Jordan Takes Angela’s Hand


Claire Danes and Jared Leto in My So-Called Life

My So-Called Life was a teen drama that originally aired on ABC for one season (1994-95). It centered on Angela Chase (Claire Danes), a 15-year-old girl struggling with her identity. She dies her hair red, distances herself from her childhood friends [brainy Sharon (Devon Odessa) and nerdy Brian (Devon Gummersall)], hangs with some new friends [rebellious Rayanne (A.J. Langer) and gay Rickie (Wilson Cruz)], and nurses a crush on bad boy Jordan Catalano (Jared Leto). The show was absolutely phenomenal, but, cancelled way too soon. It dealt with real teen issues without offering any easy solutions in 45 minutes, the way every other teen show on television did at the time. In addition, Claire Danes as angst-filled Angela Chase brought to life one of the truest fictional teenage girls ever. Her struggle to find herself often left me teary-eyed. And, the best moment in that show was this one …

RavenParadise21, who posted this clip, called it “The Best Scene … From the Best Episode … From the Best Show That Ever Was.” I kind of agree, but, I’d say that My So-Called Life was one of the best shows that ever was. You cannot help but love that one single moment when Jordan takes Angela’s hand, and, the contented smile on her face as the camera pans, in slow motion, around him. But, I guess you kind of have to watch the entire series to understand why that moment means so much.

The episode, by the way, is episode 12, “Self-Esteem”, which originally aired on November 17, 1994. The song playing during the scene is “Late At Night” by Buffalo Tom, from their 1993 breakthrough album Big Red Letter Day. They even appear in a club scene in that same episode. “Late At Night” is sung by Buffalo Tom‘s bassist Chris Colbourn, but, guitarist Bill Janovitz is the band’s lead singer. His raspy voice can be heard on the two most popular tracks from that album: “Sodajerk” and the fiery ballad “I’m Allowed”. I love that latter song, so let’s watch the video right here …

Now, I liked Buffalo Tom back in 1994, but, not enough to buy their album. However, the day after that episode of My So-Called Life aired, I ran up to the local record store [it was long before iTunes] and purchased a used copy of the cassette. The clerk looked at it, and, said: “You watched My So-Called Life last night, didn’t you?”


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