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Tag: Degrassi (11-20 of 22)

'Degrassi' react: Adam gets the girl

As Americans prepare for their Thanksgiving feasts and Canadians prepare for whatever they do in mid-November, the kids of Degrassi Community School are preparing for spring break. Thanks to the magic of television scheduling, Degrassi‘s 12th season concluded tonight by portraying events that occurred in the first half of 2012. (And technically, if the show hadn’t quietly skipped ahead by two years in season 10, it’d actually be depicting events from the spring of 2010 — but who’s counting?)

Despite the slightly jarring time stuff, this finale was a fun, zippy two-parter that wrapped up several storylines while leaving others tantalizingly open. As per usual, the Adam plot — which saw Whisper Hug’s bassist embarking on a new relationship with an Amy Winehouse-coiffed hottie, getting betrayed by said hottie, then rekindling his romance with uber-Christian Becky Baker — was the show’s strongest. At first, New Girl Missy seems seriously cool; she’s not phased even after a cucumber falls out of Adam’s pants mid-makeout session, completely spoiling the mood.

A fairy tale romance? Maybe — except that Adam’s ex, Becky Baker, has popped into his life again. First, she sends him an email that he deletes on principle — but not before those with freeze-frame capabilities can read what it says:

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'Degrassi' react: 'I'm so excited! I'm so excited!'

Now that was 100 percent intense.

One week after asking Dallas to give her a study aid hookup, Alli is so far down the Jessie Spano rabbit hole that she’s popping speed right in the middle of the media immersion lab. The uppers are keeping her awake, but naturally there are downsides — namely, she’s running around Degrassi like the tiniest hulk, freaking out at the slightest provocation, disrupting prom committee meetings, and showing up tweaking at the Torres house in the middle of the night. This is your brain on drugs.

In Alli’s addled mind, the most important thing in the world is getting Dallas and Claire to make nice so that everyone can attend an upcoming Jay-Z concert together. (Side note: I miss when Degrassi would invent fake bands for its characters to worship. Remember Jimmy’s triumphant trip to the Kid Elrick concert in season 4?) Naturally, the only way to accomplish this goal is for Dallas to “rap-pologize” — that’s rap-apologize — to Alli’s BFF in the middle of the caf. This leads to a classic Degrassi moment that’s right up there with the first time Drake ever rapped on the show. Glory in these lyrics:

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'Degrassi' react: It's a set-up!

Oh, how cruel the Degrassi gods are this week. They’ve set up all this glorious drama — Alli’s about to pull a Jessie Spano! Tristan’s about to pull an Emma from season 5! — that we won’t see fully play out until next week’s episode. This is the Degrassi I love — fast-paced, juicy, and not focused on a girl who can’t recognize diabetes when it’s literally staring her in the face.

A plot: Alli is busting her butt to graduate early so she can make it to MIT next year, and her “all work no play” policy is really starting to take a toll. She gets all excited about maybe, possibly getting back together with Dave — only to have him dump her again because he doesn’t like to be kept waiting. (Anyone else think Dave’s being way too harsh, especially when he sticks her with the bill at The Dot? Alli is beautiful and brilliant. Can’t he just accept that he won’t always be her top priority?) Luckily, bad boy Dallas is there to soothe Alli’s wounded heart… and to get her some amphetamines so that she can stay awake long enough to finish all her work. This certainly will not end well. I can’t wait.

B plot: Aspiring actor Tristan wants to play the lead in the zombie movie Eli just decided to make. But Eli isn’t sure that Tris is up for the challenge of such a physically demanding role. After Eli’s comments and a particularly disastrous yoga class with his crush, Tris is on a one-way train to Eating Disorder Village. Degrassi manages to dust off this old plot point in a quasi-new way by having Tris go on a cleanse — maybe he’ll be the franchise’s first orthorexic? Either way, I hope that actor Lyle O’Donohoe didn’t develop any insecurities as a result of this storyline. You’re cute as a button, Tris/Lyle! Fab — love the name — would be lucky to have a guy like you.

C plot: Some fairly innocuous stuff about Imogen’s mother, Natalie, not approving of the fact that Fiona lives apart from her parents. This subplot is mainly notable for how Imogen responds when an anxious Fiona asks if their dinner with Natalie went okay: “We ate food. No one barfed.” Sometimes, it’s about the little things.

Coming up next week: A pair (or trio?) of amazing meltdowns, as well as what Degrassi is calling a “rap-pology.” The waiting is the hardest part.

