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. -

April 24: "[The HST] lifted a curtain from our view of the universe, changing it so profoundly that no human can look at the stars in the same way..."

Kenneth Calhoun (Black Moon) and Lysley Tenorio (Monstress) of the Discover Great New Writers program on B-movies, heritage, and finales.

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
In the Light of What We Know

Zia Haider Rahman's mystery of a brilliant Bangladeshi mathematician's past barrels through the Ivy League, London high finance, and spy-haunted Afghanistan in a page-turning tale of exile, intrigue and the price of friendship. A Discover Great New Writers selection.

The People's Platform

Once touted as the foundation for tomorrow's digital democracy, the Internet is increasingly ruled by a few corporate giants, while millions of contributors till its fields for free. Astra Taylor looks at why the web has failed to deliver a communitarian cyberscape, and offers a compelling case for restoring its original vision.

A Private Venus

Dubbed "the Italian Simenon," Giorgio Scerbanenco (1911-1969) began his crime-writing career with books set in the USA, but quickly shifted scene closer to home, the city of Milan.  In this adventure, appearing in English for the first time, his underdog hero Dr. Duca Lamberti finds himself in the middle of a seedy, scantily clad criminal racket, where the presence of an outsider could result in death.