Everything about Degrassi, eh?

Degrassi: Next Class season 3 available on Family Channel app

From a media release:

School is back in session! Degrassi: Next Class returns for its third season, January 9 on Family Channel’s F2N

  • Full season available on The Family Channel app January 6

It may be the longest running dramatic series in Canadian history, but, much like high school, fans of Degrassi: Next Class can look forward to an unpredictable roller coaster ride of emotions when the critically acclaimed teen drama returns for its third season on Monday, January 9 at 10 p.m. ET/PT. Airing weeknights at 10 p.m. ET/PT, on Family Channel’s teen programming block F2N, the new season picks up immediately following season two’s cliffhanger finale – after the tragic bus crash which left many fans wondering whether or not their favourite characters survived. Those who can’t wait to find out what happens next, can watch all 10 episodes from season three ahead of the broadcast premiere when they are released exclusively on The Family Channel App tomorrow.

From unconventional love triangles to tackling serious subjects like abortion, to dealing with mental health issues and the introduction of Syrian refugees, season three of Degrassi: Next Class looks at many of the realities facing Canadian teens today. The season begins revealing the outcome of the devastating bus crash – many are injured and one student is left in critical condition. Degrassi opens its doors to an influx of Syrian refugees, but when some unexpected tensions arise, so do the student politics. Meanwhile, a post on Hastygram sparks a debate about social media etiquette and what is, or isn’t, appropriate to share publically.

Degrassi fans who can’t wait to binge-watch the entire season, can do so tomorrow when it is released in full on The Family Channel App. New users can find it in the F2N section and 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, both season one and two are currently available on The Family Channel App and Family OnDemand.

Those looking for the inside scoop can head to F2N.ca for a behind-the-scenes look at the series. The dedicated showpage features exclusive video content, information about the characters and the show’s complete schedule. Plus, fans can prove how well they know the show by testing their Degrassi knowledge with challenging episode quizzes.

The third season of Degrassi: Next Class introduces two new cast members, Dalia Yegavian and Parham Rownaghi as Syrian refugees Rasha Zuabi and Saad Al’Maliki, respectively. Also starring are: Amanda Arcuri as Lola Pacini; Amir Bageria as Baaz Nahir; Soma Bhatia as Goldi Nahir; Jamie Bloch as Yael Baron; Chelsea Clark as Esme Song; Reiya Downs as Shay Powers; Ana Golja as Zoe Rivas; Nikki Gould as Grace Cardinal; Ricardo Hoyos as Zig Novak; Ehren Kassam as Jonah Haak; Andre Kim as Winston Chu; Lyle Lettau as Tristan Milligan; Spencer Macpherson as Hunter Hollingsworth; Eric Osborne as Miles Hollingsworth III; Olivia Scriven as Maya Matlin; Dante Scott as Vijay Miraj; Sara Waisglass as Frankie Hollingsworth; Richard Walters as Deon “Tiny” Bell; and Stefan Brogren as 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 Stohn, Sarah Glinski and Matt Huether.


Degrassi: Next Class returns for “darker” Season 3

Degrassi: Next Class executive producer Sarah Glinski has a warning for fans: things get dark in Season 3. The teen drama returns with new episodes on Monday, Jan. 9, at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Family Channel (and Netflix around the world) in dramatic fashion, as we find out who survived the Season 2 bus crash and how the experience affected them.

Add to the mix storylines involving Syrian refugees, abortion and mental health, and high school has never been more challenging. We spoke to Glinski ahead of Monday’s return about where the show is headed in the next 10 episodes.

How long have you been with the Degrassi franchise?
Sarah Glinski: I started on Season 8 of The Next Generation.

How do you feel this upcoming season of Next Class stacks up against the Degrassi seasons you’ve worked on?
Oh, they’re all so different. I would have trouble picking my favourite. There are some seasons when we did 45 episodes and there are some seasons when we did 28, some when we did movies of the week; they all have different personalities. But Season 3 of Next Class is a little bit darker than we have done for awhile. We have the combination of great stories and incredible actors performing in those stories that makes this season pretty special.

You’re right. Things start out very dark. What’s been the support like from your Canadian broadcaster, Family Channel? 
The have been wonderful and have encouraged us to tell the stories we want to tell the way we want to tell them. They trust us to talk to teens about the things teens are talking about.

I thought going to high school when I was a kid was tough, but nowadays because of social media, it’s even more difficult due to online bullying and instant messaging. In Episode 1 you have the issue between Lola and Shay; it’s a real problem.
There used to be a separation between home and school and now there isn’t. Everyone has their phones and they’re the first thing you grab when you wake up. You don’t really get a break from it, and your entire history is online, so it’s hard to move on and reinvent yourself.

