My So-Called Life: Now on Netflix!

I am unable to contain my excitement that MSCL is finally on Netflix! When I first started recapping this show in December, it was available on Hulu. Then it disappeared from there, and for several weeks your fearless recapper had to watch it in 10-minute increments on YouTube. But now “¦ it’s finally on Netflix Instant and it felt simply luxurious to be watching it on a TV! So if you’ve been putting off getting into this show, you no longer have any excuse. (P.S., if you want to catch up on my recaps, just check out the archives.)

Anyway: here we are. The episode that I remember clearly as The Sex Episode. Aside from a teeny subplot about Graham’s restaurant, this week’s installment was all about sex: who’s having it, who isn’t, who’s pressuring whom. And of course Jordan’s pressuring Angela to have sex. He’s a teenage boy who’s used to girls doing what he wants because he’s Jordan Freaking Catalano. Angela’s refusal to play along with Jordan’s assumptions, though, has thus far only endeared her to him.

So we start off with a scene that to my knowledge is the one and only funny scene with Angela and Jordan: Angela driving Jordan’s precious car. Horribly. This brief spark of fun between them made me briefly wish that the writers had shown us just a few more lighthearted moments between these two instead of just piling on the sex and angst. Besides, as will become clear, the driving scene only existed to give Angela a metaphor to use later.

Sharon and Angela talk on the bedAngela finds out that Jordan’s already had sex with at least one girl at Liberty High. While this is no shock to Angela, she becomes preoccupied with thinking about Jordan having sex with other girls, and everyone having sex with everyone else. She doesn’t even consider talking about this with Rayanne, presumably because Rayanne doesn’t take sex seriously enough for our analytical Angela, so she has a heart to heart with Sharon Cherski. She’s actually surprised to learn that Sharon had sex with Generic ’90s Boyfriend, but we aren’t because we learned about it during The Substitute episode.

As Friday night approaches, Jordan suggests what is possibly the creepiest, least-romantic cherry-popping location ever: an abandoned house in town where everyone goes to get their sex on. This was actually my one problem with this episode. I didn’t like how they made Angela’s First Time such a cartoonishly horrible situation. Instead of a little nerve-wracking and endearingly awkward first time on a couch in the basement, it has to be in this filthy drug and sex den. Angela tries to get Graham, fresh off a cute little standoff with Jordan in the Chase living room, to tell her she’s not allowed to go out with him, but he says she can go. So she goes, and it’s every bit as scary and creepy as it should be.

Anyway, once waiting for a room to open up reminds her of being at the doctor’s office, Angela decides to leave. While I’m proud of our girl for going with her gut, that pride is quickly erased by the weasel-y way she gets out of it. She claims to be worried about Rayanne being drunk or high, instead of telling Jordan what he very much needs to hear: that he’s pressuring her way too hard, and she doesn’t want to have sex. She airs it out the next day after riding Brian’s bike to go see him, and he lashes out and calls her “abnormal” for not wanting to sleep with him.

I have to say, my memory of this episode was that Jordan dumped Angela for not having sex with him, while the truth is a little more empowering. After Jordan’s pressure to do it,Angela on her bike and his horrible reaction when she doesn’t, Angela leaves him. Granted, she does it by spewing a lot of her usual word vomit, and she compares the idea of having sex to how it felt to drive Jordan’s car. But! She still does it. And the episode doesn’t end with her crying in her bedroom, although I’m sure there were plenty of bedroom tears in the Chase household that night. It ends with Angela riding her bike (with no hands!) and smiling while she considers the fact that she is finally starting to figure out who she is.

3 thoughts on “My So-Called Life: Now on Netflix!”

  1. I just finished re-watching this show about a month ago with my boyfriend. I was surprised how into it he got, despite initial pouting and eye-rolling.

    The one thing I noticed more this time around was the positioning of Rayanne as “slutty friend” in order to make Angela seem more pure, or whatever. That kind of bothered me. But God help me, I still love this show.

    I love the talk between Angela and Brian in this ep, where she tells him that girls think about sex just as much as guys, or something along those lines. And I love how genuinely shocked he is.

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