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“A Whole New Degrassi” is the tagline the show is selling us as it journeys into its 13th season, from the departure of old characters finally setting in, to the tenure of new ones beginning, and a complete deviation from the title sequence format Degrassi had used for 12 years.  Even the show’s timeline is different, as the season kicks off during the summer time and looks to take place in that time period for at least a few more episodes.

Degrassi has produced fantastic premiere episodes over the past several years, but this one ultimately falls short of the overall qualities that helped get seasons 10, 11 and 12 off to blazing starts. Summertime’s primary plot, while providing us some promise for future episodes, is merely mediocre compared to the much-stronger B and C plots.

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130102-1MAYA PLOT REVIEW: When it comes down to it, Maya’s plot feels more like setup/filler material than a plot that drives a season opener.  With Maya we’ve now reached a point where they keep going back and forth between this sweet girl and someone going through various “bad girl” phases…bad girl in quotes because in this episode she was either legitimately misunderstood by her mom, or busy being ineffective at being an actual bad girl.  We knew that Maya would be headed to Paris by the end of the episode, but nothing ever happened to put that into question.  The upside to Maya’s conflict comes near the end, when she confesses that she feels like everyone leaves her eventually.

As a whole, the newbies make little impact in their debut, though we know their roles will expand in the very near future.  Winston just exists in this episode, while Zoë shows hints of being the diva the show has advertised her to be.  Miles was the most interesting character of the night.  We can tell he’s a rich kid who gets into trouble, but the verbal tongue lashing he received from his high-profile father instantly adds intrigue (and a potential storyline of its own down the road).

At the end of the episode we find all of the characters on a bus, ready to head to Paris for the summer.  By that point the plot has done a lot of subtle things to setup what’s coming: relationship drama between Maya and Miles, and a juicy feud between Maya and Zoë.  While this episode does enough to ensure that upcoming is full of potential, it does little for itself to be engaging in the now.

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130102-2CLARE PLOT REVIEW: The knot in my stomach that wouldn’t go away the second Degrassi revealed Clare might have cancer in The Time of My Life returned, as Clare’s cancer diagnosis is confirmed in this episode.  This plot is difficult to watch, but in the way that you can appreciate because you know that what the show is doing more than connecting with you…it’s striking a nerve.

Eclare’s “sexy online exchange” is as awkward and silly as I would expect that kind of situation to be in real life.  The plot’s tone abruptly switches as Helen informs Clare that her test results came back positive for cancer.  The show’s decision to have music playing while we see Clare’s reaction to the news provides a more emotional impact than if we were to hear an actual exchange between Clare and Helen (and it’s just as effective as Spinner’s cancer reveal scene in Death or Glory).

Where this plot shines is that not only does the show delve into technical details describing how the treatment process will work, but also Clare’s reaction to it all as things progress.  She knows she has cancer, but she feels fine, so she’s able to go into it with a very positive outlook at first.  Aislinn does a fantastic job of conveying Clare’s fear once the gravity of the situation sinks in.  In returning to Toronto to be their for his girlfriend, Eli simply does what I and any other guy with a lick of sense would do if they found out their girlfriend had cancer.

The thought of being in Clare’s situation is terrifying from every angle, and the final scene is a mix of emotions: Clare’s long journey through treatment begins, but she’s surrounded by the two people she loves most.  It’s hard to tell how this storyline will play out, but it got off to a very strong, emotional start.

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130102-3IMOGEN/ADAM/BECKY PLOT REVIEW: I browsed through a lot of random fan commentary about this plot after the episode, and one of the things that struck me was how some thought that Becky’s jealousy seemed a bit much.  Imogen’s awkwardness in this episode made it impossible for her to be subtle, so it was blatantly obvious to Becky that Imogen had a thing for Adam, someone she’d be working with all summer while Becky was away.  If I were Becky, I’d be lying if I said wasn’t worried.

There’s a bit of hesitation at the thought of Degrassi keeping Imogen for another season, then immediately throwing her into the midst of a love triangle.  However, it’s interesting watching Imogen in this episode as she basically clings to Adam from the moment she sees him.  I like the dynamic of Adam and Imogen interacting and summer camp is a fun backdrop that will enhance that, though I don’t really see Adam as the type who would just up and cheat on Becky because of a lapse in self control.  Whether it’s Imogen’s neediness, or Becky/Adam’s jealousy, I’m interested to see how this plays out.

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Posted by Kary

51 Comments

  1. Relly J Sinclaire July 11, 2013 at 9:11 pm

    The theme sucks lol

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    1. I know! I thought i was tje only one who didn’t like theme song, It’s really sucks.

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  2. I’ll need to rewatch it to really forge an opinion but I found the A plot to be kind of a mess although it had it’s moments. B plot with Clare was great, Aislin brought her a game.

    Didn’t like the C plot at all. I didn’t really see the point of it all, honestly.

