Degrassi Episode Review: All I Wanna Do

paris

All I Wanna Do, as a whole, is an improvement over the premiere episode Summertime.  Degrassi may have stopped it’s two-parter format, but the idea of having a story arch that spans over an entire block still exists.  Some plots (i.e Tristan’s in this episode) may not drive the overall arch with much force, but they need to offer something valuable in some way, shape or form.

1303-1TRISTAN PLOT REVIEW:  What I secretly love about Tristan’s plot is that in my head its theme is an immediate throwback to one of the Degrassi’s most underrated episodes, Mirror in the Bathroom.  Upon arrival in Paris the guys and girls are assigned separate living quarters, with Miles, Chewy and Tristan being roommates.  Tristan assumes that Miles and Chewy won’t want to live with him if they find out he’s gay, so he pretends that Maya is his girlfriend.

Tristan also assumes that Miles and Chewy are making fun of him because of his sexuality, but that isn’t the case; they’re making fun of him because they already know he’s gay, and Tristan pretending to be “straight” is thoroughly awkward and unconvincing.

1303-2The fact Tristan already had his mind made up that Miles and Chewy would have an issue living with “a guy that likes guys” gives some insight into his character, one who’s seemed pretty confident with his sexuality up until this point.  Obviously Tristan’s dealt with being bullied in this manner before, but Miles continues to impress by taking the extra steps necessary to assure Tristan he and Chewy are cool with Tristan’s sexual preference.

While this plot harbors virtually no drama, its underlying theme resonates because it’s something we had to, have dealt with, and will deal with in our own lives.  Our insecurities can be justified by past events.  Society is quite open about rejecting each other on a daily basis, however, people can also genuinely not give a damn about whatever it is you won’t reveal for fear of judgement.  Tristan learns the positive side of the lesson that just because it’s a big deal to us in our heads, it doesn’t mean it’s a big deal to everyone else.

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1303-3CLARE PLOT REVIEW:  Clare’s cancer storyline continues to be difficult to watch.  Aislinn’s churning out what looks like effortless performances, while the story remains engaging based how draining the situation itself can be, mentally and physically.  Clare’s at a point where she doesn’t want to think about death, promptly turning off a WestDrive episode where Zoë’s character has cancer and asks if she’s going to die.  She’s also feels as if control is slipping away once she discovers that her hair is falling out.

While Eli is obviously doing nothing but trying to be helpful, seeds of doubt are placed in Clare’s head about whether he’ll be around for the long run by a fellow cancer patient whose boyfriend eventually broke up with her.
Clare decides to shave her head, and with the help of Adam and Imogen finds a wig that she thinks will impress Eli for their date.

While watching this plot I get a stronger understanding of how difficult it is to remain positive while dealing with cancer, and how important little things are such as Adam and Imogen taking time to help find Clare a wig, and Clare getting dressed for a date with Eli in her hospital room.  While there are humorous and comforting moments we’re still left uneasy with the fact that Clare needs an MRI to see if the cancer has spread.  The uneasy feeling continues as we prepare for the worst, but hope for the best.

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1303-4ALLI PLOT REVIEW: While we all roll our eyes and say “Of course” to Alli meeting a guy in Paris (because as TeenNick’s promos accurately say, Alli is “book smart and boy dumb), the ride there is somewhat interesting.  While everyone in Paris from Degrassi has their own social groups or are paired off like Jenna and Connor, Alli’s left to keep herself occupied in the City of Love.

She wanders the streets of Paris alone, with nothing more than a map and a cardboard cutout of Clare’s head so Clare could “take pictures” at various landmarks, a brilliant touch by the writers.  Alli asks a stranger to take a picture of her and Clare, but the guy tries to steal her phone.  However, he’s stopped by a guy named Leo, who returns Alli’s phone and the two become acquainted.

This plot is neither great nor awful in setting up what will be Alli’s storyline in Paris.  We this guy will become her love interest.  The only question now is how will this relationship blow up in her face?

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21 thoughts on “Degrassi Episode Review: All I Wanna Do

  1. With so many Alli plots, Leo better move to Toronto for Alli or turn out to be a creep and rape her or something!

  2. After reading the outline of the summer block that has been going around on Twitter and “Cannonball” not being listed on Zap2It, I am beginning to become very worried for Clare. I didn’t think the writers would dare think of killing her off, but who knows? They killed off Cam. It could be a parent death, like Omar Torres….or even Audra. Maybe the writer’s are orchestrating the funeral scene leak and all of this other info as a way to scare the fans (LOL). I’m definitely beginning to sweat about poor Clare’s illness. Whatever it may mean, I hope that they handle things delicately.

