Above is the most recent Degrassi pic floating around the internet….Maya Matlin character pic.

There isn’t much Degrassi news…Stephen Stohn is supposed to be announcing the “official” official premiere date for the new episodes before the end of this week….I’d be surprised if it’s anything other than February 24th since no new info has popped up since we discovered that info.

The Degrassi Game has been delayed again, and **might** be released at the end of this week as well….I’m not holding my breath though. Until then I’ll just continue playing through the first four episodes and make edits to my character’s commentary:

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BEYOND DEGRASSI

DJGENERAL from DegrassiPodcasts did another interview with Stephen Stohn the other day, where he talked about Degrassi and The L.A. Complex.  I love Stephen Stohn interviews…he just talks and talks and gives us a better look at the behind the scenes stuff than cast members ever could.

PART 1:

PART 2:

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If you follow the cast on twitter, you’ll see a majority of them talking about how they’re going to auditions, etc.  A lot of them do other things, and including Cristine Prosperi who’s in a new series called Totally Amp’d. It’s about a group of teens who are brought together to try and be a superstar pop group.  In my head I say this is what Imogen was doing before she came to Degrassi.  IMOGEN, I DON’T RECOGNIZE YOU WITHOUT YOUR GLASSES (the first ep is below):

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Well…..after lots of talk, the premiere of The L.A. Complex was last night.  Did it live up to the hype?

Honesty, I thought it was pretty good. It’s always a good sign when an hour-long episode of a show flies by because it’s got you engaged.  I immediately like Abby (Cassie Steele), Raquel (Jewel Staite) and Tariq (Benjamin Watson).  The rest (aka the hot blonde, and the two white guys in the pic above) I could care less about at the moment.  Only time will tell if this is a good series…I’ll write a review for it sometime before next week’s episode and I’m also following the show over at my other blog, http://lacomplex.net/.

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Posted by Kary

13 Comments

  1. So I just watched the LA Complex and it’s better than Degrassi. I feel like it’s appealing to my tastes in adult shows, smart, funny, dramatic (but not overly). I think it can do good on the CW with the right promotion. I would hate to see it bomb it the states when it’s WAY better than the clutter that they have on the CW not (more specifically 90210 & Gossip Girl).

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  2. The pilot was pretty good. I think the best part was that it had that hint of Degrassi while being a wholly unique entity — what I mean is that for a pilot of a teen-oriented (though clearly not teen-themed) show, it was pretty fearless and gutsy in an authentic, not attention-seeking, way, but tonally different and shot-for-shot rawer and shakier, like these characters’ lives, especially Abby (Cassie Steele’s character).

    *SPOILER WARNING FOR THOSE WHO CARE*

    There were actually a number of gutsy moments that proved to me this isn’t like other shows about fame-seekers: when Abby is trying to escape her former landlord and he manages to shatter the back windshield of her car, when Abby readily accepts the ecstasy at the party, when Abby and that Australian guy (his name escapes me) buy the morning-after pill, and when Abby threw up at her audition.

    The windshield moment happened before the intertitle, which is brilliant, especially when you’re used to watching other shows with languid and extended cold opens (think any episode of the new “90210”). The ecstasy moment on any other show of its kind would’ve gone into “on a very special episode of ‘Blossom'” territory, but “The L.A. Complex” treated it in a very adult manner; that is, leading to the moment where Abby wakes up next to Australian Guy, discovers that he didn’t use a condom, and they decide to get the morning-after pill. Her actions had consequences, but the show didn’t get preachy. Amazing. Of course, it was rather predictable that she would then get sick and ruin her audition later that day, but then the girl puked all over the piano. And the show didn’t cut away — it showed all of the ugliness. It doesn’t even matter that the actual puke looked a little too watery to be real because the girl THREW UP at her audition after managing to impress the producers. It was one of those brilliant moments of post-modern television where you want to laugh at and cry with her at the same time, and that sort of comedy and drama mix is hard to pull off.

    As you can tell from reading that last paragraph, a big part of this show’s appeal is Abby. Cassie was really in her element as she plays a character who is even more go-for-broke than Manny Santos could ever hope to be, though it’s easy to see how this series might’ve been originally developed around the character of Manny. In that regard, I’m glad Cassie’s not playing Manny, because Manny’s reckless past would’ve made the ecstasy moment and especially her joking about the morning-after pill less enjoyable, and more cringe-worthy in a “girl, get yourself together” kind of a way. However, while this is clearly introduced as an ensemble show, Abby is definitively the most intriguing character at this point and it’s a good thing she was front and center.