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  3. i don’t like the theme :(

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    1. I’m pretty sure the theme is just for Summertime, because it only had Summertime scenes in it.

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      1. I hope there only for summertime don’t think i will be able to cope if thats the theme for the whole season

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  4. Surprisingly, I actually enjoyed this premiere. I really like Miles so far and what looks like a possible abuse storyline down the road. I would like to see his interactions with his siblings as well. I’ve seen some people thinking he’s going to be Declan 2.0, which I doubt. I didn’t care for how Tristan just left Maya at the door, but it’s not a shocking thing for some friends to do, but I’m glad he apologized and had a excuse for why he acted like a jerk. I thought Maya was a little bit of a drama queen but I get why she felt so horrible about her fight with her mom and the reasons behind her boiling over. We didn’t see much of Winston either but I like him so far. I’m not a fan of Zoe at the moment.

    As for Clare’s situation I enjoyed how the writers are progressing – Clare’s sense of grieving especially because she doesn’t feel sick to it hitting her like a freight train.. I did think it was unrealistic that Eli was able to just fly back from NY but then again so was Miles loaning out his card to Maya. But it’s a show so you know.

    I’m not all that interested in the love triangle. There’s been so many in recent seasons that it’s lost its appeal to me just like a pregnancy storyline would. I would’ve liked if Imogen stayed back for a different reason or they focused on her home life again rather than her trying to insert herself between Becky and Adam, who both are feeling jealous and insecure about the long distance.

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  5. I wasn’t feeling most of this episode. I don’t like Maya’s drama queen attitude nor do I care for Tristan or Zoe at this point. The Miles potential abuse storyline seems interesting though. Considering I was actually looking forward to Torreno, the love triangle plot seems to suck so far. Clare’s plot was probably the best one in the episode tbh.

    Also, A+ to the writers for having almost-references to Cam twice in the show. I’m glad he didn’t just get sucked into the abyss.

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  6. The episode picked up in the second half for me. Tristan annoyed me in the beginning clinging to Maya because Tori was gone and then dumping Maya .5 seconds after Zoe came. I’m especially surprised with Miles story, I’m curious to see where that goes. Need to see more Chewy before I can give a real analysis but he seems pretty cool! I kind of hope Adam and Becky stay together just so I can see Imogen and Becky at each others throats more, that was the best part for me about their plot. And Aislinn easily won me over with Clare’s plot, which has started off really well!

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  7. KARY YOU WERE ON TEENICK! Anyway, I actually loved this premiere. MIles has got me hooked. Beckdam = HOT. Still can’t believe Clare has cancer….

    I can’t wait until Maya says Cam’s name. Loved this episode!

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  8. It definitely does feel like a whole new degrassi. It may be the summer but just the whole vibe of the show is different. It may take a few episodes for me to get used to it, even though the summer season is only eight episodes long….

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  9. But the theme though….it’ll probably be like that for the summer season since there’s no point in showing the students in school. I must say, the opening theme was very soap opera-ish.

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  10. the new theme is terrible,I hope its not permanent. otherwise this episode was pretty solid imo.

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  11. Is the theme really that big of a deal? Like honestly, in the scope of things… obviously it’s not permanent, and the cast isn’t overly large enough for the past themes.

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    1. Thank you! I don’t know why some fans are so upset. It got us straight into the episode.

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  12. Maya’s plot was really enjoyable. I thought they were going to make her a bad girl again without it being believable, but I was very into it. I also loved the underlying of Miles’ scenes. He seems like a very interesting character, and i can’t wait to see more things with him and his father when he gets back to Toronto.

    Clare’s plot did a fantastic job of keeping me intrigued. I love how brave she was acting at first because she has always been best when she is a strong-minded character. And her breakdown was great.

    Is it bad if I was enjoying Drew being an authority figure more than love tringle? I feel they did an OK job setting it up, but I was expecting more. I am however, wondering how they will get back into a love quarrel since Adam and Imogen seem to have an understanding now.

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  13. Can anyone give me a link to see the entire episode? Promo next episode?

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  14. Did anyone notice the song in the opening scene? It’s “Like Whoa” by Studz…..very reminscent of Just Can’t Get Enough’s (season 9) opening scene.

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  15. Theme was to short and it sucked. It felt very soap operish. Like they were trying to avoid telling you the actors/actresses real life names for each character.

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  16. Alright…

    Newbie Intro: This ep did a good job of giving some feeling for the the trio of newbies. Winston got the least due to his tangential aspect in the plot. Miles feels kinda similar to Dallas (in that he will be either a likeable antagonist, or a jerkass protagonist, and whichever hat he wears you’ll want more.) Zoe is a much more straightforward hateable Heel (much like intro Peter and Holly J were limited on redeeming value); Having her set-up to steal away Tristan AND Miles puts a great tension for her and Maya. The only issue being Maya’s already got a lot of plot goin’ on for her.