    I’m really not interested in Maya’s plots. And that’s truly sad, because Maya is my favorite out of the sophomore class. I don’t like the direction the writers are taking her in and I’m really sick of the back and forth with her. They need to decide if she’s going the good girl route or the bad girl route.

    Alli’s summer fling, and I am calling it a fling because she lives in Toronto and this Leo guy is from Paris, seems like some kind of filler for her character. Maybe it’ll turn around and she’ll actually FINALLY end up with a good, decent guy for once. I love Alli and I want her to have nice things happen to her.

    Becky and Adam’s plot is very realistic in terms of how long distance relationships work. My guess is that Becky will suspect Adam cheated, so she cheats on him with Todd. Then Becky will learn Adam didn’t cheat, Adam will learn Becky cheated and will go running to Imogen. Who knows? This is Degrassi.

  3. To be honest this summer looks really boring. Where are THE ISSUES. Thats what degrassi is about, not this constant relationship drama. Allis plots with Leo look extremely boring and like filler relationship material for us to watch her date some guy with no compelling plot movement until he eventually disappears. The only way to save this is if he has AIDS or omething. I feel like something major will happen for Alli in her A plot in Honey. My Own Worst Enemy looks promising, a Clare/Drew interaction will be interesting. About A Girl will of course be relationship drama but whatever, they could save it if they do it right with Becky/Imogen/Adam/Todd. Maya needs to go away as far as I’m concerned. This summer season is a mess in terms of descriptions. Here you go Degrassi try to learn

    Summertime: Parts 1 and 2
    Clare deals with the news of her cancer prognosis.

    All I Wanna Do
    Tristan pretends to be straight to escape his roommate’s bullying.

    My Own Worst Enemy
    Maya and Zoey are in an all out war over Miles, but he doesn’t seem interested in either of them.

    About A Girl
    When Adams close bond with a kid at camp has her parents accusing him of touching her, he must clear his name.

    Cannonball
    Dallas is ecstatic that Rocky is visiting for the week, but he struggles when he realizes he knows nothing about his son and needs help.

    Honey
    Alli discovers her Parisian beau Leo is married and that she is the other woman. Jenna accidentally stumbles upon an illegal business selling teens into sex slavery.

    Forever Young
    Jenna is being held against her will and her brother is worried. Will she escape or is it too late? Back in Toronto, Clare is trying to come to terms.

    What do You all think?

    • Degrassi is supposed to be a realistic look at teen life. Why does it always have to be intense drama every single episode? That would get really boring and actually take away the intensity when something bad happens to a character. Plus it is summer. You’re supposed to be away from the drama. Not to mention that show has literally gone through every issue in the book. And as soon as they want to have a character go through an issue people start bitching about the fact that the show has already explored that.

      And in regards to alli’s plot: it’s Paris, the city of love. Name one show in which a character went to Paris and didn’t have a romance. It was bound to happen to someone.

      • You’re absolutely right. So how can a school like Degrassi who could barely afford uniforms have a trip to Paris??? I havent really been watching this season because I dont like the remaining characters. And honestly, i think its time to end the show, and if the writers still wanna do a canadian show they need to come up with something else cause new storylines will always be compared to the older ones.

      • I just think it’s highly unrealistic for the students to be roaming around without supervision. If it’s a school trip, they should be touring historical and educational sights, not waking up and going wherever the hell they want. This is not “aright, this is school, and we’re going to Paris so you can stay there for a while and do stuff” It’s a CLASS trip. Be realistic, Degrassi.

  4. What I think the funeral scene is about: Zoe’s character gets killed off her show and some Degrassi students will be chosen as extras for the scene. The writers won’t kill their precious Clare, they love her about as much as they loved Emma.

    Also, I totally thought that Eli would shave his head too. Gag. I’m glad that they didn’t go that cliché route… yet.

  5. Clare’s story is hitting home in a personal way; my dad is having major issues with his lungs and we think it’s lung cancer. It’s doubly hard to watch these scenes with this in mind, but I think so far they are doing a great job portraying it. I really think her storyline is the main one in terms of dealing with an issue, for this block.

