A failed attempt at someone trying to insult me. The most insulting part is that they failed to properly impersonate Amanda Bynes...she would've called me ugly!

A failed attempt at someone trying to insult me. The most insulting part is that they failed to properly impersonate Amanda Bynes…she would’ve at least called me ugly!

Today, I turn 30 years old.  Now I understand why people have that thing called a midlife crisis…the older you get, the faster time flies.  It doesn’t pass in hours and days anymore, it passes in weeks and months.  The funny part is that if I weren’t transparent about how old I am, no one would ever be able to accurately guess my age…no one ever does.  Yesterday, a group of people thought I was 18.

I am a 30-year-old straight male, and I happen to be a loyal Degrassi fan.  The show and its fandom are a daily part of my life.

I take it seriously, but not really.  99.9999999012839% of my time is spent joking around and being sarcastic with other fans of the show (regardless of their age), except for the times when I look for and debate various opinions about the show in a deeper manner.

I don’t receive as many negative comments directly as I’d expect, and I rarely get sucked into fandom drama.  When I do, whether it’s someone jumping down my throat because I dare criticize something they like about the show, or it’s a bizarre situation like me getting randomly accused of cyberbullying someone half my age (despite having zero track record of such behavior beforehand), hate toward me is always driven by derogatory remarks about my age.  For me the idea of people being “too old” to enjoy certain things is a yawn-inducing cliché, but I guess it’s better than the even more clichéd insults they could throw around…you know, with me being black and all.

Basically, it’s “lame as shit” that “a guy my age obsesses over a television show geared toward teenagers,” as if I were a jobless perv still living in his parents’ basement.  Only the problem with being labeled as THAT guy is that in real life I happen to be college educated, with a full-time job in my field and a social life outside of Degrassi.  I’m financially independent, but I’m neither married nor have kids, so I’m able to spend my free time literally doing anything I want.  What does it matter that I prefer to sit at home and watch the latest Degrassi episode on a Thursday night instead of spending the evening getting wasted at a bar?

At a time where everyone on the internet is obsessed with followers, clicks, likes and hits, there’s nothing lame about how I started blog from literally nothing, only to turn it into something that receives millions of hits a year.

There’s most definitely nothing lame about the friendships I’ve made because of this show.  The older fans I now talk to and have spent time with outside the context of the show are amazing.  The Degrassi cast is great, but while the majority of the fandom spends their time longing for the chance to meet them for a moment that lasts no longer than the blink of an eye, I would rather hang out with other Degrassi fans any day of the week…you all are the ones who make the 10,050 minutes of downtime between weekly episodes interesting.

Remember that time a bunch of us Degrassi fans (all over the age of 20) visited the set? Damn, I guess Epitome didn’t get the memo that we’re too old to be watching this show.

There’s nothing lame about enjoying a show that not only provides relatable situations for teenagers, but also relatable life lessons for people of any age.

There’s nothing lame about browsing tumblr to find thousands of Degrassi gifs and edits by so many talented young people, some who might’ve never taken the time to learn how to do so if it weren’t for this show.  And among the absurd fangirl behavior that graces any fandom, there are lots of young people who show they’re capable of conveying their opinions in an intelligent, respectful manner.

There’s nothing lame about supporting the work of adults much older than myself, who immerse themselves in teen culture and work tirelessly to create a product they hope the masses enjoy.  And if you’re wondering, yes I’m talking about the Degrassi crew.

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Applying the absurd logic directed toward me toward the show’s crew means Degrassi writers = a group of lame adults getting paid to write a teen soap opera because “they aren’t talented enough to do anything else.”

The point of all of this is a reminder that there’s no shame in enjoying an activity that you invest a lot of time in, regardless of what anyone says.  I give zero fucks what anyone thinks because it’s not like I just started watching this show a year, or two years or even five years ago.  I’ve been watching this show since I was a 20-year-old kid (if you’re in your early 20’s you’re still a kid to me).  If I didn’t lose interest when the previous generation of fans and fandom gathering places got bored and moved on, then I have no reason to quit now simply because I’m “too old.”  This blog keeps me more invested in the show than I would be without it.  Heck, who knows if I would still be watching if I didn’t need to keep up with what’s happening daily.  Regardless, I’m committed until the show gets canceled, or everyone dies…that’s what I told myself when I started this blog, and I’m grateful for all of you who take time out of your day to read the things I post here.