    Maya’s plot: Maya’s plot was helped by using Katie while they could, and setting up that Maya’s big issue is being abandoned. It let them sneak in a second Cam near-reference, and along with the newbie stuff set-up why she’ll be so willing to act out if it gets her a little bit of attention. It felt a bit pushed (especially her mom smelling weed on her), and most of the push seemed to be setting up future Maya/Zoe and Maya/Miles plots.

    But those failings will probably be made up for with later plots this season. Both Maya plots and Miles plots (which Maya was used to introduce the abuse plot). Cementing that Miles is Maya’s shadow, for want of her parents, this is where Maya would be.

    Clare: I honestly felt they rushed into the Cancer plot. But that was part of how to get Clare out of the Paris plot. I would have liked a bit more distance relationship plot if they could, but they couldn’t so we’ll move on. The various scenes were all heartbreaking and emotional and I was very pleased with the level of performance Aislinn gave us. It’s shaping up to be a heartbreaking summer block.

    Imogen+Adam+Becky: I… really want an explanation for Becky’s jealousy. Cause… it felt really pushed in the bad way to go right into “Stay away from Imogen.” Becky has so little to fear about girls taking her boyfriend that one single girl being capable of ruining her cool like that needs an explanation. The set-up of Imogen just needing ANYONE to be her friend plays well, as does her and Adam being close as they are the pair of odd ducks in the camp roster. I’m all for seeing how this plays out.

    The cast not in play: Luke (being with Becky in Florida), Dave (being somewhat pigeonholed out of relationships to work with, he has Eli and Adam), and Zig (his closest relationships are Adam and Immy) all seem hard to fit into plots for the summer block. If the focus really sticks to Clare+Eli, Paris Trip, and Camp then it makes sense for such a light cast this block. And to return the missing cast come 13B. I don’t want to lose cast they can still work into plots, but I don’t want them to force cast use where they aren’t needed.

    Overall, I was happy with the start of S13.

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  17. I didn’t expect to like Miles as much as I do. So far he does NOT seem like a rehash of Declan–who was supposed to be the rich bad boy but never quite hit the “bad boy” of it. Miles definitely does, and the undertones of his family life from Maya’s POV was very fun….it almost seems like a possible abuse storyline which I’d be interested to see! There was Jane’s…okay-ish random storyline, but, besides that, there was just Craig’s back in season 2 (still probably my favorite storyline).

    I think it’s a good time for Degrassi to do another abuse storyline (oh and I’m not counting Terri’s–I mean parental abuse).

    I hate Zoe. But then, I think we’re meant to at the moment. Who knows, they may do something that makes her better later on, more likable. I had thought I’d hate Becky when I first heard about her, but I like Becky!

    Winston is amazing. We saw him for a very short period of time, but I love him! I can’t wait to see more!

    Clare’s story was very good, also! Clare’s breakdown into admitting she’s scared was believable and very in-character.

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  18. I really wasn’t thinking that I’d come out of the watching premiere and end up liking Miles. I thought that he looked like a snob from the promos, but after the episode, I really ended up liking him.

    Ugh. I just hate Zoe. She’s horrible.

    Clare!! I’m still in denial that she has cancer. I love how Eli flew out for her though. ECLARE!!!

    I really like Winston. Even though he only had like 2 lines, I think he’ll end up being my favorite character this season.

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  19. I’ so glad Degrassi is having another cancer plot. The previous ones have been very lacking. I know exactly what Clare is going through, being diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma at 15. I can relate to her trying to stay positive and trying to lighten the mood. As a cancer patient I felt kind of responsible for my loved one’s pain, and I did anything I could to try to make them smile, or think that this wasn’t that big of a deal. I still have ( probably will always have) my chest scare where my portacath was placed. I don’t think her diagnoses was rushed it all. My diagnoses came pretty quickly, too!

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    1. You are a brave soldier! Keep it up…

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  20. Johnny Malkovich July 12, 2013 at 12:31 am

    I didn’t enjoy Maya’s plot. I feel as though she tries to hard to seem pissed off. Also, I don’t like that they over use Clare. Seriously, she gets a storyline in every episode, while other characters such as Luke, Dallas, (Even past characters like Chantay) have never gotten main storylines. I DID like Adam and Imogen’s plot, and I hope they show more of them. I’m hoping other people besides Clare and Eli get some glory this season.

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  21. I would actually like to see Maya with Winston…I believe they would be more compatible.

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  22. So originally I planned on disliking Miles just because he seemed like a reincarnation of Declan Coyne as the billionaire playboy. But this episode really surprised me because it opened a lot of doors for his character. First of all, the drugs and alcohol is something that I hope stays relatively subtle until he gets a really dramatic plot. Then the relationship with his father. I mean, there’s so much potential there what with his father wanting him to be like his siblings, and the physicality of their relationship. I just think that Miles has a lot of potential beyond a triangle between him, Maya, and Zoe. I’m really hoping the writers develop a lot of subtle undertones to his character then bring them to this massive breaking point later in the season because I think that would be a really cool way to integrate a relatively reclusive, to himself character that doesn’t care much about other people or have really any sense of social obedience.