  6. Tristan’s plot was simple yet entertaining and engaging throughout. I’m very interested to see where his friendship with Miles and Chewy goes.
    A-

    Clare’s plot was good yet again. Aislinn Paul’s performance was amazing. This episode made me really not want Clare to die, whereas before I was more Ok with the possibility.
    A-

    Alli’s plot was nothing special but the writers surprised me by not going a usual Alli route and have her falling head over heels for a guy.
    C+

  7. I agree with Kary about this episode improving on the season premiere, but in a different way. Summertime was basically a template for the writers to use for setting up the various story arcs for the summer block. This episode actually digs into details about what is in store for us for the rest of this segment of Season 13.

    A Plot/Tristan:

    What I thought was so intriguing is something that people may be taking for granted with him. He’s a gifted actor, as he’s displayed by getting the lead in Eli’s zombie movie and getting a standing ovation for his lead role in Romeo and Jules. To be good at something is to be proud of your accomplishment, in his case, its acting. He absolutely fails to convince the Miles and Chewy that he’s straight and going out with Maya. This has to be a crushing blow to a kid who appears to be shooting for the stars, wishing to one day be a celebrity of some sort. True, he was harboring fears about what his roommates would think of him once they knew he was gay. But looking back, it seems that when his failure to pretend hits home, he feels a bit foolish. Unknown to him though, is that they already knew and were merely laughing at him trying to put on a show about him and Maya being an item.

    This plot also gave some interesting insight into Miles as well. It is obvious that this kid has grown up with every advantage and privilege afforded the standard wealthy family, but it hasn’t made him completely ignorant to the outside world. He openly states that he doesn’t have a problem with Tristan being gay, and was merely laughing at his pathetic attempt to pretend he was something that he wasn’t. Overall, this was a very good plot and Lyle did a very good job displaying Tristan’s insecurities about himself in relation to others. I hope this is a sign of more good things to come from him.

    B Plot/Clare:

    Again, Clare’s plot was very good. It was compelling and made me as a viewer not only sympathize or care for her, but also draw me into her storyline. In my own opinion, Munro has done a good job stepping away from main character status and making way for Aislinn to shine as the center of this storyline. Her possibly deteriorating condition, along with her hair loss, accurately portrays how difficult it would be for a teen dealing with cancer to hold onto hope in the face of repeated devastating setbacks.

    Clare’s fellow cancer patient mentioning that her boyfriend left her when things got tough was a good way to plant a seed of fear/uncertainty with the whole Eclare relationship as this progresses. It also shows a very realistic truth about all people: some of us simply can’t face adversity as well as others. Its no one’s fault, but it does cast a cloud over the two of them as this unfolds.

    With Clare needing tests done to see if the cancer is spreading, this is shaping up to be the anchor of the summer block. It will be the glue that can hold an episode together, hopefully making up for other lackluster plots that it is paired with in the near future.

    C Plot/Alli:

    I am kind of unsure of Alli this season. This is still WAY early for making assumptions, so I will just try to do the wise thing here and just go off of what I’m seeing now from Melinda on the screen. Her loneliness is believable considering her and Clare have been close for so long, so I thought the cardboard cut-out of Clare was a clever move by them to show Alli’s attachment to her friend. This sense of separation also plays into her disappointment when Jenna and Connor have plans that don’t include her for the day.

    The whole wandering around Paris by herself scene was a bit over the top for me, but I suppose that the writers needed a way to introduce Leo, her love interest for the summer block. If I had to make a safe assumption, whatever comes of this won’t last once the students head back to Canada to start the new school year. Nonetheless, I’ll try to enjoy watching her plot play out. After all, I am assuming that this is her final season on the show.

    Now that I think about it, when this class of seniors is done and gone, it truly WILL be a whole new Degrassi. Connor, Clare, and Alli are the only holdovers left from Season 8, and the ones they brought in by Season 9 such as Dave and Jenna will graduate in the same class as well. That thought has probably weighed on the writers heavily the last year or so, which is why they are concentrating so heavily on the new sophomores, to develop solid upperclassmen for future years while they have to find new freshmen.

    And so, the great revolving door of Degrassi will keep turning, as always.

  8. This episode is just a joke ! It’s a “cliché”, france is not like that, not at all (however I agree with the robber part) and actors have a terrible accent It’s a shame! x)

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