Monday 15 April 2013

A-Z Challenge: M: My So-Called Life

 What I Learned About Writing from Watching TV aka Justifying my TV Habit.

M is a toss-up between Merlin (good example of taking a mythology and making a new, modern twist on it, but sticking to the principles of it) and My So-Called Life.
I’m going with My So-Called Life because Jordan Catalano WINS.

This show felt like teen life. People didn’t always learn a lesson or hug at the end. Angela was introspective. Cried. She didn’t act perfectly or always make the right choice. This was one of the first times themes like homelessness and school violence weren’t introduced as part of a ‘Very Special Blossom’ but as part of a continuing storyline.

It’s also a great example of a teen asserting and finding her identity. This is an important YA Theme.

I take a lot away from My So-Called Life in terms of writing but I guess the main one would be that it’s okay to be real, in all its gritty, not perfect, not always resolved glory. That teenagers cry and are introspective and lust after the Catalano when the Brian is right there.

I love that Tino is mentioned every episode but we NEVER actually meet him. I must work a Tino reference in to a novel sometime.

Quote: It had become the focus of everything. It was all I could feel, all I could think about. It blotted out the rest of my face, the rest of my life. Like the zit had become... the truth about me. 


  1. I never watched My So Called Life. I tried but it never went anywhere for me.
    Dani @ Entertaining Interests

  2. Oh, the angst! That show has left a permanent mark on my psyche, so much did I relate to young Angela.

    One of my favorite episodes was the one with the English teacher- seeing all of her classmates find their voices on such serious issues and be so inspired by this guy who- at the end- was kind-of a schmuck when it came to real morals and 'doing the right thing'. It felt so real to life, more so than a lot of other things I've seen.

  3. I would've gone with Merlin. But you seem to like this one.

  4. Life isn't perfect, especially for a teen.

  5. sounds like a good show but I've never seen it. We started to watch Merlin and it was pretty creative but got bored after a while

  6. Never watched this one but I'm a huge fan of Claire Danes now on Homeland. Love her.

  7. Heard good things about this show, but never saw it. I guess I'm missing out!

  8. Dani - it was maybe something v. much of its time!

    Beverly Fox - I LOVED that show and how there weren't necessarily easy answers. You pick a great example of that with the teacher!
    Definitely more true to life than many shows manage.

    Sheena-kay Graham- MERLIN Is a good one too!

    Alex J. Cavanaugh - definitely not!

    sassyspeaks - Merlin was fun too :)

    Julie Flanders - CD is v. good ;)

    Lara - it is v. good!

  9. I remember the show, though, never watched it. Sounds like I should have.

  10. This show may even have started the YA trend that's so prevalent now.

    Moody Writing

  11. Cathrina - it was worth a view!

    Mooderino - ah very good point.


Please comment, I'd love to know what you think! :)