Title: My So-Called Life S1.E01 “Pilot”
Released: 1994
Series:  My So-Called Life

Drinking Game Tally: 21 drinks, 3 shots, 2 chugs

Greetings and welcome to the first edition of My So-Called Life Lessons, in which I watch each episode of the groundbreaking teen drama and share with you what it has taught me, an adult, as a first-time viewer!

Of course, we here at FYA don’t expect you to watch or read anything without the accompaniment of your favorite adult beverage, so if you missed the Official Drinking Game Rules, you can find them here, now updated with reader suggestions!

Alright class, let’s go see what we learned today, shall we?

What Happened

In which we are introduced to Angela Chase. Angela, who has — before this episode begins — apparently been a perfect daughter and model student. But as she begins a friendship with the ‘wild’ Rayanne Graff (I mean, these girls giggle, and run around asking people for change to call their mothers — AS A JOKE. Clearly bad news.) her former BFF Sharon is left waiting (and judging) in the wings. Angela concerns her parents (er, mother) by doing really rebellious things like dropping out of being on the yearbook committee, dying her hair “crimson glow” and rolling her eyes. Unbeknownst to her parents, Angela is also lusting heartily after one Jordan Catalano.

Drinking Game Tally: 21 drinks, 3 shots, 2 chugs

Things I Learned About Going to High School

  • Much like love, school is a battlefield. For your heart.

  • Even back in the 1990’s, it was okay for a boy to be in the girls’ bathroom. As long as he’s gay.

  • Much like I guessed, if we made a book of what really happened in high school, it would be a really upsetting book.

  • Grunge rules. Except actual real grunge. Like, on your dress. When you’ve been pushed into the mud.

Life Lessons Gleaned

  • It’s really easy to fluster your parents.

  • Dads like breasts, it doesn’t matter who they’re on (Um, EWW).

  • Sometimes, you close your eyes because it hurts to look at things. Or it could be the pot.

  • It’s apparently totally okay for that boy who lives next door to you to take sneaky pictures of you in class like a creeper, because in amazing class montages, he has all of the answers to the teachers’ questions.

  • That even your mom never dreamed that she would sound like such a bitch.

  • That being trapped in an attic for 3 years with a guy you really like just might make you one lucky lady, but the lack of meat in school lunches is destroying America.

  • Sometimes, parents don’t actually see what’s going on in front of them, but if they’d listen to their children, they might realize that they are just trying to keep everyone happy, while their spouse is just super uptight and self-centered.

  • The leaning cute boy, hot as he is, is dumb as a post.

  • That bitchy moms, if they’d stop being bitchy for a second, might not have to ask why they always have to be the mean one.

  • Sometimes, when friends think you ‘ought to know’ what people are saying about you, you really oughten.

  • If you finish somebody’s cheese, you will be labeled as rude.

  • Putting the word ‘obviously’ before statements like ‘she lives with her mother, so obviously her mother will be there’ is only a stretch of the truth.

  • Sometimes, it’s hard to get into raves. But it’s fun to get drunk with your friends in parking lots.

  • And even when they get into trouble, your friends will remember that thing that means so much to you, that you know that even though they’re sometimes more trouble than not, they still love you. And that means everything.

  • If you’re ever semi-arrested, just talk about literature to the cop driving you home. Then they’ll just hand you over to the kid hanging out in a tree (near your bedroom window?) reading with a flashlight outside your house (like a creeper) instead of turning you in to your parents. Even though one of your parents might be doing something very naughty, and you see them doing it.

  • Everybody’s looking for their real parents.

  • Sometimes, there’s nothing like being held by your mom.

  • Everybody hurts. Sometimes.

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.