April 6, 2011

this is when we talk about rayanne graff. (spoiler alerts for the entire series! don't say i didn't warn you!)

I was in middle school when I first tried watching My So-Called Life and I quickly lost interest, still in that period of time where you know some things are over your head and that you're not supposed to identify with them and that you'll revisit later. That's the great thing about teenage-centric pop culture, though -- as fewer things around you make sense, the more a series like MSCL does. And so I restarted it with the beginning of my freshman year and finished it over spring break a couple weeks ago. It only lasted a season but is so chock full of stuff happening that it feels like a journey, you know? I marveled at the uncanny resemblances between Angela Chase, the 15 year-old protagonist going to a public high school in the suburbs, and myself. When Angela was upset with her parents, I had the same beef with my own. When Angela danced in her room to the Violent Femmes after getting over Jordan Catalano, I did, as well. I too was familiar with a Brian Krakow, the kind of person you were family friends as third graders and who finds your desire to grow and change blasphemous. And red hair! Angela Chase and I both had shades of Crimson Glow! A lot of these parallels are typical, but too bad. At this age I think most people are extremely dependent on drawing those parallels, on finding something to latch on to and call one's own, so just let me be delusional for a second.

Though most of us know a Catalano and a Krakow, the most universally familiar aspect of Angela's life, at least among teenage girls, might be her narrations. They're wise words spaced out with "likes" and "reallys," and, when the show was still on the air, were sometimes regarded by critics as too intelligent for a teenage girl. Many people have also found them overly cheesy or deep, but that's how some of us teenage girls think! All these experiences are new and sometimes we think of something that sounds really poetic and perfect and think we are brilliant because of it! These thoughts often fall into cliches, but cliches can also be uniting experiences, with girls like Angela acting as mediator! So shut up!

Angela shares nice bonding moments with even the most irritating of characters throughout the series, but forget the mother-daughter fashion show, or the exchange between Angela and Jordan about the shapes of his cuticles. The only person who I think really saw what made Angela so truly special, who could see that she had secrets and thoughts that went beyond even the profound narrations the rest of us got to hear, was her best friend, Rayanne Graff.

Rayanne is what Harold Weir might call a bad banana. She has a bit of a drinking problem, definitely earned her place on the sophomore list as "most slut potential," and never developed a filtering system when it came to polite conversation. Rayanne takes Angela under her wing at the beginning of the school year and helps her to blossom -- encourages her to go for Catalano, is responsible for the red hair, and introduces her to a few new dangerous settings. Around the middle of the series, Angela's face is noticeably meaner; a little wicked, a little more fire in that head of Crimson Glow. She delivers her retorts to her parents with more confidence, and learns a thing or two about the boiler room.

In the first episode of the series, Angela's old friend, Sharon, interrogates her concerning this new friendship, making sure she knows that Rayanne Graff drops friends as quickly as she gains them. It sounds like sour grapes from a reject, but we soon learn that Sharon was right. People like Angela are Rayanne's source of normalcy; she lives vicariously through her plain-faced friend to experience the cliches viewers like myself identify with. But Rayanne, no matter how many bad habits she has, is almost maternal in how she nurtures lives like Angela's, simpler and so-called. Of course there's selfishness there, but Angela isn't just Rayanne's little project, or the Tai to her Cher. Rayanne really appreciates and admires her. And when Rayanne recognizes the beauty and truth to Angela's simple thoughtfulness, any viewer like myself who identified with it might felt valued, too.

Unfortunately, we also felt almost just as betrayed when Rayanne slept with Jordan in the third to last episode. Rayanne's recklessness that was once the source of her and Angela's friendship's excitement also becomes the reason for its bitter end, and the circumstances are too awful for them to find each other again by the season finale.

Obviously, the series didn't end the way I wanted it to. If it had been up to me, Angela and Rayanne would've made up. They would've spent the summer on a Deadhead bus like Lindsay Weir and Kim Kelly, grown together, and vowed to be BFFS for forever and ever.* But that, too, would feel wrong. Rayanne is, more realistically, the kind of person who leaves someone's life just as quickly as she changes it -- in a flash of color and compassion, and with a little guilt, because she does have enough of a conscience to feel responsible for letting an innocent soul like that of Angela's explore her world. And because, well, she cares about her. In a time of unfaithful Catalanos and misunderstanding parents, none of whom realize how lucky they are to know someone like Angela, Rayanne really knew what was at stake when she lost Angela's friendship, and she felt terrible about it.**

Rayanne didn't change Angela -- she's just one of the only people who let Angela change, and the first who encouraged her to try it. It might've been just a phase. No, it was definitely a phase. And you get the feeling, by the end of the series, that Angela will go through a number more phases before finally feeling comfortable with herself, and before knowing who "herself" is, and all that good stuff. But at the root of all that was Rayanne Graff. That's one of the only parts of Angela Chase that I can't yet identify with, but I think those people enter and leave for a reason and at just the right times, so I'm confident that it'll happen. Until then, Rayanne is inspiration enough.

*I also wanted Danielle and Krakow to get together and move away because they're both so damn annoying, and I wanted Jared Leto to not go on to be responsible for this.
**She also didn't make Krakow write some dopey note for her. GO TO YOUR CORNER, CATALANO.


And now we shall talk about Rayanne's style, duh. It's really perfect for her, mishmashy and piled on and thrown together and semi-ugly at times. Details of the same outfit will change over the course of a day, and she's often adjusting some part of her hair during school. Also these are all from a single night when I capped the whole series and it got tiring so these are not the cutest captures of A.J. Langer's facial expressions. And most importantly, I really really recommend this piece about Rayanne and teenage girl friendships in general that Emma Straub wrote for the Paris Review. I read it before making this post, actually, and reread it frequently for the same reasons I need to convince myself that Angela Chase and I have a lot in common.

PART I: FULL OUTFITS.

Floral (?) leggings and sporty dress.

Fringe, because she's a free spirit n stuff.

YEAH, I HOPE YOU FEEL AS GUILTY AS YOU LOOK. Rayanne matches the color palette of the student activities board.

What's this? Patchwork pants?

YEP, PATCHWORK PANTS.

Chill P.E. uniform, faded longsleeve and printed leggings.




Leopard coat and jean shorts over red tights, obviously.

With the Frozen Embryos.


Ricky, L, deserves a discussion of his own one of these days.

