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My So-Called Life: The Complete Series

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Jared Leto, Claire Danes, ...
My So Called Life: Mark Seliger/ABC

We gave it an A

One of the most detailed and moving evocations of teenage years ever created, My So-Called Life was canceled by ABC after its first season due to poor ratings. Its cult grew with subsequent airings on MTV, and the series remains achingly moving and relevant. Claire Danes’ exquisitely nuanced performance as dreamy, brainy 15-year-old Angela Chase is nearly matched by everyone in the cast. Bess Armstrong gives a fearless portrayal of a mother torn between exerting discipline and letting go, while Wilson Cruz’s Rickie remains one of the most fully realized gay characters in any medium. Credit ”thirtysomething” alum Winnie Holzman as the behind-the-scenes writer-producer-auteur, and give Jared Leto props for embodying the perfect object of Angela’s lust: a post-James Dean, alienated hood-in-the-making who conveys both inner turmoil and outer hottiness just by closing his eyes and tilting his head skyward.