    As for Winston, I am optimistic. His character is probably the most widely relatable and realistic on the show just because he doesn’t seem to have overly dramatic factors in his life like all the other characters do. I would actually rather him be this side character to Miles for the season rather than force him into his own storyline with some random drama used to build up the hype.

    Now Zoe just seems bad. Not that the actress is bad but I think the character is just written so poorly and so stereotypically that it’s going to be hard to develop her character in any new or inventive ways. Plus, I can’t really imagine her having her own storylines other than being invovled with Miles. As a character, Zoe just seems like an overused device to further other plots. I’m not really sure how much hope I have for her unless something dramatically changes which I honestly don’t see happening.

    Onto Maya’s plot. At some points, I think this plot was done quite well. The overall theme is Maya’s fear of being left alone. I think the scene with Katie when she says that everyone leaves her is key. At first that scene felt oddly used like the writers could have done something else, but the hint to Cam was just too well done to be ignored. That and other references to Cam throughout the episode is really encouraging that the writers will continue Maya’s plot without forgetting what had already happened to her (which we all know they sometimes do). I do find it interesting that all the new characters were immediately introduced into Maya’s storyline. This is only concerning because it makes me think that there’s going to be this division between them and the rest of the cast. But overall, I think her plot set up a lot of possibility with the Winston/Miles friendship, the Miles/Maya/Zoe triangle, the Tristan/Maya dynamic, and the Tristan/Zoe dynamic. I just wonder how Zig will factor in, if at all.

    With Clare, part of me wants her to die because I can’t remember the last time a character died from cancer and its a very real possibility. I think that this episode was a fantastic intro into the plot for Clare. I absolutely loved the scene when Clare tells the nurse that she didn’t like the hospital gown. I think that it was that scene that really opened the emotional and mental battle that Clare is going to be facing. The cancer sotryline is heavy and I do think that Clare really is the only character that we, as an audience, can watch go through this and be conflicted by wanting her to survive and wanting to see her die. The lead up with the computer sex was good too because it built up Clare’s emotional setting. While I fully expect people to complain about the Eli/Clare, I think it’s important to note that this build up sets the stage for an emotion and mental battle for both Eli and Clare, which is something I hope the writers expand on because cancer affects everyone around it. I can’t wait to see how the writers handle this.

    Adam’s storyline feels oddly forced. Just different pieces of it are just out of place and don’t fit well. For example, we haven’t seen a possessive side of Becky before. Suddenly she’s over protective and quick to pull the trigger on Adam and Imogen’s friendship. It’s almost so badly out of place that the entire plot seems doomed. Then there’s Imogen. Back to being quirky? While she was absolutely hilarious, I just find it difficult to believe that she so quickly becomes the crazy girl again. Now, it’s understandable that after breaking up with Fiona (whom she loved), Imogen recedes back to what she knows, but it just feels unusual without any explanation or transition from the season 12 ending to this episode. The only hope I really had for this plot was Adam’s unawareness of Imogen’s feelings. I think that it would have had more potential had he not even recognized that Imogen liked him because that way its a more common situation that can have both drama and tension and amusement and comedy. Alas, Adam figures out that Becky thinks Imogen likes him. I just think the behavior of all three was off putting this episode. But hopefully this plot improves because honestly, I think Adam was, at one point, one of the strongest characters with some extremely high potential. We shall see.

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  23. Grades for the plots

    A-Plot: B
    B-Plot: A
    C-Plot: D+

    Overall, I thought the season 13 premiere was decent but not as good as the previous one. However, elements such as Miles in Maya’s storyline and Clare’s subplot made this premiere stand out a bit.

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  24. You didn’t say if you liked the intro! Geez after the AWESOME season 12 premiere this falls way short. I have a feeling the new intro didn’t work in their favor because the last time they did something diferent it was also the season I stopped watching because it went down hill. I liked the old one better!

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  25. I love Miles already… He seems like a real nice person under all that emotional mess hes covering up because of his dad. I actually think he really likes Maya but of course this is Degrassi then we get Zoe.. the mean girl, Winston they guy who seems to balance Miles. And Tristan.. He actually angered me in this EP.

    Im not a Eclare fan but the end really did touch me. Clare needs her rocks right now and thats is her family and Eli. I just hope in the ladder of 13A She doesn’t push Eli away due to fear of dying and him losing another girlfriend from death. But I have a feeling she will beat
    cancer.

