A long time ago (Fall 2004) in a Seattle apartment far, far away (about three thousand miles or so depending on what route you drive,) a man and his then girlfriend sat down at his television to watch a television program that was called “Degrassi — The Next Generation.” He was hesitant to watch it because it was a program meant for teenagers and he was not a teenager in any sense of the word, though he did have a youthful mentality about many an issue. Fast forward to the present day. I am that man, and am married to aforementioned then girlfriend, and am eagerly awaiting July 18 as the beginning of the eleventh season of the show now known as Degrassi. Yes — I, kooky tati, love Degrassi — here is why you might come to love it as well.
Firstly, you will surely come to love the well written characters as much as I do. You don’t have to worry about any interactive actors acting acted here. No, these are actors and actresses playing well defined characters that are multidimensional and over the course of a season, seemingly just like real people that you know and love. They’re the kind of characters to draw all sorts of fans.
The storylines are, as far as I can tell, quite real to life. There have been stories about students bringing firearms into the school and attacking students, pregnancy, weight issues, drug abuse, sexting (a word I wish did NOT exist — more like a trend I wish did not exist to even cause the word to exist) and much more. There was a character who dealt with her depression by turning to alcohol and a character who was so stubborn about seeking medical treatment that it nearly cost her life.
Last year, the way that the season aired changed in that the normal number of episodes was doubled and it began in the summer with six consecutive weeks of episodes airing every single weekday except for Friday, when an omnibus episode would air with all four of the episodes from that week. When I found out that this was going to be the case I told my then pregnant wife, “Degrassi is awesome, so more Degrassi means more awesome, right?” She gave me a look that said everything — she went from being the person trying to get me interested to the person that was not nearly as interested as the other person. This year, they are adding a week to the daily format and therefore there will be 28 episodes shown during the summer — I can only imagine that our son Chaim will enjoy them in a different way than we do.
Just about every year or so, the US cable channel TeenNick (on which Degrassi airs) has a marathon of every Degrassi episode ever — I’m not sure if they are doing it this year but if they are and you are even remotely interested in watching the show, this is an excellent opportunity for you. Otherwise just dive right in on July 18 — you can get caught up on the past history later!