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OK, lets get this out of the way. I'm 30 years old at the time of this review. I was in grade 6 when Degrassi junior high started. I remembered Degrassi Street from Sunday morning, and hated it--I was not about to like this show. Little by little throughout the year, I was hooked. By the time I graduated high school I had spent 6 years with this kids. Second item. The acting was terrible! Even as a kid, I knew it, but that was part of the success of the show. These were regular thirteen year old drama student acting as thirteen year old kids dealing with issues. Some of the actors went on to act in other shows, movies etc..., some did not. Others posts have mentioned that this may be the best show ever to come out of Canada, and that may be true...sadly. This is not M*A*S*H though. This is not high drama. This was a show that captured the moment precisely. It caught the correct vibe of the time. I don't know if it has aged well since it first aired and I don't care. This show, even if you couldn't directly relate to a single character, was bang on, on what was going on at school at the time. I may not have had Wheels, Snakes or Joeys problems, but they were my classmates. I watched them year after year, for years. No class trips to Australia, no Rolls Royces, no mansions, no rich daddies. Just real issues, year after year. Thank you, for those years. Long live Zit Remedy.
For years, I never thought that any channel would bring this show back.
The Next Generation is entertaining, but I've always wondered if they'd show this version at some point... I got the answer later last year.
In comparison to the current Degrassi, this seems a bit tamer. All the same, it still has the drama that everyone enjoys. (By the way, "It Creeps" is my favorite episode.)
I just have to say one other thing: watch this series, and then watch Next Generation and compare and contrast the original cast members... man they look different!
This series is up to par with it's current counterpart.
I always wished that Degrassi Junior High admitted that they were set in Canada. They always seem to omit the city location. I remember spending my weekends watching Degrassi Junior High on our PBS stations with my friends. We were about the same age as the cast. Let's not forget those awful clothes that the cast of characters wore. The show never ignored away from serious subjects such as teenage pregnancy, homosexuality, poverty, drugs, abortion, alcoholism, etc. It was the kind of show that teens should be shown to show that they are not alone in the world nor are they alone in getting trouble. I have to say that the first season with Arthur and Stephanie was worth watching. I remember the identical twin girls, Spike's pregnancy, Snake's brother who comes out of the closet and gets disowned, etc. The teens were never treated like superstars. They dealt with big topics in ways that I wished adults would deal with. The show was a big hit.
It's so neat to read the reviews from the United States, because I thought that it never went beyond the 49th parallel!
Part of Degrassi's strength was that it was so low budget. The non-slickness of it was very refreshing. They played the same Gowan song at every party... I believe the song was called "High Fashion Model". Anyway, It was nice to see realistic characters living in realistic homes with realistic parents.
Two fave episodes: The condom dispenser episode, and the episode in which Snake, Wheels and Joey attempt to gain entry to a strip joint.
Degrassi really was very valuable for talking about Issues Facing Teens.
Long live Degrassi in our hearts and in reruns on CBC!
I enjoyed watching this show in high school and college. The main theme of the show was problems faced by kids while growing up (including teen pregnancy, drugs, peer pressure, death of a loved one, relationships, etc.), and I had heard of teachers using it to invoke class discussions during school. All in all, I recommend this to anyone who has ever been a teenager.
Degrassi High is possibly along with You Can't Do that on Television the
best Canadian Shows to come from our neighbors up north. Degrassi High in my
opinion was superior than most of the American Teenage orientated shows,
maybe better than all of them. I believe that this show really set a
standard for exploring the teenage culture within a series which was
continous and nicely paced.
Before this show, American television only touched upon the problems facing teens through "After School" Movies or Programs. This was most evident in the 80's. But they had never done it within the context of a singular continous show. This show set the foundations for other shows, the more light comedy orientated Saved By the Bell, Beverly Hills 902100, and all others, owe their start from Degrassi.
Blessed with a talented cast and crew, and cursed with repeated stabs at "significance" and Big Issues, this was a unique import. Somewhat of a North-of-the-Border Room 222 with it's multi-ethnic cast and issue-driven story lines. While Room 222 is mostly forgotten today, Degrassi is still fondly remembered cult fave around the world. That's in part due to the talent in front of the camera. It's reputation ultimately hinges on the shows handling of the many weighty issues it tackled during its run: abortion! child abuse! suicide! It felt at times that the show's writers were a bit too determined to distance Degrassi from the superficiality of American teen TV. Many had a superficial tv-movie feel to them. Caitlin's epilepsy was never referred to again, for instance. All in all, a quality show that bowed out - or graduated - gracefully, rather than limp along like its fluffy American contemporaries (Saved by the Bell and 90210) did.
