It is no secret to readers of the Boles Blogs Network that I love the television show Degrassi — so much so that I used the power of it and the internets to scare David Boles. I would now like to tell you why I am quite impressed by a decision the producers made last year — to nearly double the length of the season and have part of it in a telenovela format.
Over the course of its run, Degrassi has gone from a short story format to a longer story format. By that I mean that a lot of the stories in the first few seasons of the show would begin and end in the very same episode — resolution was fairly immediate, and the viewer knew that any problem that came up would find its solution by the end of the episode.
As an example, the first season episode Rumours and Reputations has two storylines, both dealing with the dangers involved in telling rumors. Both stories are fairly involved but by the end of the episode, understanding is reached and a good lesson is learned.
Compare this to the more recent seasons of Degrassi. The character of Riley Stavros takes nearly three seasons (8-10) to go from an angry in the closet football player to a happy out gay teenager, albeit one who has not told his father due to his mother telling him that his father would not be able to bear knowing that his son was gay. Many episodes in these three seasons covered stories that advanced Riley’s overarching story of making this transition in his life.
To this end, it was a brilliant decision when, last year, the producers added nearly an entire season’s worth of episodes to the tenth season of Degrassi and changed the first half to a telenovela format. Last summer, for six straight weeks we fans of Degrassi were treated to four episodes of the show every week — Monday through Thursday.
This meant that instead of having to suffer six whole days between exciting episodes of Degrassi, fans only had to wait through the weekend. For me it almost made it worth looking forward to Monday — as opposed to the standard week, where one is more looking forward to the weekend. The rest of the season was split between the winter and early spring. Just as the spring episodes came to an end, I found out that the summer would feature its own set of telenovela-style episodes — seven weeks instead of six.
Tonight, tune into Teen Nick if you are living in the United States or the MuchMusic television network in Canada. You can look forward to seven full weeks of exciting episodes — twenty eight all together. Let’s have a great summer watching Degrassi!