Oh Me Oh My

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Degrassi Then & Now

The clothes may be more modern and the cast may be a helluva lot more attractive (remember Claude--he was like a dorkier, even uglier Kevin Federline with a small ponytail; I was kinda glad the character killed himself--sometimes suicide may be the way) but Degrassi of old and Degrassi next generation are remarkably similar. Social issues are once again addressed: abortion, rape, drugs, etc. Even the adult cast is the same: Spike, Joey Jeremiah, Mr. Radditch. The parallels are quite funny as most old cast members seem to have modern equivalents: Wheels and his bad-boy streak is modernized by Spinner...hey I just realized, Wheels/Spinner, coincidence? BLT and Jimmy, the athletic black dudes with very little storyline. Stephanie Kaye and Paige getting wasted and being tragic.

The similarities are all over the place. The funny part is Beverly Hills 90210 was supposed to be the American version of the show, hence those "very special" episodes. But I'd take being the daughter of a rich slutty cokehead in Belair over the son of a poor drunken Zellers employee in the Dufferin Mall area any day.

Aside from being much prettier the main difference in the two Degrassis is the endings. Modern Degrassi usually ends with an obvious lesson, like it doesn't trust the audience to get to the moral by itself. Old Degrassi was awesome in that the episode ended on such a random note. You absolutely never saw it coming. Heather (or was it Erica?) has an abortion and is back home dealing with the aftermath of her choice. Her mom walks into the room and asks "Honey, did you want to go for Mexican tonight?" Erica (or was it Heather?) looks sad and concerned....and freeze, roll credits. That's how it should be done. Just like life; random and mundane.

My favourite TV debates revolve around who was the most tragic character. People inevitably choose Wheels (parents died, car accident, etc.) or Kathleen (boyfriend smacked her around) or Caitlin (she had hilariously bad-acted seizures and had her BF blew his brains out) but no one got the shitstorm worse than...

LUCY
This girl just had a non-stop streak of bad luck. Molested by her teacher, not taken seriously by her peers for the masterpiece It Creeps!, arrested for shoplifting, neglected by her mother, her best friend dies--what hasn't this girl endured. Her hair alone was a tragedy worth mentioning and in the Degrassi movie which is supposed to be a farewell to the characters, she is in the car accident with drunken asshole Wheels and manages to go blind as a result. (Though it should be noted she has resurfaced in the new Degrassi with full vision) All a dream syndrome?

And to be the new Lucy the Degrassi 2 has given us...

MANNY
Following in Lucy's footsteps Manny has managed to get an abortion, be labeled the school slut, have a video of her flashing her boobs sent to everyone at Degrassi, get kicked out of her house and more. Like it wasn't hard enough being the Spanish daughter of clearly Filipino actors, one of which looks maybe 6 or 7 years older than her. Though Manny has stiff competition from date-raped Paige, crippled in a gun-fight Jimmy and I cut myself cuz my mom drinks Ellie, I think an arrest or possibly a meth addiction will put her right over the top.
I'm rootin' for ya!

2 Comments:

At 7:57 PM, Blogger Joanna said...

Lucy was paralized and partially blind after the accident. In the final scene of the last episode/mini movie, at the wedding (in the freaking gymnasium, it seems!), Caitlin mentions that Lucy has the vision back in one eye and is getting it back in the other. So yeah, she was never fully blind forever, but she is still paralized, yes?
God, I love that show. My favourite was when Yick and Arthur call Sue Johanson to ask about wet dreams... It's like two icons of our Canadian youth merging into one!

 
At 8:08 PM, Blogger adge said...

Which friend of Lucy's died? Was it LD??? I don't remember.
But ya, I have to agree that Wheels had the worst luck/life on the show, especially after his parents died and he ran away to PORT HOPE?!? haha...Lucy took her misfortune more in stride...she had a better outlook on life, whereas Wheels looked like he was about to jump off a bridge at any moment.
But what about Shane (Emma's father- Snake's bf)?!? He went on some acid trip after that concert (with Wheels) and jumped off a bridge or something...now all he can studder is 'you...DDDDummmbb...JERK!' haha...I think he suffered the most! :P

P.S. As a teenager growing up (watching the re-runs on showtime) I aspired to be Stephanie Kane...haha...I wanted to be a hussy, who wore really bright lipstick...that'll get the guys! :P

 

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