Everything about Degrassi, eh?

Comments and queries for the week of July 22

What Degrassi means to me? Um, I’m effin’ Snake. Duh.

Where to begin? Well I live in the States in a pretty normal middle-class Christian family, so when I started watching Degrassi at about 13 it was scandalous. Now I am 17 and have graduated from high school and junior college and I have come out mostly intact and I have to thank Degrassi for some portion of that.

Like I mentioned, I was raised in a religious family so some (more like most) of the topics that Degrassi was covering were things that I was running into from periods to as “Snake” put it, boners. I was dealing with growing up in a family who wasn’t as open in talking about all of the not-so-pretty sides of being a teenager. And not even just the not pretty but that stuff that you never want to admit to your parents that you are dealing with.

Now I can say I have never been pregnant or diagnosed with a mental illness, but I have survived the pressures of high school and am thankful it was just in time. Finding out that Degrassi would no longer be airing in the U.S. was a sad thought. It was a show that gave the honest truth and with that truth it gave an honest outcome. When Paige got raped and Jenna got pregnant there were long -erm repercussions that effected them for much longer than an episode or two, but it was something that their character had to deal with for the rest of their time in the show. Which was a factor that was true in real life and something that mainstream Hollywood has not been able to capture or has not been willing to. I am forever grateful to those who have participated in the prolonging of Degrassi for the teens of today and the future. It was a pleasure growing up with you. —Kaile

I live in the States as well and Degrassi was a great show! I’m from the years when Degreassi: The Next Generation was on (Emma, Manny, Paige, Marco, etc.) and to me that was the BEST seasons Degrassi has ever had! They really helped me learn and grow and gave me hope as I went through school, so thank you Degrassi and, honestly, I hope you’re still around on Netflix or picked back up on TV whenever I have kids old enough to watch! —Love

If Canada’s known for delicious poutine and realistic portrayals of teenage life, I don’t think that’s a bad thing. Also, count me out of the modern dating game if dick pics are part of the process. —Shannon

 

 

Got a question or comment about Canadian TV? Email greg@tv-eh.com or via Twitter @tv_eh.

Link: Degrassi: Next Class to feature Black Lives Matter storyline in season 2

From The Canadian Press:

Link: Degrassi: Next Class to feature Black Lives Matter storyline in season 2
The Degrassi franchise is known for its topical storylines and the second season of Next Class kicking off Tuesday re-enforces that reputation.

As headlines swirl over police shootings of black men in the U.S., the season two arc of Degrassi: Next Class focuses on racism and a Black Lives Matter protest. Continue reading. 

What Degrassi means to me? Um, I’m Effin’ Snake. Duh.

By Stefan Brogren

So last year we were cancelled by our American broadcaster. Without much more explanation than, “We think Degrassi has run its course.” It was over. Truth is, we’ve always had a problem fitting in. We’re not a sitcom, we’re not 90210—and most of our subject matter deals with the most God-awful aspects of growing up.

Still, I was dumbfounded. Why give up a series that’s the teen equivalent to the Star Trek franchise (don’t shoot me)? It could go on forever!

OK, yes. There are a bunch of reasons to say Degrassi should call it a day and just go away (I’m rhyming, yo).

We’ve been making the show for a jillion years and for some folks that’s just annoying.

We have a serious lack of students that are vampires, werewolves, mutants or serial killersnot for a lack of trying, mind you.

And the big one. We’re unabashedly Canadian. We’re reminded of this every time the States makes a list of what makes Canada … Canada. “Poutine! Canucks! Degrassi! Trees!” I know, it’s annoying.

You could say we “recycle” the same subject matter every couple of years (drugs, sex, boners, mental health, boners, peer pressure, boners). But if you think being a teenager now is the same as the good ol’ days of Joey streaking the caf, well then you haven’t checked your effin’ Snapchat feed lately. Manny freaking out because her boobs were put on the Internet (Season 5, The Next Generation) has zero relevance to a generation that send and receive “junk pics” on their smartphones as part of the dating process. Sorry parents. They all do it. Seriously. All of them. Even the sweet ones. Boners. No one’s safe.

For lots of people (who probably haven’t watched the show in years), Degrassi is painfully earnest in its depiction of teensand earnest equals not cool.

Skins is cool. Degrassi is … earnest.

Degrassi

I’m biased obviously, but Degrassi isn’t earnest in its depictions of teen life. It’s thoughtful. Our fans grow up watching and adoring shows like The Vampire Diaries, The 100 and Pretty Little Liars. They’re awesome and fantastical. Then they turn around and watch Degrassi with all the crappy, gross, embarrassing, manic, euphoric, lovely and ridiculously funny moments that come with being 17. And it feels like a friend.

So we were cancelled. And then, in what seemed like the next day, we were given new life on Netflix. The second season of Degrassi: Next Class premieres in Canada on Family Channel on July 19th and streams on Netflix July 22nd. If you haven’t watched Degrassi in a whole bunch of years, give it a shot. I promise you, we have 70 per cent more boner stories than any other show out there. Period. (And probably the most period stories too.)

