My So-Called Life
Why Jordan Can't Read

Episode Report Card
Sars: B- | Grade It Now!
Duh squared

Long backlit shot of Jordan ambling down a hallway, still humming, an unknowable shadow passing all the works of art. Or, you know, whatever.

Back from the break to My So-Called High. The bell rings to signal the end of class, and Brian approaches Angela to ask if she still has his Malcolm X. "Yeah, so," she shrugs, zipping up her bookbag. So, he needs it back. Okay? Okay! Brian slouches off. Angela approaches Jordan, wearing a face one usually equates with an impending root canal, and stumbles in with, "Yesterday, on the field trip? This is gonna sound a little weird, but --" He interrupts her to say that he "almost forgot," digs in his pocket, and holds out the letter to her. Angela just stares at it, frozen. Jordan says he found it at the museum: "You wrote it, right?" Angela, who has on some sort of boxers-over-black-tights contraption of an outfit that makes me cringe for her, makes me cringe about a hundred times more as she babbles that she wrote the letter about someone else (ohhh), she had a boyfriend "last summer" (OHHHH god, that's the oldest one in the book, just STOP, PLEASE), and she "wanted to remember him" so she used Jordan's name because she didn't want other people "to know it was about him, because he, he died...he's dead" (oh MAN this is SO PAINFUL, please HIT the BUTTON), and finally, mercifully, she trails off. Jordan starts to walk away, then says that he didn't read the letter. Angela snorts sadly, "What, you expect me to believe that?" Jordan sneers that he doesn't care what she believes and makes to go, but Angela keeps at him, saying that it's not likely that he found a five-page letter with his name on it and didn't read it. Jordan tries to blow it off again, then admits that he read "parts of it." "What?" Angela snaps. "You must really think I'm stupid." She pushes past him towards the door. Jordan snarks that it "didn't hold [his] interest," and Angela rounds on him, demanding to know what made it "so incredibly boring," and as Jordan turns away from her, Angela goes off: "Just tell me! Was it, was it, was it -- too emotional, too personal, too many big words?" At the last part, Jordan yells, "Shut UP!" Angela stares at him, furious. Then her eyes soften. Jordan just stands at the window, staring expressionlessly ahead of him, and I must say that I've never understood why he doesn't just leave the room; it's totally out of character for Jordan as written to stay and let Angela work him over. I know they had certain things they wanted to do here, but it's not like Holzman et al. to set it up so clumsily. A rare false step by the writers. Anyway, Angela checks the hallway, then looks back at Jordan and says flatly, "You couldn't read it. [long pause] That's it, isn't it." A moment passes; Jordan admits, in a strange smiling tone, that he's never told anyone before. He turns to look at her and makes a sort of "well, there you have it" gesture with his shoulders.

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My So-Called Life




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