Title: My So-Called Life S1.E10 “Other People’s Mothers”
Released: 1994

Drinking Game Tally: 14 drinks, 1 shot, 0 chugs
‘90s Fashion Award: Rayanne
My So-Called Winner: Angela
My So-Called Loser: Rayanne
Brian Krakow vs. Jordan Catalano: Not Applicable

It’s Friday, Mofos! Time for My So-Called Life Lessons! Tonight’s episode, “Other People’s Mothers”, sounds like maybe the show’s producers or writers, or whoever makes decisions saw that they got good ratings with the episode “Father Figures”, so they thought, ‘Hey! Let’s do the same show, but this time make it about moms!’ I just hope we don’t have to deal with another meddling parent like we did when Patty’s dad showed up. That guy gave me a headache.

Anyhoo, got your cocktails? Let’s go!

What Happened

Rayanne, Rickie and Angela are raiding the fridge at the Chase’s house, and Rayanne tries to make a connection between Graham’s love of different kinds of mustard and his sex life. Rayanne? Gross. Don’t talk about your best friend’s dad’s sexual issues. She also takes a beer out of the fridge, asking Rickie to carry it. Patty arrives home and catches Rickie holding the beer, and Rayanne doesn’t speak up and take the blame. I think I know who’s going to win my so-called loser award this episode!

The next day, Angela and Rickie go to Rayanne’s house, and it’s all decked out with beads and glass things hanging from the ceiling and reminds me of the Marc Bolan memorial in Barnes! Ride a white swan, Angela. Rayanne’s mom is ‘super cool’ and hangs out with them, sipping a cocktail, and giving Angela a tarot reading. She wants to stay for dinner, but Patty decides to pick her up because Grampa is in the hospital and Grandma is over for dinner. Here is where we see that Grandma is just as overbearing as Grampa. Huh. Thanks, writers/producers of My So-Called Life. And she also uses all the same gestures and inflections that Patty uses. In other words, hanging out with the two of them together might bring on an aneurysm. Patty escapes her mother upstairs with Graham, who gives her good advice about how to set some boundaries with her parents. Patty either can’t or won’t do it.

Back at the card reading palace of no parental guidance (is this show turning me into a prude? Am I actually siding with Patty over Rayanne’s mom? Yeesh.) Patty shows up to retrieve Angela, and Rayanne’s mom totally pulls an embarrassing kid move (when you talk about the annoying neighbors in front of them, and then they bring up what you said in FRONT of the neighbors? Kids and Rayanne’s mom are not to be trusted.) by bringing up how Angela told her that Patty was adopted, and has issues about it. Patty plasters on a big fake smile, and I feel bad for Angela, because I think that car ride home is going to be unpleasant.

The Chase’s are all discussing how Grandma drives them crazy, while Angela is practicing the tarot, and acting old and wise and generally like an annoying teenager.

In the girl’s bathroom, Rayanne is teasing Rickie about being there, and Sharon comes in having a really bad hair day. Rayanne offers her some mousse, and proceeds to throw around a bunch of cash that she got from her dad but feels really weird about. Also, Rayanne may, in fact, be drunk. She decides to use it (the cash) to throw a party.

Grandma comes over with ‘a few extras’ — little things, like a turkey — and Patty can’t seem to stop her, so she tells Grandma that Graham gets emotional about his cooking. Grandma finds this ridiculous.

Rayanne party prep montage! In which Rayanne invites people to her party, procures alcohol for her party, and plans for her party while making out with a boy in his car. Sharon judges silently.

Graham is staring into the refrigerator sadly, and Patty apologizes, telling him that she ‘tried to reason with her’ mother. Listen Patty, it’s time to GROW THE FUCK UP, and SET SOME BOUNDARIES!!! You don’t try to ‘reason’ with overbearing parents, you tell them to BACK THE EFF OFF!!! Erm.

