My So-Called Life :: “Halloween” :: Thursday’s TV Halloween


Which costume would you pick?

In keeping with the Spooky October theme here at lyriquediscorde, Thursday’s will be dedicated to Halloween on TV, featuring some of my favorite Halloween episodes and specials. I will highlight the best moments, music, costumes and any other tricks or treats that played on the small screen. Let’s start with one of my all-time favorite shows, shall we? The Halloween episode came around in Season 1 (the “only season“, unfortunately), Episode 9, airing originally on October 27, 1994.


The episode was entitled “Halloween“, and brought to life a ghost story crossover that had Angela seeing a doomed dead boy who reminded her of her possibly doomed boy who she is trying to save, as well as get him to take notice of her. We also get some wonderful moments of connection, both expected and unexpected, between Patty and Graham with a reignited costumed passion, Rayanne and Brian who end up “spending the night together” (no, not like that), and Sharon and Danielle who trick-or-treat and commiserate on their complex feelings about Angela, both of them being angry with her and missing her, all at the same time.


When I was little I, like, worshiped Halloween. And truthfully, part of me still does. ‘Cause it’s your one chance all year to be someone else.” ~ Angela Chase


Favorite moments:

“Like her shirt’s her only friend, or something.”

There are many moments I love, and that I’ve loved over the years and numerous viewings (I watch this one every October), but I think honestly my favorite moments are with Danielle. She was always such a neglected character in the show, constantly lost in the shadows of her angst-ridden big sister, and parents whose marriage is falling apart at the seams. Danielle is often seen in the background clamoring for attention, trying hard to garner some notice from her parents, or some kind of connection with Angela. It is painful to watch and I always hoped that had we gotten a second season we would have seen more of Danielle, and would have seen the impact this invisibility was having on her.

On Halloween, Danielle bonds with Angela’s estranged “once best friend“, finally getting the attention of somebody. Sharon is there because she misses Angela, but more than that, because Sharon is longing for the perceived simplicity of childhood, where you didn’t have to deal with sick parents, friends deserting you, or a boyfriend who you might only like for sex, if at all. Trick-or-treating with young Danielle is so much easier than all of that, isn’t it?

And Danielle, dressed up like Angela, claiming to hate her, but trying to be her (as Sharon points out). The most touching moment is when she sneaks into Angela’s room and leaves her some of her Trick-or-Treat candy. It made me wish Angela had seen it, had seen Danielle dressed like her, and understood what it all meant.


Favorite Music:

There is less music in this episode than in all others in the series. Both non-score songs featured are used to set the tone for the dream-like haunting that Angela is experiencing as she wanders into visions of Nicky Driscoll who died on Halloween in the sixties.


Johnny Angel :: Shelley Fabres


Blue Moon :: Elvis Presley

Though I do miss the wonderful mix of nineties music that the show featured, I did enjoy both of the above songs in this episode as they did set the mood, and helped to separate the scenes that were in present day, and the dreamy flashes of the past that Angela was experiencing. The show always did incorporate music so perfectly.

Favorite Costume

Without a doubt its vampire Rayanne with her fake plastic teeth, and her affected “fake plastic teeth” way of speaking. I love her sense of adventure, but also her moments of vulnerability to Brian, even if she tries to laugh it off. Her costume represents so much of her self, both the outer, sexualized, extroverted side that she flaunts so often, and the inner, more fragile and introverted side that I think comes out in the way the “costume” inhibits ease of speech. Plus, I am a sucker for Rayanne, and vampires (yes, pun intended).


Do you have a favorite moment from this episode? A favorite costume? A favorite character, or story arc? Who would you have wanted to have spent Halloween, in 1994, with, in this episode?


3 thoughts on “My So-Called Life :: “Halloween” :: Thursday’s TV Halloween

  1. Adore this episode! Only on the my last viewing did I notice that Rickie was humming “Blue Moon” in the hallway. Don’t know how I never noticed it.
    I love that Brian had the time of his life, felt wild but for Rayanne it was a boring waste of time. So realistic and so true. Rayanne’s costume is perfect, I’d probably wear Angela’s as an actual outfit not even on Halloween because I love it and Rickie as Brian is hilarious. Such a stand out episode. I almost think Sharon had the best night but when I was that age I would’ve thought getting locked in the school was fun.

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