    As For Miss Imogen I think this heartbroken girl is latching to Adam for the wrong reasons. She is lonely and vulnerable she has one friend right now. That is Adam. She probably thinks Eli is still in NY. So will have to wait and see.

    Becky & Adam?? If I was Becky I would have told Adam that Imogen has a crush on him and to be careful instead of telling him not to hang out with Imogen. Plus I wouldn’t blame Becky being jealous. I have a very bad feeling we will see de ja vu with Imogen later on, as in Now & Never Imogen. And everything will backfire and end very badly for Imogen.

    I know there will be hook ups and break ups in 13A and I also know one couple will break up for good. The only four couples are Jonnor, Eclare, Drianca and Beckdam. I just hope no main character dies in 13A . Im hoping that the funeral is a very bad dream.

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  26. Miss Understood July 12, 2013 at 4:25 am

    Winston’s actor’s body movements say a lot about his character. I hope with what I inferred, he truly plays out with what I think his character entails.

    I really enjoyed Imogen. Despite the fact her infatuation with Adam was seemingly random (or was it elsewhere, that they had contact?), her character shows how in-depth her mentality is. Imogen is manipulative, and creative with her surrounding. She users a positive personality to hide more darker thoughts. I really hope they play this one out!

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    1. Imogen knows Adam from WhisperHug. He is probably the only person she really had hung out with (besides Drew) working at the camp.

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  27. i thought clares story was the most interesting. i think that sickness in characters is almost always interesting. i recall watching episodes when spinner is dealing with his cancer (or not dealing with his cancer), and being glued to the tv, even when i had seen repeats a number of times.
    tristan was annoying. they justified his behavior with a single line about tori leaving him, and him being afraid of maya leaving him for a boy. obviously theres going to be drama with her and miles. it seems completely unavoidable. and for the record, almost all 14 year old girls are a roller coaster of drama in some way because puberty is a bitch.
    as far as the love triangle, im not completely convinced of this whole imogen’s magical new liking for adam. it does bring me back to the days when fiona and adam were an item, and fiona was merely getting ‘the best of both worlds’ because of adams transgender status. ive never been a fan of beckys character though. it really could just be sarah fishers acting, but i cant be sure. what happened to her brother?
    something else i wonder is if we will ever see d’arcy again seeing as how clare has cancer now. or if she will ever be mentioned again. i find it highly ridiculous that siblings are magically forgotten by younger brothers and sisters on this show. definitely not how real life works!!

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  28. I wish it was available online now =[

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  29. Very intrigued by Clare’s plot. I’m curious to see what her fate will ultimately be. We’ve had three other characters with cancer (Spinner, Anya’s mom, Snake), and all of them pulled through it. While I think it’s important to show that a cancer diagnosis is not an automatic death sentence, I also think it’s important to show that cancer CAN kill. It’s been a long time since a long-time main character has died, and no character has ever died of cancer. And given that the writers finally went there with Cam’s suicide last season, I feel they could do the same with one of their leading ladies…

    Also, the parallels between EClare and Romeo and Juliet over the past few seasons are a little unsettling…

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  30. anyone know what the song was that played while Miles was jumping into the pool?

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  31. I did not have a problem with Imogen’s random attraction to Adam, due to the breakup and her random personality. My problem with the plot is that it did not feel a lot like a love triangle. Beckadam spent most of their screen time making out. And as soon as Becky was gone Torreno couldn’t coexist. In my opinion they did not setup Adam being torn, and Imogen is supposedly done trying to tear Adam away. So it will be interesting to see the next course the storyline takes.

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  32. -I also noticed that “Like Whoa” was playing in the opening scene to! A great connection to an old Degrassi band…Quite a flashback to “Just Can’t Get Enough’s” opening scene. Now I’m hoping at some point they’ll use “My Window” by Craig Manning it a future episode!! (or really any song by Craig/Downtown Sasquatch).

    -Miles did seem a lot like Declan, it will be interesting to see if he “cools off” like Declan seemed to when he entered a relationship with Holly J…

    -Overall, though, Maya’s plot seemed all over the place. It would have worked okay in place of “Zombie,” but her plot her seemed a lot like a reboot of Zombie just with the introduction of the new characters.

    -That is an interesting note about a potential abuse storyline with Miles…It would be interesting to see them try all though I can’t see them topping Craig’s abuse storyline (The same way that “When Doves Cry” will probably never be topped in terms of being Degrassi’s best Season Premiere.

    -Clare’s plot was very strong; the cancer reveal seem was just like the way they did it with Spinner in “Death or Glory.” It will be very interesting to see how this storyline plays out but it’s off to a great start.

    -Imogen/Adam is intriguing; It seemed kind of left field although it makes sense given the end of Fimogen.

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  33. My thoughts on the Miles/Declan comparison. Declan was more of a man whore than a bad boy. Miles seems to be a combination of bad boy/man whore. Miles is obviously lashing out at his father through his antics, but he and Declan are only similar in the aspect of being wealthy, prep school kids with man whore tendencies. I am loving Miles so far. He seems pretty layered.

