About Christmas TV History

Sunday, July 31, 2011

1990s Christmas: My So-Called Life

Do you realize we barely scratched the surface on 1990s Christmas entertainments?  Of course, if you'd like to read about more Christmas episodes, specials and movies from the 1990s, you can pick up a copy of my book Tis the Season TV.  You can also stay close to this blog where I'll definitely be covering more of our favorite Christmas TV moments from the 1990s and more.  Thanks again to all my guest bloggers throughout the month of July!  I think this was a lot of fun :)  We end Christmas in July today on a strong note, remembering the cult teen drama My So-Called Life.  This episode will air tomorrow, Monday August 1, at 11 pm (EST) on the Sundance Channel. 

A teenaged Claire Danes as Angela Chase
I certainly remember watching this show when it first aired in 1994-95.  Even though I was no longer a teenager, it was a drama with enough emotional sophistication to hold an adult's attention.  My favorite character has always been the wild child, Rayanne.  And, I still can't help feel a little weak in the knees whenever I see Jared Leto on screen.  Leto played Jordan Catalano, the object of Angela's desire (sigh).

This short-lived cult show casts a long shadow
In the 1994 episode entitled 'So-Called Angels,' the drama continues: Rickie is abused at home, misses school and needs a place to stay.  Jordan helps him find shelter with other runaways and homeless kids in an abandoned warehouse.  Angela meets a homeless but talented girl and compassionately gives her the new pair of leather boots she got for Christmas.  Later this ‘angel’ helps Mrs. Chase find Angela after she’s gone missing.  Meanwhile, Brian Crackow is wrapped up in his own drama. Feeling alone at the holiday, Brian telephones the teen hotline that Sharon and Rayanne are manning.

Juliana Hatfield in 'So-Called Angels'
One of the more memorable elements to this Christmas episode is that the otherwordly homeless girl that touches Angela's life is played by indie rocker Juliana Hatfield.  Hatfield was a member of the 1980s indie band Blake Babies and then in the 1990s she had her own successful solo career.  I actually saw the Blake Babies in a bar during college just before they broke up.  Never could I have imagined back then that I would one day be writing about Hatfield's appearance on a TV show on a blog! 

a clip of Juliana Hatfield as the angel

One of the Juliana Hatfield Three's biggest hits was 'My Sister,' released in 1993

If you'd like to watch this episode, you can click this link at Youtube.  The entire episode is available on my Youtube channel TistheSeasonTV in my 1990s playlist.  It is also available on DVD and is currently streaming on Netflix.


  1. Never watched this show, but sounds interesting. Another great addition to the month!

  2. Thanks, this was such a great series. I wasn't a teenager either, but this was probably the most realistic portrayal of high school life, especially those who weren't the popular kids. I still don't think it's been topped either.

    There was an interesting article about the "Magical Realism" of this episode and the Halloween episode, you can read it here in google books: