I was lying in bed one Sunday morning a month or so ago and saw that one of the Superstations was airing 5 episodes of Degrassi: The Next Generation in a row. Now as a proud Canadian and someone who grew up during the airing of the original Degrassi, I’m a little disappointed in myself that I never watched the show since its original pilot six or seven years ago. I still remember watching the original Degrassi finale movie “School’s Out” with the shocking line (at least for TV at that time) “I f***ed Tessa Kappaneli” and the truly horrifying finale where one of our beloved characters was driving drunk and killed a kid.
Over the past few years I have heard many times how great the new show is but never indulged. Yet, this one Sunday morning where the kids were out and I was just hanging out with nothing to do I decided to give it a try. The shows they were airing were from the beginning of the third season and after 2 episodes I was hooked. All I know is that now, from nowhere this show is at the top of my viewing schedule each day.
With the show airing in syndication it’s now been added to my daily recording schedule and I can’t get enough of Spinner, Paige, Marco, Emma, Ashley, Craig and the rest. The only thing that is a little irksome is what is clearly the chopping of a few minutes from the show as originally aired. I know it’s standard in syndication and I don’t think it’s drastically changing the show but I don’t want anything to hurt my Degrassi viewing experience.
Here’s a show that (like the original in its time) just feels real in its portrayal of high school. The actors look like high school kids (unlike Gossip Girl or even Friday Night Lights), the storylines are straight out of the high school play book and the characters are likable, well-drawn and flawed. I understand season 7 is kicking off soon and that the characters have moved on to university and I hope to be along for the ride by the time it starts. I might even go get the DVDs just so I can stop watching 1/2 hour at a time.