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A Lesson in Appreciation for MSCL "Halloween" Episode

One of my favorite aspects of discussing My So-Called Life with fans on Facebook is experiencing this remarkable show through the eyes of others, and their willingness to set me straight when they feel I have something wrong. This happened before with "Why Jordan Can't Read," and it's happening again now with "Halloween."

Here's what I posted yesterday:

I've probably scrutinized the MSCL episode "Halloween" far too much at this point, but it feels like a puzzle that needs solving, so of course I want to solve it in the book.
I think "Halloween" hits its first major pothole when Patty and Graham are trying on their costumes and begin to be "taken over" by them. What I can't quite work out is why we're perfectly happy to accept Angela crashing a 1963 dance but not her parents acting out under the influence of their outfits. Is there just something more emotionally honest about what Angela is experiencing? Is it that we don't give adults credits for feeling things as deeply as young people? Thoughts?

What followed was a handful of reasonable, well-thought-out explanations about why the Graham and Patty scenes work for them. (As no one gave me permission to reproduce those comments here, let me refer you to the original Facebook thread.)

Unlike the great "Why Jordan Can't Read" debate, which completely opened my eyes to layers I never noticed before, I remain unconvinced about the parent story line in "Halloween." That said, I've come away with a newfound appreciation for the level of deep scrutiny that fans subject this show to nearly 30 years later, and the firm-but-respectful way they put their case to a fellow who probably spends far too much time thinking about these things and needs to be brought down a peg or two. You all keep me focused, challenged, and inspired. (My thanks to Thomas, Carl, Trinity, Adam, Paul and the rest who've weighed in on this episode on Facebook so far.)

So Beautiful it Hurts: The Making of My So-Called Life’ is neither endorsed by nor affiliated with ABC, The Bedford Falls Co., nor anyone involved with the making or distribution of “My So-Called Life.”



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