Note the mismatched Converse, and wearing a bunch of stuff that's different prints but all the same colors -- ah, classic Rayanne.

KNEE SOCKS WITH HEARTS ON THEM.

Really good printed floral dress.

Red tights + jean shorts again (A LOT of her clothes/accessories make reappearances, realistically so) and two-toned hoodie.


Grateful Dead tee.


Rayanne wore a lot of open shirts with just a bra underneath.

PART II: DETAILS.


IMPORTANT: rainbow hair bands coordinated with sequins on old lady cape and strand of orange hair.

Pipe cleaner hair.

Madonna earring and CAN I GET A BETTER LOOK AT THEM HAIRS?

Yes.

Casual, beanie and safety pin earring, just one braid, you know, whatevs.


Leopard coat again and hat that kind of sucks. (Okay, all of Rayanne's hats suck. Mostly because they hide her earrings.)





Pipe cleaner necklace.

Frequently reappearing Yin/Yang earring.


Crazy hair for that time she threw a crazy party.

She gets a lil sporty sometimes.

So many Rayanne elements to this one.

Sharing her candy bracelet with Ricky! That's another thing about Rayanne, she has candy with her randomly, like that time she offered the school counselor or whatever a bunch of lollipops.


For the longest time I thought those earrings were bunches of grapes, but after the strenuous process of all this screencapping (I think I can now take an official title as Rayanne Graff Style Biographer or something, the way people study people like Bob Dylan for like, a living) I discovered they are in fact just clusters of green beads. IT'S OKAY EVERYONE, WE KNOW NOW, YOU CAN ALL CALM DOWN.

She wears these weird queen of hearts earrings a lot.







Only time this klassy jacket makes an appearance.

Recurring cap.


Mismatched earrings + plaid bra underneath open shirt.

When she got back from the Grateful Dead concert.


Ring pop!!

GOD THAT TOOK FOREVER. I kind of never want to see Rayanne again after this.

196 comments:

Roberta said...

whoa first comment!
very long post!

Mina Jade said...

Those braids and hair clips look fine - and I loved teen stories when I was at your age, for instance Heartbreak High.
Besides, sometimes I still wear a see-through fishnet with only a bra (and I did it when I was in my teens). Fortunately I have not gained weight since then.

athila / fia said...

cannot express enough love for this post, so much greatness

Stephanie said...

I've said it before, and I'll say it again - you should dye your hair that same shade of red. Amazing. I also just finished watching MSCL a few weeks ago, and loved loved loved it.

Strawberry Freckleface said...

Oh lordy, My So Called Life. I used to go home from school and watch this. Loved it. Loved her. Nuts, haven't thought about this in forever!

strawberry freckleface

AFitz said...

You're a bio-Graff-er.

Ten points for Anna!

Aryn said...

Wow, I remember really liking this show. She's such an iconic character!

Natalie said...

i played "my so called life dress up" once: http://i53.tinypic.com/4fv781.png

fashion westie said...

It's my rainy day DVD series go to. And sunny day. And I'm lonely so I'll pit it on for background noise.

Joanna said...

I really enjoy Rayanne's style, but in a kind of distanced way as in like "damn that gurl can dress," but I would not be very likely to pull it off. I also enjoy Angela Chase's style.
This is an incredibly pertinent post about Rayanne Graff. Being a MSCL lover, I have to say I can understand what you mean by Rayanne seeing what nobody else can see in Angela. There's an essay I read online about the parallels between Angela Chase and Lindsay Weir that you should check out: http://millicentandcarlafran.wordpress.com/2009/07/20/my-so-called-freak-angela-chase-lindsay-weir-voiceover-and-voiceunder/

Rachael said...

I think I am the only person in the history of teenage girldom that hated this show as much when it aired as I do now. I WISH I could have liked it, or like it now, but I just can't =/
Rayanne was the only character I enjoyed, because I enjoy train wrecks.
My high school wardrobe closely resembled hers (sans open shirt/bra & earrings).

Lovers, Saints & Sailors said...

Lady, that was awesome.

I watched an episode or two of MSCL when I was in high school. My friend had pay TV and so it was a big deal.

I remember we gushed for weeks over the part where Catalano held Angela's hand in the hall.

*sigh*

I bought the series a couple of years back and while I really enjoyed it...it also kinda got me down. Sort of in a reminiscent high school sort of way...

Probably too much to explain in a blog comment.

But anyways I really liked this post and all of the images! Don't be surprised if you see a few Rayanne inspired outfits from over this way...

cherylinthesky said...

i kind of love her clothes...i need to watch this show lol

Nine of Cups said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nine of Cups said...

...can I get a hell yeah to Clarissa Explains it All? ??

Nadine said...

God, I love 90s fashion. LOVE. And I'm OLD (finished high school in 1990) and I wore it back then and would happily do so again.

Salmah said...

Wow long post. Awesome none the less. I can relate..

Natalie Gowans said...

I absolutely LOVE this post! I am always going through old TV shows I loved as a kid looking for style inspration. I am so glad the 90s are making a comeback so I can wear all my favourite stuff. I even just wrote an article about this! (Nineties Revival TV)
How funny...

fashiongrunge.com said...

This show and Rayanne is what inspired me to have my blog. This is such an amazing article.. Thank you for writing this.

Lally said...

yummmee, totally love this ! I miss the days of being able to braid my hair with ribbon and it be ok. Also really miss blow up back packs and lycra crop tops, so hot. x

Sascha said...

LOVE IT.

Linda said...

At first, I saw the title to this post and said, "DAMMIT! She beat me to it!", as I was considering writing an ENTIRE Rayanne post in my blog.

Then I read it. Girl, you said things a MILLION times better than I ever could have! I watched the show when it was on the air each week, and I still go back and watch the whole series at least once per year. While (like you) I am/was more "Angela", I always wanted to be more Rayanne.

Maybe I still do, okay? DON'T JUDGE ME! ;)

Well done, girlie. Well done.

xoxox
Linda
wrapped-in-pink.blogspot.com

T. said...

I don't really remember what happened in the series, but I remember that I dyed my hair red when I was 15 -because of Claire Danes in MSCL and because of Scully from the X-files. Wow, I feel old now!

edgeindustrialphotography said...

great piece Tavi - had forgotten just *how* stylish she was

I scanned some of my 90's press articles on MSCL - won off ebay(!)
they're on my tumblr ...(including quite a critical one: 'Never trust a narrator who's under 16') ... some pj/hole are also there as well

http://edgeindustrial.tumblr.com


'what are you wearing, who are you listening to?'

http://edgeindustrialphotography.blogspot.com/

Limey said...

such a long post!

i don't know but her style reminds me of some of the babysitters i had when i was little

limey

Fröken Grön said...

