Thursday, February 10, 2011

My So Called Life Recap - Episode 2: Dancing in the Dark

Episode 2 of MSCL explores the idea that getting what you want may not always be all it's cracked up to be. Sometimes the thing you imagine is better than the reality.

We start with Angela reflecting on the three times she's been kissed - at summer camp, a family wedding, and the beach. Each kiss is a bigger failure than the one before it. The counselor has a girlfriend, the usher did it on a dare, and the lifeguard was really just giving her CPR. Ouch.

This brings us to Angela's current crush - Jordan Catalano. She's so obsessed with him, she can't even concentrate on the conversation Ricky and Rayanne are having. Rayanne can't take it, and urges Angela to take it to "phase two", but Angela is reluctant. Lucky for her, Rayanne does it for her.

A plan is devised where Jordan will deliver the fake ID he is getting for Angela to Krakow's house, where Angela will be working on an extra credit project for science class.

Then a whole bunch of things happen with the parents. There's a dance class, a haircut and red dress, but it's all very heavy on the metaphors and I'm not very interested in it.

Back to Angela - When Jordan pulls up, she tells Rayanne that she changed her mind. At first, I didn't get this, but after thinking about it, it makes sense. Angela has built up this encounter with Jordan for so long, there's no possible way it will ever be as perfect as it is in her head.

And boy is she right.

Jordan tries to kiss her (twice!) while she's mid-sentence, so she pulls away. Then she says something sort of empowering, considering this her crush to end all crushes:
"Quit it! I mean, you have to work up to that. I don't open that wide at the dentist."
To add insult to injury, Jordan basically calls her a baby. And even after all that, she continues to fantasize about him. She's unable to giveup this romanticized version of him and admit that, while he is an excellent leaner, he is also kind of a jerk.
"We both stopped talking. Part of his sleeve was touching my arm. I don't know if he knew. Then everything started to seem perfect for some reason. The feel of his shirt on my elbow, the fact that I had an elbow."
Oh, to be fifteen again.

  • I'm not very interested in the parent storyline, but I appreciate how it ties into Angela's story. Her dad sort of gives Jordan an out with the line - "It's hard to figure out how to be a man."
  • I love the scene with Ricky, Rayanne and Krakow. It's some really nice comic relief in an otherwise heavy episode. They all have good chemistry.
  • Sharon gets on my nerves. Probably because I'm a perennial do-gooder that always follows the rules, too.
  • Man, I hope Angela gets her storybook kiss with Jordan soon.

Did you miss last week's recap of the pilot? Never fear! Click here!


  1. Seriously...Angela has THE PERFECT high school voice. that "The fact that I had an elbow" line is so, so perfect.

  2. That's such an intense scene in the car! I LOVE that she doesn't let him kiss her mid-sentence.

  3. I agree on the parent thing. Honestly, I didn't even remember there were parent storylines until I rewatched the show 2 years ago as part of a blog discussion. They all kept talking about the parents and I was still like, "oh right, I know they were in this episode but they were just getting in the way of Jordan and Angela so I didn't listen."

    I love Angela's voice. SO MUCH.

    I can't wait for you to get to the episode called SELF-ESTEEM, that's all I'll say.