Throwback Thursday: My So-Called Life

cast-of-my-so-called-life-5-600x450Throughout the years on the blogI’ve mentioned the 90s tv show My So-Called Life. Never before have I gone into detail on it’s impact.  It was one of those shows in the early 90s that directly mirrored my life. Even today I seem to compare my own happenings to the introspective Angela Chase played by Claire Danes. Although it was only on for one season it still is one of the most honest and real portrayals of 90s teen life ever. The fashion and amazing cast alone deserves a mountain of awards. So, don’t think of it as a throwback on this Thursday but more of a nod and a thank you to the creators of this show for existing even if it was only for one season.

One of the most incredible parts of this show was the multi-dimensional cast. Jared Leto as Jordan Catalano will forever go down in history as Angela’s “meant to be boyfriend” that kinda sorta was, who sang in a band. In other words perfect. Rayanne, the grungy amazingly styled best friend who’s drinking and drugs took over her life in a not so subtle way. Brian, the hopeless romantic neighbor who could only dream of Angela Chase and straight A’s in school. Rickie, a gay 15 year old teen who was always there to challenge social stereotypes on what a boy should be like in the 90s and be his own person no matter what people had to say about it. Then there’s Angela Chase, the red headed girl who thought way too much about everything but always seemed to have the best perspective on life.

This is still 90s television at it’s best. Raw, honest, and real.

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Lifetime Inspiration: This is England

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In the past 4 years of writing this blog I have thought of the entries as a time capsule. Or a way for me to remember things important or inspiring in my life. Almost like an online scrapbook if you think about it. Finding a film that hits you hard as soon as it’s over is a very rare thing. A few years ago this happened to me when I saw “This Is England” for the first time.

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Director Shane Meadows premiered his first film in 2006 to amazing reviews. The story of a lost 12 year old boy who befriends a group of skinheads in England circa 1983. Aside from the film giving me a new insight on the background of skins, I also gained an intensive interest in British culture. Now it’s no secret that it is my dream to live in the UK, so seeing this film right around the time I was making the choice to move to Los Angeles reminds me of my quarter life crisis. In a good way.

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The main character played by Thomas Turgoose was an incredible force in the film, as well as the other actors throughout. The film was so well received that a drama spin off television series was created called “This Is England” ’86 and it’s still running today. The ’90 series is slated for 2013. If you haven’t seen this film then I highly recommend seeing it right frickin now.

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I hope this film is as powerful for you as it is for me.

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Throwback Thursday: Clarissa Explains it All

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Clarissa Darling, one of the girls in the 90s that I was insanely jealous of. She had the most amazing wardrobe filled with crazy prints and I think she was the first girl my age on tv I saw in Doc Martens. I wanted to be Melissa Joan Hart in the 90s. “Clarissa Explains it All” was part of the classic Nickelodeon lineup in the 90s. Even though I had no best friend who climbed through my window or a bratty brother, I felt that I lived my life through her eyes. Personally I think she was the first one to pull off the “hipster style” before anyone even knew she would later become a fashion icon. Let’s all thank Clarissa for our mix matched patterns and combat boots we’re still wearing today.

Na-na na na….

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Menswear Monday: Luke Perry

Otherwise known as Dylan McKay from Beverly Hills, 90210 and the guy Cher was “saving herself for” in Clueless. Every girl in the 90s and for that matter always wants the bad boy. Whether he is clad in a leather jacket or standing behind a guitar, there is just something about the forbidden and dangerous that screams “please get to know me so I can break you heart”. Luke Perry is one of those guys in the 90s that made the bad boy not only dangerous but a deep pensive daredevil with a soul. Let’s take a look down good old memory lane.

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Throwback Thursday: California Dreams TV Show

If you were a teenager in the 90s you knew what TNBC was. It was a segment on NBC after Saturday morning cartoons that was marketed to teens. Hence the “T”. Saved By the Bell was the main headliner for years, but for a few seasons a show called “California Dreams” ruled the waves. This was so vivid to me then seeing as the prospect of living in California was not much more than a dream itself.

California Dreams was like Saved by the Bell if they had a band. Centered around a group of insanely on trend teenagers and their scheming band manager named Sly who got involved in all sorts of crazy capers. Most of all there was a mini concert at the end of each episode. Perfect 90s sitcom scenario. Who could resist the motorcycling bad boy that could only be Jake Sommers. Swoon.

Plus they did have one of the best theme songs ever:

In the throws of my research I saw that Jimmy Fallon actually reunited the cast on his Late Night tv show. Check out this piece of 90s nostalgia history.

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Throwback Thursday: Blossom

I’ve just done a little mini post on Blossom before, so it doesn’t hurt to pay homage to the girl who inspired the denim flower hat of the 90s. Blossom just shaped the 90s awkward girl trend and made it super cool for kids like me to dress like a spaz. How can we forget Six, her best friend who was what every girl in junior high hopes for in a best friend. She balanced out Blossom’s neurotic behavior with her wild crazy fast talking ways. Whoa! We can’t forget her hunky older brother Joey who will always be remember as this fun loving goof who just said “whoa!” and we loved it.