I grew up watching "les années collège/ lycée" (Degrassi Junior
High/High in French). Must have been aired for the first time in 88 or
so, and I was in junior high myself at the time. I was already a TV
freak, but I really got hooked by this show : sometimes heavy,
sometimes light, dumb, harsh, cute, cruel, cunning, corny, vicious,
talkative, stinky, laughing, moaning, crying, smart, boring,
entertaining, wise, so-so, great... You get the idea : all and its
Just like life. Big hit on TV.
We would often talk about the episodes among ourselves the next day, and a few times with the teachers : there are times and things you just don't/can't discuss with your parents when you're in junior hi without feeling super dumb, shameful, sinner (continue the list) because you brought the subject. See what I mean ? My years were not as bad as these kids' in comparison. There was drama aplenty : I think maybe, what, 10 episodes overall ? say 5, do have happy endings.?. Kids in there, they got heavy blows. Ils prenaient cher! A bit of a Zola or Hector Malot's "Remy without family" trend. Somewhat refreshing, more relating to real life experiences : you get hit, recover and move on until the next. Teenagehood is drama, is an ordeal, is a sheat you have to live through and learn to cherish.
I just learned here tonight that the show was Canadian which explains why the drama hooks you up. Americains would have put happy endings all over the place (in everything they do for the screen they need a useless happy ending, I just hate it) ; though I must admit that recent creations (nip/tuck, for example) finally got rid of the Disney coating, yes. Like a snake changing skin.
An excellent social series, in phase with its time, with kids actually being kids, being black, yellow, red, cathos, Jewish, goths, hippies, slim, fat, with zits, braces and geek looking glasses, not rich... All what we've been through. Not cleaned 20 yrs old to play 13 yrs old ones. To my knowledge, sadly, there hasn't been any reruns back here, too bad. I'll have to get it on DVD, to show it to my daughter when she'll start wondering about the very same issues that were treated in Degrassi (she's only 3 now, but kids grow up faster than you'd think !). It definitely beats the sheat out of its descendants : 90210, Dawson, and, ow, I forgot the title, you know, that horrible good thinking and well mannered Wasp family the Dad is a preacher with 6 or 7 kids ?.. Yes, that one. I hate the general ambient of the series, wanna pop a cap in the TV !
I definitely recommend Degrassi Junior and High, as a must have in home video collection. Make a useful gift to a troubled pre and/or early teenager you know...
Israel's TV station Channel 2 was looking for youth viewers in the mid
So they brought several series similar to Degrassi.
My friends and I watched Degrassi JR high and Degrassi High and since we were the same age as these kids, we related to what they were going threw. Although they showed these seasons almost a decade after it first aired (and started showing here when it was already cancelled in the states), we still understood the charachters and enjoyed the show.
Joey Jeremiah was my favriote charachter and gave me a good laugh too!
The year was 1987 and I only had 2 channels if you didn't count CBC's French channel;the first episode I recall watching was when the Grade 7 students Kathleen,Caitlin,and Rick were all doing a science project.Even though I knew then i wasn't expecting any sort of Hollywood-like production,I slowly got interested in the series after watching that and it even became part of my appointment television on Monday evenings.There wasn't your stereotypical teenage issue they didn't tackle;even a few others on top of that too.Far more easier to relate to than many of its American counterparts.I never honestly thought of the show at the time as groundbreaking or anything of the like,but realized eventually that it truly was as it shied away from nothing at all.For example,this was the 80's and homosexuality wasn't socially acceptable compared to how it is today,there was that episode where Snake's brother came out of the closet to his brother and eventually to his parents who basically disowned him(Coming out of the closet wasn't an everyday occurrence in 1988,after all).Snake and his friends automatically assumed that he was a ladies man since he was an all-star athlete in high school and all,and that episode more or less taught a lesson that you can't always judge based on appearance and perception.
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