I can handle verbal beat downs by shit talkers on the internet, but it still makes me sad when people in the Degrassi fandom become straight-up malicious and intentionally hurtful toward each other and the cast/crew when things don’t go their way, especially when it’s over the most silly things (*cough* SHIPS *cough*).  People will always show their asses on the internet simply because they can do so without direct consequence, so all we can really do is politely tell them to fuck off before going about our merry way.

If you do the grownup thing correctly, you have this thing called "disposable income." It makes being an adult fan awesome. Just ask the childless adults who take trips to Disney every year.

If you do the grownup thing correctly, you have this thing called “disposable income.” It makes being an adult fan awesome. Just ask the childless adults who spend their hard-earned money taking trips to Disney every year.

There will come a time where you won’t have the luxury of spending as much time as you want doing the things you want.  Your responsibilities will increase.  Your priorities will change.  You’ll become consumed by the daily grind of adult life.  You’ll feel tired ALL THE TIME.  Ask any of other 20 and 30-something Degrassians and they’ll agree.

So what time you do have to do as you please shouldn’t be spent with you worrying about anyone who may want to shit on your parade.  This goes for anything you enjoy doing, not just Degrassi.  Your passions will take you pretty far in life if you let them. My obsession with radio production in college (despite never working a single day at the college radio station) led me straight into my job.  Because of my obsession with Degrassi I was fortunate enough to visit the set (I’m forever grateful for the experience) and cross it off my bucket list, as well as many other things.  And if you’re one of those people who can’t help but be worried or be bothered by the world’s judgmental ways don’t worry…by the time you’re my age, you’ll be too tired to care what anyone thinks anyway.

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Posted by Kary

32 Comments

  1. Wow, this hits home. I’m turning 30 next month, but the only thing that shows it is my license. I love Degrassi, still play with Legos, and spend the majority of my time avoiding adults. I know this makes me eccentric, but I don’t care:)

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    1. Be who you are….I’m glad your not ashamed…I live near the mall of America and they have a huge store solely for legos. Me I’m getting back into watching power rangers as well as Degrassi. Both are similar in a sense that I literally grew up with the show and wont give up on it just cause I aged lol.

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  2. Pink Fox Designs - Kirsten Ann September 16, 2013 at 4:23 pm

    Thanks for writing this Kary. I won’t lie, I was a bit shocked after finding out this blog was written by a 28 year old male when I first found it two years ago, but I love the intelligent more mature take you put on reviews and such. It also makes me feel better i am 23 and still fan over the show. There are a lot of shows I watch I’m “too old” for but I’ve come to realize all that matters is you’re happy

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  3. Kary,

    I realize you were not attempting to justify your fan obsession with DeGrassi in this blog entry. However, I’m surprised that you didn’t touch on a parallel that many of your detractors might be able to understand more easily.

    This parallel? Trekkie’s! In this world today, I think there are very few culturally aware people who would even bat an eye at a 70 year old Star Trek fan. In fact, some of the most popular Trek fan sites were developed and maintained by hosts who are on Social Security. No one thinks twice about it. Go to Comic Con, take a look around at the ages of participants. Not just Star Trek fan, but fans, all fans in attendance. The average age is early to middle, middle age. In other words, average. They all have one thing in common, they are fans of a TV show, or a movie, or comic books. No one checks their id upon entering, all ages are welcome. There isn’t a minimum or maximum age requirement.

    You receive some criticism because your a fan of a show primarily concerning teenagers, teens who deal with very real problems. The show has stood the test of time and has the awards to prove it. Why shouldn’t a 30 year old male enjoy it along with everybody else? They should and they do, same as they enjoy many other dramas. Shows with main characters in their teens are popular to all age groups. These shows make lots of money, they have excellent ratings and air for multiple seasons. The reason they keep being produced is because they are popular across the board with all age groups.

    Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Veronica Mars, The Vampire Diaries, just a few dramas who’s characters started out in high school. There are lots and lots more. Take a second and check out Dan Warp’s blog. (creator of iCarly and Victorious) here’s a link to a post for embarrassed older viewers.

    http://danwarp.blogspot.com/2009/09/over-14-and-love-icarly-no-you-are-not.html

    I understand your blog post, but keep on doing what your doing, your doing some good work. Plus, I’m older than you….