Angela realizes that Rayanne’s party is at the same time as this dinner for her grandparents, and Rayanne guilts her, before jumping back and shouting that she’s (Rayanne) a bitch. So Angela tells her she wants to help get ready for the party, since she can’t be there. Getting ready for the party montage! Rayanne and her mother are both drinking quite a bit, and I have a feeling there’s going to be a ‘message’ in this episode. Rayanne’s mom has one rule for this party: nobody eats on her bed. Okay. Angela thinks Rayanne’s mom is aMAZing.

Angela and Patty get into an argument over whether Angela can leave her grandparent’s party to go to Rayanne’s, and Angela tells Patty that the kharma in the Chase house is really low, and dark. Haha. That reminds me of how I went to see Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure for my best friend’s 12th birthday, but when I signed her birthday card, I had only seen the tv spots, so I wished her a most heinous birthday.

At Angela’s grandparent’s party, only Grandma shows up, ruining the whole reason they had the party in the first place. Everyone is pissed, but as soon as the guests show up, Patty puts on her game face, and Angela thinks if her mom weren’t so good at pretending to be happy, she might be better at actually being happy.

At Rayanne’s party, Rayanne is having a crazy good time, but Rickie looks concerned. He then finds Rayanne popping pills in her bathroom.

At the party that’s missing its guest of honor, Angela comes down with one piece of her hair braided with the little beads at the end, and declares that she is going to go to Rayanne’s party. She and Patty start fighting, yadda-yadda, and Grandma butts in like she does, siding with Angela — pretty much just to spite Patty, I’m pretty sure, since the old bat was just dissing Angela to one of her friends — but Angela just says that Patty doesn’t like Rayanne. Patty says, yeah, she doesn’t really like Rayanne.

Angela joins Rayanne’s party, and Rayanne starts crying and going into hysterical laughter because girl is out of control. Rayanne’s mom comes home, and starts screaming and kicking people out. Seems like maybe she had more rules than she originally stated. While screaming at Rayanne for being so drunk, she changes her clothes so she can make her date on time. Rayanne’s mom leaves, and Rickie goes to Rayanne and they rock and cry, and I think I’m supposed to be concerned that Rayanne is having an overdose? To treat it, they throw ice water on her face, before Angela gets an idea.

Back at the party of hideous people, the phone rings, and Grandma answers. Turns out it Angela, crying and telling Patty she really needs her. Patty takes control and calls an ambulance. At the hospital, Rickie and Patty have a heart to heart. Then Rayanne’s mom comes in and acts all crazy and emotional and generally tries to make the whole thing about herself.

Patty invites Rickie back to the party of dullness, and in the car, Patty and Angela have a moment where Patty tells her that she had a roommate in college like Rayanne, only that girl died. Angela asks Patty to trust her, and Patty tells her that you know what? She does.

Inside, Rickie is getting on fabulously with Grandma, but outside, Patty breaks down. When she comes inside, she hugs her own mother, and then looks at Angela with love. Angela closes the episode by comparing the tarot cards to the people and situations in her life. Hope is born.

Drinking Game Tally: 14 drinks, 1 shot, 0 chugs

’90’s Fashion Award

Rayanne! For her red and mustard floral dress over jeans with combat boots, topped by a burgundy, black and white flannel shirt and tan bag. Also, the flannel shirt that was also a duster that she wore in this ep deserves an honorable mention.

Lessons I Learned About High School

Were they even in school at all for this episode? I guess they were, because of the bathroom scene, and then Rayanne’s party planning montage.

My So-Called Winner

Angela! Because when the shizz hit the fan, she did the right thing by calling her mom, even though she and her mom were fighting, and Patty, because, when the shizz hit the fan, Angela knew who would fix things!

My So-Called Loser

Uh, Rayanne. And Rayanne’s mom. Bless their hearts.

Brian Krakow vs. Jordan Catalano:

CAN YOU BELIEVE IT?!!!! Brian Krakow and Jordan Catalano were NOT in this episode!!!! Were they somewhere together, maybe? Hmm….

Life Lessons Learned

  • If you let someone move around the candlesticks in your house, next thing you know, they’ll be putting a turkey in your fridge.

  • Sometimes when parents try so hard to be their kid’s friends, they end up acting like children.

  • Everybody needs a Rickie in their life.

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.