Dear Angela: Remembering My So-Called Life

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Dear Angela includes fourteen critical essays that examine the brief-lived but landmark television series, My So-Called Life (1994-1995). Though certainly not the first young woman to be the center of a television series, Angela Chase and the show about her life were doing something new on television and influenced many of the shows about young people that followed. Michele Byers and David Lavery bring together enthusiastic and engaging voices that bear on a series that continues to be hailed as a breakthrough moment in television, even though more than a decade has passed since its cancellation. Tackling a broad range of topics_from identity politics, to music, to infidelity, and death_each essay builds upon a belief that My So-Called Life is a particularly rich text worth studying for the clues it offers about a particular moment in cultural and television history. Dear Angela offers a sophisticated analysis of the show's legacy and cultural relevance that will appeal to media studies scholars and fans alike.

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Editorial Reviews

Rhonda V. Wilcox
We have waited too many years for a first-rate book on My So-Called Life. Dear Angela has made the wait worthwhile. Editors Michele Byers and David Lavery have gathered an excellent set of essayists who write on topics ranging from Barbara Bell’s brilliant work on language to Kelli Maloy’s piece on music to Jes Battis’s “My So-Called Queer.” And of course Byers’ and Lavery’s own essays are lucid and moving. This book fills an important place in television scholarship; furthermore, fans of the show are sure to enjoy the thoughtful attention these writers pay to a worthy work of television.
Sherrie A. Inness
Dear Angela is a lively and vivid work that is sure to fascinate any reader interested in thinking about My So-Called Life and its long-lasting cultural impact, which continues today. Anyone curious about teens and television will find this book to be absorbing.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780739116913
  • Publisher: The Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group Inc
  • Publication date: 8/20/2007
  • Series: Critical Studies in Television Series
  • Pages: 258
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Michele Byers is an associate professor at Saint Mary's University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. David Lavery holds a chair in film and television at Brunel University in London.

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Table of Contents

Part 1 Overtures Chapter 2 Gender/Sexuality/Desire: Subversion of Difference and Construction of Loss in the Adolescent Drama My So-Called Life Chapter 3 Saving Our So-Called Lives: Girl Fandom, Adolescent Subjectivity, and My So-Called Life Part 4 Media Chapter 5 Timing is Everything: The Success of Dawson's Creek and the Failure of My So-Called Life Chapter 6 Their So-Called Scene: Uses of Popular Music in My So-Called Life Part 7 Characters & Themes Chapter 8 My So-Called Queer: Rickie Vasquez and the Performance of Teen Exile Chapter 9 Jordan Catalano/Brian Krakow: Masculinity in the 'Alternative' 90s Chapter 10 Passing Notes and Passing Crushes: Writing Desire and Sexuality in My So-Called Life Chapter 11 Whatever happens happens: Infidelity in My So-Called Life Part 12 Literature Chapter 13 My So-Called Magical Life: Magical Realism Joins the Chase(s) Chapter 14 Holden Caulfield in Doc Martins: The Catcher in the Rye and Part 15 Narrative Chapter 16 One of those Fights Where it Feels like the Fight's Having You: Subjectivity and the My So-Called Life Narrative Chapter 17 "It Only Got Teenage Girls": Narrative Strategies and the Realism of My So-Called Life Part 18 Coda Chapter 19 My So-Called Life in the Balance: Metaphors of Mortality and Uncertainty in a Short-Lived Television Series Part 20 Afterword Chapter 21 My So-Called Life Meets The X-Files: Winnie Holzman's Influence on Joss Whedon

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