Follow Hillary on Twitter

Read more:
‘Degrassi’ react: All’s fair in love and beauty pageants
‘Degrassi’ react: Happy 300th episode!
A school shooting! A trans teen! Kevin Smith! ‘Degrassi’ creator shares her top 10 episodes

'Degrassi' react: All's fair in love and beauty pageants

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Due to a Sandy-related snafu, this week’s Degrassi react will be a bit shorter than usual. But really, there isn’t a ton to discuss here. As anyone with eyes could tell, Mo does, in fact, have diabetes rather than a ridiculous drug habit; Adam lies about joining the volleyball team, but gets rewarded with the promise of testosterone. (Only on Degrassi.)

And then there’s the ever-complicating quadrangle of Maya, Zig, Tori, and Cam. It’s been a while since Degrassi gave us a juicy, tangled romantic plot, and I’m excited to see how this one unfolds — especially after learning that Maya, not Zig, is the one who’s putting the breaks on their potential relationship. Score one for friends before boyfriends; as much as I’m looking forward to watching further drama, it’s nice to see a female friendship given priority over a possible romance.

How did you like tonight’s episode? Who are you rooting for in the Niner Love Polygon? And is anyone else interested in a spinoff that goes behind the scenes at cutthroat Canadian beauty pageants?

Read more:
‘Degrassi’ react: Happy 300th episode!
A school shooting! A trans teen! Kevin Smith! ‘Degrassi’ creator shares her top 10 episodes
300 episodes? ‘Degrassi’ goes there. Creator Linda Schuyler shares the secret to its success

'Degrassi' react: Happy 300th episode!

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So this is how Degrassi celebrates its 300th installment: not with a giant Issue Episode, but with a fairly low-key half hour about beauty pageants and suspected drug use. It was far from the show’s most intense episode ever — but there was still a lot of good stuff here, from Maya’s pageant makeover to Adam and Audra’s touching conversation.

Let’s start with the former. Following in Manny’s footsteps, quiet Maya got a pageant-ready new look, courtesy of Tori — appropriate, since Tori and Manny are related in real life. (They’re played by sisters Alex and Cassie Steele). For some reason, both Maya’s sister Katie and her boyfriend Cam laughed when they first see her sans specs — weird, since she looked totally adorable. Just look at that photo! Dumping the guy at the end of the episode seemed like a good move for Maya, although you know it’s just going to open the floodgates for more love triangle drama between her, Tori, and Zig. Not that love triangles are a bad thing. (Again: See Manny.)

Meanwhile, Adam tried his best to forget Becky Baker — newly returned from “brainwashing camp” — by bulking up and attempting to join the volleyball team.

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A school shooting! A trans teen! Kevin Smith! 'Degrassi' creator shares her top 10 episodes

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(Or “favourite,” if you’re feeling Canadian.)

In honor of the teen drama’s 300th episode — which airs tonight on TeenNick — we asked Degrassi creator Linda Schuyler to name her 10 favorite Degrassi installments ever. Her list is a welcome trip down memory lane for longtime fans — as well as a great primer for those who have no idea that Drake’s real name is Aubrey Graham.

1. “Mother & Child Reunion” (season 1)
The first-ever episode of Degrassi: The Next Generation — now known as simply Degrassi — acted as a bridge between the new show and Degrassi High. It both caught viewers up with old friends — Caitlin! Lucy! Spike! — and introduced several new kid cast members, including Spike’s daughter Emma and her friends, J.T., Toby, and Manny. The drama: As Degrassi’s classes of ’91 and ’92 reunite, Emma discovers that a boy she’s been chatting with online is actually a full-grown, would-be rapist. Yep; Degrassi went there from the very beginning.

2. “Shout” (season 2)
In part 1, mean girl Paige is date raped at a party. In part 2, she sings a super intense song about rape during a Battle of the Bands with her girl group, PMS… as her rapist watches from the audience.

3. “Accidents Will Happen” (season 3)
Fourteen-year-old Manny discovers that she’s pregnant after having unprotected sex with two-timing Craig — and, after thinking long and hard, decides to get an abortion. Due to its sensitive content, the episode aired in the U.S. over two years after it was first shown in Canada.

4. “Pride” (season 3)
After Ellie refuses to continue being his beard, Marco finally comes out to the rest of his friends — only to be ostracized by Spinner and beaten up by a group of homophobes while en route to a hockey game.

5. “Whisper to a Scream” (season 3)
Poor Ellie’s got a father in the army and an alcoholic mom. She starts coping by cutting herself. Luckily, Paige is there to nudge Ellie into getting the help she needs.