Do you know about the duo cocorosie? I have a feeling you would like them, if just only their style. :)

Kat said...

Aw Tavi, SO worth the effort! What a thoughtful and thorough review. Your writing just gets better and I hope that is something you will continue to nurture.

Also, the pictures were helpful and fun to look at. Although I haven't seen the series (netflixing now) I feel like I understand a little of what you were saying from viewing them.

Althea said...

This show was (and is) exactly as reviewed. I watched this series AS a confused and somewhat rebellious 14-year-old and have yet to identify more strongly with an entire CAST of characters on a television series.
Bravo, Tavi...well done.

Mitchie said...

:)

ania said...

I just looked at the IMDb profiles for all of the cast to see what they're up to now. Which led to Wikipedia searches....

A.J. Langer, the actress who played Rayanne, is now a proper and true Lady, Lady Courtenay. Her husband is Lord Courtenay with his middle name being Peregrine. I already think "When I'm a-walkin I strut my stuff" when I hear of Claire Danes. But now, I will also (at some point) think of the Peregrine Falcon.

And that new association will be thanks to you, Tavi Gevinson,

Melissa said...

I was fortunate enough to be the right age when this show aired (15) so it really hits home with me. I wore my docs and plaid shirts, with my red dyed hair like Angela. I still adore grunge.

Laura Schlipf said...

Have you ever watched The Adventures of Pete & Pete? This may have been more appropriate to bring up some weeks ago when you were posting more about elementary/middle school aesthetics, but whatever there is school and television involved so I'm bringing it up now. If you have never seen Pete & Pete, you have to check it out. Fantastically weird show with great 90s kid-teen fashion. Also you often remind me of strongly of Nona F. Mecklenberg.

Raquel said...

LONG post, and I really do mean LONG ;) But interesting... :)
Awesome blog
xxRaquel

Lori said...

i watched this series for the first time last summer and have rewatched it about 3 times after that. I'm a little older than angela but it surprised me how much I could relate to her and the whole series. I did have a rayanne, catalano, and a krakow through high school and in a way watching this series was like escaping back to those good old days where everything felt so exciting and new.


also, another reason why i loved this series so much was because they repeated outfits so often. because thats what real teenagers do! it makes me so mad when shows that take place in highschool make the characters look like they had a neverending wardrobe.

did you happen to read the booklet that came with the dvds? it talked about what would have happened if the show continued on. The writer wanted Sharon to get pregant (i would have loved them address teen pregancy in a time where it wasn't featured in every single high school show), Angela's parents would have gotten a divorce, and also Angela & Catalano would still be having problems and Angela will still turn to Krakow for help. It took me like a week to get over the fact that there will never be a season 2.

didn't mean for this to sound so long but honestly no one i know has watched this series or even has an interest in watching so i needed to talk about this! ;)

Kash said...

I WAS 15 when MSCL was on. I would race home from after school activities to make sure I could watch it on time. My heart literally ached when I found out the show would not go on. Still today, at 30, I think it made a profound impact on my teenage years...one season.

Lori said...

one more thing (sorry again!) i noticed how rayanne's hair was like "wild" during the episodes after she slept with catalano. there was less braids and accessories. I thought that it was a nice detail that they added to her character because in a way her hair resembled what she felt like.

NYC Recessionista said...

My So Called Life aired when I was 13 years old, and I completely loved the show then and still do. The style on the show is just so much fun to watch, and the storylines were very well written. Exactly how it felt to be an adolescent in the 90s.

hollie said...

I think once you are hooked on My So Called Life it will never, ever leave you! I first saw it when I was about 11 and I was obsessed and now 11 years later I (perhaps questionably, but nevertheless) love it just as much!

Favourite character is Ricky, 100% though. Especially when he dances at the school dance!

Hollie

lipstick and balloons

manilove22 said...

wow,Rayanne was like an 90's style icon!!!!She had the converse's to prove it,and she was'nt afraid of what conceited bitches used to think of her!!!!!And i looove love love your blog!!!

Katie said...

wow, she must be the reason why the 90s had such a bad rep for style! no offence meant, hah!

Katie M

Karla said...

Ahh this makes me want to go sit on the couch all day and watch the season over again. If only that was a possibility. Don't know if you know about this or if any one else commented but read MSCL Goes On if you want a second season...

I'm still the same girl, just wearing a different dress said...

what time did she get up for school in order to put aaall o' that on?

zoomslow said...

I haven't seen the show, but with the personality you describe (minus the not so great parts) and sense of style, I would probably have wanted to be friends with her. Actually, in much the same way as I wanted to be friends with Punky Brewster back in my ye olde childhood days. Hmmm... probably not very cool, but very true! :-)

thwany said...

love the photo compilation. i think i was too dumb understand this show when it first came out but the only thing i remember from watching at a young age is, "why does rayanne's face look like she's 40?" i re-watched the whole series again a few years ago though and loved hit. holy shit, he couldn't read! that shit's heavy.

rhianna brooke said...

I haven't read all the comments, so someone might have already said this (I apologize if I'm repeating) ... but -- the costume department on the show gave each character a "closet" of clothes that's why the clothes are reused and restyled. They wanted it to be extremely realistic. I always thought that was a genius idea because real-life teens don't have the luxury of wearing a new outfit every day. And when you add a character like Rayanne in a show, it's always inspiring to see how she restyles her pieces!

I grew up with this show and I still watch it every few weeks. It's amazing. Best teenage show ever.

toridawn said...

oh man. this makes me feel old, since i watched this ON TV when it originally aired...i was the target audience at the time. glad to see it's still significant for 15 year olds today as well:) i loved/hated rayanne (for the same reasons you mention). great post.

natt rodriguez said...

Tavi! all I can say at the moment is WOW. That post must have taken ages. Its amazing to think how much time and effort you put into your posts. The amount of pictures you put into each one is astounding!

when I post stuff on my blog its alwasy related to something that has just happened to me and then I casually add a few pics if I can ( my camera doesn't work too well).

It has inspired me to focus more on the content of my post, and from now on I am going to write about far more interesting stuff that what I have previously written about.

