time. Rayanne asks why that’s considered intimate anyway, since hands aren’t an erogenous zone. (She mispronounces “erogenous” and Sharon corrects her.)

Angela says that obviously Jordan does want to be seen with her, since he invited her to see Buffalo Tom with him. She just can’t go because of her geometry studying. Sharon says she might go – she’s been good long enough and has the right to screw up her midterms. Rayanne thinks she has an obligation to.

Ms. Lerner tries to strike up a conversation with Mr. K about how frustrating it is that some of her students aren’t doing well. Mr. K gets distracted when he sees Rickie and Rayanne walking by, and he invites Rayanne to join the drama club. She briefly considers it, if there’s a chance she’ll be able to play hooky from something else, but Mr. K doesn’t think that’ll happen.

He keeps calling Rickie “Enrique,” which Rickie says no one calls him. Mr. K thinks it’s a waste to have a name like Enrique and not use it. Since his name is Richard, he’s technically an Enrique, too. Rickie corrects that his Spanish name would be Ricardo. He’s short with Mr. K and makes it clear that he doesn’t want to join the drama club. Ms. Chavatal comes by Mr. K’s room and finds Ms. Lerner beating herself up for making a fool of herself in front of Mr. K.

Rickie and Brian complain to each other about their respective problems, not really listening to each other. Rickie’s annoyed with Mr. K, and Brian’s frustrated that Angela wants him to put his own life on hold to help her with geometry. Of course, it’s Brian, so no matter what he’s supposed to be doing, he’ll probably go by the Chases’ anyway and help Angela out.

Hallie starts chatting with Graham in class, but this time he’s less annoyed by her. She thinks their teacher, a famous chef, is drunk. She threatens to make a fuss if he doesn’t get it together. They deserve better. When Graham gets home, he tries to tell Patty about the class, but she has questions that take him out of his narrative. She’s made some curtains and asks him not to seem so surprised that she was able to sew them. Graham agrees with Hallie that the teacher was drunk.

Angela goes to the Buffalo Tom concert with Rayanne and Sharon, the latter of whom says she should be home studying for midterms instead. Brian chooses that night to go see Angela, and learns from Danielle that she’s at the concert. Angela can’t find Jordan, so she’s ready to leave. Rayanne spots him just as Shane sees her and “that weird girl she always hangs out with.” Jordan ignores Angela, who tells her friends that she doesn’t think he saw her. He’s “busy,” so she’s not going to bother him.

Rayanne and Sharon wonder why Jordan is ignoring Angela when he (supposedly) asked her to meet him there. They urge her to approach him, so she does, but Jordan is cold to her. Sharon and Rayanne are almost as upset about that as Angela is. While Sharon follows Angela as she mopes away, Rayanne confronts Jordan for being a jerk to a girl he clearly likes. She warns that Angela won’t wait around forever.

Back at home, Angela voices over that there’s something about Sunday night that makes you suicidal, especially after you’ve been embarrassed by your sort-of boyfriend and you have a midterm you’re not ready for the next day. Plus, Brian has her textbook and Danielle is done with her juvenile homework. She shows off her report on crustaceans to Patty, who gushes over it.

Graham’s at another cooking class, which appears to be delayed again. Hallie has a question for him about risotto. Patty asks Angela if she feels ready for her geometry midterm. Angela says yes, but she’s going to call Brian for a study session. Patty says she’s glad Angela is staying on top of her math, since Patty was always bad at it and worried she would pass that badness down to her daughters.

Brian comes over and snaps at Angela for interrupting his own studying to ask for help with her own. She expresses regret but needs help anyway. Brian yells that he’s up to calculus, and is under a ton of pressure to always get good grades. “You have the option of insanity,” he tells her. His own inability to go crazy makes him crazy. As Graham comes home, Brian decides he needs to leave.

Graham tells Patty that his teacher has gone to rehab. She worries that he’s going to stay in the class just to spite her, since it was her idea. She’s learned her lesson; he should just quit the class. Graham says that, actually, he’s going to be teaching the class. Um, what? As he was telling Hallie why the risotto she tried to make for her fiancé didn’t turn out well, other classmates started asking questions. One said that Graham was easier to follow than the teacher, so the classmates asked him to take over. Graham is a little upset that Patty’s so surprised at his success.

Jordan leaves Angela a note in her locker asking to meet him in the boiler room. Knowing it’s a bad idea, Angela goes anyway, and they make out without discussing what happened at the concert. In fact, they start making out without even saying anything. Angela complains that Jordan is the way he is. He doesn’t know what she means. “Like how you are,” she says.

Jordan tells Angela she can leave if she’s not happy, so she starts to go. She stops and asks him to admit “that all of this happened.” She wants him to admit that he has feelings, and that he’s wrong for the way he’s been treating her. Also, he spelled her name wrong in the note he left her.

Mr. K bores an English class with a sonnet (“My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun…”). Jordan is, for once, listening, and probably picturing the same person Brian is. Mr. K asks who Shakespeare is describing in the poem. She’s not the most beautiful girl in the world, but he loves her anyway. Jordan gets it, so Mr. K asks why Shakespeare is in love with the subject of the poem. Brian says she’s not just a fantasy. She has flaws and is real.

Angela cuts English to cram for her geometry midterm in the bathroom, praying that God will help her pass. Abyssinia is also there, and both consider skipping the test, since they’re going to flunk anyway. Angela knows Jordan is the reason for her laziness in studying. The two girls end up studying together, and by the time they need to make up their minds about the test, they decide to go ahead and give it a shot. But! Sharon bursts in and announces that the copier ate the test, so it’s been postponed until the next day. Angela says she’ll go to the final review session, but Abyssinia thinks she’s ready without it.

Mr. K flags down Rickie in the hallway, and Rickie says he’s absolutely, positively not going to join the drama club. He’s not the sort of person who joins things. Mr. K thinks he’s hesitant because it’s not cool. He just wants Rickie to fulfill his potential. It’s like Mr. K is a track coach, and Rickie can run really fast, so Mr. K needs him on his team.

Rickie yells at Mr. K to stop calling him Enrique. Mr. K says he also hated his name in high school. Rickie denies that he hates his. Mr. K is happy to hear that – no one should hate who they are. After Mr. K leaves, Rickie puts his name on the sign-up list for the drama club. Rayanne sees it and grins – he signed himself Enrique instead of Rickie.

Brian watches Angela as she chats with her friends, then sees Jordan watching her as well. As Buffalo Tom plays over the scene (“I held her hand too tight… I’m not a thoughtless guy…”), Jordan approaches Angela in the busy hallway and asks if they can go somewhere. He takes her hand on their way to make out. Sharon calls after Angela not to forget her geometry review, but Rayanne says it’s too late – she’s already forgotten about it.

Thoughts: Mr. K is played by Jeff Perry.

Abyssinia’s full name is Abyssinia Churchill, which sounds like a character from The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.

What do you think Sharon normally does for fun? Do you think she ever actually has fun?