Degrassi: Next Class airs Tuesdays at 9:45 p.m. ET on Family Channel.


Stefan is well known to Canadians for his six years on the television series Degrassi Junior High and Degrassi High. He was a Gemini Award nominee for Best Actor at age 17. Stefan is a graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, Los Angeles, where he won the prestigious Michael Thomas Award for acting excellence. Stefan has made numerous television appearances, including the series Sue Thomas: F.B. Eye, Wild Card, Jonathan Cross’s Canada, Twitch City, I Was A Sixth Grade Alien and The Associates. Stefan can also be seen in the movie Too Smooth with Neve Campbell and Rebecca Gayheart. Stefan has since become a key part of the Degrassi production team taking on the role of Series Producer. Adding Director to his responsibilities, Stefan has helmed numerous Degrassi episodes, as well as the MOWs Degrassi Goes Hollywood and D: NYC – Degrassi Takes Manhattan. In 2010, Stefan won a Gemini Award for Best Direction in a Children’s or Youth Program or Series. He followed this up with another win in 2014 at the Canadian Screen Awards. Stefan has also co-produced, directed and written a large portion of Degrassi’s original digital content. In addition, Stefan was also a Co-Executive Producer and Director on the two seasons of the MuchMusic/CW series The L.A. Complex and the first season of the YTV/TeenNick series Open Heart.

Family Channel’s F2N heads back to school as Degrassi: Next Class Season 2 premieres July 19

From a media release:

The wait is over! Family Channel announced today that the second season of Degrassi: Next Class, the flagship series behind the network’s F2N teen programming block, will debut on Tuesday, July 19 at 9:45 p.m. ET/PT. The network premiere leads into the release of the entire season on The Family Channel App three days later on Friday, July 22. Free of charge to Family Channel subscribers, the App will feature all 10 episodes from the new season of Canada’s longest-running teen drama series in its F2N section. Degrassi fans who want to prepare to binge Season 2 can download the Family Channel App in the Apple App Store, Google Play Store or visit www.familygo.ca for more information.

Season two picks up after the epic events of Degrassi’s Snow Ball that saw students forced into a school lockdown. Now, Miles, Hunter, and the Hollingsworth family must deal with the aftermath. Meanwhile, friendly pranking takes a very bad turn after the Degrassi girls volleyball team retaliates and goes too far against the rival team from Northern Tech. The Degrassi students are divided on what constitutes a prank and what is just flat out wrong. The season also features the 500th episode in the Degrassi franchise and it’s time for Degrassi Community School’s 35th Anniversary Event. Favourite Degrassi alum are back and Student Body President Tristan will do whatever it takes to make the celebration an unforgettable one. To his dismay, there are other groups of students who want it to be memorable for different reasons.

When Degrassi: Next Class is released in full on July 22, fans can find it in the F2N section on The Family Channel App. New users will need to unlock the F2N portal by clicking on the “Settings” menu and clicking on the check mark to make the content visible. For viewers who want to catch up on all the Next Class drama, all episodes of Season 1 are currently available on The Family Channel App.

As new episodes continue to air weekly on Tuesdays at 9:45 p.m. ET/PT, fans will want to tune-in for the weekly watch and win contest. Each week, a lucky winner will be selected to receive Degrassi swag, including props, scripts, autographed merchandise and more!

Reprising their roles for Degrassi: Next Class season two are: Amanda Arcuri as Lola Pacini; Amir Bageria as Baaz Nahir; Soma Bhatia as Goldi NahirJamie Bloch as Yael BaronChelsea Clark as Esme Song; Reiya Downs as Shay PowersAna Golja as Zoe RivasNikki Gould as Grace CardinalRicardo Hoyos as Zig NovakEhren Kassam as Jonah HaakAndre Kim as Winston ChuLyle Lettau as Tristan MilliganSpencer Macpherson as Hunter HollingsworthEric Osborne as Miles Hollingsworth IIIOlivia Scriven as Maya MatlinDante Scott as Vijay MirajSara Waisglass as Frankie Hollingsworth; and Richard Walters as Deon “Tiny” BellStefan Brogren will also continue to play Principal Simpson.

Degrassi: Next Class is produced by DHX Media, in association with Family Channel and Netflix. The series was co-created by Linda Schuyler who is also Executive Producer with Stephen StohnSarah Glinski and Matt Huether. Seasons 3 and 4 are currently being filmed at DHX Studios’ Toronto production facility and will debut on Family Channel in 2017.

Link: CanCon Rules Put a Lot of Weird Teens on Television in the 90s

From Sarah Berman of Vice:

CanCon Rules Put a Lot of Weird Teens on Television in the 90s
But when I try to remember my own early teens in a mostly pre-internet era, I can’t help thinking these latest reboots of Full House, Ghostbusters, Power Rangers and other perfectly mass-marketable franchises don’t reflect the weird experience I had turning on a television in the 90s. I like to think that’s because I was in Canada, a place where shitty consumer products got thrown in a fiery pit, brothers with the world’s worst hair/tans sang about blow jobs, and teens stiffly talked about abortion as if it were a math exam. Only here could these enigmas coexist. Continue reading.