My So-Called Life
Why Jordan Can't Read

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Duh squared

So-Called High. Sharon and Kyle mack (tm Aaron). Kyle observes that Rayanne is staring at them, calls her "low," and passes on the rumor that Rayanne boinked one of the museum guards. Oh, whatever, Kyle. You love having an audience, so put it away. Sharon points out the double standard, saying that if a guy boinked a guard on a field trip, Kyle and his friends "would give him a medal." Yeah, really. Kyle says he's just making conversation, and besides, he thought Sharon hated Rayanne. Sharon does. Of course she does. But "there's a lot of great reasons to hate her without dragging in her sex life." Preach it, Cherski. Sharon and Kyle go back to macking.

Elsewhere in the hall, Angela tells Rickie that she keeps running "it" over and over in her mind. Rickie says that's just what he would do. Angela adds that she really wants to see Jordan, but she doesn't just want to see him, "like with no preparation." "That's exactly how I would be," Rickie sighs wistfully, slumping against the locker next to Angela's. After a beat, Rickie tells her that Jordan "usually goes to P.E. on Thursday," so if she goes to the north side of the gym as class gets out..."Rickie," Angela says, finally catching her snap. Rickie shrugs sadly, "You don't have to say it." Angela kisses him gently on the cheek.

Then we get a few jump cuts of Angela rehearsing her so-very-casual-and-coincidental "oh hi" for when she does run into Jordan, which she does moments later, and in such a way that it's patently obvious she's waiting for him. "Hi!" she perks, and Jordan slows down to let his friends go by and asks kind of impatiently, "So, what's up?" She says that she can't get the song he wrote out of her mind. Jordan deflects with, "Well, I'm still not done writin' it, so...awkward pause." Behind him, OFARLB and Jordan's other sidekick horse around, waiting for Jordan. Angela swallows hard and plunges in: "Well, um, there's this movie, and...and it kind of reminds me of your song...or your song kind of reminds me of the movie, but...hearing it kind of makes me want to go to the movie again." She winds this labyrinthine and unsubtle hint up with a pointed stare, as if to beam the "you will ask me if it's playing anywhere, and then you will suggest that we go to it" brain wave into Jordan's head. Oh, man. As a graduate of an all-girls' school, I had to ask boys out for everything for years, and this scene is so painfully familiar that, in the words of Jonathan Bernstein, it's like a sharp tug to the nostril hairs. Anyway, Angela has to wiggle her eyebrows a bit, but the brain wave finally finds purchase in the rocky soil of Jordan's cranium: "Oh! Yeah, uh, we could do that." Of course, he has to turn around and check to see if his friends hear him, but you can't have everything. Then Angela has to ruin it by explaining the whole my-parents-have-to-meet-you-beforehand thing, like, just let him come pick you up, and then when he comes to the door, they can meet him -- it's not an audience with the Pope. My mother had the same rule, and I had to finesse it like that a dozen times.

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My So-Called Life

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