Seitz Asks: What one-season series do you most wish had continued?
Seitz Answers: My So-Called Life
This was a tough one for me. I’m a connoisseur of what Vanity Fair’s James Wolcott once called “sick puppy shows.” I can think of a lot of series that ran a season or less that I wish had continued: My short list includes Karen Sisco, Wonderland, Kingpin, Rubicon, Now and Again, Firefly, Awake, Luck, The Comeback, Unscripted, and Freaks and Geeks (about which I did a video essay).
But it’s My So-Called Life that I miss the most — not just because it was sweet, funny, honest, and real, but because the episodes have aged extraordinarily well. I recently rewatched the only season with my daughter, who’s about to turn 15. She found some of the slang and cultural references dated — when Angela’s buddy Rayanne Graff announced that she might spend some of her birthday money on CDs, she laughed, “CDs!” as if Rayanne were buying 78s for her Victrola — but for the most part she was impressed and watched the whole thing again.
I sometimes wonder what would have happened to Angela and the Chase family if the show had gone on. Would Angela have continued to be friends with Rayanne and Rickie, or would she have grown apart from them, as she did with her previous best friend Sharon Cherski? Would the self-destructive Rayanne have lived? What interests would Angela have ended up pursuing? Would Brian Krakow have matured and become a plausible rival for Jordan Catalano? Would Angela’s parents’ troubled marriage have continued, or would the Chase household have been torn apart by divorce? (What a powerful season that might have been!)
I could imagine following Angela through high school and maybe on to college, or even revisiting her life through movies or miniseries as she grew up and moved out into the world. It could have been like a fictionalized version of Michael Apted’s Up documentaries, perhaps ending with Angela raising a daughter of her own and really seeing things from her mother’s perspective for the first time.
What one-season wonder do you wish had survived?