“My So-Called Life”: You’re so beautiful, it hurts to look at you

I’m so glad Sundance Channel started showing reruns of “My So-Called Life” this spring.

Oh, Jordan Catalano.../All photos by ABC

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen it – over 15 years in the case of some episodes – but I quickly fell in love with it all over again.

That was especially true of last week’s episode, “In Dreams Begin Responsibilities,” which was particularly bittersweet, amazing, and devastating – because it was the final episode E-V-E-R. How on earth could we just be left hanging like that, never knowing for certain whether Angela Chase finally got over her Jordan Catalano-centric obsession (however understandable it was), realized that her childhood bud Brian Krakow has loved her and worshiped her for, like, forever, and actually acted upon it?

Hey, Angela, give the guy a chance.

I mean, seriously. You gotta hand it to a guy who repeatedly put his heart on the line for a girl who – until literally the last freakin’ minutes of this series – was either oblivious or in denial (or both) to his affections. Brian tutored a near-illiterate Jordan (who hilariously called him “Brain” because he actually thought that was his name) simply to be near the girl he loved and to make her happy. Not only that, but he agreed to put his feelings to paper, in a teenage, super-angsty version of  Cyrano de Bergerac, that Jordan would then pass off as his own.

Dear Angela,

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 want to hate me, go ahead. If you want to burn this letter, do it. You can burn the whole world down, you can tell me to go to hell – I’d go. If you wanted me to. And I’d send you a letter from there.


Jordan Catalano

Seriously, wouldn’t you just die if someone wrote you a letter like that? Of course, in an ideal world Jordan would be as articulate, thoughtful, emotionally-aware, and prolific as he is drop-dead gorgeous. But hey, we can’t have it all.

Who was always there to make sure Angela came home, safe and sound? Yup, Brian Krakow.

And it was wonderful to watch Brian, who, through the majority of the series was portrayed as a high-strung, touchy, know-it-all who appeared oblivious to everyone’s feelings but his own (he treated his admirer, Delia Fisher, with about as much consideration as Angela treated him) evolve into a legitimate, romantic suitor.

The best part? Angela finally saw it, too. But would she act on it? Sadly, we will never know.

With a series finale like this, I have but one thing to say:

You’re so beautiful, “My So-Called Life,” it hurts to look at you.


  1. gkat34 said,

    February 8, 2012 at 12:40 am

    I love “My So-Called Life”! Best show ever!!! ❤

  2. avagacser said,

    September 24, 2011 at 8:39 am

    Totally! It makes me feel old because I wasn’t even a teenager when I watched it originally! My only consolation is Jordan Catalano is about the same age as me.

  3. September 24, 2011 at 1:07 am

    You know what I found crazy? How young everyone on the show looks. When I first started watching, I was so much younger than them. Now…I’m an old man!

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