• Network: ABC
  • Series Premiere Date: Aug 1, 1994

Universal acclaim - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 19
  2. Negative: 0 out of 19

Where To Watch

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Critic Reviews

  1. Seattle Post-Intelligencer
    Reviewed by: John Engstrom
    Aug 27, 2015
    For viewers who scream for quality, this is it...I can't answer for today's teens, but from this geezer-gazing distance, the show is amazingly, wonderfully right. As an added benefit, it's a perfect reminder of why I never again want to be 15. [24 Aug 1994, p.C1]
  2. Reviewed by: Tom Shales
    Aug 27, 2015
    There is a certain pretentious artiness to the new series, as there was to "thirtysomething," but the characters have life and authenticity; they seem really to live and breathe, at least for one vital hour each week -- especially Angela, a fully dimensional being in contrast to all the stereotyped teenagers that dominate prime time...Controversial or not, My So-Called Life is even better than first-rate.
  3. Philadelphia Daily News
    Reviewed by: Ellen Gray
    Aug 27, 2015
    Marshall Hershkovitz and Ed Zwick, the team that brought us "thirtysomething," have a grasp of adolescence that's so real you can smell the Clearasil. [25 Aug 1994, p.45]
  4. Philadelphia Inquirer
    Reviewed by: Jonathan Storm
    Aug 27, 2015
    Poignant, provocative, insightful, thoughtful, penetrating, compelling, illuminating, surprising, literate, stimulating, inspiring, profound, visually impressive and sublimely entertaining. [25 Aug 1994, p.E01]
  5. The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    Reviewed by: Liam Lacey
    Aug 27, 2015
    Easily the best show about the teen experience TV has yet produced.[25 Aug 1994]
  6. The Hollywood Reporter
    Reviewed by: Miles Beller
    Aug 27, 2015
    Stick-to-your-ribs television, the sort of weekly program that instantly wins your heart and your allegiance. [25 Aug 1994]
  7. Baltimore Sun
    Reviewed by: David Zurawik
    Aug 27, 2015
    My So-Called Life is about a teen-ager, but it's the quality adult drama of the TV year. It's also one of the finest family dramas in many years and the best girls' coming-of-age show the medium has ever done. [25 Aug 1994, p.1E]
  8. Chicago Sun-Times
    Reviewed by: Ginny Holbert
    Aug 27, 2015
    Teenagers will be fascinated by the show's intimate knowledge of high school hallways, where a whisper can ruin a reputation, an ardent glance can start a romance and the threat of guns and AIDS have become as real as playground bullies. But My So-Called Life is also a show for parents, who may see -- for a change -- an uncomfortably real reflection of themselves. [25 Aug 1994, p.35]
  9. Dallas Morning News
    Reviewed by: Manuel Mendoza
    Aug 27, 2015
    Easily the best new series coming to TV...With enough rich characters to fill several series, Life could become the latest show to shake up network television. [25 Aug 1994, p.1C]
  10. Newsday
    Reviewed by: Marvin Kitman
    Jul 12, 2013
    Holzman's writing is brilliant. [25 Aug 1994]
  11. Reviewed by: Ken Tucker
    Jun 11, 2013
    The most extraordinary show of the new TV season. ... It is a blessed relief that Life portrays things that have become 'issues' -- teenage drinking, unwanted sexual advances -- without turning them into moments of preachment. ... And I haven't even made it clear that this is also a really funny show. Just watch this thing, will you?
  12. Reviewed by: David Hiltbrand
    Jun 26, 2013
    I'm beseeching you to watch the pilot of this new series. It's not just extraordinary TV--it's the best piece of filmmaking I've seen anywhere this year. ... In subsequent weeks the series settles into a more predictable and sentimental mold, reminiscent of The Wonder Years, but it is still superior TV.
  13. Variety
    Reviewed by: Jonathan Taylor
    Aug 27, 2015
    The show's other standout is Bess Armstrong, as Angela's loving, conflicted mother, Patty. She is equally compelling and convincing as a woman still so in touch with her youthful idealism and values that she can't believe she's also a disapproving mother. [23 Aug 1994]
  14. USA Today
    Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    Aug 27, 2015
    The most self-absorbed and overwrought - and absolutely fascinating - minimalist TV drama since the same producers put a tribe of yuppie icons under the entertaining microscope of thirtysomething. [25 Aug 1994, p.1D]
  15. Cleveland Plain Dealer
    Reviewed by: Tom Feran
    Aug 27, 2015
    In some ways, the show recalls the early days of "Beverly Hills, 90210." With its exceptional writing and sensitivity, however, it resembles nothing so much as a "teensomething" version of "thirtysomething." [25 Aug 1994, p.1F]
  16. Boston Globe
    Reviewed by: Ed Siegel
    Aug 27, 2015
    There is much in the next few weeks that is touching, humorous, painful and admirable. But not insightful, or at least not insightful enough to make going back to high school something that seems like must viewing between 8 and 9 on Thursday nights...Still, My So-Called Life is likely to be as good as you're going to get this season as far as new shows are concerned. [24 Aug 1994, p.65]
  17. Reviewed by: Bruce Weber
    Aug 27, 2015
    It is, overall, a marvelous ensemble, both in concept and in performance.
  18. Miami Herald
    Reviewed by: Hal Boedeker
    Aug 27, 2015
    I like this show, but am not bowled over by it, and I couldn't imagine racing home each week to see it. Kellie Martin had more compelling adventures on "Life Goes On". As for oft-invoked comparisons to "Catcher in the Rye", forget it. [25 Aug 1994, p.G1]
  19. Boston Herald
    Reviewed by: Staff [Not Credited]
    Aug 27, 2015
    My time spent in Angela's life was a wasted hour in my own so-called life. [24 Aug 1994, p.47]
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 17 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 17
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 17
  3. Negative: 1 out of 17
  1. May 22, 2013
    A classic, and the quintessential teen drama. Brilliant script, great acting (particularly from Claire Danes) and a validity that no others inA classic, and the quintessential teen drama. Brilliant script, great acting (particularly from Claire Danes) and a validity that no others in its genre can match. Peerless. Full Review »
  2. Aug 26, 2011
    Angela Chase é o melhor personagem de qualquer seriado que eu já vi. Sem falar no restante do elenco: todosAngela Chase é o melhor personagem de qualquer seriado que eu já vi. Sem falar no restante do elenco: todos entrosados e interessantes. Uma pena ter acabado em uma única temporada. Pelo menos, fica a dica para as séries teens que não sabem fazer direito o que My So-Called Life faz com maestria: impressionar. Full Review »