With the Season 11 Part 1 DVD set I feel like, for the first time ever, we get a genuine effort from the Epitome team to provide engaging bonus content to accompany the actual episodes.  It almost feels like a continuation of their social media movement over the past year or so, where they’ve done things like publish a mobile game chock full of behind-the scenes pics/videos and provide extra content via the official Degrassi and Degrassi Writers tumblrs.

The Season 2 boxset set a really high standard with its sheer volume of content, primarily composed of deleted scenes/bloopers.  From then on the extras became more disappointing with each passing boxset, seeming to only provide generic features: minimal deleted scenes and blooper reels, pointless character bios, lame yearbooks, trailers/music videos no one cares about and the good, yet very occasional episode commentary.

Things changed with the Season 7 boxset, with Echo Bridge Entertainment taking over the responsibility of producing the show’s dvds.  Seasons 7 and 8 provided webisodes and On The Set videos respectively, a first after years of those features appearing online only to quickly fade into oblivion (I’m still hoping that the first two seasons of Degrassi minis will magically appear on a boxset some day).  The Season 9, 10 Part 1 and 10 Part 2 boxsets have slid back to the disappointing days of Seasons 3-6, so the features on 11 Part 1 are an instant upgrade.

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As I rip off the plastic and open the case there are some issues that are quite apparent:

I’m not sure if anyone else’s set looks like this, but right off the bat both discs look the exact same.  The only way to tell the difference is by a tiny number sequence on the inner white ring.  If I’m wanting to watch “Dirt Off Your Shoulder” on disc 1 and somehow end up putting in disc 2 by accident, innocent babies and puppies will get eaten and my life will be ruined.  Once I put in the correct DVD, I can now choose which episode I want to watch:

Wait, how do I know that if I choose Episode 22 my dvd player won’t explode?  What if episode 19 is really a link to freaky animal porn?  It’s bad enough that I’ve gotta remember a ton of episode titles, now on top of that I’ve gotta remember which episode number they are.  By this point I’m wishing that the second bullet Vince shot during prom, you know the one that mysteriously disappeared, would magically reappear and make its way through my tv screen.

After grabbing a couple of tampons to stop a nosebleed caused by thinking way too hard on the episode selection screen, I finally get to the bonus features:

Episode Commentary

As usual, the episode commentary is good.  Dead & Gone is the only episode on this boxset with commentary, provided by Luke Bilyk, writer Matt Huether and director Stefan Brogren.  I love that they have people from different departments providing commentary.  Not only do we get tidbits about the production process, we also get multiple perspectives and interpretations of the storyline’s direction.

Deleted Scenes / Bloopers

I’m not sure if I was just in a good, but I laughed quite a bit during the bloopers.  Most of the deleted scenes I could give or take, but the ones that were really interesting to me were the two with Anya. [SPOILER ALERT] Anya seriously contemplates putting off her plans to join the Army, so that she can continue dating Owen.  In other words, she’s pulling a Dr. Chris again.  Holly J thinks it’s a stupid idea and Anya admits that she’s procrastinating because she’s scared of the future.  And here we thought that she was focused and on track, yet she at the end she was so willing to once again succumb to emotional trap of being “head over heels” for some guy. [END SPOILER]

Gallery Shoot

The gallery shoot video blows any photo-related thing Degrassi’s ever had on a boxset out of the water.  With these gallery shoots they take hundreds upon hundreds of photos, yet so few of them actually see the light of day in any given season.

This awesome feature combined with them posting various gallery pics on the Degrassi tumblr, I think they’re finally realizing that fans absolutely love the gallery pics, especially the quirky outtakes.

Meet The New Kids / Parking Lot Tour / Set Tour

Some if not all of these have appeared online in some way, shape or form over the past year, but they’re still enjoyable.  I like the fact they had cast members conducting the tours and introducing the new cast.  They provide a lot of charisma and make this behind-the-scenes content fun to watch.

