If you were looking for a show that summarised what it was like to be a teenager in the nineties or even just to get a glimpse into the general zeitgeist of the time, look no further than My So-Called Life.
The show is up there as one of the top examples of a series that was cut short too soon, and was the first ever show that sparked a fan campaign to save it.
It followed the story of Angela Chase (Claire Danes) as a teenager navigating her way through the trials and tribulations of first loves, first breakups and even first spots. This was no after-school special however, My So-Called Life got pretty dark and was groundbreaking at the time for dealing with issues like homophobia, child abuse, censorship and homelessness. It even featured the first openly gay teenager on American network television - Rickie Vasquez, played by Wilson Cruz.
The series was cancelled after just nineteen episodes and thus the story was never really wrapped up the way fans, or the writers, would have wanted. However, in a recent interview with the former cast and crew in Elle magazine, the show's creator Winnie Holzman said what she had envisioned for the characters in season two;
"I pictured a situation where Angela and Jordan are an item, Delia and Brian are an item, and Angela and Brian are constantly looking to each other for advice and help with their respective dysfunctional relationships.
"Ricky would be living with Mr. Katimski [the drama teacher who took Ricky in when he was homeless], and it would come out that Mr. Katimski was gay. And the whole school would be polarized…this was a different time, remember. I was thinking that Sharon's mother would want him out of the school, and her friendship with Angela's mother would go on the line for it. In other words, it would become the fulcrum of a polarizing school issue, and Ricky would be right in the middle of it.
"And Angela's parents would have split up, and I was going to have her mother go into some kind of depression, and Angela would have to take over running the household. I literally have no idea what I was thinking of for Rayanne, but I think it was getting her in some kind of real trouble. And I was going to get Sharon pregnant—that was a thought, anyway. I mean, obviously none of it was carved in stone, but I think I would have jumped off on some of that stuff."
Dammit, we could picture all of that working well and making for a great second season.
Holzman insists she has no regrets though;
"Television is a very different world now. But you know what? The show had the perfect life. In a week or so, I'm going to New York with my husband and we're going to see Claire at the Public Theater in a play. This person means so much to me, the way in which we met is magic—what a miracle that I get to count her as a friend. There are no words for my gratitude. There is nothing I would change about any of it."