    Maya’s plot was just a repeat of the Zombie plot, IMO. Clare’s storyline was much more dynamic and should have been the lead plot. I’m not liking this back and forth crap with Maya. Is she a good girl, is she a bad girl? Just make up your mind! She’s trying to be too many things at once. It’s getting a little annoying. Tristan is totally fabulous, though. Love him. It was nice to see Katie around.

    Clare’s plot broke my heart into a million pieces, but it is the star plot of this episode. The “video chat sex” was HILARIOUS and the delivery of the news to Clare from Helen that she had cancer was very well directed. Watching Clare’s expression slowly drop to horror and fear was truly one of the more heartbreaking scenes in the episode (next to the mirror scene and the scene where she breaks down to Eli’s Voicemail). Eli proved to be a GREAT boyfriend by returning for Clare. EClare, for once, didn’t feel so PUSHED down out throats.

    Becky/Adam/Imogen was pretty interesting to watch. Imogen is always her unique self, but still brilliantly on point. She totally served it to Becky with the, “I’m open minded…like you!” line. I like bitchy Becky much more than perky Becky. Adam and Imogen are a pretty interesting pairing. Imogen’s quirkiness and Adam’s laid back personality mesh pretty well. I’m interested to see where this goes. I believe Imogen and Adam are kind of perfect for one another. Imogen wouldn’t let the transgender situation bother her one bit. I think that’s something Adam needs and deserves.

    All in all I really liked this episode. It was far from the strongest premiere ever, but it was a pretty solid start to the season. I love how the writers created 3 situations that will be able to showcase several different story lines and yet keep most of the cast in the spotlight (i.e. The Paris Trip, Clare’s cancer, and the Degrassi day care).

    Lastly, the opening/theme. It’s different. I’m not a fan of it all that much. Personally, my favorite opening was the Season 6 and 7 opening. But the content of the episode is more important than the opening. So it’s all good.

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  34. The thing that bothered me about Maya’s plot was the fact that it was all over the place, as many other people have said. For the time ever on Degrassi, I found Maya’s character to be annoying. While I understand she is afraid of people leaving her, it still does not excuse her bland decision making during three quarters of the premiere. It’s like the writers wanted to shift her personality again only this time have it come from acting like a brat to her mother who called her out on being irresponsible. The lesson from this episode is dull considering the fact that Maya’s “resolution” is predictable from the second she starts acting out towards her mother. In terms of the new characters, Zoe is certainly a “diva”, as Kary would put it, but I’ll have to wait and see if this character deserves to be part of the Degrassi cast. My impression of Winston is that he is a chill person and that hopefully he will develop in future episodes. But the best new character to me is Miles because while the character might be a bad boy getting in trouble, we can see why during a verbal argument with his father. My hopes are high for Miles to have this kind of storyline in the near future. So at least the little things in Maya’s plot were good as opposed to the main story. Knowing that Maya existed as a plot device in this episode, if the writers are going to treat her character like this for the rest of the season then I will not hesitate to fast forward through those scenes; and judging by next week’s promo it seems her character once again does out of character things.

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    1. I really liked Maya’s plot! I kinda like Miles! He’s a rich bad boy but seems like he could be nice to Maya! I loved Clare’s cancer plot! It was so sweet how Eli flew to Toronto to be with her! I liked the Adam/Becky/Imogen plot! I hope Beckdam stays together!

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  35. I won’t lie, I got lost quickly in this episode and it took a second viewing to make sense of it. As a season premiere, it seemed weak compared to the previous seasons since the retcon. That’s not to say this episode didn’t have it’s bright spots, but it seemed to me that there were far more weak points than strong ones.

    A Plot/Maya:

    Maya’s plot to me was a mix:

    It had an underwhelming theme to it when it seemed that she was trying to skip back and forth between a “good girl” and “bad girl” persona. It was almost as if those parts were meant to be placed back in Season 12, but I suppose realistically the writers were trying to sell the fact that she is a young girl who just went through an emotional train wreck just a few months ago and is attempting to move on. Her plot did a lot to set her up for the rest of the summer block, so I look forward to seeing things unfold for her.

    Olivia Scriven’s acting in two specific scenes, along with the writers’ use of dialogue alluding to her recent past was very clever. The first was when Tristan carelessly mentions that Maya had two boys chasing after her in the last school year, and her stern response to end the conversation makes it seem very real that Cam’s suicide is still affecting her, or at least she doesn’t want to re-live the past. The other was in the kitchen with Katie washing dishes. Maya laments to Katie that she feels as though everyone eventually leaves her: Katie for soccer camp and college, Tori moving away, Tristan being drawn to Zoe’s fame, and then her uneasy silence that I can only assume was regarding Cam. Kudos to Degrassi’s writers for not having to mention Cam by name to make it plain that his death is still showing ripple effects on her as a character.