Thanks Tavi, you are a true inspiration! :D

http://perksofbeingunique.blogspot.com/

Dolly Mennace said...

http://www.iwanttobearoitfeld.com/journal/2011/4/7/carine-roitfeld-as-pop-art.html

check it out, you're pop art!

V said...

There is a movie from the 90's called Girl with Dominic Swain and Tara Reid. Check it out.

LadyEleanor said...

Love MSCL. I am also part of the demographic that this was initially aimed at. I tie dyed baggy t shirts in my mums bath, put beads down my navy blue DM boots, wore yin yang accesories and braided my hair into tiny plaits with mismatching bands, whilst listening to Suede, Nirvana Radiohead... etc etc. Thankyou for the reminiscing opportunity.
Make sure you check out Northern Exposure, this is one of the best pieces of culture to come out of the Nineties also and if you dont fall in love with Chris the DJ and Ed the film fanatic then you have no soul.

Tru said...

totally going to check this series out. thanks for the tip :)

Kate said...

I have absolutely no clue what this programme is but I really want to see it now!
www.styleisalwaysfashionable.blogspot.com

Queta said...

Loved this show so much when I was a teenager!!! I still watch the whole series every now and then. Of course, immediately after I will find myself using "like" exccessively.

I live near the high school they filmed at and I often drive by there and admire it.

Alexis said...

well of course it was the really early grunge-driven 90s.
i enjoyed her off-kilter style while watching the show back when, and her bag full of everything.
is it weird that i like the weird klanky-jewelry noise? well, i did.

Nightingale6 said...

the continuity for each episode for this character must've been a bitch!

karen said...

i am forever doomed to be an angela chase-hater surrounded by nice people i have lots in common with who persist in fully identifying with her. i was fifteen when the show started just like angela was, and i found her incredibly dumb, whiny, and annoying. part of this may have been due to the fact that i'd gotten done with my own personal rayanne a few years prior and was already jaded. part of it may be that claire danes is inherently annoying, but that's my personal axe to grind.

riptidemurmur said...

i'll try not to be too poignant..(sigh). watching the show i think we all secretly wanted to be rayanne but knew we were angela...and that was okay.


anyone but sharon.

i recommend pete & pete and wonderfalls if you're looking for more series to watch. p &p is the same era; wonderfalls is a season long of awesome that got canceled. of course.

Hanna said...

Class man. Class.

charlotte said...

Hi Tavi,

Wonderful piece, as always!

Also, I read that Paris Review article in January too. You should call up the author Emma Straub, if you haven't already. I know that she was working at Court Street bookstore in Brooklyn, but I don't know if she is STILL there. (Support independent bookstores!)

Ricky was always my favorite.

Hearts,
Annie
http://eyeshadowgovernment.blogspot.com

Hanna said...

Also, any wisdom I have comes from watching Arthur.

Isabel said...

This needed to happen so badly!!!

Hazel said...

THANK YOU!!!
I'm doing my junior term paper on the construction of teenage identity and using MSCL as a main inspiration/pop culture sources.

The caps are perfect, but where is her awesome Halloween get up?!

Hazel said...

Also omg can you please do Ricky next (if you do?)

Megan Hattie said...

Those hairstyles are so intricate and bonkers! And lovely flowered dresses. I've never watched this show, I think I need to check it out. Mad props to you for doin' all these caps!

Cheers,
--Megan//The Martian Tide

Rocky said...

I think she´s very creative in both a good way and a bad way. (loved the open shirt and bra thing)

Tara Violet said...

what a great post. oh how I love My So-Called Life. I agree with what you said about Angela. she's wonderfully relatable. her narration is golden too, and I think that the writers' choice to put 'likes' in her speech was a brilliant one. I can't ever understand why I've read how people think she's 'annoying' and 'don't like her' when she represents so much of what us teens are struggling with ourselves. if she has her issues, so what? we all do.

now to rayanne. I'm glad you wrote about her here. she's such a fascinating character, so much so that if she were real I would most certainly wish to know her. even if her sleeping with Jordan was uncalled for, even if her drinking would get out of hand, she has such a spirit. I love that scene also when Angela goes to her house for the first time and it's so mystical and Rayanne's mother hugs her. the tarot cards, the decor, the whole mood is great.

rayanne's style is perfectly jumbled too, as made more obvious by your wealth of great screen caps. I'm especially drawn to her eccentric earrings and her shoes. she contrasts so wonderfully with angela, whose hair is almost always down and whose outfits match (generally).

I was unsatisfied with the ending too. it really is too bad that there wasn't another season...however, though I agree that Brian Krakow is annoying, I think you can't just write him off that way. he often had good intentions but was just confused and struggling with himself, unsure of who he wanted to be. and he really did care for angela. I recall that scene when they sit on the stairs and talk about sex and other stuff, it's the most intimate moment between the two of them because angela finally allows herself to open up to him a bit instead of ignoring him. and maybe I see a bit of myself in him oddly enough, like when angela tells him that he 'analyzes things till they don't exist.' his helplessness and awkwardness I feel I've experienced at points in my own life.

ps. you really ought to make a post on Ricky. he's an amazing character, both personality wise and in his style. go for it!

Dahl said...

OMG! She's sooo cool!! I want to meet her! She sounds like the type who would be a mega-bad influence (well, you know, with the drinking problem and all) but like you said, these people come into our lives for a reason. Now that I have a general feel for her character--and her amazing style--I seriously must find this t.v. series and start watching!!!

Lydia said...

Thank you for this post!! First of all, everything you wrote is so dead-on, and I love how you are able to tap into things that you yourself are still experiencing. Very self-aware. I looooved Rayanne. I was also a teenager in the 90's, and so obsessed with this show I taped the episodes on my VCR and watched them for years afterwards, over and over. "Your cuticles are like little moons" !!! I still get lines from the show randomly stuck in my head. But back to Rayanne: I loved Rayanne because even though she screwed up a lot, and wasn't always a very amazing friend, she had this child-like vulnerability to her (maybe what's up with all the candy) that sort of made you forgive her misgivings. Remember her watching Sesame St? She didn't exactly have the sweetest life or best role models, either, to help show her how to make better decisions. She was sort of on her own that way. I love her style. I feel like only Rayanne Graff can dress like, well, Rayanne Graff.

cancercowboy said...

never seen the series but you sure know how to make somebody's mouth water.

