Saturday, September 15, 2007

Girl TV

Reading the title of the recent NYTimes article, "My So-Called Gossipy Life," reminded me of the totally awesome TV show, My So Called Life. You know, the short-lived realistical prime time show following the life of teenager Angela Chase (Claire Danes).

What was so ground breaking about that 1995 series was that it presented real-life situations and framed adolescence as the angsty time that it is - based on the regular, run-of-the-mill situations that many American teenagers face on a daily basis. Because of its portrayal of normalcy, My So-Called Life was a most original series - by showcasing the average.

Angela, pining after Jordan Catalano (Jared Leto) though she was, was a girlhood hero with whom I could relate. Her spit-fire friend Rayanne Graff (A.J. Langer) introduced me to some important feminist ideas on sexuality. And Rickie Vasquez (Wilson Cruz) gave everyone hope.

So the NYTimes article all about the new CW show Gossip Girls, which is a soap opera style melodrama, made me nostalgic for TV shows that follow a "real" girl's life. Because while I think we all sometimes need a little escape from reality, I was just as entertained by My So-Called Life as I was by Saved by the Bell. The soapy-style series seem to be in abundance this fall, but what about the more true to life shows? Yeah, only a stick in the mud would want to instructive or preachy programs with plots that read like after-school specials. But shows can "tackle the tough issues," as My So-Called Life proved, while also entertaining and rating well.

Will 2007 have an Angela Chase? I hope so!

Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjunction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.

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