My So-Called Life
Pilot

Episode Report Card
Wing Chun: D | 5 USERS: A+
YOU GRADE IT
Pilot

The camera pans across a wide variety of equally unappealing cafeteria foods. An unseen (but for his/her hand) cafeteria staffer plops a scoop of something cheesy onto Angela's tray, and she snorts. Rayanne, standing next to her, says that there's a rave tonight at a club called Let's Bolt, that Tino can get them in, and that Jordan will definitely be there. "Rayanne..." Angela whines, and Rayanne says, "What? It's perfect! And you don't even have to think of anything to say to him, because no one can hear anyone."

Rayanne marches into the seating area with her tray, followed by Rickie, with Angela pulling up the rear. AVO says, "The cafeteria is the embarrassment capital of the world. It's like a prison movie." Some jerk walks past Brian and nonchalantly shoves Brian's lunch tray into his torso, and Rickie asks Angela where she wants to sit. Angela talks through him, to Rayanne: "I don't have anything to wear to a place like that." Rayanne says she'll lend Angela something: "You have to look tough. Somebody once set fire to my hair at Let's Bolt."

Random girls loiter in the bathroom. Random Girl 1 asks, "Wait, so...what's 'fat-free'?" RG2 explains, "When something's, like, free. Of fat." RG1 asks, "Well, what's the difference between 'fat-free' and, like, 'nonfat'?" RG3 says, "Good question!" and they walk out, passing Angela as she tells Rayanne, "I'd have to think of a lie." Just then, Sharon appears in the doorway, pauses at the sight of Angela, then forges ahead, trying to ignore her. Rayanne says, "Simple -- you're staying over at my place. And it's a perfect lie, because you can stay over, my mom won't even be there." Sharon flosses, ignoring them as studiously as Angela ignores her. Rayanne tells Angela she has to go find Tino, and leaves. Angela turns around and goes for the faucet, asking, "Um, is there any soap in there?" "There's never soap," Sharon snaps. "Hi...?" Angela offers. Sharon snorts, starts to walk out, then stops and, very seriously, says, "Um, so, I just think you should know what people are saying about you." Angela asks, "What?" Sharon stutters, "That...you think you're so above everyone, and that, um, and that Rayanne Graff is like God to you now, and you just do whatever she says. And by the way, she's just using you, like she did to Jodie Barsch. I just thought you should know." Sharon stomps to the doorway, but Angela stops her by asking what Rayanne did to Jodie Barsch. Sharon melodramatically turns back and drawls, "Oh, please. It's like, so known." Angela stares, her eyes welling up. Sharon's speech gets even more clipped, and she demands, "So, um, so tell me what I did, Angela. I mean, I would really like to know." With tears not just creeping but stampeding into her voice, Angela says, "Nothing! It's not something that --" "So you just dropped your oldest friend for no reason?" Sharon presses. "I mean, I mean, just tell me what I did." "I can't!" Angela sobs. "It's not, like, one thing -- it's not like that!" Sharon rubs at her eyes and chokes, "Okay, great, so just never speak to me again -- real mature, Angela!" Angela protests, "No, I want to speak to you! I never --" "No, forget it!" Sharon yells. Angela cries mutely. Sharon wrings her hands and says, "God! Your hair. Did Patty, like, hemorrhage the first time she saw it?" Angela manages a feeble smile, and replies, "In a sense." Sharon smirks, and says, "Well, I have to say, I hate it." Sharon bites her lip, and stomps out, crying.

