101 Best Written TV Series

Aired: ABC, 1994-1995

"I cannot bring myself to eat a well-balanced meal in front of my mother. It just means too much to her," the searching teenager Angela, played by Claire Danes, says in voice-over in the pilot of My So-Called Life, which lasted 19 episodes before being cancelled by ABC. To watch the pilot now is to feel as though you've discovered a lost portal into the last known intelligent record of what late adolescence was like before the advent of smart phones. Series creator Winnie Holzman had been a story editor on thirtysomething under Marshall Herskovitz and Ed Zwick, who encouraged her to write her own pilot. With My So-Called Life, Holzman said, "I ignored the fact that it was a television show. I didn't want to think of it in terms of teenagers on television because that leads you down a whole garden path that I didn't particularly want to walk on."

Credited Writers

Adam Dooley
Elizabeth Gill
Liberty Godshall
Jill Gordon
Ellen Herman
Winnie Holzman
Jason Katims
Richard Kramer
Justin Tanner
Betsy Thomas