Philosophising about the 'S'-word: Watch… and learn
My So-Called Life is an American teen drama television series created by Winnie Holzman and produced by Edward Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz. It originally aired on ABC from August 25, 1994, to January 26, 1995 and was distributed by The Bedford Falls Company with ABC Productions. Set at the fictional Liberty High School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, it follows the emotional travails of several teenagers who are all in the social circle of main character Angela Chase, played by Claire Danes (Homeland). The critically acclaimed but short-lived show ended in a cliffhanger with the expectation that it would be picked up for an additional season, but it was officially canceled on May 15, 1995.
My So-Called Life dealt with important social issues of the mid-1990s, including child abuse, homophobia, teenage alcoholism, homelessness, adultery, school violence, censorship, and drug use. Many shows at the time used these themes as a one-time issue (a “very special episode”) that would be introduced as a problem at the beginning of an episode and resolved at the end, but on My So-Called Life these issues were part of the continuing storyline. The title of the show alludes to the perception of meaninglessness that many teenagers experience and encapsulates the main theme of the series. The show depicts the teenage years as being difficult and confusing rather than a light, fun-filled time.
In 2007, it was listed as one of Time magazine’s “100 Best TV Shows of All-TIME“.TV Guide ranked the series #2 on their 2013 list of 60 shows that were “Cancelled Too Soon”.And in 2004 ranked it number 16 on its 25 Top Cult Shows Ever list however the ranking was later withdrawn in an updated list published three years later, saying it “had not withstood the test of time”.