10 Cult TV Hits That Originally Flopped


'My So-Called Life'

Rarely has a show garnered as much grassroots enthusiasm as ABC's beloved, mid-90s flop, "My So-Called Life." Starring Claire Danes as 15-year-old Angela Chase, "My So-Called Life" features all the typical elements of teen drama: the awakening heroine, the gawky boy-next-door, the sexy and slightly dangerous love interest, the complicated best friend, and the sidekick with a secret. In spite of its tried-and-true formula, "My So-Called Life" was nothing short of magical.

The fact that the show escaped cliché is largely due to its excellent scripting. A lot of credit, too, goes to the young and largely undiscovered cast. From its hand-lettered opening credits to Jordan Catalano's throat-hugging leather neckband, "My So-Called Life" had that indefinable chemistry that many shows attempt but fail to realize.

The show was also groundbreaking. Ricky Vasquez (Wilson Cruz) was one of teen television's first complex gay characters. In fact, each of "My So-Called Life's" characters is rich and dimensional. Love interest Jordan Catalano struggles with dyslexia. Best friend Rayann Graffe is wild and free-spirited, but suffers from drug addiction and neglect. Even Angela's parents struggle with issues regarding the balance of power in marriage.

Find out more about another smart teen drama/comedy after the jump.