My So-Called Life may be more than 20 years old, but its short-lived run has stood the test of time. With the ’90s making a comeback big time, there’s no question the misadventures of Angela Chase, her family, and her motley crew of friends perfectly encapsulates the decade, and this is why.
1. The grungy clothes.
Flannels, baggy jeans, clashing patterns and bands tees are nothing short of the perfect fashion inspiration for a ’90s throwback vibe.
2. The even grungier music.
From the Violent Femmes to Buffalo Tom and Juliana Hatfield, the show captured ’90s grunge in the show’s soundtrack, which made this decade’s music so memorable.
3. Pop-culture references ever ’90s kid can understand.
Name drops like “the Clintons” and honoring the death of Kurt Cobain keep relevant news of the ’90s time alive.
4. MSCL wasn’t afraid to touch on real youth issues like teen runaways, broken homes, and drug and alcohol abuse.
5. Cell phones were just starting to become a thing, and the use of landlines serves as a last gasp of simpler times before technology took over.
6. Angela’s take on “emo” became a socially acceptable way to show off inner angst and turmoil without being called depressed.
7. Speaking of Angela, she was an unconventional ’90s teen, with thoughts and questions beyond her years.
8. Rickie was the first openly gay teen on television.
This was a groundbreaking role, as there were very few openly gay actors playing leading roles in film and television in the ’90s.
9. Jordan Catalano.
While emotions attached to crushing on someone aren’t confined to a specific time, Jordan was (and still is) the epitome of what a ’90s crush would be. Turn-and-stare-gorgeous, aloof and emo, just trying to get his own garage band off the ground.
10. The show had such a lasting impression on pop-culture.
It’s been referenced in multiple ways including a line in the Oscar nominated film Juno and a song written and performed by rock band, The Ataris.