You start Season 3 with the repercussions of the bus crash from the Season 2 finale, Syrian refugees, abortion and mental health. Anything else you want to let fans know about?
Another thing we look at is gender. We’ve gone into it a little bit before, but we look at gender fluidity and what’s a girl or a boy and when you don’t feel like what society defines them as. We look at that from a couple of different perspectives. What if you don’t want to wear a dress and makeup? What does that mean to you as a girl? Also, one of our characters is a lesbian and more feminine. What does that mean? Is it harder to come out when you wear lipstick, have long hair and wear dresses?

Degrassi has always covered today’s topics. When something like Syrian refugees pops up, does the writers’ room get excited?
Season 3 explores different ways of dealing, post-trauma. For a number of characters, that’s the opportunity to see something really positive. Having Syrian refugees come into the school seemed very natural.

Let’s talk about Tristan and how the bus crash affected he and Miles. Can you discuss anything to do with that storyline?
There won’t be closure on that storyline until Episode 10. There are a lot of twists and turns along the way. We explored the physical trauma of the bus crash [with our characters] and the mental trauma.

Can you talk about the new characters that are joining Degrassi this season?
We have two new characters and they’re Syrian refugees in Rasha and Saad. Rasha is very cosmopolitan, from the big city, speaks English and is very well-educated. She missed out on high school because of the war and wants to grab high school by the reins and is excited to be here, wants to be part of every club and make new friends. She lives her life vicariously through movies and TV.

Saad is from a smaller town and his English isn’t as good. Life is a little bit harder for him and we take a look at his experience as well.

When Zoe and Rasha are introduced, Rasha gives her a little look. Can you comment on that?
They are going to become very, very close friends.

In the beginning of our chat you said this was a darker season. What can fans expect when they tune in?
Even though it’s a bit of a darker season, there is hope and optimism. If you have friends and family, you can make it through. Making it through is the theme of the season.

Degrassi: Next Class airs Monday to Friday at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Family Channel until Jan. 20.

Images courtesy of DHX Studios.


DHX Television brings the heat to fall with hottest programming lineup to date

From a media release:

This fall, DHX Television has the perfect cure for the end of summer blues: a sizzling hot lineup the entire family will enjoy. The forecast for Family’s suite of channels is bright as musical celebs, daring adventure-hunters and animated heroes bring the best in fall entertainment to viewers. Beginning as early as August 29, exciting new series, returning favourites and monumental finales join the programming schedule.

With new episodes debuting weeknights at 7 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. ET/PT on Family Channel throughout the fall, singing and dancing take centre stage ushering in the return of fan-favourite series Backstage, The Next Step and The X Factor UK. Family’s teen block F2N continues with new episodes of Degrassi: Next Class, culminating in the gripping season finale. Family CHRGD keeps Tuesdays turbo-charged with the return of The Deep, Slugterra and Fangbone! Meanwhile, Family Jr. sparks creativity and imagination with brand new episodes of Nature CatYaYa & Zouk and Rainbow Ruby airing alongside returning fan-favourites Playdate and Teletubbies.

Family Channel – All Times ET/PT
Backstage – New Episodes Return – Friday, September 9 at 7:30 p.m.
After a whirlwind mid-season finale which saw Carly take her best friend Vanessa’s place in the show and Alya leave school to chase stardom, nothing is like what it was before the break. With missing faces in the halls, new musical partnerships forming and dancers changing positions, all of Keaton’s students are searching for answers while trying to adjust.

The Next Step – New Episodes Return – Friday, October 14 at 7 p.m.
With Regionals just around the corner, the pressure is on for A-Troupe who are determined to defend their title as Regional Champions. But tensions run high in The Next Step studio as Piper struggles with the fact that she saw Alfie and Riley kiss, and the dancers wonder how they’ll even qualify after Noah’s departure from the team. The new episodes will also feature a guest starring role by the winner of the UK’s reality competition series Taking The Next Step, which currently airs Fridays at 7 p.m.

We Are Savvy – New Timeslot – New Episodes air Thursdays at 7 p.m. beginning September 8
Hosts Tehya, Spencer and Sarah continue to keep fans in-the-know and up-to-date on the latest trends with awesome interviews, crafty DIYs and tours of cool locations. Upcoming special guests include: singer JoJo, rapper Little T, popstar Betty Who, illustrator Juliana Neufeld, astronaut-in-training Alyssa Carson, viral sports fan Mini Bautista, DIY superstar LaurDIY and more!

F2N – All Times ET/PT
Degrassi: Next Class – Season 2 Finale – Tuesday, September 20 at 9:45 p.m.
As the Degrassi girls volleyball team prepares for the championship game against Northern Tech, things reach a boiling point. Shay finds out if her relationship with Tiny is “Lola approved,” while Winston continues to second-guess his relationship with Zoe – forcing her to make an important personal decision. Meanwhile, Hunter worries that he is an angry monster who will never deserve Yael, or any relationship for that matter.


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.