    The could-be-better aspects: Australian Guy is nice and I appreciate seeing nice guys on dramas like this, but he’s not even compelling enough yet for me to remember his name. I’m sure he’ll have his own fame issues as the show progresses, but I hope it’s more than just him being lonely in his big ol’ house while he works through his romantic tension with Abby. In fact, this show would be best served if it downplayed the upcoming Abby-Australian Guy-Nick love triangle, because this show is clearly about these characters seeking fame, and since it’s already successful in that regard, focusing on their personal lives would just muddy the waters. Speaking of Nick, he was a ridiculously awful stand-up comic. If he had been good but rough around the edges, that would’ve been alright, but his stand-up material was akin to those delusional bad singers who audition for “American Idol” and you want to yell at your TV, “Why the hell are you even bothering?!”, though I will admit that it was a bit disheartening to see his character get verbally beat down by the other two comics at the comedy club. Raquel and Alicia are passable for the moment. Only time will tell what the quality of their storylines and characters will end up like. Tariq’s actions would’ve been more interesting if we hadn’t already seen a similar action taken by Ashley back in Degrassi’s seventh season. (It’s interesting, though probably accidental, that two of Ashley’s more notorious actions were used in this episode: taking ecstasy and submitting a different music track than somebody else intended.) I hope the show eventually delves into how Tariq and Abby met, because their friendship is probably the most compelling point about his character at the moment.

    Overall, though, well done, Stephen Stohn and Linda Schuyler. If the show continues at this pace, you guys have a winner.

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    1. Again, apologies for writing a lot. It seems that in the past couple of days, I’ve written more in three posts about this show than I have in all of my other comments about Degrassi here combined. Hopefully they’ve been worth the read!

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    2. Well said, I agree with almost everything you said. The only thing I disagree about is that I enjoyed Raquel and Tariq. I think I like the fact that this show is showing the multiple angles of people trying to break into the biz, and while both are having difficulty doing so, Tariq and Raquel are on opposite ends of the spectrum: Tariq’s trying to break in from the ground floor, while Raquel (who’s already been successful) is trying to revive her career in a market where everyone is “younger and prettier” than her. I just find that to be interesting and it makes me root for them.

      I’m almost annoyed with Nick, that’s how awful his stand-up comedy is (I’m not really a fan of stand-up to begin with). The show can do well if it sticks to what it’s doing. Some of the “go there” moments in this episode makes me see why Stephen Stohn and Stefan Brogren have show so much excitement for the show…they have nowhere near the restrictions on L.A. Complex that they do with Degrassi.

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      1. I don’t dislike Raquel or Tariq (or Alicia for that matter); the fact is that my impression of them is pretty neutral until their storylines pick up in the next few episodes. I appreciate the different ends they’re trying to cover with entertainment careers and stardom, especially Raquel’s. I did like the scene where she told the two screenwriters that she was going to get their script produced and that she was going to star in it, but I’ve always been partial to the HBIC of a given show (I’m sure I’ve divulged my love of Paige and Holly J on this blog before).

        As an aside, know when and where to find out ratings information on this show? I’d love to know how well this show was received in Canada, but I don’t know much about what constitutes good and bad viewership numbers in Canada.

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      2. I have no clue, I’ve searched for forever and haven’t found anything…I can’t believe there isn’t even a Canadian version of a ratings website like tvbythenumbers!

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  3. Kary,
    what link did you use to watch the L.A. Complex?

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    1. I like randomly typed in “La complex download” on a search on twitter and a link somehow popped up!

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      1. I’ll try that! Thank you!

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  4. I liked the LA complex, It was better then i expected. I like how its showing everyone’s struggles but not really over doing it like most of these fame shows do. I think this could be a hit in Canada at least and score a second season.. On the CW.. if its not promoted right then it may not do well, hoping for the best.

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  5. can someone tell me why kids on Degrassi don’t smoke?? a lot of teenagers do, and i can’t understood why no one ever has… i know they can’t on pan am because it’s owned by disney, but i don’t see any logical reason for at least some of the characters on degrassi not to be smoking.

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  6. Jewel Staite is in LA Complex?! Awesome!

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  7. So the second half of the season will premiere on TN on 2/20 (Monday – Part 1) and I’m assuming another episode airs that Friday (2/24 – Part 2), with each additional episode airing Friday at 9 for the next 12 weeks.

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