There are a few things I remember clearly about the summer of 1995. Firstly there was the incessant repeating of the Seal and U2 music videos for Batman Forever, then there was going to the cinema to watch Clueless(hands down the best teen comedy of the decade) and lastly on the 26th of July (lucky Americans got there a year earlier – twenty years ago today on the 25th of August 1994) there was meeting Angela Chase for the very first time.
It’s hard to explain how important My So-Called Life was to a generation of teenage girls across the world. Here was a leading character who was in many ways just like us – she wasn’t the most popular girl in school and her friends were not even on the outskirts of the popular clique, and she faced the same issues and problems of growing up as we did. She even dressed like us (I miss the flannel shirt/Doc Martin combo) and for a short but brilliant season we followed her through one of the most formative years of her life. I could argue that the show should have gone on, that it was cancelled too soon and dammit I really wanted to know what was going to happen after Angela found out who really wrote that letter, but a better tribute is to trace the influence it continues to have on teen drama today.