My So-Called Life
Self-Esteem

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Key Grip: D | 4 USERS: A+
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Self-Esteem

Props to everyone who's ever made out in a boiler room. And to Wing and Sars, in case that doesn't cover them. I mean, it may. How should I know?

Go. Now. Go.

We open at My So-Called High, where Angela strides down the hallway. AVO: "All over school there are these, like, certain places that are, like, reserved for certain people." She passes an open doorway, through which every cheerleader and athlete at the school is visible. Sharon is inside, saying, "My biggest regret is breaking up with Kyle, like, before midterms!" And we're glad to see him go. AVO: "You're not supposed to cross certain lines. It's this unwritten law, like gravity or something." She passes a cluster of African-American students by the lockers, further illustrating her point, though one couple we see among them will become important later on, because nothing is arbitrary on this show. Winnie Holzman and her crew were good like that. AVO continues: "Like, in the basement, near the north exit, there's this boiler room, where certain people will, like, go, for, like, only one reason." And Angela, like, goes there herself, right now for, like, only one reason. Inside is Jordan Catalano. And they start to make out. AVO: "I'd never been there. Ever. In my life." In between lip-smacking goodness, Angela manages to catch her breath long enough to say, "I'm missing my Geometry review. Luckily it's optional."

It's a good opening, except for the fact that the monologue starts out being about cliques, and then suddenly is about make-out spots. I guess, ultimately, it's about the fact that Angela is surprised to find herself part of a clique that goes to make-out spots. I'm stretching here, people.

Elsewhere, blissfully unaware of the jailbait nookie going on beneath their feet, two teachers round a corner, one of whom we don't recognize. "So you had to take over two English classes even though you're a Math teacher? Gee whiz!" says the new guy. Oh, whatever -- we've seen this before, and it's Mr. Katimsky, whom we like. "Well, it was just temporary, till they'd, you know, find someone," the woman replies, a bit giddy, probably because she's thrilled that she no longer has to teach more or less every class at this school. She blathers on until Angela happens to walk by, at which point she says, "Angela Chase! Why weren't you in Geometry review? How do you expect to pass your midterm? You need this!" During which Jordan strolls by, casting barely a glance in Angela's direction. Angela covers with the effortless grace of a young Brian Krakow, and says, "Um -- yeah, no, I thought it was optional -- but I'll definitely -- no, yeah, no," all while disappearing down the hallway. A third teacher appears ["she's the Bio teacher, whom we saw in the episode where they dissect the heart" -- Sars] and identifies Angela's problem as low self-esteem. Which is, doubtless, one of Angela's problems, but it sure ain't why she's skipping Geometry review, at least not right now. Anyway, as introductions fly back and forth, we learn that the new teacher is Richard Katimsky, and that he's taking over the English classes which blah blah blah redundant-exposition-cakes. As Mr. Katimsky heads off to class, we learn that, if there's anything the Math teacher can do for him, she'll do it, and she means anything. Once he's gone, we learn, from both remaining teachers, that Mr. Katimsky is "adorable." Um...okay.

Right away, we get to see Mr. Katimsky in action in front of a class. He's saying, "Since this is our first class together, I thought I'd start with one of my favorite sonnets, by..." Then he pauses for four hours. "...William Shakespeare." He asks for a volunteer to read the sonnet, which, in a high-school English class, is like saying, "I will shoot anybody who raises his or her hand. Using this big gun I'm holding here." Since nobody raises his or her hand, Special K picks up the roll sheet and randomly selects, "En-ree-kay Vas-kez." By this he means Rickie Vasquez, who is apparently in this class. (I can never keep track of who has what classes together or who teaches what on this damn show, can you? Not that it's as bad as Boston Public, but still: have they not had eight English teachers this semester alone?) Rickie gets some laughs due to the hilariously ethnic quality of his full first name.

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My So-Called Life

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