Maybe I’d rather have the fantasy … than even him.
My So-Called Life: Dancing in the Dark
Rayanne arranges Angela's first contact with Jordan Catalano by having him sell her a fake ID, while Patty and Graham attempt to get closer by taking dance lessons. This ep includes Jordan and Angela's first "date" [in the loosest possible sense of the word], and involves Angela's parents way more than is necessary.
“What’s amazing is when you can feel your life going somewhere. Like your life just figured out how to get good. Like that second.”
Yes! One of my favorite episodes opens with Angela reminiscing about the three times she’s been kissed: once by a camp counselor with a girlfriend, once by a boy who lost a bet, and once during mouth-to-mouth after she almost drowned (although she admits this one may not count, as she was unconscious at the time). “All of them were people I never saw again. Which I hope doesn’t, like, mean something.”
Rayanne tells Angela that it’s time to progress to the next level with Jordan Catalano, and to help she asks Jordan to procure a fake ID for Angela. Rayanne & Rickie then appear to coax Angela out of biology class, and she slips out while the teacher’s back is turned. Brian covers for her and Sharon scoffs at him: “She takes advantage of you, and you totally let her.”
In the hall, Brian asks Angela to help him with an extra-credit project. Rayanne sees this as the perfect opportunity to invite Jordan over. Rayanne tells Angela that “part of him is partly interested in you, definitely, but he’s got other things on his mind.” And I was awfully close with my attempt to remember Angela’s response, which is:
But that’s the part that’s so unfair! I have nothing else on my mind! How come I have to be the one sitting around, analyzing him in, like, microscopic detail, and he gets to be the one with other things on his mind?”
Angela is [duh] super nervous, afraid of making her fantasy real. When Jordan arrives, she goes out to his car and is exclaiming over the fake ID when he kisses her. She shoves him off without thinking, and then says, “I’m sorry, I was talking.” He says, “No, whatever,” then attacks her again. She shoves him off again, saying, “You have to work up to that!” Jordan tells her she acts young and talks too much, and she is taken aback. They sit for a moment, and then he sighs and says he’s had a messed-up day. Suddenly the moment becomes perfect, and she is ready “for him to kiss me, for him to anything me” … and he leans over … and shoves her door open, waiting for her to get out of the car.
A friend who recently watched this told me that she didn’t remember Jordan Catalano being so lame. And though obviously I see him differently now that I’m 28, I never realized before that Jordan is totally confounded by Angela. They haven’t gone very deep into his character yet so I’m curious to see what will happen as we progress, but currently what I’m getting out of this is that Angela is nothing like any girl Jordan has ever known/been with, and he has no clue how to behave.
Meanwhile, Brian is sad that his night with Angela has turned into her night with Jordan. Angela is Brian’s “Jordan Catalano”— alternately exciting and confusing, sweet and infuriating.
In the parental story, Patty and Graham are growing apart so they sign up for ballroom dancing. Patty also cuts all her hair off. The two are terrible dancers, and get into a big fight about the distance between them. Later, Graham admits to his brother Neil that he has a date with another woman. He realizes he can’t go through with it and calls the woman to break the date, but Angela comes downstairs and hears everything.