I Love Degrassi... and it should be on everyone's "to watch" list

by - Wednesday, August 10, 2011

I grew up with the kids on Degrassi... from the Kids of Degrassi Street to Degrassi Junior High, Degrassi High and now Degrassi (they dropped the "New Generation" this year)... I've seen them all.

I watched Spike go through her teen pregnancy.  I watched as Degrassi became the first show of its kind to deal with homosexuality, abortion, rape and suicide.  I watched the Zit Remedy sing "Everybody Wants Something" at every single junior high dance.

I got to watch those episodes because I'm in Canada... many (including the episodes on homosexuality and abortion) were not shown in the US and British markets because they were "too controversial".

What it really boils down to is "too controversial" means "too real life".  All of the subjects that the writers of Degrassi dealt with happen.  They were not afraid to cross the so-called line when it came to telling stories of events that affect teens across Canada all the time.

I still watch Degrassi, even though the remaining cast member from when I watched the show when the actors were "my age" now plays the part as the principal of Degrassi High.  If seeing Snake as a high school principal doesn't make me feel old, I don't know what will.

One thing I never did get though were the fact that the cast members from the Kids of Degrassi Street changed their names when Degrassi Junior High came out.  The main characters stayed the same, but it seemed like the whole supporting cast had a bout of amnesia and forgot their names.  That always irked me.

Some things you may not know... Degrassi has been the starting point to many successful "south of the border" acting careers.  Nina Dubrov from Vampire Diaries, Aubrey Graham now goes by the name "Drake", Shenae Grimes is a star on the new 90210 and Landon Liboiron has been cast in the new show "Terra Nova".  I was also impressed to find out that the actors are in charge of their own make-up, and have input into the story lines.

Currently the show is focusing on a cocaine addiction, post traumatic stress disorder, Aspergers's syndrome, transgendered teens, alcoholism, depression, homosexuality... to name a few topics.  It's as close to real life as I've ever seen a fictional television show get.

So watch it... 22 years of the show and I'm still at it.

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  1. I love it too.. I watch Degrassi all the time! Sometimes you see Joey Jeremiah and Spike and Caitlin on the New one too.. I love that they are adults on the show.. I like the continuum and feeling like I have watched them grow up!