1 9 9 4 – 1 9 9 5 (USA)
19 x 60 minute episodes
This bittersweet ABC drama series looked at life through the eyes of 15-year-old high school student Angela Chase (Claire Danes) in the (fictional) Pittsburgh suburb of Three Rivers where she attended Liberty High School.
Angela was a nice girl from a nice family. Her parents, Graham (Tom Irwin) and Patti (Bess Armstrong) were nice and her friends – like Sharon Cherski (Devon Odessa) – were also nice. Class geek Brian Krakow (Devon Gummersall) had a crush on her.
But when Angela got some new friends, including troubled party girl Rayanne Graff (AJ Langer) and her closeted gay friend Rickie Vasquez (Wilson Cruz) – the first openly gay teenage character to appear on American network television – her life changed dramatically and Angela found herself drawn to the mysterious Jordan Catalano (Jared Leto), a soulful but frustratingly monosyllabic dreamboat who played in a band called Frozen Embryo.
The characters were complex and had just enough of a dark, gritty edge to be convincingly realistic.
Only 19 of a planned 22 episodes were completed due to the show’s untimely cancellation before even making it through one entire season. It never really stood a chance given that its timeslot placed it up against both Friends and Mad About You.
In 1995, MTV picked up the syndication rights to My So-Called Life, allowing the show to live on through endless repeats. The series was broadcast in the UK on Channel 4 in 1995.
My So-Called Life was shot on location at University High School in Los Angeles. Filming took place during the school year, so students and teachers had to be shifted to other parts of the school that weren’t being used for filming.
Enrique “Rickie” Vasquez