Monica said...

Tavi this is so good I am dying.

Annushka said...

Great style, hairstyle, it's a great self-expression, creative freedom! I am impressed by what he saw, you are an interesting storyteller, so clearly quoting fashion!
Thank you.

EmK said...

I love long posts, ha. I like her hair, it's interestingly different. I've always wanted patchwork pants, though.

jaclyn said...

I really like this tavi! The looks here look like your style, mismatched and colourful :) i love it. nice post!

Emily said...

Those bra-tops...they aren't bras, but they look like bras but they aren't bras, but they are.

I LOVED them. When it's a million degrees outside they're a nice wardrobe addition.

They were all over the screen of the original 90210.

PS - I wanted to BE Rayanne. Minus the drinking problem and the weird family dynamic. She just seemed so free and fearless.

And Kathleen said...

Me and my siblings loved watching My So Called Life together - my sister and Angela Chase were about the same age at the time and she TOTALLY identified.

But the funny story is when I discovered the Ramones a few years later, at 16 or so. I was singing "twenty-twenty-twenty four hours to gooooo" in the kitchen as I made myself a sandwich. My brother was all "Oh, the Frozen Embryos song" - Admittedly, I thought Rayanne had written it to up until that point.

Melissa said...

This was on when I was younger. Now I feel OLD. But I love MSCL.

walrus said...

the boys wanna be her
the girls wanna be her

i wanna be her




so do you. ;)

rosebeerhorst said...

I had a "Rayanne" in my life she and me were inseparable for three years 13 to 16 she lost her virginity at 12 rocked a blond half cornrowed fro even though she was white! She basically turned me on to all the good music ever and she was soooooo funny but one day she met a girl who was a little older then both of us and had a VW van and that was it! She was her new BFF. Still hurts thinking about but in the end i am thankful that i had here in my life she was so important in the development of who i am. It's weird i hate her and love her at the same time

Julia_cc said...

I recently watched the entire show, I wanted to go back to the nineties, and be in school again, and I wanted a Jordan Catalano haha... and like you I was paying a lot of attention to Rayanne outfits, the 90's were crazy :P
great post!!

www.julialovesthis.com.ar

Tavi said...

Thanks for all the great recommendations! Also I am sorry to those who felt old reading this.

Tara Violet -- Agreed about Brian! I'm just being mean. Critically he's a great character and adds a lot to the show but from an immature stance, bothers me. Only because he's so familiar, though!

Hazel -- I was trying to focus on the mismatchiness and skipped Halloween, oops! Also I'd love to see that paper when it's done if you feel like sharing.

moss said...

can you believe she married a prince and is now a member of some royal family?

melina bee said...

I see you also have been enjoying screen capping and the netflix instant version of this show!
I was into this show in early junior high and wanted to dress like Rayann so much but my parents would never let me out of the house like that.
re-watching it, I like Angela so much better.

Amy said...

Well, I've never watched My So Called Life, but I have to say I greatly appreciate your Freaks and Geeks reference. Maybe you could do a post on some of the fashion of that show? I would appreciate it ever so much!

ahealthystudent said...

krakow was annoying, yes, but HE was the TRUE angst story of this show.

- another angela chase

esme said...

love the style biography!
esme noir

Rich Hippie said...

by far the best blogg post EVER.
you dont know how much i love MY SO CALLED LIFE or how much i feel that somebody plagerised my life hahahahha.
you got an awesome blogg going here, but you already knew that :)

The Fancy Teacup said...

I love how she just piles on the clothes making a kaleidescope of everything, and it all just comes together.

www.TheFancyTeacup.com
much love.

love, cholie said...

http://www.polyvore.com/rayanne/set?id=15915745
http://www.polyvore.com/angela/set?id=15910945

Just saying.

needwanthave said...

so much to say, where to begin?

ok, i love this post- its supreme goodness has made my thursday night. Rayanne is the ultimate-ultimate, the queen of dirty-hippy meets goth punk goddess, and her entire personage reeks of everything good and pure about the 90's. yeah it's grunge, what of it!? it rules.

whew! what a mouthful :)

question to all: in photos 1 & 3 in this perfect post Rayanne is wearing these boots that i've been searching for online FOREVER but to no avail!! i had a pair as a kid and wore them to DEATH!! I was sure they were Sam & Libby's but after so long searching i'm just not sure anymore.

ANY SUGGESTIONS?

xo

riptidemurmur said...

your apology re: people feeling old cracked me up. i think it's mostly that it feels like a few days ago i watched the premier episode as a 14 year old, with the sound turned down and my face against the tv so my parents wouldn't hear while they were in the kitchen.

i dyed my hair ala angela in eighth grade...i went black and spent the entire summer grounded.

Tranbina said...

Amazing style!!! I cannot believe she can make the tie dye tee become so unique and fun to wear!!!
Thanks for sharing! I love it <333

Madeleine said...

Really an source for inspiration this one, even if her style is not so close to mine. Im more of a pretty girl person. But damn, I really liked this, especially the grateful dead tee. And those rainbow shoes. Lovely. :)

Michele said...

Holy shit long post! I used to watch this with my sisters when they were at the appropriate age. I just watched it because I wanted to be cool..It's so funny that this show is making a kind of comeback? And her style was so amazing, I think I want to be her now...

Lola said...

wow, one long post but appreciated! Errrm why have I never heard of this? need to watch this, the clothes alone will make it an experience! LOVE

lyla said...

Very pleased they are still running MSCL for teenagers to watch everywhere.

I was a young teen when it first aired in the UK and it was the most popular show at school. It bonded all the very different people in our class together. The whole class spent the whole of double art on the following mornings discussing the last night’s episode.

You are right, it spoke directly to all of us as allowed us to find parts of ourselves in each of the of the characters as well of parts of each other and so a little empathy and understanding at a time when we were desperate to draw lines and between each other.

I think this was one of the first things that really made me feel part of a generation. I was one these people, this is how we felt.

Somehow, at one point towards the end of the series a rumour seemed to spread through London that Jared Leto had died... we all totally believed it and were distraught. Still a phenomenon I have not been able to explain. Especially as these were days before any of us used the internet.

Néhémie said...

Really impressed by the way you talk about fashion :) Just went trough your blog a bit and I'm really impressed :)

http://www.sextapeandcigarettes.blogspot.com

Carina said...

