Title: My So-Called Life S1.E05 “The Zit”
Released: 1994

Drinking Game Tally: 19 drinks, 1 shot, 1 chug
‘90s Fashion Award: Rayanne
My So-Called Winner: Angela
My So-Called Loser: Jordan

Howdy, howdy everybody! It’s Friday! And while that may mean the start of the weekend/a reason to start happy hour early for some folks, here at FYA it means we’s about to learn some Life Lessons!!!!

Now if only Rupert Murdoch had watched My So-Called Life, he would have learned about standing up to your father before he ruins your shizz, (or maybe it’s his kid that needs that lesson) and how dramatacizing news events and bullying people for information is NOT the way to win friends, he might not be in such deep doo. Oh well. At least WE can benefit from the wisdom of ’90’s teen dramas!


What Happened

In which Angela has a zit, and Sharon has a boyfriend. Rickie decides he has to stop hanging out in the girl’s bathroom, because everybody thinks he wants a sex-change. Then a list goes around rating all of the Sophomore girls, (Hey, we just finished OUR Sophomore year as a blog! Please don’t rate us.) and while Sharon has the nicest rack and Rayanne has the most slut-potential, Angela is NOT ON THE LIST.

Brian Krakow oggles Sharon’s tits to remind us how large they are, and there is a painful-to-the-ears music class. Sharon doesn’t know that her tits have been declared the best, and Angela looks at her zit in the mirror a little.

Patty tries to convince Angela to join her in a mother/daughter fashion show, while ignoring her younger daughter’s desires to spend time with her. Graham successfully navigates the going-to-bed-argument-minefield about Patty’s aging looks, securing his place in our hearts once again.

The next day, Sharon is having a sad because everyone likes her boobies, and Angela tries to talk to her, but she’s nasty, so Angela is nasty right back. Take that. Did you ever notice, that even though Angela’s ‘Crimson Glow’ hair color is supposed to be so shocking, that she and Sharon have almost the exact same shade?

Patty has better luck talking with Sharon’s mom about dress patterns, and hey! The Sophomore poll! And Patty is as equally disturbed as Angela that she’s NOT on the poll! We want to be objectified! NO!!! Don’t objectify us!! But don’t you think we’re pretty? And Sharon wears a huge sweatshirt to hide her dirty pillows.

Rickie uses the boys room, and he and Brian are suddenly hanging out, while Brian wonders at the twitterpated state of most of his classmates, while he still prefers to spend time at home alone with Mr. Hand and thoughts of Angela nekkid (with Sharon’s globes, of course). Then Sharon breaks up with her boyfriend — that was shortlived.

Angela and Patty get double-tapped at a makeup counter by a guy who offers to give Angela a makeover and Patty some wrinkle cream. They both go home and stare into the mirror.

In trying to connect with her, Patty tries to talk to Angela about her zit, while still ignoring her younger daughter’s pleas for attention.

Angela is watching Malcom X speak about self-acceptance, but then she sees Jordan Catalano talking to #1 on the Sophomore list, and Rayanne holding court in the hallway. Sharon hides her breasts behind a book. Sharon’s ex finds her in the music room and steals her shoe. Brian starts a rumor with Rickie that there was kinky shoe-begging going on in there, but actually, the dude is trying to tell Sharon that he likes her for more than just her melons. Whether or not he’s telling the truth, she buys it.

Angela, at the mirror again, mentally expounds about how her zit has overpowered every other part of her life, and then gets bathroom-talked by this ‘obviously’ beautiful girl who tells Angela how hard it is to have long, flowing hair and a boyfriend who takes her out every night and gets jealous of other guys looking at her. Don’t worry, Angela, in 5 years she’ll be on baby number 3, with as many different fathers having screaming matches from the doorway of her trailer while her current boyfriend revs the engine of his truck. Or wait, no, that’s my neighbor. Oh, but wait! This whole scene has just been a figment of Angela’s imagination!

Rayanne tries to convince Angela to pop her zit and Rickie tries to have a nice conversation with Patty about sewing. Angela and her mom try on their matching dresses for the fashion show, and they get into a fight that results in Angela crying about being ugly, and not measuring up to Patty, who she thinks is beautiful. Patty says nothing, but berates herself later that evening. Graham drops a truth bomb in his sweetly charming way, and why do I love him so much now? Anyway, they discuss the unfairness of how as women get older, they are treated as less-vital and fading, but that as men age, they become more distinguished. Then hey! They talk about RuPaul! RuPaul is STILL relevant today! Way to go, RuPaul.

In school, Jordan Catalano approaches Brian and Rickie for help with a school project to keep him out of remedial classes. They talk about The Metamorphosis and relate turning into a cockroach to high school. Even Sharon joins in. Then Jordan asks if Franz Kafka’s novella was fiction or non-fiction.

Sharon and Angela have a heart to heart in the bathroom, and they realize that the boobs are always greener on the other girl. Then they quote the girl scouts! Rayanne comes in and breaks up their little party, and then has her own heart to heart with Angela about being a slut.

Danielle continues to torment us with her cheer practice, but then SHE and Angela have a heart to heart, and Angela actually realized that all this time Danielle wanted to do the fashion show with her mom. So Angela goes to her mom to apologize and they talk about how hardly anybody really feels like they’re actually pretty. Angela prepares to treat her zit.

Then it’s the fashion show! And Patty has altered Angela’s dress so Danielle can be in it with her! And ALL of the clothes are hideous! But it’s for a good cause, so… yay? Wow. Angela’s face quivers and trembles as she realizes that people, when you really look at them, are beautiful. Maybe even her.

Then there’s a sewing montage as the end credits roll!

Drinking Game Tally: 19 drinks, 1 shot, 1 chug

90s Fashion Award

Rayanne!!! For her geometric print dress in primary colors with pastel plaid duster. On a good day, Rayanne usually looks like she got her clothes at the clown school thrift store, but it’s usually so hard to compete with Rickie!

Lessons I Learned About High School

  • Did I already learn that some teachers don’t show up to class half the time, and substitutes aren’t assigned? Am I the only one who’s shocked by this?

  • Kids apparently have all-hours access to the music room where they can go hang out by themselves and practice the oboe during one of the many free periods Sophomores apparently have.

My So-Called Winner

Angela!!! While it seems preposterous for Claire Danes to be walking around thinking she’s ugly, Angela went through a little metamorphosis of her own in this episode. Plus, she made nice with her mom, did something sweet for her sister, and had great heart to hearts with everybody! Let’s hug.

My So-Called Loser

It’s gotta be Jordan in this one. I almost went for Brian, but his bonding with Rickie was pretty sweet, so Jordan wins this one on sheer stupidity.

Life Lessons Learned

  • That zits suck. And so do wrinkles. But then again, I already knew that. Know what sucks even worse, and feels like a cruel trick played on you by the universe? Zits and wrinkles AT THE SAME TIME.

  • That the 1990’s truly were the most terrible decade for fashion. Ever.

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.