Today Claire Danes turns 34! While the birthday girl is all grown up these days as the star of Homeland and wife to hot actor Hugh Dancy, we will always remember Claire as the angsty teen heroine of My So-Called Life, Angela Chase. As one of our favorite '90s starlets, Claire's portrayal of Angela gave us someone we could relate to growing up. She went through the same friend dramas, family conflict, and, of, course, young love ups and downs we faced in those terrible in-between years of high school. So in honor of Claire's birthday, we've got the best love, sex, and dating musings from Angela on My So-Called Life.
It's not our fault we can still recall with remarkable clarity the angst, awesomeness, and all-out grunge sensibility of cult show My So-Called Life — we blame it on its lead stars Claire Danes and Jordan Catalano, er, Jared Leto. And while the series only lasted for one epic season, its short-lived run continues to inspire our styling whimsy by way of its spot-on encapsulation of early '90s fashion. We're talking serious Kurt Cobain flannel, punk-inspired Doc Martens and Converse, vintage floral prints, and a whole lot of retro denim looks. On any given episode, you'd be guaranteed to spot Danes's character Angela Chase in a cool mix of layered patterns, jean overalls, and a knitted vest. It may not be an ensemble worth emulating to a T, but listen: the styling cues found within are perfect for a funkier Fall wardrobe refresh. We've culled the most important ones to note and outfitted the best ways to achieve the look below.
- Like Angela Chase, it's OK to stick to a denim diet, but like any good diet, better to keep all jean-wearing to a healthier level of moderation. Whether you favor a pair of long overalls or a slouchy boyfriend jean, be mindful of the way in which you layer. Sure, you can add a denim jacket — in a complementary tone, preferably — but also know when enough is enough.
- You may not be wearing flannel outerwear tied around your waist á la the days of Nirvana yore, but a great cozy print or updated plaid iteration can give your Fall look just the right amount of cold-weather cool. We're loving the darker tartan variations for blouses and a wider wool flannel design for slim-cut pencil skirts.
- Good news: your floral-infused pieces, favorite pair of Doc Martens, and knitted crochet sweaters have a place in your closet this season. With My So-Called Life providing the fashion fuel, we're taking initiative with our opaque tights and lace-up boot combos, chunkier knits layered over softer henley tops (or for a more polished effect, a button-up blouse), and midi-length floral printed skirts to complement our blazers. Feel free to keep your '90s-inspired wares in full rotation — just don't get lost in one too many trends.
Well, here's the most fun discovery I made this week. While pulling up a recent episode of Brothers and Sisters over on ABC's online video player, a few little words suddenly caught my eye. Did that really say My So-Called Life?
Indeed! ABC is currently streaming four episodes of the show online, including two of my very favorites, "The Substitute" and "The Zit." I'm not sure if they're adding more as time goes on, but I'll definitely be keeping an eye on it while I'm watching "The Substitute" for the six millionth time. To get to them, go here, click the "full episodes" link in the upper left, and then click My So-Called Life.
So if you've never seen the show or just need a fix, there's another place you can get it. Granted, it doesn't exactly make up for ABC canceling the show in the first place (some wounds will never heal), but hey, I'll take what I can get.
The New York Times recently ran a story comparing the portrayals of teenage life in Gossip Girl, The Secret Life of the American Teenager, and the British show Skins. As I read through the reporter's description of each show, I wondered which teens, if any, see themselves represented in these three seriously different shows. Though they're fun to watch, none of these three shows quite captures my own teen years.
For example, the Times describes Secret Life as "steeped in moralizing" (my teen years weren't as pious), Gossip Girl as a place "where jetting to Aspen from Teterboro" is normal (yeah, not my experience either), and Skins as "nihilistic in its mood" (my hormones were raging, but I wouldn't say I was a nihilist).
So what teen drama did come closest to my own youth? Strange to admit it, but Saved by the Bell comes pretty close (sometimes I related to Jessie Spano. There, I said it. Except during this scene). Or maybe My So-Called Life (because of this scene, I did my fair share of bed dancing) — but even that still isn't quite right. What about you? What teen show — past or present — best sums up your own teenage years?
For the past couple of weeks, I've been giving you some holiday shopping tips for the various people on your list. But I haven't heard much about what you're lusting after this holiday season.
So I've decided to make this week's Buzzworthy challenge all about your holiday wish lists. What entertainment-related goods do you want someone to wrap up for you?
To start you off, I've pulled a couple of items straight from my own wish list: the Six Feet Under and My So-Called Life, the two-DVD set of the Witch Mountain movies, and a new pair of fancy headphones. (Are you reading, mom? Just kidding!)
So, it's your turn: Just use BuzzSugar's cool bookmarking tool to find your wishlist-worthy entertainment items from around the Web, tag them with the phrase holiday wish list, and write a little blurb about why they've caught your eye. I'll feature a few picks here next week — maybe it will help us come up with even more gift ideas for the pop culture junkies in our lives!
I'm kicking off my holiday gift guide with some suggestions for all the clued-in teenage girls in your life.
If the awesome teen you're shopping for is a fan of the sudsy TV series Gossip Girl but hasn't gotten into the book series, you might want to pick up this boxed set of the first three books. (If they're already rabid fans, consider the recently released prequel).
I am well out of my teen years, but still completely entertained by 13 Going on 30. It's adorable and funny and has a pretty good message for the teens: be yourself, and the rest will follow. Also, I'm not ashamed to admit that I checked out the special features on this DVD and re-discovered the greatness that is the video for Pat Benatar's "Love Is a Battlefield." Seriously, you have to check it out because really, sometimes the best self-defense a girl has is a good hard shoulder shimmy.
And even though it was on TV more than a decade ago, I don't think you can go wrong with the new My So-Called Life boxed set. After all, the joys and pains of high school are much the same in any era.
Remember the first time you saw Jordan Catalano through Angela Chase's eyes? The way he was always squinting, and leaning, and being so effortlessly gorgeous? I remember exactly where I was the first time I watched My So-Called Life and feeling that all of the show's little moments — Angela's red hair, Jordan's sexy leaning, the whispered "go, now! go!" — were meant especially for me.
So to celebrate today's release of the complete series on DVD, I've got a couple of vintage MSCL clips for you. I can't be the only one who gets a little teary watching these, right?
Now, reminisce about your first glimpse of Jordan:
To watch another clip, plus excepts from Claire Danes' interview about the show, just read more