Sunday, May 9, 2010


Lessons Learned:
MSCL's Patty Chase Mother's Day Edition

Editor's Note: In honor of Mother's Day, I'd like to take a moment to commemorate a legendary TV mom. The year was 1994, the network was ABC, and the show was My So-Called Life. Bess Armstrong portrayed Patty Chase, mother to the ultimate angsty teen, Angela (Claire Danes).

Long before Josh Schwartz spoon fed us parental plotlines alongside his teenage ones - The O.C., Gossip Girl - Winnie Holzman created MSCL, where not only were the grown-up stories compelling, but they were often just as emotionally relatable. It's time that Patty got her fair share of the spotlight.

1. Try as you might, sometimes you really do just need to grow up and choose a side. (Pilot)

2. When entering a Mother-Daughter charity fashion show, always make a bold a giant hat and a side-ponytail. (The Zit)

3. If you're gonna have crazy costumed sex with your husband on Halloween dressed as Rapunzel and a pirate, tell everyone that you were going to be Bill and Hillary Clinton to avoid suspicion. (Halloween)

4. When it comes to teenage girls, mothers always get dibs on their silent contempt. (Father Figures)

5. It is extremely rude to go into someone's home and finish an entire brick of cheese. (Pilot)

6. Try to avoid getting into the kind of fights where it feels like the fight is having you. (So-Called Angels)

7. What's wrong with streamers for a party? (Other People's Mothers)

8. If you suspect your daughter's recently sober friend of falling off the wagon, make sure you call her mother first thing in the morning and be as judgmentally friendly about the situation as possible. (On The Wagon)

9. When giving "the sex talk", use non-threatening language to describe having a boyfriend, like "male pal". (Guns and Gossip)

10. Never, ever leave a box of sexy-handcuffs at home with your horny teenage daughter and her horny friends while you go away for the weekend. (Weekend)

Happy Mother's Day to all the Moms out there, both real and fictitious. And of course, an extra special shout-out to my own mother. Mom, not only did you teach me the difference between right and wrong, but also that grey area in between that can be really, really funny. Lots of love.

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