Tuesday, June 15, 2010

An Open Letter To Jordan Catalano

Dear Jordan Catalano,

You and I don't know each other very well, but I feel compelled to write to you anyway. See, My So-Called Life was one of those TV shows that my mother didn't want me watching when it originally aired, so I had to be stealth. I don't know why I kept tuning in week after week, since I was really quite young and understood approximately 5% of what was happening in any given scene. But you see, Jordan Catalano, things have changed since the nineties. Things have happened. More specifically, DVDs have happened. Now, thanks to this modern wonder, and also my friendly local librarians who purchased it for their library and saved me like forty bucks, you and I are finally getting a second chance, the second chance I always knew we deserved.

This is you, in case you've forgotten.

There are so many things I want to say to you, Jordan Catalano. (There are actually more things I want to do to you, but you're only like seventeen or something, right? So that's gross, right? I'm thinking I'd better keep this post clean and, more importantly, legal.) You are a very strange soul. You do the weirdest crap, like, all the time. It's no wonder Angela Chase is literally crazy about you. And not in the cute, "Aw, I'm so crazy about you, Jordan Catalano" kind of way, either. There are times when I feel like she's literally a half step away from flying over the cuckoo's nest because of the things you do.

You're a man of few words, Jordan Catalano, that's for sure. I like to think you actually possess a deep fountain of emotion under all that teen angst, but your communication skills need a little work. And surely you're not as dumb as you seem, but trust me, Jordan Catalano, you do seem dumb sometimes. I mean, like when you told Angela that you wanted to make snow for a living. Do you really think that's a thing, or have you just seen Edward Scissorhands too many times? If you take Winona Ryder movies that seriously, I fear that the never-made second season of MSCL would've had you and Christian Slater running around trying to knock off all the Heathers.

Stripey you!

There are some people out there (mainly mentally-unstable Brian Krakow fans) who think you're mean, that you don't deserve the wonderful Angela Chase. And admittedly, Jordan Catalano, there are times when I've thought something similar, the most obvious being:

-- The time Angela was upset over a rumour that you two had sex, and your extremely thoughtful way of dealing with the situation was to tell her that since everyone's talking about it, maybe you guys should just do it anyway. Like really, Jordan Catalano, you were going so well with the whole "I'd never screw you and then tell everyone about it" speech and then, bam! Ruined.

-- When you made out with Angela in the boiler room til your heart's content, then refused to be seen in public with her. Angela Chase is hot, okay, Jordan Catalano? Way Hotter than Cynthia Hardgrove and her semi-precious pimple. No amount of Shakespeare appreciation and hallway hand-holding is going to make up for that.

-- That night you were supposed to meet her parents, and totally just didn't show. Not even a phone call or anything. Do you have any idea how embarrassing that is for a fifteen-year-old girl, to get all excited about a boy coming over to the point where she actually told her parents, and then you stand her up? I was so mad at you, Jordan Catalano. Wait, not mad. More like disappointed. Disappointed and mad.

-- And oh yeah, that time YOU HAD SEX WITH RAYANNE GRAFF IN THE BACKSEAT OF YOUR CAR. What were you thinking, Jordan Catalano, what? Getting drunk with Rayanne, alone, in a parking lot? How did that sound like a good idea to you? And in your car, of all places? That car was a metaphor for yours and Angela's relationship! Of all the places to do it, you go and defile poor old Red with your manwhoreness? Not cool, Jordan Catalano. Not. Cool.

Pictured: Not cool.

Okay, so reading the above points might point to the fact that the Krakow lovers are right, but let's look at it this way -- you're a teenage boy. It's actually quite refreshing to see a teenage boy doing dumb teenage boy stuff. Sometimes I feel like teen show writers have never actually met a seventeen-year-old male in their lives, but you? You're terrible at expressing yourself. You're self-involved. You didn't go to the Dawson Leery school of Vocabulary No Teenage Boy Should Ever Know. Plus, have you met Brian Krakow? He's not exactly the catch of the year. He's exactly as socially stunted and clueless about women as you are, Jordan Catalano, only he gets to hide behind his "awkward nerd" persona all the time, like it's an excuse to be unnecessarily cruel to Delia Fisher or something.

