Tag Archives: My So-Called Life

Jared Leto Is 47 Years Old

He posted this picture to his Instagram account last week.

And somewhere in a locked room, a portrait of Jordan Catalano has aged terribly.

My So-Called Life
It Gets My Vote as the Best Pre-Golden Age Television Drama Series

My So-Called Life was the Skam of its day. It ran for one 19-episode season way back in 1994-1995, and it was one of the first television shows to develop a passionate online following in those early years of the Internet. Claire Danes starred as Angela Chase and Jared Leto played Jordan Catalano.

Countess Rayanne Graff

The new Countess of Devon, with her husband and in-laws.

The new Countess of Devon, with her husband and in-laws.

Hugh Rupert Courtenay, the 18th Earl of Devon, died last week, making his son, Charles Peregrine Courtenay, the 19th Earl of Devon.

And that made Charles Peregrine Courtenay’s wife, Allison Joy Courtenay, the Countess of Devon.

The Countess may be better known as the former actress A. J. Langer, who played “Rayanne Graff” in the 1990s TV show, My So-Called Life.

Rayanne Graff, in her element

Rayanne Graff, in her element

My So-Called Life, which ran for a single, 19-episode series in 1994 – 95, is still my favourite pre-Golden Age TV show.   I was fanatical about it at the time.   Fortunately, in those early days of the Internet, there were these new things called “listservs,” which let you connect with other people who were as obsessed as you were.

MSCL was screened on Thursday nights.  Between episode re-caps and endless discussions of every tiny detail of what we’d seen the night before—well, let’s just say that I got v little work done on Fridays that season, even though I must have been busy, because my office door was closed most of the day.

Claire Danes, who starred in the show, has gone on to win several Emmies.  Her some-times love interest was played by Jared Leto, who won an Oscar last year, and has apparently found a way to stop aging past 22.  He also leans really well.

But I’m intrigued by two of the other key actors from the show.  The Countess of Devon’s cast-mates on MSCL included both Devon Gummersall and Devon Odessa.

Is that foreshadowing, or what?

My So-Called Life 20th Anniversary

Oh, how I loved this show!  My So-Called Life debuted on 25 August 1994, 20 years ago today.

This was the first time that I became involved w/an Internet community—a group of people who were as obsessed w/something as I was.  It’s standard now, but back then it was all new—the insightful episode summaries, the message boards full of divergent plot and characterization analyses, the shared sense of deep appreciation for something brilliant, but out of the mainstream.

I watch a couple of episodes—there were only 19 of them—every once in a while.  It’s still my favorite pre-Golden Age TV show.

Here’s a Then and Now slide show about the MSCL cast.

Claire Danes (Angela Chase) has had a glittering career, although her current series, Homeland, became unwatchably stupid in its second season.   Jared Leto (Jordan Catalano) just won an Oscar.   (He’s also apparently found a way to avoid aging—he still looks as young and beautiful as he did in 1994.   And don’t you love the way he leans?)

Possibly the most surprising  twist of fate is what happened to A.J. Langer  (Rayanne Graf).  From Wikipedia:

“Langer married attorney Charles Courtenay, styled ‘Lord Courtenay,’ the son of the Earl of Devon, in a civil ceremony in 2004. A formal wedding took place on April 30, 2005, in Los Angeles, California. Upon the death of the current Earl, Langer (who holds the courtesy title ‘Lady Courtenay’) will assume the title of Countess of Devon, and will relocate to the family seat at Powderham Castle. The couple have two children: daughter The Hon. Joscelyn Skye (born January 31, 2007) and a son, The Hon. Jack Haydon Langer Courtenay (born August 2009). In January 2014, Langer and Courtenay permanently relocated their family to London.”

Here’s the crucial Angela Chase/Jordan Catalano hallway scene, w/Buffalo Tom playing “Late at Night” in the background.