A mix of TV series trivia, silliness, and nostalgia in this post…
Like many families, we often watch certain movies and TV shows with our children — simply for the fun and shared experience of watching them together. We did this throughout our children’s younger years and it somehow continued as they became young adults.
This past year, without really planning to, we started watching Grey’s Anatomy together each week. When the show’s season ended in May, we seemed to need something else to keep this viewing time together going. Since we had recently bought the entire (and only) season of My So-called Life on DVD, my husband and I suggested that. The girls were skeptical at first (“that’s your old show…” ). Early in our marriage, my husband and I watched the TV series, Thirtysomething. When we learned that My So-Called Life was created by the same producers, we tuned in. We were new parents at that time and we thoroughly enjoyed the show during our quieter evenings… until it was cancelled suddenly after one season! One of the reasons for the cancellation may have been because it competed in the same time slot as the series, “Friends”. We weren’t big fans of that series, so #mscl it was. (I was surprised to find an active hashtag for the show on Twitter!)
And it turns out, our girls got hooked on #mscl and the characters. We managed to watch the whole season over the course of the summer. Although my husband and I recalled many of the episodes well, we still enjoyed the revisit to the stories. As a family, we laughed, cried and discussed. I think the girls were quite impressed to watch Jared Leto in his first TV gig. And just like when we watched it over 20 years ago, the show still captured the essence of high school “hell”, teen angst, and the complexities of relationships. Our daughters’ reactions and comments confirmed that. We also had to smile when they commented about the situations that the teens got themselves in and out of… “without cell phones”. So that led to a few stories of our own teen years to share. We had also forgotten that the teens on the show inserted “like” a lot into their verbal communication. Did that, like, start in, like, the 90s? :)
It was great that the show still led to many insights and affirmations about being a teenager for our girls, as it did for us in the past. It captured teen angst, but also parenting angst as well! I suspect that our girls may have gained some insight and appreciation of their parents as both people and parents. It was nice to experience a sense that “some things don’t change” when it can seem that so much has. From the back of the DVD case, “Whether you’ve memorized every line, or it’s your very first time, My So-called Life remains as fresh and honest today as when it premiered”. I definitely agree!
So if this winter gets long, you can borrow our DVD :) We also enjoyed checking out some related youtube videos about the show and the characters:
What happened to the cast of My So-Called Life
The Collected Wisdom of Angela Chase
Angela and Jordan – The Hallway Scene
The Evolution of Jared Leto: From My So-Called Life’s’ Jordan Catalano to Oscar Nominee
What old shows or movies have become new again for your family?