6. “Time Stands Still” (season 4)
After being doused with paint and feathers at a quizbowl game, bullied Rick finally snaps and brings a gun to school. He shoots Jimmy in the back, paralyzing him — and is killed when Sean tries to disarm the shooter. Degrassi‘s most intense episode, or Degrassi‘s most intense episode?

7. “Lexicon of Love” (season 5)
A two for one special! Kevin Smith reappears for the premiere of his new (fake) movie, Jay and Silent Bob Go Canadian, Eh?, while Paige discovers that she’s got more than friendly feelings for her gal pal Alex.

8. Degrassi Goes Hollywood (season 8)
Originally shown as one two-hour movie, this four-parter follows Manny as she pursues her dream of being an actress (and, of course, clashes with Paige along the way). There’s also some juicy stuff with star-crossed Craig and Ellie, who just can’t seem to ever get their timing right.

9. “My Body is a Cage” (season 10)
Say hello to the next next generation. Degrassi learns that new kid Adam is actually transgender, transitioning from being female to being male. He struggles to find acceptance from his classmates and his family, even briefly reverting to dressing as a girl. Eventually, Adam finds friends who embrace him for who he is. This is the episode that won Degrassi a Peabody last year.

10. “Never Ever” (season 12)
Quirky Imogen discovers that her father isn’t just eccentric — he’s suffering from early onset dementia. She also reconnects with her estranged mother.

Which episodes would you add to Linda’s list?

Follow Hillary on Twitter

Read more:
300 episodes? ‘Degrassi’ goes there. Creator Linda Schuyler shares the secret to its success
‘Degrassi’ react: Things fall apart
Drake graduates from high school

300 episodes? 'Degrassi' goes there. Creator Linda Schuyler shares the secret to its success

Degrassi is a wonderful anomaly among TV’s high school-set dramas, and not just because its stars apologize by saying “sore-y.” Most of its peers either transition to entirely new settings or die slow, painful deaths after their principal cast members graduate. But for 11 years and 12 seasons, Degrassi has stayed rooted in Toronto’s Degrassi Community School — an institute that’s seen more than its share of totally intense drama, from a traumatic shooting to a mini-outbreak of oral gonorrhea. (And that was just season 4!)

Even as the show has tackled issue after issue — drug use, date rape, teen pregnancy, what to do if your boyfriend’s a hoarder — it’s somehow managed to avoid pure sensationalism. Maybe that’s why Degrassi boasts celebrity fans including Kevin Smith (who got his own guest arc in seasons 4 and 5), Ellen Page, Sarah Silverman, and Quentin Tarantino. Either way, we were thrilled to discover that our favorite Canadian import airs its 300th episode on Friday — and even more excited when creator Linda Schuyler took half an hour to chat with us about the show’s legacy, its future, and its talented young cast (“such lovely, polite Canadian kids!”).

I have literally been watching this incarnation of Degrassi since it premiered — I’m the same age as Spinner and Ashley and everyone from the first cast, so we sort of went though high school together.
Oh my gosh, that’s so awesome! When we graduated that bunch of kids — Ashley, and Ellie, and Paige, and Marco — we actually thought,”This is going to be the end of our show.” And it’s been quite a learning curve to realize that our audience has stayed with us.

So what’s the secret to the show’s longevity?
The show set out to be an authentic — and I use the word authentic very carefully; I don’t use the word realistic –- an authentic portrayal of teenage years.  READ FULL STORY

'Degrassi' react: Things fall apart

So why haven’t they interacted in, like, a billion episodes? Shouldn’t they be turning to each other for support in these trying times — and why hasn’t their mother, Audra, considered asking Adam to talk to his brother about Drew’s impulsive engagement? I know that this show isn’t always the most consistent — remember Spinner’s disappearing sister, Kendra? — but still, it’s pretty weird that the Torres boys appear to be suffering from familial amnesia.

Anyway: “Building a Mystery: Part 2″ picked up pretty close to where Part 1 left off. Becky worked up the courage to tell her parents the truth about Adam and was thrilled when they seemed supportive — only to be devastated when her dad sat the teens down and advised them to consider “reparative therapy,” colloquially known as “praying the gay away.” Though Becky was initially horrified by her father’s actions, his words — and her discovery of Adam’s tampons — led her to listen to him, rejecting Adam for a therapist’s chair.

