12 Days of Christmas Episodes – Day Three: My So-Called Life
I don’t like Christmas. But in an attempt to be less of a Scrooge, I have decided to spend the 12 days leading up to Jesus’ birthday doing one of the few Christmas-related activities that doesn’t make me want to run away and hide: watching Christmas episodes of television shows. And I’m going to write about it, because that’s just what I do. Will this activity instil the spirit of Christmas within my cold, uncaring heart, or will I grow even more bitter toward the festive season? Only time will tell…
[image: The Other Dani]
My So-Called Life
Season 1, episode 15: “So-Called Angels”
One of the things that sets My So-Called Life apart from other teen series is that it generally didn’t try to be preachy. Except for this episode. With a moral viewpoint so heavy-handed that it overtakes Degrassi in the after school special stakes, “So-Called Angels” uses magic realism to get its point across – a device that so many drama series (and comedies, for that matter) only ever use at Christmas.
If you took away the “angel” (or whatever she’s supposed to be) from this story, the message would still be there. You could easily rewrite the episode to remove her, and maintain (or even strengthen) the emotive power. Themes of kindness, friendship, family and helping those who need it the most, are all relayed through the actual characters’ interactions, without the need for an imaginary/supernatural guiding force. All the “angel” does is perpetuate the myth that Christmas is a special and magical time of year where everybody learns an important lesson about loving each other. Surely such a lesson can be learnt without the need of a mystical storytelling tool to do all the heavy lifting.
Despite this probably being my least favourite episode of the series (I just hate when shows use Christmas as an excuse for unnecessary “magic”), it’s still good enough that I now want to rewatch all nineteen episodes of My So-Called Life. But that will have to wait until sometime after Christmas, as I am currently committed to this silly little project and have no time for any non-holiday-related viewing.
Join me next time (tomorrow) for another installment of 12 Days of Christmas Episodes, where I’ll be watching something else. What will it be? I do not know. Hopefully something that doesn’t end with a montage of people hugging/crying/laughing set to a sentimental Christmas song. Those endings are so depressing. To cheer you up, here is a gif of Rayanne Graff with hair that sparkles like tinsel:
She’s a fashion icon for the ages.