My So-Called Life: Complete Series
DVD | Box Set
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For the first time ever, all 19 episodes of the critically-acclaimed television show My So-Called Life, starring Claire Danes, are available in one 5 disc DVD box set. Her portrayal of Angela Chase, the angst-ridden, introspective teen earned Clare Danes a Golden Globe. Even today, after being off the air since early 1995, the show has thousands of fans all around the world.
One of the most acclaimed series on TV during its brief run from 1994-1995, My So-Called Life pioneered the modern teen drama and made a star out of 15-year-old Claire Danes. Ostensibly centering around the trials and tribulations of high schooler Angela Chase, My So-Called Life actually expanded to include everyone in its protagonist's orbit, from school friends to extended family, and gave its stellar ensemble cast ripe material to work with during its too-short life. Produced by thirtysomething creators Marshall Herskovitz and Edward Zwick, MSCL evoked that yuppie-friendly show with its emphasis on finding extraordinary drama within ordinary situations, but was far more heartfelt and heart-wrenching, echoing the dizzying highs and lows of adolescence. As such, it developed a cult following among young viewers who identified strongly with Angela's high school traumas and followed her every move with rapt attention. (After cancellation, the show enjoyed a popular reprise on MTV.)
Avoiding the sensational, My So-Called Life tackled every teen hot-button issue imaginable (and pioneered the then-controversial topic of teen homosexuality), but with a clear-eyed perspective, never dissolving into soap opera-even when Angela mooned over heartthrob Jordan Catalano (dreamy Jared Leto). Even as it mined adolescent angst, though, My So-Called Life never lost sight of its adults, with Bess Armstrong and Tom Irwin both phenomenal as Angela's parents, whose marriage was one of the most complex seen on TV since... well, thirtysomething. Through it all, Golden Globe winner and Emmy nominee Danes was a neurotic, touching, and funny center, whether obsessing over a zit or negotiating the rocky terrain of first love. Her funny, sobering, and empathetic portrait of teendom reminded us that in some ways, life was just an extended version of high school. --Mark Englehart
- 19 episodes on five discs with remastered sound
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When a young person is coming to terms with who they are becoming, stumbling around in the transition from childhood to adulthood, it can be hell on earth then they realize that they aren't who they thought they would be, they aren't who their parents expected them to be, and they aren't who society says they should be.
There are rules all around us, spoken and unspoken, and we are supposed to follow them or face the consequences. Consequences from those around us - parents, teachers, fellow students, friends and enemies - and even from ourselves.
It was shows like MSCL that told us it's okay to be who you are and though the world may come at you on all sides, you'll get through it. You'll be okay.
No wonder it was cancelled. It's sad to admit that I actually cried when I discovered the news that my favourite show wouldn't be returning next season. I had expected to follow these characters all the way through highschool, sharing those years together. I felt robbed of the opportunity, disillusioned and sad.
Of course, I was a dramatic teen back then and I eventually got over it. When the show was picked up for re-runs, I had my VCR tuned and ready. When it first came out on DVD, I waited for the price to go down. (Which it never did.) And so, finally, it has returned to DVD and it's better than ever.
The best thing about having My So-Called Life in such a nice package as this is sharing it with those who didn't watch it the first time around, and to show a new generation what it was like 'back then'. It really was a different world sometimes and this is a great timecapsule to have, to remember, and to share.
I fell in love with "My So-Called Life" when it was rerun on MTV awhile back, just like everyone else. After purchasing the DVD set and rewatching the episodes, I've fallen in love all over again. How can any show be this good? It's not just the extraordinarily witty and insightful writing, not just the excellent acting, the complex characters, its...everything.
MSCL is real; it's the antithesis to shows like Dawson's Creek. Its characters are real. They're flawed, but in believable ways. It's a very complex, nuanced, and subtle show. What's great about this show is that none of the characters are given the "short end of the stick". Each character unforgetable and multilayered. Angela Chase herself is one of the most complex characters ever created for television. There's just so much to her that you can't believe someone made her up. Such a shame that we didn't get to know her better before the show was cancelled. My favourite character though is Brian Krakow, the first TV character I could identify with. Brian's a sort of tragic anti-hero nerd. Characters like this have appeared in other shows, but usually as comic relief. MSCL has sympathy for Brian and gives him a voice, yet does not overlook his many faults. There's just so much psychology, philosophy, so much depth and genius in MSCL.
I honestly do not believe there's a bad episode in the entire show (albeit there were only 19 episodes ever made). The Halloween episode comes close, but it was worth it just to see Danielle dressed up as Angela and all the unconscious tension it implied. In general I thoroughly enjoyed watching ever second of every episode. I'm stunned with awe after every episode. This show is for anyone who's ever been a teenager in the 90's. It captures perfectly the defining aspect of our generation.
I had the pleasure of personally meeting and Winnie Holzmann, creator and writer of MSCL when she visited UC Berkeley recently (yes, I'm a bear. Cal pride!). I got the opportunty to thank her for creating the show. I think the consensus of the audience that we had our mouths open salivating for more when the show was killed off. But Winnie said it best "It was tragic that the show was cancelled after only one season, but in a way I'm happy with the way it worked out. With only 19 episodes, there's kind of a preciousness to it that's preserved forever, instead of what would have happened, had we continued the show to the point where everyone was tired of the show and no one could come up with any new ideas". Indeed, there is tremendous preciousness to the show.
One last thing: Claire Danes is so HOT!!! How can Brian not be in love with her? Anyone else notice how her eyebrows curve upwards in the middle like this: ^ ?