Goodbyes / From Rehearsal to Shooting

I wasn’t as sad as I thought I’d be watching the “Goodbyes” of the seniors, but it was still touching seeing how close the cast and crew are.  But my favorite extra from this dvd has to be the rehearsal.  We see Stefan coaching Luke, Chloe, Jordy, Alicia and Brendan Jeffers through a rehearsal of the prom shooting scene in Dead & Gone.  The closest we ever get to seeing rehearsal stuff is when Stephen Stohn tweets pictures of the readthroughs.  It’s really neat to see the meticulous planning that goes into the episodes before they even begin shooting.

Posted by Kary

14 Comments

  1. Double-sided discs cause me to turn into a Hulk-like rage machine.

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  2. Are there any fellow Canadians (specifically from Ontario) out there who can help me out? I’ve been looking for the season 11 dvd since it was supposed to come out on Tuesday and I can’t find it anywhere. Has anyone else had this problem / can anybody recommend a store that they know is selling it?

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  3. Mine just came in the mail the other day. Very excited to watch the eps again and extra content! I have to say though. I feel spoiled after having boxsets that not only show the episde names but small moving scenes of the main character of that episode so you know immediately what that episode is about. I keep forgetting what episode I’m on when I watch more the next day on this one. “Episode Two or Three?…” *enter* “Noooo blah, I just watched that one!” And I’ve already put the wrong side of the disc in there twice. Lol, I don’t know why the double sided discs confuse me so much. Otherwise, I’m super happy to have the first part of season 11 so soon. It’s an excellent season, IMO.

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  4. they better have Nowhere To Run episodes in the Season 11 Part 2 DVD!!!

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  5. Luv Jahmil French!

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    1. Me too :)

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  6. Rhythm Degrassi and Blues June 1, 2012 at 12:52 am

    WHAT A CRAZY FIRST PART OF THE SEASON THIS WAS, here’s my review. Agree or Disagree?

    1. Bianca’s the queen of Degrassi, there is none higher! Did Katie tell you that? THE BITCH IS A LIAR! People spend doe to see Bianca spit fire and men will give their lives to be with Bee for one night. Bianca would let Drew cum in her while he sticks it in the booty. Then she’ll lick the nut off and let Drew stick it back in the cootie. Bianca guarantees Drew that Katie doesn’t even KNOW how to kiss and she bets Drew ain’t never been fucked like this!

    2. Jenna’s fast asleep and KC’s tricking up in Little Miss Steaks with dirty-foot bitches. Dave and Alli were there as witnesses. They had a camera phone and took pictures.
    K.C. was on the dance floor grinding with a nasty hoe named Marisol. KC was flossing hard that he was shining; everything Marisol drinks KC’s buyin’ it.

    Well KC, you need to stop lying before Jenna gets mad and pulls out her guitar. If KC wants a new bitch to fuck; that’s fine but don’t fuck hers and try to fuck Jenna’s! KC keeps telling Jenna that he ain’t touch Marisol but something keeps telling Jenna that KC FUCKED Marisol.

    And Jenna ain’t that bitch you want to play with. KC needs to drop them boxers and let Jenna smell his dick!

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    1. Distasteful.

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  7. Can someone please tell me if the theme song is used in the spring break episode on the DVD and if it’s in two parts?

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    1. They show it as the Spring Break Special “Spring Fever”. It’s not in the regular episode format. No opening sequence or title “Boom Boom Pow”.

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  8. Does anyone else get all like…’huh’ when they see Jordan as Jordan instead of Adam…like she does a great job playing Adam that i sometimes forget she’s actually a girl…and not Adam

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  9. I am dying for an answer here. Why is it that season 11 has been divided into two sets? Will it eventually be available for purchase as one complete set? I’ve noticed this is not the only series that has done this with dvd release, though if memory serves seasons of other shows have eventually become available as a complete set even if they were first introduced to the market as a part one/part two…

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    1. They released a complete set of season 10 on top of releasing parts one and two separately, so I’m assuming/hoping they will do the same for season 11. There’s no info out there right now though about whether they will or won’t.

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