This was the best thing I read/saw all week. Thank you.

Carina said...

This was the best thing I read/saw all week. Thank you.

Bebot said...

OMG, I am SO going to rent, nay, BUY all of the MSCL DVDs and have a weekend of it (one of these days). VERY entertaining post and got me all (tear) nostalgic. Is it crazy for me to kind of like some of the stuff she had on?

Secondhand Star said...

Wow! These stills are blowing my mind. I think the costume designer was high for the duration of the series. But girl! You just took me back!I've been out of high school since the early 90's, but you brought it back. Fierce, fabulous, and sadly misguided Rayanne! Rad.

hallee bee said...

love this post! i was definitely obsessed MSCL in high school, and i actually re-watched the whole series a couple years ago. i was so upset when it got cancelled, but i think the last episode was an appropriate ending, in a way. i really appreciate your interpretation of rayanne as a catalyst in angela's life, and as the only person who really "got" her. i think we all have a friend like that at some point in our lives who really holds a mirror up to our true selves. however, i think ricky is truly the unsung hero of the series. he's constantly in the middle of everyone else's drama, trying to be a peacemaker and whatnot, while his own personal struggles are largely ignored for the first part of the series. also, his style is pretty amazing. anyway, thanks so much for this post. very enjoyable read.

pierrot said...

love Jared Leto!!! (RingPop?! = retro!! :D )

XXX,
T.

Erin said...

I love your analysis of MSCL! I have been wanting to rewatch the series for awhile because its on netflix instant now.

"Sharing her candy bracelet with Ricky" this is one of those really enduring images for me, I always wanted to have a friend I could share my candy necklace with!

Erin
www.etustin.tumblr.com

Blake Nelson said...

The movie version of my book GIRL had similar hair fashions. I never understood where they got that "busy hair" look. Now I know: MY SO CALLED LIFE. But I still don't remember anyone in Portland who had hair like that. Maybe out in the suburbs. But I feel like I would have remembered that if it was around. Maybe it was LA specific.

Fashion is me said...

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Fashion is me said...

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Cristina said...

Ok...so I have been waiting for you to discover this show, and I'm not sure if you had seen it before being inspired to do this last post, but none the less I'm glad you've seen it!

I used to watch this show when I was younger and just recently found it on netflix. I also just finished watching the whole season/series in like 4 days because I was soooo excited.

I highly recommend revisiting this show in about ten years. You might have the same opinions as you do now, but it's funny how your perspective changes once you have escaped the teenage angst prison. Sometimes you connect more with something looking back on it than when you are living with it.

Also, I think Angela's style is better than Rayanne's in it's simplicity. She is confident in her apparel while Rayanne loads on the cloths to cover something up. Plus Angela's is in tune with current trends oddly enough.

Sorry to blather on...

http://mostlyclothes-cristina.blogspot.com/

Lexie, Little Boat said...

i made my sister watch this show before she started high school. i like to think it is one of the best things i've done as a big sister.

Ashley said...

I love Rayanne. Her style is horribly amazing! (wow.) But, Angela has my heart forevs.

My Style Canvas said...

Wow--I'd forgot how awful Rayanne's fashion sense was, but I still liked her character for owning it the way she did. I used to get annoyed with this show because at the time I felt too many girls in my high school thought they were Angela, even copying her hair and overall look. (Rayanne was the one I related to, mainly because she tried a little too hard at times.) But I'll bet I'd appreciate the writing more now. It was pretty authentic.

kaity said...

great screen capping skills!

but i must inform you that she is not just wearing a bra; they are, in fact, actual shirts that were sold in the early 90s

Zany Style said...

why cant all those screen shots be our closet?

~tati~

Lydia said...

I came back to read people's comments, and was blown away to see Blake Nelson had commented! I almost mentioned something about the comment someone had posted recommending you check out the movie "Girl," because I sort of hate the way they did that movie. The book was eight thousand times better, and the movie version lost so much for me. Anyway, very rad.

kingaaaa said...

Haha, Krakow it's her.his name? :) Sorry that I'm laughing but Krakow is also name of polish city which used to be capital of Poland few centuries ago. :)

Avril14140/Mihaela said...

lol xD

Interesting post.

mfashionfreak.blogspot.com - check it.read it.follow it.

Mother Savage said...

does it occur to you that Rayanne knew Angela had out grown her/grown beyond her and so she self destructed the friendship before this would become obvious to Angela? So she wouldn't have to suffer coming to terms with her lack of confidence?

cemeteryinparis said...

loved the show when i was in highschool. but lord those fashions. boy we dressed bad in the 90's...

Hayley M said...

Goodness gracious, Tavi, this post! Loooooong.

Marlena said...

Uhhm, this post rules! I always wanted Rayanne's wardrobe *.*

Gina Ray said...

love this ...she is an icon for me now...haven't seen the movie.. now will check out ... love her ♥♥♥

celeste said...

rayanne seriously has the coolest style.

Flower said...

Welch, American culture.

Annie said...

I love this post so much. I was 15 when MSCL originally aired and absolutely loved it. It completely captures that time period more accurately than anything else I've seen. Anyway, last summer, at age 30, I watched the whole series again, and I loved it even more than the first time (which I would have thought would be impossible). Somehow I identified even more with Angela, and I found my opinions changed on some characters. For instance, although I definitely had sympathy for Rayanne, she really annoyed me. I loved Ricky and Katimsky more than I remember previously. Most of all, I really sympathized more with the parents and found their storylines much more appealing. Although it must be said, Hallie Lowenthal always has and always will totally suck.

TylerBoudreaux said...

I knew that a Rayanne Graff post was bound to show up at any time!!!

mike said...

Life! it's the only thing worth living for.

Ami said...

So many fond memories of this show....Loved Rayanne and I was recently reminiscing about Claire Danes character earlier too!

http://fashionroi.com/2011/03/frockin-florals-or-wilted-flower-power/

Lux said...

Ring pops!
I totally had a Rayanne-esque friend in high school. Interesting times

Aurora said...

i just-so-happened to be watching My So Called Life on Netflix... best 90's teenage show by far :D

Poppy said...

I want her hair and jewlery

Laurie said...

Lovely captions, Tavi! Love this movie. Thank you !

http://mouthmotions.blogspot.com/

Hope said...

I have been watching all 18 episodes of this on Netflix for the past 3 days. One of the best shows of my generation!

Duda Reis said...