Patty walks out of the kitchen holding a plate of...something...and sunnily suggests that they all go ice skating. No one reacts, so Patty says she's serious. Danielle says there's a movie on tonight that she really wants to watch: "It's about this girl, and she does obscene phone calls as, like, her job." "Really," Patty replies. Graham says he told Neil he'd shoot pool with him tonight. Patty worries at her napkin in exasperation and asks, "You're seeing your brother twice in one week?" Foreshadowing leans in my office doorway and whines, "I thought I had the summer off!" Graham explains, "Well, he broke up with her again; I feel sorry for him." Danielle continues, "And then somebody, like, tries to kill her, like, over the phone!" Patty leans over her plate and sighs, "Well, I guess it's just us girls tonight, which --" Angela snaps, "So I'm grounded? Just because of last night?" Patty slowly replies, "I never said that you were grounded. What I said --" "So, Mom, I'm allowed to, right?" Danielle asks, cannily taking advantage of Patty's distraction. ["My brother and I nearly wept laughing the first time we saw this scene. I can't count the number of times my brother asked -- and received permission -- to do things like build a fire-ant colony when my mother was busy bitching me out for, basically, being a sulky fifteen-year-old." -- Sars] Angela says, "'Cause, um, Rayanne invited me to sleep over at her house tonight." Danielle asks again whether she's allowed to watch the movie. Patty asks Angela, "That girl from the other day? That rude girl?" Angela defends Rayanne as not having been rude (in fact, since Patty was the one who demanded of Rickie, "Who are you?" I'd say she is "that rude girl"), and Patty argues, "She finished my cheese! I had this brand-new brick of cheese -- she devoured it." "Dad!" Angela interrupts. Graham smirks. Danielle asks about her movie AGAIN. Patty says, "You know, I have met this Rayanne exactly once. I do not know her; I do not know her parents." Patty goes into the kitchen, and Graham calls after her, "What, you never spent a night at a friend's house?" Patty says her parents knew her friends. Danielle asks one last time whether she may watch the movie, and (apparently) to shut her up, Patty consents. Angela reminds Patty that she offered Rayanne the cheese. Graham slides his arm around Patty's waist and pulls her onto his lap, asking, "All nine hundred? They knew all nine hundred of your friends personally?" Patty giggles, "Okay, we've all heard this before." AVO gives us the back story: "My parents went to the same high school, but they never knew each other then." Graham tells Angela, "Did you know that they had to change the date of the prom because your mother was getting her appendix out?" Loving every minute, Patty says, "I never asked them to change the date!" Graham continues, "Meanwhile, I couldn't get a girl to look at me." Patty obliges him (only it's more like he's gotten a girl to glare at him), and she stomps into the kitchen. Angela tries to bring the discussion back to herself: "You know, you don't even have to drive me, because Rickie's cousin said he would." Sarcastically, Patty chortles, "Oh! Rickie's cousin! Well, why didn't you say so? That eases my mind." Angela rotates her head as if to demonstrate that rolling only her eyes would not be a sufficient expression of her feelings, throws down her napkin, and stomps away from the table.

Patty immediately follows Angela, Graham follows Patty, and Danielle follows Graham. At the stairs, where Angela is evidently on her way up to her room for a good old-fashioned sulk, Patty tells Graham, "You haven't met this Rickie." Angela says, "Stop calling him 'this Rickie.'" Danielle tells Graham, "I did parallel bars today." Okay, Danielle's constant interruptions make for good TV, but bad recaps, so from now on unless Danielle's remarks are directly related to the action in the scene, I'm not going to report them. Over-emphasizing each word, Patty declares, "I find Rickie a little confusing." Angela says, "Okay, so maybe he's bi. Who cares? His cousin can still drive." That has got to be one of the greatest stand-alone quotes of all My So-Called Life-dom. Angela flounces up the stairs and Patty sputters after her, "What? He's what?" Of Graham, she demands, "Do you hear these terms she's throwing around? 'Bi'?" Danielle helpfully informs Patty, "It means 'bisexual.'" Graham asks Danielle, "He's bisexual?" Patty asks Graham, "How can he be 'bi-' anything? He's a child! He's obviously very confused." Angela comes back down to defend Rickie: "No, he's not confused." As if it's any kind of argument, Patty snorts, "He wears eyeliner." Graham conversationally asks, "He does? He wears eyeliner?" Angela tells him, "I thought you were on my side!" Graham says, "I'm not on anyone's side," which is never true, as even Patty knows: "Graham, grow up. Choose a side." He asks Angela whether Rayanne's mother will be there when Angela sleeps over, and Angela says, "No. No, Rayanne lives by her wits, in an alley." Hee! It's funny because it has the ring of truth, but then she takes it back: "Yes, obviously! I mean, she's a mother! They live in the same place! Obviously her mother's going to be there." Danielle -- whatever. Graham looks from Angela to Patty, who snottily says, "Fine. Go. Spend the night at some total stranger's house -- I don't care." Angela moves toward her and snaps, "Yeah, like you really mean that." Patty repeats: "No. Go. And you [to Graham], go shoot pool with your brother, or wherever the hell you're going." Patty starts angrily clearing the table and Angela yells into the ki

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My So-Called Life

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