Tag Archives: Degrassi: Next Class

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.

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Degrassi returns on a new network with the Next Class

New Year, new network and a new class. Yes, Degrassi makes its triumphant return to television in 2016 after upheaval in 2015. First came word last summer that Nickelodeon had cancelled the long-running teen series for U.S. viewers. That was followed by the news MTV Canada would no longer broadcast Degrassi in this country. After much hand-wringing on sad-face emoticons, the good news was announced: Degrassi was moving to Family Channel in Canada—it debuts Monday at 9 p.m. ET/PT—and Netflix in the rest of the world.

“A few years ago we were doing a read-through and Lyle [Lettau], who plays Tristan, said, ‘Why are we not on Netflix?'” recalls longtime series star and series producer Stefan Brogren. “And everyone said, ‘Yes Lyle, we’d all love to be.’ But that started us thinking about where our audience is at. Where are they watching these shows?” The audience was headed online, streaming content, and the Degrassi: Next Class folks decided if they had the chance to pitch the program to Netflix they would. Brogren is quick to compliment the online network, marvelling at the lack of notes and being left alone to follow the season story arc everyone wanted to follow.

The same is true of the relationship with Family, where Degrassi: Next Class takes pride of place in the channel’s new teen block, F2N. Brogren says their Canadian carrier has been just as supportive of the show’s direction, which kicks off with 10 episodes, and fans will see a lot more truth than they’ve seen from the iconic show amid the tales of high school students beginning their journey into adulthood. Of course, there are issues to tackle along the way, from homophobia and racism to substance abuse and the complications of dating in the social media age.

Back for more drama—and laughs—are Ana Golja (Zoe Rivas), Ricardo Hoyos (Zig Novak), Eric Osborne (Miles Hollingsworth III) and Sara Waisglass (Frankie Hollingsworth) alongside Brogren, who plays Principal Archie “Snake” Simpson. The New Class title is fulfilled by new cast in Jamie Bloch and Dante Scott, who play Yael Baron and Vijay Maraj, respectively.

“Yael is a girl in a man’s world,” Bloch, who most recently co-starred on Wingin’ It, says. “She’s very into video games and technology. She’s quiet and keeps to herself and doesn’t like to be the centre of attention.” Bloch had originally auditioned to play a lesbian character named Maude, but changes resulted in new student Yael.

“No, she is not a lesbian, and that becomes very clear near the end of the season,” Bloch says with a laugh.

“Vijay is very outgoing and energetic and a little bit dramatic,” Scott says of his character. “He’s always there to talk to if you need him—I think he’s a really good friend to have—and can take a negative situation and turn it into a positive.” Tonight’s debut episode oozes positivity; Scott says its because of characters like Vijay and stories that delve into hope and a bright future for the Degrassi kids.

“This season feels a little like old-school Degrassi did,” Brogren says. “We were able to have more fun while at the same time telling exactly the stories we wanted to tell. For all the trouble that goes on at Degrassi you still want to be there.”

Degrassi: Next Class airs Monday to Friday at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Family Channel for two weeks and streams on Netflix outside of Canada beginning Jan. 15.

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Degrassi: Then and Now

When the long-loved teen television show Degrassi was cancelled in mid-2015, it was met with much wailing and gnashing of teeth by the public at large. Since the first Degrassi series’ premiere in 1979, the show has been a mainstay for Canadians in general and audiences worldwide as the show’s popularity grew. It is that same international love that may have been what saved the show as, only a short time later, it was announced that Netflix would be picking up a new Degrassi series, thus continuing the long-running franchise.

Since its initial run as The Kids of Degrassi Street in 1979, the Degrassi franchise has been tackling personal issues that teenagers of its time have faced in a dramatic but relatable way. Ida Makes a Movie, the first entry in Degrassi canon, addresses the issue of honesty. In its two-year, 26-episode run, The Kids of Degrassi Street also addressed incarcerated parents, neighbourhood gangs, and the sudden death of friends among other problems.

In 1986, Degrassi Junior High premiered to a new generation and addressed new problems, including teen pregnancy, divorce and abuse. Degrassi Junior High also featured the return of some familiar faces, albeit as different characters. Stacie Mistysyn, who played Lisa on The Kids of Degrassi Street, was now Caitlyn Ryan. Neil Hope, who played Griff, was now Derek “Wheels” Wheeler. Degrassi Junior High lasted for three seasons before continuing as Degrassi High in 1989, continuing to address the issues of the time, which now included the AIDS crisis, gay rights and eating disorders.

When Degrassi was brought back for a new generation in 2001, it was dubbed Degrassi: The Next Generation. Since then, it has run for 14 seasons, following the lives of Degrassi teenagers, some of whom are the children of the original class. Over the course of the past 15 years there have been many cast changes as classes have grown and graduated, but the core idea remains the same: to tackle issues of the day in a way that teenagers can relate to. As such, certain archetypes always remain: goths like Ellie Nash and Eli Goldsworthy, or the school idol like Jimmy Brooks and Zoe Rivas.

For example, class of 2014 graduate Alli Bhandari contains strong echoes of Class of 2007 graduate Manny Santos. Both are intelligent women from minority backgrounds who want to be popular and express this through their clothing choices, and both experience a series of boy problems. Their stories have differing details, though: Alli is briefly in an abusive marriage, while Manny undergoes an abortion. And new generations bring new issues and thus, new types of characters. The character of Adam Torres, introduced in 2010, was Degrassi’s first transgender character.

At the heart of the show are the relationships. The rivalries, friendships, love triangles and pairings may have come together and permutated in different ways throughout each series, but always in familiar ways to the viewers.

While waiting for Degrassi: Next Class on Netflix in 2016, it might be fun to see what the issues of Degrassi Junior High were on your local channels, or to catch reruns when they air. Degrassi remains an institution, and its willingness to approach Netflix is just another way that it is willing to change with the times. After all, the success of Degrassi is in its reflection of the times and issues of the day.

Degrassi: Next Class airs Mondays at 9 p.m. ET on Family during their F2N programming block and streams on Netflix outside of Canada beginning on Jan. 15.

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