In Fall of 1994, I was one of a small few who did not watch the first season of Friends. I was ten years old, and I was about to get the first real education on what was going to happen in the next decade or so. ABC’s My So-Called Life, a tragically show-lived gem of a series that portrayed youth and all its intricacies in a realism never before or after reached, made more of a pop cultural mark in 19 episodes than most series do in many seasons. Even my 15 year old sister and her friends caught the series in its reruns and asked me the question I’ve thought and heard so many times: “What would have happened if they had a second season?” Who knows… and 13 years later, who cares I guess. Lets just be happy we had those 19 perfectly written and executed slices of mid-90s teen angst… And that we can now watch them whenever we want.
Today marks the release of the long overdue re-issed DVD box set of My So-Called Life. Complete with loads of extras and a book, the set is actually a decent price ($50ish) and available in mass quantities. Go by it. And while for five years, I held the fact that I owned the rare original (and extraless) set (which I purchased with my tax refund in Spring 2003 for $130) over the head of everyone I knew who loved the show but didnt spend their money so fruitfully (or quickly, it was off the shelves by that Fall)… I’m ready to let my petty selfishness go and smile at the sight of Angela Chase on the DVD shelves of everyone I know who loved it.
After the jump, a selection of classic MSCL quotes to entice your spending habits.
“Sometimes it seems like we’re all living in some kind of prison, and the crime is how much we all hate ourselves. It’s good to get really dressed up once in a while and admit the truth — that when you really look closely, people are so strange and so complicated that they’re actually beautiful. Possibly even me.”
“So I tried to be invisible. It’s surprisingly possible.”
“Hatred can become like food. It gives you this energy. You can, like, live off it.”
“It’s amazing the things you notice. Like the corner of his collar that was coming undone, like he was from a poor family and couldn’t afford new shirts. That’s all I could see. The whole world was that unraveled piece of fabric. It’s such a lie that you should do what’s in your heart. If we all did what was in our hearts, the world would come to a halt.”
“It just seems like, you agree to have a certain personality or something. For no reason. Just to make things easier for everyone. But when you think about it, I mean, how do you know it’s even you? And, I mean, this whole thing with yearbook — it’s like, everybody’s in this big hurry to make this book, to supposedly remember what happened. Because if you made a book of what really happened, it’d be a really upsetting book.”
I know in the past I’ve caused you pain, and I’m sorry. And I’ll always be sorry till the day I die. And I hate this pen I’m holding, because I should be holding you. I hate this paper under my hand because it isn’t you. I even hate this letter because it’s not the whole truth. Because the whole truth is so much more than a letter can even say. If you wanna hate me, go ahead. If you wanna burn this letter, do it. You could burn the whole world down. You could tell me to go to hell. I’d go. If you wanted me to. And I’d send you a letter from there.
“It’s like you think you’re safe or something, ’cause you can just walk away, anytime, because you don’t like, need her. You don’t need anyone. But the thing you didn’t realize is, you’re wrong.”
“What’s amazing is when you can feel your life going somewhere, like your life just figured out how to get good, like, that second.”
“You know how sometimes the last sentence you said, like, echoes in your brain? And it just keeps sounding stupider? And you have to say something else just to make it stop?”
“Walking into someone’s house for the first time is like entering another country. Not that I’ve ever been to another country.”
“There’s something about Sunday night that really makes you want to kill yourself.”
“Have you ever just like completely given up on someone and then something happens and you go, Oh my God. There is so much more to this person than I ever dreamed.”
“Love is when you look into someone’s eyes and suddenly you go all the way inside, to their soul, and you both know instantly.”
“I couldn’t stop thinking about it. The, like, fact that – that people – had sex. That they just *had* it, like sex was this thing people – *had*, like a rash. Or a – a Rottweiler. Everything started to seem like, pornographic or something. Like, Mrs. Krysanowski has sex. So does Mr. Katimsky. They both have sex. They could – have sex together. Like right now. I am, like, the *sickest* person. “
“The worst feeling is suddenly realizing that you don’t measure up. And that, in the past, when you thought you did, you were a fool.”
“Did you ever try to protect someone so much that it, like, hurt?”
“I’m just really, like, low. I’ll just find any excuse to touch him.”
“What I, like, dread is when people who know you in completely different ways end up in the same area. You have to develop this, like, combination you on the spot.”
“There are so many different ways to be connected to people. There are the people you feel this unspoken connection to, even though there’s not even a word for it. There’s the people who you’ve known forever who know you in this way that other people can’t because they’ve seen you change. They’ve let you change.”
“People are always saying you should be yourself, like yourself is this definite thing, like a toaster. Like you know what it is even. But every so often I’ll have, like, a moment, where just being myself in my life right where I am is, like, enough.”