Tavi without comments agree with you. (I'm Brazilian Duda) you are more kisses

A.M.D. said...

dude, you know she now lives in a castle in scotland or wales or something, right? i mean the real a.j. langer, in real life. and have you seen photos of claire danes' reunion with leto? (from last year): http://weheartit.com/entry/5747852

i could write a thesis about krakow, btw. that last episode is gut-wrenching! ahhh!

gianluca said...

WOW very long post but really nice
http://fashionmix96.blogspot.com

Fluorescent Adolescent said...

Dear lord, the fashion in this show is absolutely bizarre and fabulous. xx


________________________________

www.cheapthrillas.blogspot.com
________________________________

Roberto Nicolás Marchiaro Tendero said...

PLEASE come to londoooooon!!!!!!!!!!!!!

vanchaaa said...

tavi, wonderful post!
mscl was one of my favorite series during my teenage years :)

betsy said...

my favorite show ever. watched it when i was 12, and every single crush since has been directly related to jordan catalano.

Álvaro said...

It's so charming to see how your generation loves the 90s , like my generation loved the 80s

:)

Ben said...

She looks like a bad version of Luna Lovegood from Harry Potter.

http://bensstylecorner.blogspot.com/

Sarah said...

Cool blog! Please check out mine and follow if you'd like :)

www.SimpleStyleSecrets.com

lorencatherine said...

I'm in love with the enormo moulded leather bag the chick Mr Chase starts the restaurant with carries in the scene where they first go to see the restaurant space. It's beautiful.

Amy said...

dear tavi, i'm 33 now but this show was my favourite thing when I was a teenager in New Zealand and so I loved reading your wonderful post about MSCL. You write so well, you're a marvel. I'm yet another who saw myself in Angela Chase and I made a friend when I was 16 who was my Rayanne... She remains my best friend (despite living in the other hemisphere) all these years later, even though we fell out very badly and didn't speak for two years at the end of our teenagehood. LOVE what you wrote about rayanne & angela's friendship, plus the link to the paris review article was also super. LOVE YOUR WORK :)

marketing said...

The florals in the first picture are getting very popular again. She's wearing some green ones a few pics in that are very popular at the minute. A lot of the old fashions are coming back in, it seems! I see a lot of people going for those two in particular.

Vicki said...

Love the last picture and this ring :D

Ji Un said...

Wao, long and cool at the same time, you're really good. And, I really like those leggings
And I just wondered, if you have time, I mean, I've just opened a fashion blog, if you had time could you check it out and give me some advices, tks
here the link http://thestylejunior.blogspot.com/

tinyjunco said...

freaky feeling! i never saw this show. i'm 49, we used to wear SO MUCH of the same stuff when i was in high school/college - safety pins (we mostly used them to attach those little plastic babies to vintage silk scarves), card motif jewelry, little braids, exposed bras esp. under see thru blouses (when desp seeking susan came out i had to burn half my wardrobe), dog chokers, old big plaid shirts, pattern/color/texture all mish mashed -

and candy jewelry! we also used barnum's animal cookie boxes for purses (they come pre-strapped).

great post! your eyes mite take a week to un-cross from the strain, but them's the hazrds of bloggin' - have a great week everybody! steph

Gorilla Girl said...

woohoo just finished the whole series so now I have been able to read your post entirely. One word - THANK YOU. I thought i'd had all the good tv/film from the 80s/90s covered! If it wasn't for you I would have completely missed this absoloute gem of a tv series! I loved Rayanne and her fabulous clothes and I agree that Brian was profusely irritating! x

Lulu said...

I had NEVER ever heard of my so-called life before, living nowhere neat the states, but it seems like an amazing series, and its sad that it got cut off after only 1 season. It would of have been so cool to see all the clothes in the next seasons.

anyway. GREAT BLOG!!! seriously :|, great GREAT blog

Trashy Student said...

I have patchwork trousers. They are the best things. EVER.

Gabriella said...

I loved this show! I was so mad when they cancelled it. Whenever I see Claire Danes, I think of Angela Chase, lol. Rayanne was a really interesting character,and her style was just as interesting, and really fit her. Now I want to go re-watch the series, great post. :)

Check out my blog: Principessa Gabriella

syc said...

awesome post! shows that you're not just a great blogger but a gifted writer (i even prefer it to the linked article you got your inspiration from). work!

the girl fell said...

I think I failed my french oral due to a night spent dipping cookies in tea while watching ten steady 'my so-called life' episodes. Favourite quotes: 'my whole life became divided between kissing and not kissing'
aand 'i realised that sex was this thing that people had like a rash or a rottweiler.' Worth it.

the girl fell said...

oh and of course 'yeah' and 'like'. At least 50% of the script right there.

giantskittle said...

I CANNOT BELIEVE how many screenshots you took of Rayanne. Bravo.

Nat ou Cá said...

i really liked this post.
all very strange for me, a 38 year old brazilian girl, and still it rings a bell AND touched me,
thanks

Claire said...

i was just thinking about the episode with the ghost girl today and how strangely out of place going supernatural was for the series AND then i jump on your blog and i find this!! :-) . i think rayannes is part of the reason i got a job in a hippy clothes shop love love love! very insight post, as always!

Letizia said...

i really liked the post!

http://itslaboutfashion.blogspot.com/

Britiss Fashion said...

Hi,
my friend and I think your blog is amazing!! You have really inspired us and we love your fashion sense!

http://britissacessories.blogspot.com/

Hilary Grace said...

I was going to leave you a comment last night after I had a solo My So Called Life marathon & found you bearing an occasional striking resemblance to Angela Chase. This is SUCH a perfect analysis of the show, of the relationships, and of Rayanne. Damn though I should have heeded the spoiler warnings.

"Rayanne is, more realistically, the kind of person who leaves someone's life just as quickly as she changes it -- in a flash of color and compassion, and with a little guilt, because she does have enough of a conscience to feel responsible for letting an innocent soul like that of Angela's explore her world."
^that's the bessssssttttt parttt!

minellahaaz said...

Hey,
After watching the pictures of this post (I deliberately didn't read it. Haha, I'm still amazed by that flash of self-control) I watched MSCL in one week. I just finished watching the last episode. It kind of got me really sad, since it's really the last episode. Also, I think I've got a little crush on Jordan, even though I I think Jared Leto is.. not my kind of guy (let's say it in a nice way). But, I mean, isn't he what every 15-year-old girl wants? Not that I would want the spent the rest of my life with a guy like him, just with the memorie of a guy like him.
Also, I want a friend like Rayanne. I want a friend who takes my to cool parties and everything.

