I don’t remember how old I was when I started to watch Degrassi (this would be Degrassi High, okay. I know.). All I remember is that I got in trouble for it, even though it was on my beloved PBS. PBS had Square One Television and Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?! How could PBS ever show a program that I wasn’t supposed to watch?? Well, it was on later in the evening and I remember someone killing themselves and then some stuff about sex, and that was all it took for PBS to get the blacklist in my house any time after 5pm. But I grew up. And after said grown up things happened, I was surfing through cable at two in the morning and I saw this show where the girl from some Disney show about a hospital that I used to watch was in some weirdo courtroom talking about how she was date raped. That girl was Paige Michalchuk, and oh, that show was a spin-off of the one I got banned from watching way back in the day. Thank god for those never-ending marathons The N used to have. It’s pretty safe to say I stayed up all night catching up on the show that will not die, and I have spent many nights after that doing the exact same thing.
Of course, when I figured out what the show was, I had to start all the way at the beginning and jumped on the internet to see what I was missing, and what was this? Banned episodes?? Characters that went all the way back to the 80’s?? Is this shit on DVD?? Thankfully, the answer to that question was HELL YES because when you watch Degrassi, you can’t just watch one episode. Oh no. That would be way too easy. This shit sucks you in more than a string of infomercials that come on when you’re drunk and too lazy to change the channel where you seriously think that the Six Week Body Makeover could really change your life, or if you just owned a Magic Bullet that you could be eating fresh salsa in mere seconds. I can go through a season of this shit in a couple days if I’m lucky, just by watching it when I’m ready to go to bed. And I will marathon this freaking show until my eyeballs fall out. Some of it is not that great. In fact, some of it is a bigger waste of time than searching youtube for cat videos (I’m looking at you, season 9). But it’s so soap-y, so dramatic, it’s like a goddamned trainwreck. Name something horrible that can happen to a teenager, and it’s happened on Degrassi. Oh yeah. It goes there. Or at least it used to.
Lately, a lot of the plot points are coming straight from earlier seasons, like the kids who are watching now couldn’t possibly have watched season 3, so we get a rehash of something that’s been done before. Sometimes I care. Sometimes I don’t. A lot of the time, it’s worse the second time around, but if you get really lucky, the newest set of Degrassi kids (minus the Next Generation tagline) can have a leg up. I’m going to go through each season individually and make an ass out of myself later for how much I get into a tween telenovela, but for now, here’s a list of the characters that I want to keep in my pocket forever and the ones that I want to push off a cliff. You’ve been warned.
Here there are spoilers through the first part of season 11!
Last week while I was watching season 10 for the first time, I said on twitter that Eli Goldsworthy was the new Craig Manning. And then ELI WAS SUDDENLY BIPOLAR AND THERE IS NO DOUBT THAT HE IS THE NEW CRAIG MANNING. This is not a bad thing. Oh no, not at all. Craig is by far one of, if not the, best Degrassi character ever. Ever. Eli is like a more goth Craig who’s slightly less crazy but just as interesting. Let me tell you, if Eli wanted to crash a car for me, I’d go back to his ass no matter if he were in a straitjacket or not. Love.
Emma annoys the shit out of me. Sean is pretty worthless except for one episode which I’ll talk about eventually. Manny can just go away forever and I wouldn’t be sad. Not at ALL. Ashley Kerwin will forever be my favorite female character just because she’s so out of her goddamned mind. She’s almost as crazy as Fiona Coyne, who I hated at first, but has since completely grown on me. I think Sav gets a raw deal pretty much every single episode, just like Spinner. Seasons 3 and 4 are the best seasons by far, but after I got over the atrocity that was the end of season 9 (where I quit watching just because I was SO pissed off at the nonsense that was the season finale), season 10 was pretty solid, too. If you ignore all the episodes that focus on Drew and try to erase Imogen from your memory (seriously, she’s like, a total Mary Sue fangirl UGH), season 11 is passable, as well, at least so far. My new DVD set comes tomorrow. You’re all in so much trouble.
Oh, and I dig the old storylines with the adults. Caitlin + Joey forever. You will never change my mind. Take that, Tessa Campanelli.