Let’s all put on our flower hats and knee high socks on this Thursday and remember the awesomeness that is Blossom Russo.

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Throwback Thursday: MTV’s “The Real World” Seasons 1-9

As much as it pains me to admit this given the current state of the channel but, I love MTV. I think almost anyone in my generation really grew up with the channel. The first foray into reality tv 20 years ago was MTV’s The Real World. A true portrayal of what life was like in the 90s living with 7 strangers in various cities all over the world. Not to mention they always had the most kick ass pad.

For this Thursday I’ve decided to highlight what I think are The Real World’s golden years, seasons 1-9. It’s not that the new seasons are any less interesting, I think my character has evolved past watching 20 somethings drink and hook up all season. Onto my take of the best seasons.

The Real World: New York (1992)

The first season. Also one of the best. Premiering in 1992 this was the first of its kind to show every aspect. Imagine being an experiment for a tv show where you live with 6 random strangers. We loved it. I happened to love the dynamic between Eric Nies and Julie, the small town girl from Alabama. It’s great to watch this show again and really see how New York has changed.

The Real World: Los Angeles (1993)

The second season, Los Angeles. Complete with David’s wild antics for two weeks until he got booted from the house in record time. This season was one of the most dramatic with clashing personalities. The blanket incident involving Tami and David was certainly a contender for “best fight” in a reality show. Also, who could forget John the singing cowboy?

The Real World: San Francisco (1994)

One of the most riveting of the series was San Francisco. Apart from the usual drama of the series this was the first time a cast member who was HIV-Positive was to live in the house with them. The cast was informed before they moved in but production wouldn’t reveal the identity before the move in date. During the 90s HIV and AIDS were such a misunderstood topic, with most people believing that it was an immediate death sentence. Pedro Zamora spent his time in the house educating others in the community about the importance of  safe sex.  This season was more than a reality show to many of this generation and still continues to be one of the most poignant in the series.

Unfortunately Pedro Zamora lost his battle with AIDS in November of 1994, just after the season finale aired on MTV.

The Real World: London (1995)

The first time MTV skipped across the pond to bring us a season abroad. The London installment has to be one of my favorites, not only because of the awesome cast but basically because of the city. I fell in love with London on this tv show and it wasn’t till years later that my infatuation was realized when I stepped onto the street myself.

I loved this cast. From Lars the German DJ to Neil the British punk rocker this cast had the mid 90s all wrapped up. I particularly loved watching the cast pursue their own paths on the show. Jacinda was a model/actress, Sharon was a blues singer, Mike (one of three Americans) was an aspiring race car driver, Jay was a playright, and Kat was a student at NYU on a fencing scholarship. My favorite part in the series would have to be when Neil got his tongue bitten off while playing with his band.

The Real World: Miami (1996)

Oh, Miami! What a tumultuous season this was. From the famous Dan and Melissa fight to the failed attempt at creating a business, this show was nothing if not amazing to watch. I always thought Flora kept the whole show together. Thankfully I still have my old tapes with these episodes to keep me busy. I loved that this was the first season to put all the housemates to work together. They did spend the whole season arguing over what kind of business to create. Needless to say, they didnt.

The Real World: Boston (1997)

Love Boston. Love. I had the biggest crush on the sensitive poet type, Jason. Swoon. Did everyone see that list of 200 things that a guy had to be to date Kameelah? Ha. It actually made sense. Elka and Walter, Montana and Vaj- there were numerous reasons to love this show. Set in an old firehouse I also secretly wanted to live in this house. Please find this online and watch it.

The Real World: Seattle (1998)

Seattle, the city I long to visit and one of the inspirations for this blog seeing that I do love grunge music. This was the first season that MTV brought on two cast members who knew each other prior to the show taping. David and Nathan went to VMI together which called for an interesting mix. Apart from Irene’s departure now known as the “slap heard round the world”, I always thought their job was the best part. For 4 months they worked at KNDD, the alternative rock station in Seattle. Working at a radio station in 1998 in Seattle? Somebody pinch me.

The Real World: Hawaii (1999)

Oh Hawaii. I feel like I’ve been to Hawaii after seeing this show. From the partying, the mindless self reliant existential daily ramblings of Kaia and Justin this season was just too good. Amaya and Colin were comic relief to say the least and who could forget anything that came out of Tek’s mouth. The main arc of the season was Ruthie’s then drinking problem in which production stepped in to intervene. A first in the show’s history. Thankfully, now Ruthie is doing great and has even appeared on some Real World Challenges over the years.

The Real World: New Orleans (2000)

The last of my trip down MTV memory lane. This was the last season that I truly enjoyed and couldn’t miss an episode. Danny. Enough said. I think I may have had dreams about him when I was in high school. Melissa, can she please be my best friend? David’s weird song and the whole cast trying to put together a tv show on cable access. Oh how the times have changed. You want crazy, well you got it. After all, they are in New Orleans!

Hope you enjoyed the trip down memory lane with MTV classic, The Real World.

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