    I know a lot of people have said how they were disappointed by her performance in this episode, but try to keep in mind that this is a yet-to-be high school sophomore who seems to desperately want to forget a painful recent event that is obviously still haunting her in a lingering way.

    B Plot/Clare:

    At first I honestly didn’t know what Degrassi would have in store for Clare during her final season. I was honestly surprised by the writers’ twist with her in TTOML, and they made a great transition for Aislinn’s character into Season 13. The video chat sex scene was funny to me, given how formal and appropriate Clare has always been in behavior throughout most of her tenure on the show. After that, the scene where her mother tells her about the cancer diagnosis without us hearing is a great touch by the producers, making it seem that we are there with her in that living room but helpless to do anything. Her plot was engaging and Aislinn Paul because accurately portrayed a girl who tried to put a brave face on it at first, only to crumble under the pressure of reality once the seriousness of the situation set in by the end of her plot in the episode. Eli’s part in this plot was commendable, so I didn’t have a problem with his appearance. I’m guessing that his stint in Season 13 will basically be a supporting role to Clare as she struggles with her treatment and nothing more. But then again, who knows.

    C Plot/Becky, Adam, Imogen:

    As much as I enjoyed watching Beckdam in Season 12, I still don’t know what to make out of this blossoming love triangle. I thought Imogen’s admission that she doesn’t make friends easily and felt alone was very believable considering she was a social outcast for most of her time on the show, only being accepted into the mainstream student body when she got together with Fiona. It still doesn’t make sense to me why they would keep Cristine Prosperi around specifically for this, but its still early for predictions. It will be interesting to see how Adam deals with Becky being away, but I’m still at a loss where the origin of Imogen’s obsession with Adam began. I know she feels completely alone now with Fiona gone, but her instant attachment to her band mate Adam seemed a bit sudden and hard to understand and follow.

    The new characters seemed to be roughly what Degrassi sold them as so far. Miles is a rich kid who seems to be a magnet for trouble and could have a compelling storyline with his father as Kary pointed out. Winston’s lack of interaction as of yet makes it impossible for me to form an opinion on him, but time will tell. Zoe seems to be the diva that the producers made her out to be so far, and I’m sure there will be an interesting rivalry between her and Maya over Miles as the summer block progresses.

    All in all, to me this was an average season premiere leading into Season 13, but it certainly could have been worse. Clare’s storyline started out great and hopefully continues to keep on tuning viewers in as she begins to go through treatment. Maya’s plot, while not her greatest, has set her up for the rest of the summer block with plenty of opportunities to shine. Adam and Imogen’s plot seemed a bit off to me, but I’m interested to see where the writers take this as the block rolls out next week.

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  36. I also liked the episode, especially the Adam and Clare parts. But the Maya stuff was weird. I hated Zoe and Tristan annoyed me to no end, but Miles and Maya are interesting characters, and Chewy is too. I also hated the theme song, but maybe (hopefully) it is just for this episode.

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  37. Albert Smarowsky July 13, 2013 at 6:02 pm

    This episode was pretty great, although I agree with some that the Clare plot should have been the A plot. I still think Maya’s in a place where she is trying to figure out her life. People keep saying she has to be either good or bad, but I think she’s just lost since Cam’s death. I think that trip will be a big part of her changing. Am I the only one who isn’t so crazy over Tristan’s make-over? I think the blonde hair was just too much. One thing I did like was when Maya was told she could go on the trip, and her and Katie had their little moment…been a while since they’ve both been happy.

    As for the Imogen/Adam/Becky plot, I kinda like it. To me, I think Becky may be so jealous since she may have never had a boyfriend before, and she want’s him to herself. As a Christian myself, I think that’s how it should be. I think Imogen is just too clingy with Fiona leaving, and I feel it may be stemming from all the time she’s taken care of her dad. Also loved seeing a little sibling interaction there with Drew.

    By far, the Clare cancer plot was the most amazing. I was feeling the same emotions with this as when Cam died, and it was hard a few times holding back tears, especially when she broke down and called Eli, only to reach his voicemail; when he shown up, that was such a powerful scene. Someone mentioned how the “video sex” scene was a far cry from what her character has been, and I was actually thinking about how much she has changed since her first season (anyone member the black/white school girl outfit and the glasses?) The scene when she finds out was so hard to watch, as well as when she was starting the chemo. Whether she makes it or not, we do not know, but I just hope the producers do not drop the ball on this one. I have loved this show for years, not for the drama, but because it FEELS so real compared to most, and they really try to reach out to the viewers. I’ve told many people that anyone could get a lot out of it, and I hope it will be the same with this.

    Overall I think this was a great kickoff to the season, but it doesn’t come close to the premier for the second half of season 12. I may be the only one, but I like the opening theme. It was time to change it up, and I think the new one is a little more mature and fitting.