Haha, this comment is sort of getting out of hand.
Loved the post, and thanks to you, I'm also obsessing over this show!
xxx

Izzen said...

This is adorable.

http://izzenxoxo.blogspot.com/

Estrid said...

It's just perfect. Love it all.

jameriamarlena said...

Thanks I didn't even know about my so called life intill now

lyuda♥ said...

hahahh
hello)
pleease
guys follow for follow????
I NEED FOLLOWERS PLEASE!

Ellen said...

XbraX with shirt over; crop top.

best wishes. I loved this show when I was that age. And party of five.

Six Six Sick said...

Stuff like this makes me appreciate how great blogs are--who else would take the time to collect all these screencaptures?! I haven't watched MSCL since it aired while I was in high school, but I remember it so well, and related to Angela in all the ways that you described (I definitely had a Rayanne in my life). This definitely makes me want to dig out the series and watch it all again.
xx
Tiffany

D♥R said...

jeff said...

i could plotz over those presumably hand painted tennis shoes!

Mertxe Hernàndez said...

Well done. I love the 90's.

http://mertxehernandez.blogspot.com/

Sonny said...

I have a book that I found at a garage sale , that finishes off the story of Angela.

I will send it to you if you want.

Elissa said...

This is epic and amazing. I love it.

Kiki said...

stellar post. loving all these stills of Rayanne. MSCL was one show that i could relate to as a young woman (a Sr in HS when it aired). i was a lot like Angela and had similar characters in my life as well. i love that TV shows, movies and music from my generation are still relevant today and having an impact on your generation. thanks for sharing and take care.

MAKENEW said...

brings back memories, i had this show on vhs.. i think they are still in my basement somewhere. xoxo tavi!

Indy Grrrl said...

I created a post for Rayanne and Angela a while ago to honor their style:

http://indygrrrl.blogspot.com/2010/08/to-angela-and-rayanne.html

Maro said...

This was such an awesome stroll down memory lane. I was OBSESSED with MSCL in high school. Jordan was sooooooo dreamyyyyyyyyy. Thanks for the giggles.

Kimberellie said...

My best friend and I LOVED MSCL! We would call one another when it was on after it was cancelled so we could watch the reruns!

This, of course, not of course, because you just watched it, but this was in the 90s when we were teenagers! Though I don't think either of us where Rayanne. We were both Angelas.

Yes, this show was truly awesome. And it does completely reverberate with a teenaged girl's soul! It's funny, I had forgotten she got with Jordan. Must have been so angry I blocked it (or rewrote the series in my head, more likely, with a happier ending!).

I should ask my friend (still my best friend!--16 years later!) if she thought the same, that we were both Angelas. I have a feeling she may have considered me some sort of Rayanne!

much love: K

ps. I always love reading your blog. You remind me of a much cooler version of myself as a teenager (and by cooler I mean more unabashedly and uniquely yourself).

George A. said...

cut this exploitation out - i know it's exciting, yet it's alternative for a reason...

Estrid said...

RAYANNE - je t'aime. she's so fucking awsome.

devin olivia said...

ahh i was watching that episode last night on netflix
love love love that show!
xo
DOLLMEUP

Midge said...

YES! I recently screenshot every Rayanne outfit too! :)

I watched the series when it first aired and I DEFINITELY think that her style stuck with me and continues to influence me in bits and pieces to this day!

Freaks and Geeks & My So-Called Life are my number one shows ever. SIGH.

WastedWardrobe.net

theceelist said...

FUN!

http://www.igotconverse.com/

Isabella said...

wow long post. sorta annoying for ppl who have no idea what you're talking about. I still love you though tavi.

Ashi said...

you really need to check out Cassie Ainsworth on the UK Skins if you haven't already. she's amazing.

Mihal said...

let's not forget to talk about RICKYYYYY!!! http://www.3-snaps.com/2011/03/heartthrob-ricky-from-my-so-called-life.html

Glenda C said...

shes amazing

lapetitefillechic said...

Excellent post. I remember when I was 15 I really got into My So Called Life. It is hard not to relate to it. The one season encapsulates what I would say most teen girls feel when they enter high school. It is only 4 years of your life, but it feels like a lifetime. It truly is the best and worst time of everyone's life. One question I have though is: Where the hell was my Jordan Catalano?

elle.raye said...

amazing post. you need to check out heartbreak high - australian 'teen drama' from the 90s. more australian equivalent 90s style than you can poke a stick at.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_O1NqPAEcsA

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Mrs. Diaz said...

I love this post! Tavi, it's truly amazing that you can read my mind yet are 11 years younger than me. I agree with you about understanding this show once you are older. When it first came on I more around Danielle's age and at that moment in time I mostly related to her. My sister was Angela, dying her hair, meeting troublesome friends and getting all the attention from our mother of all the trouble she would get into. I watch it now and can relate to Angela for sure. But speaking of Freaks and Geeks (as you so often do) that is a show that was on the air while I was in High School and I could completely relate to both Weir siblings, but most of all Lindsay. I'm glad there are still teenagers in this world who aren't the Taylor Swift/Justin Bieber types who actually have real, deep thoughts. Don't ever stop blogging!

ofir12345 said...

this inspired me to watch my so called life, 1st episode was amazing and incredibly accurate. i thought it'd be a bit outdated because of the 16-year difference but, well, it's not. Great post!!!

kitty said...

common! what about her camo dress for her audition for our town?? Amazing post tho, i love rayanne and my all time favourite outfit is her beaded winged shaped vest/ halter thing she wears over a t shirt at her raging party :)

thanks for this post!

Jen said...

The millionth person to comment, but love the wicked detail and critical analysis of the show in general and of Rayanne more indepth.
Are you saying you don't like 30 seconds to mars? They are ah-mazing.
Miss this show like crazy especially when you realise that you're relating to it and it's your guide but then as soon as that realisation comes to light it's over and it's never coming back and not even a fan fiction can help you pick up where you left off.

Olivia Law said...

I know this is like a million years old, but THANK YOU for posting this - it's really well written and man I freaking love Rayanne haha. Thank you xo

forest. said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CzSYplxcpr8
all of the episodes are on youtube

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