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  4. You just gave me a brilliant idea. How long do you think it will be before we have Degrassicon?!!! In the meantime, I’ll be catching up on what I missed. I just got the original box set in today:)

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  5. Right FN On Kary!!!! As a 36 year brother I can totally relate. I’ve been watching the “Degrassi” franchise since 1987 when it was Jr. High & I refuse to let the johnny come latelys dictate to me that its not right. The fans that make me laugh are the ones that cry about missing the originals “spinner ,jimmy,etc. without realizing there not the “originals” Do you Kary & will continue to support!!! Degrassi fo lyfe

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  6. Kary, I have e-mailed you a couple times in the past. I’m sure I’m the oldest person that reads your blog and follows “Degrassi.” I am 53 years old and a straight male from California. I’ve always thought good High School dramas were some of the best tv ever. I grew up on “Room 222.” I would love to know if “Degrassi” Creators got the idea for the show from this show, which ran from 1969 to 1974. Also great High School dramas include “The White Shadow”-1977 to 1980. The recent “Friday Night Lights.” “What Really Happened to the Class of 65?” 1977-1978. Someone already mentioned “Veronica Mars”. ….5 years ago I had a Nephew and a Niece turn me on to “Degrassi.” I saw a couple marathons from the beginning. I have also got the dvds of the original shows. The writing and acting is excellent. What Imogene went through with her dad hit home to me because I have both parents in that same situation. …….Why is the reverse not mentioned? Why isn’t a 12 year old criticized for watching “The Golden Girls”, which is clearly aimed at an older audience and stars Betty White. ……For those of you that are historical, as well as current tv junkies, you might want to tune into an internet radio show called TV Confidential. Just google it. I have a friend, who is the Author of several tv books, that is the host of the 2 hour show. He discusses old and new tv. Among his books are “Star Trek”, “The Fugitive” “The Rockford Files”, etc

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    1. Haha, you sound like me, I grew up watching Kotter reruns on Nick at Nite. I caught Degrassi marathons a few years ago, and now I have the jr high dvds, I’m waiting on the high school dvds, and TNG. Are we officially addicted?

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  7. Thanks for the post….this makes me feel so much better about being a Degrassi fan outiside of it’s ‘key demo’ love your blog and can’t wait to follow the remainder of the season with you :)

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  8. Happy Birthday Kary!!!! I’m a 25 year old gay black male and will love this show until the end!

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  9. You are amazing though you don’t need me to that! I’ve followed your blog for years and I know I couldn’t pull it all off like you. So Happy Birthday to you as someone who just got turned 30 as well know you are not alone! Stay awesome and thank you for being my age!

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  10. 21 year old fan of degrassi and proud!! BEEN WATCHIN SINCE JUNE 4TH 2003! my 11th bday! GO KARYY!! Thank u for the work u put into this blog maynnnn! I love reading ur reviews and where else would I find out breakin news on degrassi??? NO WHEREEEE

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  11. Happy Birthday! and I love this post lol I’m a 24 year old Black male and will always and forever love this show! lol

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  12. Wow, its amazing that I’m not the only person thats over 30 that watches the show.. Its a great show to help parents too. I have a 10 year old and I will not let him watch this show yet. Too much adult content that he will not understand. As we know Many things have changed over the years except for the awkwardness of being a teenager. … Anywho, Kary, Happy Birthday

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  13. You rock Kary! Did the crew invite you on set after seeing this blog? Thanks for always bringing some sunshine to my day :)

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  14. I know it probably doesn’t matter, but I just wanted to tell you that I really appreciate what you’re doing! I’ve been reading your blog for a few years now and quite frankly, when it comes to TV series blogs it’s definitely the best one I’ve seen. I’m from Poland and there are not so many Degrassi fans here, I mean – my friends don’t seem to be interested whatsoever. That’s why it’s great to be able to read somebody else’s (somebody reasonable, not insane shippers) opinions and observations, which are often very similar to mine. Btw., I’m pretty sure age has nothing do to with one’s hobbies, so what the hell, haters? Happy birthday, Kary, and keep on doing whatever you like (meaning the blog, ofc. :D)! You’re awesome. (:
    PS: Sorry for my grammar, it’s still far from perfect.

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    1. Lorelle, don’t worry about your English. Its better than alot of people I know and work with. :) ……How do you watch Degrassi in Poland? Is it on Direct TV or does Teen Nick have a European station?

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      1. Degrassi used to air on ZigZap (a polish TV channel), but it doesn’t exist anymore so I have to watch it online. (: and thanks, it’s really nice to know my english doesn’t suck that much. :D

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      2. Wow, am I really that far behind on the show? I’m just now waiting on seasons 1-5 to get here, so I can catch up with them.