As tough as it was to watch Becky cave, I think this was the right choice for Degrassi to make. Nobody who’s been indoctrinated with anti-gay rhetoric her entire life could fall so easily into a relationship with someone who’s trans. Having Becky enter therapy instead means giving her character a longer, more complex journey — and I can’t wait to see how the show depicts a conversion practice. At the very least, this is a storyline that’s never been done on Degrassi before — no small feat, considering the “next generation” has now aired 299 (!) episodes.

Meanwhile, Bianca and Drew have decided to throw common sense to the wind by getting married over their spring break in Las Vegas — or “Veh-gus,” as Jenna calls it. It’s always fun when Degrassi goes on field trips, so I sort of hope these kids make it all the way to the altar. But I also wish Bianca had realized that when Audra was trying to talk her down, she wasn’t saying that Bianca’s not good enough for Drew — she was saying that Drew shouldn’t be enough for Bianca, who’s clearly a lot smarter and more driven than her intended. Even if she did murder someone that one time.

As for Eli — am I the only person who thought his new, improved second movie wasn’t really that much better than his disastrous first attempt? No matter; that Important Director who randomly showed up to teach a class at Degrassi liked it, and will now be writing Eli’s ticket to NYU. If nothing else, I appreciate getting to see him and Clare enjoy a little bit of happiness together — before their next breakup, which is really going to be a doozy. Unless they, too, get married in Veh-gus.

Thoughts?

Follow Hillary on Twitter

Read more:
Drake graduates from high school
‘Degrassi’ premiere: The Ballad of Adam and Becky
‘Degrassi’ new episodes trailer: ‘This is gonna be the best term ever!’ — EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

'Degrassi' premiere: The Ballad of Adam and Becky

It’s a new semester at Degrassi High, which means new couples, new challenges, and, of course, new drama. All three were represented in the season 12, part 2 premiere’s main storyline: Adam and Becky’s transition from quasi-friends to newly-minted boyfriend and girlfriend. And while Degrassi‘s Adam plots have always been daring, this might be his most exciting arc yet.

From his brief fling with Fiona to his disastrous blind date with Tristan, Adam has had more than his share of romantic woes. He deserves a girl who likes him for him — and ultra-Christian Becky Baker could be just that girl, as unlikely as their pairing might seem. (It helps that she’s much less annoying now than she was at the beginning of season 12.) They work together on a student council fundraiser, they throw french fries at each other in adorable slow motion, they share their first kiss in Degrassi’s hallowed halls — so far, so good.

There’s just one problem: Becky’s conservative parents would flip if they learned that Adam is transgender. And Becky’s so bad at keeping secrets that she might not be able to keep them from finding out.

Adam and Becky work together; his zen attitude balances out her energy, making them not nearly as random as some of Degrassi‘s couples. (Emma and Spinner’s marriage still has me scratching my head.) So it’s going to be fun to see what sparks fly as their relationship blossoms — provided they don’t break up immediately, which is as likely to happen as anything else.

Are you rooting for Degrassi’s newest pair? Has Becky been growing on you too? And what did you think of tonight’s other two plot lines — Bianca’s crusade to get Drew to tell his mother about their engagement, which blew up spectacularly, and Eli’s experimentation with filmmaking while high? Something tells me that last one won’t end well, although it did lead to the episode’s funniest visual: a stoned Jake tossing a chip in the air, then trying and totally failing to catch it in his mouth.

Read more:
Blame Canada: The 5 greatest pop culture insults to America’s hat
‘Degrassi’ new episodes trailer: ‘This is gonna be the best term ever!’ — EXCLUSIVE VIDEO
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Tonight: 'Degrassi' premieres, and so do our weekly reacts

Will Drew and Bianca go through with their engagement? Will Clare be able to move on after bringing the writer who harassed her to justice? Is Fiona and Imogen’s relationship as solid as it seems? And what, exactly, is the deal with Becky and Adam — are they just friends, or could they be something more?

We may not get answers to all of these questions when the second half of Degrassi‘s 12th (!) season premieres on TeenNick tonight — but we will be able to celebrate the return of everyone’s favorite Canadian high school soap. Bonus: Starting now, EW will be posting reacts to each episode after it airs on the west coast.

So join me, Degrassi fans, in welcoming back television’s most intense teen drama. (Take that, Hollywood Heights!) I’ve got a feeling that this season, this show is totally going to go there.

Read more:
Blame Canada: The 5 greatest pop culture insults to America’s hat
‘Degrassi’ new episodes trailer: ‘This is gonna be the best term ever!’ — EXCLUSIVE VIDEO
Suit up! ‘Degrassi’ star Luke Bilyk gets ready for the Emmys — EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

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