Despite being awkward to read at times (it was transcribed from an audio recording of a dinner interview, this is my favorite Degrassi interview ever. Corey Mintz interviewed the Degrassi King and Queen, Stephen Stohn and Linda Schuyler. It’s great because you rarely ever hear much from Linda, let alone get the chance to interview her and Stephen at the same time. I’ll go over some of my favorite parts below, but:
CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL INTERVIEW.
In the article, they talk about suicide and abortion. Though I think a lot of us would like to see them take on a suicide storyline in this incarnation of Degrassi, they said that’s the one storyline they’ve actually had to shy away from. They did it back during Degrassi High (Claude), but there was fallout from it. And of course we know that if this episode aired in the U.S. there are groups that would go absolutely NUTS, claiming that kids are now going to go off to commit suicide because they saw some kid do it on Degrassi.
The most fascinating part of the article is about Manny’s abortion, and why TeenNick (back then The-N) didn’t want to air it:
What about abortion? I thought that would be, with the states, untouchable.
That has been…
It’s so easy in Canada. People don’t blink an eye. And in the states, there was an episode that was never shown. They paid for it. Well, it was shown four years later. And now they show it. But they never advertise it.
And the US distributor just said, we’re not running it?
Yeah. They just didn’t run it. They paid us for it. But didn’t run it.
And it was very interesting. Because the very last shot, now we really tried to be even handed in our storytelling. Because it was the Manny character who was pregnant and wanting to go for the abortion.It was Emma who’s Spike’s child who was giving her the argument, if my mom had an abortion when she was your age, I wouldn’t be born. So we really tried to give a balanced argument. But at the end of the day, our character Manny, with her mom, went to the abortion clinic. And the final shot is her walking through the door, going to get the abortion.
And she was determined. She had done the research. This was the right choice. Here she goes. And it’s very interesting. Because in the states they said, we could have shown that show, IF, at the very last shot, she showed remorse. She can’t be resolute. She has to be remorseful. If she was remorseful, we could show the shot.
So, if you cut to her crying … ?
Exactly. And we wouldn’t do that.
Absolutely not. What kind of message is that for young girls?
But even in Degrassi Junior High or High, when one of the twins had the abortion, PBS cut off the end of the show.
That is INSANE to me that TeenNick would’ve agreed to show AWH had Manny been crying and shown remorse at the very end. Kudos to Linda and Stephen for sticking to their guns.
Oh yeah…and there’s of course the first official bit of SEASON 11 NEWS:
Most people don’t believe us but we don’t know until we get in that room. We don’t have a plan. All we know is that halfway through season eleven, the current gang that are in twelfth grade are gonna graduate at the end of our twenty-four part telenovella. At that point we’ll bring in a whole bunch of ninth graders who will be new to the school.
Another interesting thing is what they thought about Season 10. You know how we’ve all gotten annoyed at one time or another with episodes that felt extremely rushed (aka a major story is wrapped up in 30 minutes instead of being drawn out over several episodes)? Well it turns out the TV networks are the ones responsible for that. The concept of a 48-episode season allowed Degrassi to break free from that. There’s so much more awesome stuff in the interview, READ IT!
First one to leave a comment! haha
Good job NSN!
i hope they are going to use one of my ideas!!!!!!
n e way for an episode i would really like, click on my name :)
Excellent interview! If you ever get a hold of audio or video footage please post!
I love this degrassi and that is a good interview, but i dont like the idea of them bringing in new freshmen, if anything bring in new 10th graders that way there wont be such an age difference in the cast and it can be like the earlier seasons when the cast was a grade apart.
but besides that im really excited about everything
Thing 3, I don’t see how them bringing in 10th graders would be any better. It’s just one year difference. It’s not like they are bringing in 7th graders or anything, lol.
As long as they treat the freshmen like 15 year olds instead of “5 year olds”, then I’m fine with it. Plus, bringing in freshmen means they’ll stick around much longer.
Does Stephen talk more about the “somebody dies” thing in the interview?
Linda and Stephen seem like pretty cool, down to earth people. I hope the new niners are at least somewhat interesting, or they should just end the show when Clare’s class graduates.
I was pretty shocked to hear that it was the networks fault for problems being solved in 20 minutes, after everyone and their cousin has blamed the writers at some point or another.
Lakehurst89, I don’t see Degrassi ever really ending. The show keeps changing, the characters keep growing, they leave, and we get a new batch. It’s like real HS. As one HS journey comes to a close, a new one begins. Let’s not forget about the new fans the show get every season. It wouldn’t be fair to end it for them just because us older viewers have lost interest.
and the REAL Degrassi fans will stick around with Degrassi FOREVER with the show XD
People always used to say that the show should end when Emma’s class graduated. Then they said after Peter’s grade. Then they said after Holly J’s grade. Now it’s after Clare’s grade.
LOL I think every season people will doubt that Degrassi will be able to keep going and being fresh. But it always seems too.
Degrassi returns 02/11/2011, When Love Takes Over P1 & P2. :) I’m so excited.
Human trafficking is a cool idea! It reminds me of a bit I saw on CNN about a week ago about a bunch of young girls from Africa who came to the US only to be enslaved by a family when they arrived.
They should also do a storyline in which a character finds out their father had an illegitimate child with another woman, and kept it a secret, a la The OC season 2. While that sounds way soapy, it actually happened to one of my closest friends when we were in highschool.
Cool! I’m glad that the show isn’t going to end with Clare’s class as we thought. Hopefully the new freshman will be cool.
Though I was still hoping that we would get to see some of the 12th graders in college. I won’t get my hopes up,though.