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  15. Im a 22 year old male and i will always love this show, this blog is one of the few that I’ve been visiting for years. FUCK the haters keep doing you Kary! Im sure the whole cast appreciates the work you put in, cause the fans do!

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    1. Damn straight!!! This is a show for all ages, and there is no reason that anyone shouldn’t watch it b/c of their age. I just found this blog, and so far, I love it. Keep up the good work.

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  16. Well said sir! As a 26 year old viewer, I’ve watched the majority of this show’s seasons when they aired originally. That being said, there is no reason for anyone to feel ashamed or embarrassed about watching a television show they enjoy, whether its about teens/teen issues, or something completely unrelated.

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  17. I agree so much with this! I am 23 year old woman and people make fun of me for loving this show. I try to get them off my case about it by telling them I have been watching it since I was 12 and that it is just a nostalgia thing. Which is kinda true, but the main reason is that it is actually pretty good. Even my 22 year old boyfriend watches it with me and enjoys it. It has it’s lame moments, but what show doesn’t? Also, some of the kids (I don’t know why I am saying kids when I at least know that Munro Chambers is my age) on this show are so talented and the writers are pretty amazing. I’ve gasped, I’ve laughed, I’ve wanted to yell at the TV, and I have bawled my eyes out (at every major character’s death. Ugh!). It’s not some lame cookie-cutter Nickelodeon or Disney teen show. I see myself in some of these characters and their struggles. Even though it takes place at I high school. Because let’s be honest, high school never really ends.

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  18. Just wanted to chime in–I’m 32 and I love Degrassi. I have since I was in the single digits and fell back in love with it in my 20s. And, as you can tell from these comments, low key, half your readership is good and grown…so obvi, we are not alone :) There is zero shame in taking a passion and building a kind e-empire around it. Congrats on your accomplishment. Not to mention there is something to be said about brown men delving more deeply into technology and STEM careers.

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    1. I feel you man. 24 year old straight black male who’s been watching DTNG since day one (I was 11 or 12 back then. damn time flies.) and has no plans of stopping until it ends, no matter how hard Season 13 has been to watch thus far (if I got through season 7, i can get through anything).

      I had no idea you were that much older than me though, you look like you’re in your early twenties. (thats a complement though!)

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  19. You’re 30 so who cares? is there a law or an specific rule that says 30 year old people is not allowd to watch a tv show? everyone is free to like whatever they want and people who’s worried or concerned about it should be about their own lives which most be perfect since they have nothing more important to worry about than kary’s age and his taste on television shows. Why can’t we live and let others live?

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  20. kary have you ever thought about doing episode grades for the original degrassi? This 23 year old Danielle love it!!!!

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  21. Would* auto correct fail

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  22. And this is why I follow you on twitter and think you’re kind of awesome for what you do. As a 34-year-old female who works in a high school and spends most of my free time playing video games, I too give zero fucks about what anyone thinks. So I’m not married. So I don’t have kids. So what? I’m happy with my life and my hobbies, and in the end that’s all that matters.
    I started watching Degrassi as a kid on channel 13 early Sunday mornings. Decades later I got drawn back in, and genuinely enjoy watching it. I’m sure people judge when I livetweet Degrassi, but again- zero fucks!
    Keep doing what you’re doing, Kary. You’re awesome.

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  23. I started watching TNG from the first episode because I was the same age as the kids in the show. I have watched jr high and degrassi high. Hell my mom watched degrassi when she was in high school. I’ve never missed an episode of the new series and I’ve re-watched the originals on netflix a few times. I’m going to be 25 this week and I don’t care that I’ve still never missed an episode. As the show keeps going the fans will age (naturally) and I’m sure no one has problems with anyone who has been watching the Simpsons consistently for the past 2 decades.

    I’ve always appreciated your blog as one I could go to for information on whats coming up or what I need to catch up on. I think part of what makes your blog worth coming to is that you are mature enough to just give us the truth not clouded with 13 year old girl fandom (no offense to the kids out there!) I remember when I was a 13 year old girl trying to find info and it was frustrating because it wasn’t consistent.

    I also know when I’m a parent I will be happy I’ve seen every degrassi episode because for me it was a relate-able way to learn about tough subjects and a good place to get the ball rolling on hard conversations. (Not to mention it was one of the first times I saw my heritage explored on tv with Manny’s family and her debut) It even opened up a conversation with my little brother about transgender people “why are those kids being so mean to that boy?” (it melted my heart)

    Anyways that just turned into my reasons why I still love Degrassi….. But keep it up and who cares how old you are!!! (Happy belated birthday!)

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