My So Called Life

Last watched 2014


Angela Chase (played by Claire Danes) is a typical high school girl. She has hit that age where she’s trying to figure out who she is and how to navigate the world. She has an atrocious crush on the ‘bad boy’ of the school that baffles everyone around her and sometimes herself, too.


I first started watching this more than well into my adult life and my jaw hit the floor at just how feminist it is. It was made in 1994! There’s no chance that it would be made these days. It’s actually too left wing and beautiful. The women are all fleshed out, Claire Dane’s character is beautifully realistic and her mother is just so empowered/empowering. Ricky is a bisexual person of colour and the lead characters are all women, really.

There are some super weird, incongruous episodes (like the Halloween one) but it was the 90s and they hadn’t totally figured out how to television yet.

Pros: Angela is a beautiful portrayal and there are a lot of feminist plot lines. Bisexual person of colour who is dealt with compassionately.
Cons: The boy next door (Brian Krakow) is totally a nice guy tm who gets ‘friendzoned’ by Angela and is structurally framed as being ‘the one’, which is super gross.
Genre: Coming of age, high school drama

Light/heavy rating: 6 (heavy themes but very cheesy, 90s framed)
Approach carefully if: you have difficulty with things like child abuse — especially relating to homosexuality and familial rejection, teenage alcoholism, homophobia, homelessness, drug use and hella annoying nice guy tms.

Can be found: Netflix

If you liked, I recommend: the Fosters, Faking it, the 100



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