Title: My So-Called Life S1.E08 “Strangers in the House”
Released: 1994

Drinking Game Tally: 13 drinks, 1 shot, 2 chugs
‘90s Fashion Award: Sharon, Angela, and Rayanne
My So-Called Winners: Patty and Graham
My So-Called Loser: Sharon’s mom
Brian Krakow vs. Jordan Catalano: Brian

Hello My So-Called Lifers! Today’s episode sounds terrible judging from the title alone, because strangers in your house always mean either a) someone is stalking you Michael Meyers-style, or b) you have house guests who are heretofore unknown to you. And while the latter could turn out to be a pleasant surprise, the thought alone stresses me out enough to want to start my happy hour early.

But, perchance this episode deals with neither of these things! Come with me on a little journey to find out…

What Happened

At the printing press, Graham is reading something, and Patty is talking on the phone with food in her mouth, proving yet again what a rude bitch she is. Patty should totally become the ring leader of some all-girl gang called the Rude Girlz. Or something. Anyway, she gets a disturbing call. Then, at school, the teacher gets a disturbing note for Sharon. Think the two are connected? Oh, I do. Angela sees Graham out in the hall talking to Sharon and follows. Sharon’s dad had a heart attack. Oh man. That sucks.

At Sharon’s house, Angela is in Sharon’s bedroom, by herself, and does Sharon have three single beds? Oh, maybe one of them is a chair. Angela takes a memory trip to when she and Sharon were BFF’s. Or BF’s, since that last ‘F’ seems to have fallen off.

At the hospital, Sharon’s mom is her usual nonplussed self. She wonders why she isn’t sad about her husband. Maybe he’s her ex-husband? No, I think he’s her now-husband. Patty shows up and is very teary. She and Graham have a private freakout about their own mortality. And what, they’re like, my age? Ugh.

Oh, Sharon is going to stay at Angela’s house! She’s the stranger! Hmmm. Awkwardness ensues. Angela kind of wants to be friends again, but is feeling awkward and teenagey. Graham looks in the mirror.

Her dad having a heart attack really knocked a girl out, and Sharon falls asleep as soon as she sits down, and then sleeps through Patty and Angela standing in the doorway and talking about her. At school the next morning, Sharon freaks out on her boyfriend and cries in the music room. Brian Krakow comforts her. Rayanne tries to hide her jealousy over Sharon getting to eat Graham’s cooking.

Sharon’s mom is still joking around at the hospital, but I guess maybe it’s all been bravado, because a panic attack sets in. Angela gets home from school to find Sharon and Brian Krakow in her bedroom hanging out and having fun. Brian jizzes in his pants a little when he sees Angela’s bra hanging over a mirror.

At the hospital, Patty and Graham sneak into a dark room to make out because they don’t want to lose each other. I get that. Sometimes fear-of-death-lust is pretty powerful. Not that I’ve experienced it, or anything.

At school, Rayanne finds Sharon crying in the bathroom, and tries to get Angela to go with them to the hospital, but Angela freaks out and leaves. Under the bleachers, we see that Jordan Catalano can completely hide a cigarette in those lustrous locks. Angela is crying and Jordan asks her if she is (Dumb Point -1) then asks her why. Then she hugs Jordan, and he hugs her back until another thug comes up and then he leaves. SO intense.

At the Chase household, there is much talk of ordering pizza and how to pay for it, before Patty comes home waving cash around. Then Patty goes to see how Graham is doing, but pesters him about work accidentally, on account of it’s her nature. Graham asks her several times to let him be, and then leaves to get some air. Danielle gives her mom a ‘why’d you have to be such a bitch’ look.

While they’re waiting for the pizza to come, Sharon’s boyfriend calls, and she purrs into the phone. Brian Krakow decides he’s not really hungry and leaves. Then Sharon and Angela get into a fight over who’s a bigger jerk to Brian Krakow! Everyone leaves angry, and no one’s left to eat the pizza! I’ll eat it! Hey, isn’t this about the time that Papa John’s became a big thing? Maybe they ordered that? Remember their garlic-butter dipping sauce? I thought it was so awesome, when in reality it tastes of margarine and chemicals.

It turns out Graham went to the hospital to hang out with Sharon’s mom. They talk about aging and heart stuff while drinking coffee. A doctor comes out saying that Sharon’s dad is going to be okay, and Sharon’s mom has a cry. Graham comes home in the middle of the night, and gives the good news to Patty. Then he tells her that he actually landed the account he had been trying to get at the print shop. He’s having a career crises, though, and Patty tells him that she’s proud of him and then fires him because she loves him. She realizes he’s not happy working with her, and wants him to figure out what he does want to do with his life. They hug.

At school, Rickie and Rayanne tag team Angela and pull her out of her funk. Rickie points out that Angela and Rayanne are concerned that they can’t both be friends with each other and Sharon, too, and they laugh and chase him down the steps. Angela goes to visit Sharon, and they get into a fight. Because they both really still love each other! Awww! Add that last ‘F’ back onto your charms! I’m making light of this, but a tear did fall up outta my eye here.

On her way home, Angela stops by the sidewalk where Brian Krakow is fixing his bike. She tells him that she thinks that Sharon needed him, because of the certain sweet ways he has about himself.

Graham sends Patty off to work happily the next morning, as Angela ruminates about different people and how they’re all connected, and how we need all of them.

Drinking Game Tally: 13 drinks, 1 shot, 2 chugs

’90’s Fashion Award

Sharon’s brown floral dress paired with pink floral and argyle sweater vest. Or maybe Angela’s floral dress with Aztec print sweater! Or maybe Rayanne’s camo knit dress with jewel-tone sweater and tiger striped head scarf? There was so much amazing ’90’s fashion in this episode!

Lessons I Learned About High School:

Um, not much happened in the high school, apart from some obligatory leaning, and one chase scene down a set of stairs. Oh, and the bathroom. A lot of time in high school is spent in the bathroom.

My So-Called Winners

Patty and Graham! Patty for realizing she was forcing her husband into a career in which he didn’t thrive, and Graham for committing himself to said career, even though it wasn’t his dream.

My So-Called Loser

Sharon’s mom! For just being an annoying hag.

Brian Krakow vs. Jordan Catalano

Brian Krakow! He received 0 stalker points this episode!

Life Lessons Learned:

  • Anyone can have a heart attack.

  • Just because you grow apart from some of your friends doesn’t mean that you aren’t friends at all. And sometimes, you need each other.

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.