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  38. I really don’t know how I feel about this episode.

    After watching it all I could think of was
    1. Bow ties. And if Chewy will wear one every episode.

    2. Imogen saying she likes people and is open in response to Becky asking her if she still likes girls. With her saying that, it just seems to solidify even more in my mind that Imogen is Pansexual. And I really want to see this explored if it is true. But I’m not keeping my hopes up.

    I would also like to add Imogen and Adam being secret friends sounds really immature. I mean do people in high school really do stuff like that now of days? Maybe because it’s been a long while since I was in HS, and teens now of days have a different mindset then when I was their age…but I digress.

    The Clair plot really didn’t do much for me or leave much of an impression on me. I was bored whenever she was on screen. I probably sound heartless for saying this, but I didn’t feel any sympathy for her at all when she found out she had cancer. I knew I should feel bad for her, but I didn’t.

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  39. I have to say that the A plot was probably my least favorite. I found Maya incredibly annoying. I get that she hasn’t really dealt with Cam’s death, but you can only act like a brat for so long before someone calls you on your b.s. I don’t think her parents should have rewarded her bad behavior with a trip to Paris; her time would be better spent in therapy. Also, I was not a big fan of Tristan in this episode. He was just way too cartoonish. On the other hand, I think the character of Miles has alot of potential. We saw a little glimpse into his home life, and it definitely left me wanting more. Zoe is just a steroetypical mean girl, and I didn’t see enough of Chewy to know what his angle is yet.

    I totally agree with Kary’s assessment of the C plot. So, I don’t really have much to add. I’m just really glad to see Adam get some screen time. I think Imogen is just lonely & rebounding. It would be a shame for him & Becky to split up only to have Imogen break his heart. Either way, my curiosity for this storyline is piqued.

    I was blown away by Clare’s cancer plot. I kept hoping that it wouldn’t be true, but they slapped us in the face with it almost immediately. I thought the video chat sex scene was sweet & awkward, like so much of Eclare’s relationship.To go from the light-hearted tone of the scene with her & Eli to the gut-wrenching scene of Helen telling Clare her diagnosis made it that much more devastating. On another note, I have to say that I thought it was odd that they received Clare’s diagnosis by phone; information like that is usually delivered in person. Watching Clare go from quietly accepting to putting on a brave face to completely melting down was heartbreaking. It was an incredibly believable & human portrayal. Aislinn Paul was absolutely amazing in this episode. I am anxious to see where the storyline goes, but I hope Clare doesn’t die. I think, after Cam’s death last season, losing another main character would be overkill (no pun intended). The only negatives in this plot were pretty apparent. Where the hell is Darcy? And Randall? You would think a sister and a father, respectively, would be at her bedside. To a lesser degree, the same could be said for Jake & Glenn. However, what bothers me even more than the lack of family supporting Clare is her so-called best friend. How could Alli just go to Paris when her friend clearly needs her support right now? She can try to justify it by saying she wouldn’t have left if she wasn’t sure Clare would be ok. But most people could never walk away from a best friend if she was facing a six week hospital stay to fight for her life. Alli should be at that bedside, trying to keep Clare in good spirits. I have never thought Alli was a good friend to Clare, and this just cements it. Kudos to Eli for doing the right thing and coming home to the girl he loves, though.

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  40. Kary, I disagree with one big part of your assessment on Imogen/Adam/Becky triangle. Imogen’s clingyness to Adam is not (yet, anyway) romantic. While Becky’s declaration of war probably will, in effect, make things go exactly as she fears.

    Imogen’s in the same situation Fiona was during 11B. Her social circle is Bianca, Fiona, Eli, and Adam (and tangentially the other Whisperhug members). Adam is the only one that will be in town, and with her at the camp every day. That’s her only friend left, and the idea of being alone, especially after breaking up with Fiona, is probably a bit more than Imogen wants to deal with right now.

    While Fiona tried to befriend new people to be popular and surrounded by people, Imogen is clinging to the last friend she has. Now all of this will, of course, go to the stealing Adam place, but the thought it was clearly romantic doesn’t feel right for Imogen, who is rather affectionate and playful even with friends. Now, Becky might have felt it as romantic. Or just be threatened because Imogen, of all the girls in the world, overlooks details like sex and gender. So her reaction is still in that place, but clumsy Imogen interactions have lead me to think romance is never where she starts (except Eli, and she stalked him before she was introduced).

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  41. Hey does anyone know the music used in this episode? I know fefe dobson but what about the other songs…..

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    1. Unless I’m mistaken, they put out a list of all the music/songs used in each episode during the credits at the end. I think if you look back through the credits you can spot it. Hope this helps.

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  42. HOW QUICKLY CAN ONE DIE FROM CANCER? I DON’T WANT THEM TO KILL CLARE OFF

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