He leans great: Why we’re so not over Jared Leto as Jordan Catalano
Sure, Jared Leto is now a legitimate rock star with band 30 Seconds to Mars. He’s also a bonafide thespian with an Oscar win. But we still pine for the Leto of 24 years ago when he played destructive dreamboat Jordan Catalano in My So-Called Life.
He’s exactly the sort of character you simply never get over. Unless you’re Leto, that is. The actor has repeatedly shared his disdain for everyone trifling on about My So-Called Life to him all the time, probably because of grown ass women – like those of us in the Film Daily newsroom – who continue to light candles in our secret shrine to Jordan we keep in the ladies toilet.
The actor once complained to Rolling Stone about how the show turned him into a “lust object” and griped, “I think for some people, especially girls at that time, it mirrored something in their lives. I don’t know. It did make an impact for people, but it’s always been so imbalanced with what the experience was for me in my own life.”
With all apologies to Leto – rock star, Oscar winner, and on-set prankster – we’re probably always going to treat him as a lust object, regardless. That has less to do with him and more to do with Jordan. Here are fourteen reasons why we’ll never get over that floppy-haired, toxic, plaid-wearing bastard.
Because he’s clearly a great kisser
If you like to feel as though you’re a veritable snack served up on a sloppy table of love then Jordan, who blesses ladies with his lips as though he’s scarfing down a Happy Meal, is evidently the smoocher for you. Open wide!
Because he simultaneously understands Shakespeare & his feelings for Angela
Jordan couldn’t read. But he was extremely literate in matters of the heart, okay?
Because he gets really tortured about being a bad boy
Bad boys with a fierce brooding conscience about their behavior have been scientifically proven* to be irresistibly hot to everyone, everywhere. Watching Jordan act like he doesn’t care he’s actively standing Angela (Claire Danes) up? Before acting all tortured over an acoustic guitar?! Hot damn! That is the angst-ridden, sexy hill we’ll die on, ladies & gentleman.
Because he has that dope-ass 90s heartthrob hair
The kind that would regularly fall into his eyes and make every atom in your body explode into a tiny cosmos of micro-universes all named after him.
Because he (eventually) proves his love for Angela in front of the whole school
Silently grabbing her hand in front of everyone? Good call, Catalano. Shame you spent a solid few episodes being an incomprehensible ass to her in the lead up to that point, but still.
Because he has the worst band name
We’re speaking of Frozen Embryos, of course. What can we say? We’re suckers for boys with great hair and terrible taste.
Because he was basically the Don Juan of Liberty High
As exemplified by this scene in which he encourages Brian Krakow (Devon Gummersall) to believe there are women everywhere vying for his dick, Jordan was basically a pickup artist in training. Is that hot? We have no idea but somehow we’re blushing over it so . . .
Because he still knows Angela’s locker combination after they’d broken up
1. You keep a man like that around
2. Fictional or not, Jordan Catalano most definitely knows the locker combination to our hearts
Because he writes a song about Angela (but it’s really about his car)
In his defence, it remains the most beautiful love song about an old car ever heard on TV. Plus it somehow preceded an entire 2009 album of car platitudes by Neil Young about his Lincoln Continental, so technically Jordan was a songwriting trailblazer.
Because he finds Angela’s love note (but didn’t read it)
Not to be insensitive about learning difficulties but we’d love to teach Jordan how to read. We’d teach him how to read things so hard, y’all.
Because he sang The Ramones. Really badly.
Hey, ho, let’s go! If you were a teenager who wore a lot of black, you definitely dated someone at some point who forced you to listen to their atrocious cover versions of Ramones songs. It’s a rite of passage – one depicted exceedingly well by real life rock star Leto who presumably had to bring his on-stage confidence levels down a notch to perform “I Wanna Be Sedated” with as little energy or pizazz as possible.
Because he leans great
At multiple instances throughout the series we’re treated to inexplicable evidence of the fact that Jordan genuinely does lean on lockers better than anyone else in the world has ever done.
Because he was so wonderfully, adorably dumb
He got held back twice, folks! He regularly fails to comprehend the events of a day from start to finish. He probably opens cans of beer by smashing them into his head. We’re kind of dreadfully shamefully into it.
Because he’s impossible to get over
As Angela finds out, the dude is basically an emotional splinter you can never remove. Celebrating being totally over him by dancing around your bedroom to “Blister in the Sun” by the Violent Femmes is a great idea. Except (like Angela) we’re totally not over Jordan and probably never will be.
*By “science” we of course mean the experiments we conducted involving irresistible bad boys in our youth. Please don’t ask to see our thesis on it.