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MSCL's Winnie Holzman and Magical Realism

Updated: Oct 13, 2022

If there is any one secret to the love that fans have for MSCL, it might have something to do with Winnie Holzman's intuitive nature, and her determination to be true to the feeling of a scene no matter where it goes. This is particularly striking in the episodes "Halloween" (which I'm writing about now) and "So Called Angels" in which the show dives headlong into magical realism. As Claire told me for the book, this intuitive nature also happens to be an everyday part of Winnie's life.

"We often have psychic experiences. Like when we’re on the phone we know what the other person is going to say, or I’ll call her and she’ll say ‘Oh, I was just thinking of you.’ It’s very cool. I think of her as a fairy godmother. That sounds twee but of course I met her at a crucial point in my life: such a vulnerable point, adolescence. And we made something really special together. But also there’s this other thing that she has which is a little cosmic...”

As Winnie herself explained it to me:

"I feel like there is that other realm in life that is the realm of the mystical, the invisible realm that we’re not normally able to see, but that sometimes sort of pierces through ordinary life. I wanted to find ways to talk about that.”

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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