My So-Called Life: The Complete Series

My So-Called Life nailed so many iconic moments of teenage girlhood that some viewers must have wondered how series creator Winnie Holzman got access to their diaries. Obsessive crush on the brooding bad boy? Check. Teary confrontation with the former best friend? Check. Barely concealed contempt for the parents who just don?t get you? Of course. No other television show has so perfectly captured the rapturous joys and crushing agonies of adolescence. But to its credit, MSCL, which aired during the 1994-95 season, also recognized the frequent lack of drama of those years -- the interminable school days, the parties where nothing really happened. The show was often introspective and slow, and this refusal to exploit may explain its poor ratings, which resulted in one of the cruelest and most premature cancellations in television history.

MSCL starred a radiant Claire Danes in her first feature role, as Angela Chase. Danes?s preternaturally insightful performance anchored the show, but the subplots concerning the supporting characters -- particularly Wilson Cruz?s ahead-of-its-time portrayal of gay teen Rickie Vasquez -- were never mere filler. This new six-disc collection presents the 19 episodes along with some worthwhile extras, including a documentary on the show?s creation, commentary on six episodes, and remembrances from the cast, all of whom are appropriately grateful for having been there. -

July 28: Percy Bysshe Shelley and Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin eloped on this day in 1814.

Crime fiction legends Dennis Lehane and Michael Connelly discuss the new book that unites their beloved sleuths Patrick Kenzie and Harry Bosch.

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Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
Paradise and Elsewhere

Canadian short story marvel Kathy Page emerges as the Alice Munro of the supernatural from these heartfelt tales of shapeshifting swimmers, mild-mannered cannibals, and personality-shifting viruses transmitted through kisses.

Pastoral

When a persuasive pastor arrives in a sleepy farm town, his sage influence has otherworldly results (talking sheep, a mayor who walks on water). But can he pull off the miracle of finding kindly local Liz Denny the love of her life?  Small wonder looms large in this charmer from Andre Alexis.

The Hundred-Year House

When a poetry scholar goes digging through the decrepit estate of his wife's family to uncover a bygone arts colony's strange mysteries, he awakens a tenacious monster: his mother-in-law. A wickedly funny take on aging aristocracies from author Rebecca Makkai (The Borrower).