In the coming months, I have the honor of watching –and sharing with you readers my thoughts about — My So-Called Life. I KNOW, you don’t have to tell me I drew the long stick on this one! I mean, getting to re-watch the show that encapsulated the feelings of self-aware teens of the 1990’s the world over!

Thing is, I had a startling realization as I began my scrutiny of the first few episodes: I have never actually watched My So-Called Life. Hold on, now! It always seemed to be on, so I knew who the characters were and the story arc from catching bits and pieces of it here and there — so much so that I thought I HAD watched it. A grievous mistake now remedied. The up-side of this is that I get to watch it with fresh — if somewhat jaded, adult — eyes, and share with you the life lessons this show has to teach me as a first-time viewer.

BUT FIRST!!!! For those of you who want to view at home along with me, I present to you the official FYA Drinking Game!

The Official FYA My So-Called Life Drinking Game

Take a drink:

  • Whenever there is a voice-over
  • Every time Angela cries (Claire Danes is good at this)
  • Each time Sharon gives Angela a longing-yet-judgmental look
  • Whenever you someone mentions Tino (Where IS Tino?)
  • Whenever Rayanne explains something to Angela using crazy hand gestures followed by a ridiculous ‘this-is-supposed-to-be-impish’ grin
  • When you want to punch Momma Chase in the throat for being such an uptight bitch
  • Whenever everyone in the room ignores Danielle
  • Whenever someone refers to Rickie as ‘Bi’ or ‘confused’
  • Whenever you want to hug Rickie
  • For every quintessential ’90’s moment (i.e. the soundtrack is playing REM or the Cranberries, moshing is happening, there is an over-abundance of over-sized flannel, etc.)
  • Whenever two different characters are having two completely different conversations with each other, but then it turns out they’ve been listening to each other’s conversations all along

Take a shot:

  • Whenever Angela has a deep realization about life (as is evidenced by Claire Danes looking to the right and left a lot as she expounds upon said realization)


  • Every time Jordan Catalano leans (Jared Leto is good at this) until a time when said leaning is finished

So cue up your VCRs (or use Netflix Instant Watch, like me) and prepare to relive the tribulations and triumphs of high school!


Jenny grew up on a steady diet of Piers Anthony, Isaac Asimov and Star Wars novels. She has now expanded her tastes to include television, movies, and YA fiction.