Plus, let's look at some of the heart-throb characters of today's teen shows for a second, shall we? I've compiled a list of swoon-worthy sex gods from the noughties (and one from your era, the nineties) for the sole purpose of proving that you're really not so bad.

Noah Puckerman (Glee) -- had sex with, and subsequently knocked up, his best friend's girlfriend; proclaimed to love said best friend's girlfriend while simultaneously having sex with pretty much anything that moves; throws nerds into dumpsters; generally acts like a jerk-ass prick to everyone, all the time.

Logan Echolls (Veronica Mars) -- treated Veronica like dirt for approximately 74% of the show's run; slept with his best friend's stepmother and, later, his best friend's only long-term girlfriend; set fire to a hotel in Mexico and promptly ran away as fast as he could; started a relationship with the daughter of the witness in his murder trial in an attempt to blackmail him into not testifying.

Dylan McKay (Beverly Hills, 90210) -- was always kind-of a violent asshole to begin with; fell in love with his girlfriend's best friend while she was in France; acted like a put-out douchebag when she got mad at him for it; slept with a girl he knew his (and my) buddy Steve Sanders was interested in; invited his best friend's girlfriend to go on a trip around the world with him in an attempt to prove that they're soulmates; started a relationship with a girl simply to get close enough to her father to kill him. Like, that's not code for anything. I mean seriously kill him with a gun. Goddamn, Dylan's a tool.

So you see, Jordan Catalano, you're not so bad. Even when you do the worst kind of teen shit, you always seem to make up for it somehow. Like before, when I told you that no amount of hallway hand-holding would make up for publicly dissing Angela? Well, I lied a little. That moment was wonderful. And when you helped out poor, homeless Rickie? Sure, whether taking him to a seedy abandoned warehouse was the best idea is debatable, but it's the thought that counts, I suppose. And that scene in the final episode when you're talking to Angela's mother? Maybe it's just because my mother screwed me up so badly, but that's like the MSCL crowning moment of awesome for me. It was really important to me that she like you. I know it's a sad state of affairs when I need a fictional mother to approve of a fictional boyfriend who isn't even mine, but there you go. See, I may not be a teen, but I'm still angsty.

You really like plaid, don't you, Jordan Catalano?

The fact is, Jordan Catalano, you are the most appealing un-appealing teenager ever. Nobody can ever quite work out what you're thinking, but that in itself basically gives us all carte blanche to believe that you're thinking whatever we want you to be thinking. You may be a slow learner, but with Brian Krakow on your side, surely it won't be long 'till you fully understand that Metamorphosis can never be a true story. I think what I'm trying to say is that I love you, Jordan Catalano. More than Dylan McKay, slightly more than Logan Echolls, maybe not as much as Noah Puckerman. (Don't be offended. His 'Sweet Caroline' number was ever so slightly more panty-dropping than your 'I Wanna Be Sedated', and that song about your car was forever ruined when you banged Rayanne Graff in the backseat.) The fact that we have found each other again after all these years is, like, serendipity or some new-agey crap. And this time, Jordan Catalano, I won't ever let you go.

Faithfully yours,


A Note To Anyone Reading Who Isn't Jordan Catalano: I'll have a My So-Called Life recap up for you this week, as soon as I work out which of the nineteen fantastic episodes I want to do. Suggestions are welcome.


  1. I must confess, other than his looks I never got what people saw in Jordan Catalano. OK, he was hot but he was dumber than a stack of bricks. OK, he was REALLY hot...but still.

  2. No, but he had a learning disability! If we've learned anything from the Tolerant!Nineties, it's that you can't call someone with a legit learning disability dumb!

    Plus, don't forget the hot.

  3. Jordan Catalano was jerk. A beautiful, beautiful jerk.

  4. I was madly in love with Jordan, but now that I am in my thirties and watching the re-runs... Im LMAO. The things that come out of his mouth are hilarious. But the glamor and power behind the perfect beauty in that face is undeniable.LOL. Although,I laugh bcuz there is no way in hell he would get past me with those lines of his. I would have made out with him and enjoyed it but I couldn't bring myself to date him, respectively. The dumb dumb factor is way to high