MAYA PLOT RECAPAfter realizing that her laptop is missing after class in the rubber room, Maya believes Zig might’ve stolen it.  She follows him home after school and witnesses him squatting in an abandoned house.  She tries to confront him and find out why he’s living there, but Zig refuses to talk to her.  The next day, Maya tells Ms. Grell about Zig’s living situation, and Grell tells her that if he isn’t living in a safe place then she will have to call Children’s Aid.  Zig is livid that Maya told Ms. Grell about where he’s living, and is forced to admit to Maya that his parents kicked him out.  Mrs. Matlin discovers Maya’s laptop was at home all along, leaving Maya feeling guilty for accusing Zig.  Maya tells her mom about Zig’s situation, and pleads with her to let Zig stay with them temporarily.

1325-1It’s funny how one minor suggestion can influence someone’s decisions.  For some completely unknown reason Tristan is adamant that Zig is the one who stole Maya’s laptop, planting the seed in her head that won’t go away, even after she’s caught snooping in Zig’s bag.  The stolen laptop angle leads Maya into discovering that Zig is living alone in an abandoned house.  The scene where we view him sitting inside of this house, alone, is powerful.

This isn’t like the days of Sean Cameron living in a minimally-furnished place by himself in season 3, becoming empowered by his ability to finally behave like a responsible adult at a young age.  Zig is horrified when Maya shows up at his front door; he’s embarrassed that someone’s discovered his current living conditions, a far cry even from the days of him being too ashamed to tell Tori that his family is poor.

1325-2In Unbelievable, we saw a scenario where a character was in a bad situation, and for the most part no one really seemed to care.  Becky wound up taking the lead, and by the end of the episode quite a few people finally jumped into Zoë’s corner.

We’re kind of in that same type of situation in What It’s Like when it comes to Maya and her friends.  Miles, Tristan and Zoë couldn’t care less about Zig being homeless.  “This isn’t your problem,” Miles says, angry that Maya seems overly concerned about another guy.  “What are you going to do, adopt him?” Tristan says jokingly.  Though she might be misguided in thinking she’s the reason Zig is where he is now, Maya feels guilty for not being there for Zig over the summer, when something affected him enough to change his personality and eventually get him kicked out of his parents’ home.

Of course Zig accepting Maya’s offer to live at her house will open up a can of worms when it comes to her relationship with Miles.  However, forcing Zig’s character back into the fold with major characters on the show is putting us one step closer to finding out the answer to season 13’s biggest question:  What happened to Zig while everyone else was in Paris last summer?

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JENNA PLOT RECAPJenna nominates herself and Connor to be king and queen of the upcoming semiformal because she wants people to stop thinking they’re a weird couple.  Connor agrees to take part in Jenna’s wardrobe makeover experiment for him, but he eventually becomes frustrated with the process.  Jenna tries to apologize and finds Connor has upgraded his wardrobe on his own.  Jenna’s happy with the change, until she sees Connor is now receiving attention from other girls.

1325-3There’s something almost comforting about watching Jenna and Connor interact.  “Connor is his own person, it’s…sexy,” Jenna says.  The perception is that people think Connor is weird, but Jenna takes his personality in stride.  When she’s trying to get him to change his wardrobe, she rolls with it as Connor questions her about it as if it were a scientific project.

While Jenna might be comfortable in her relationship with Connor, she’s also aware of how it’s perceived from the outside.  “Why do you care so much what other people think?” Connor asks.  That’s a good question; Jenna doesn’t seemed concerned with Jonnor’s image, until Clare and Alli tell her that’s the one thing people care about when voting for king and queen of the dance.

On Connor’s end we see how he handles a social situation nowadays, given that glimpses into his character beyond funny one liners are rare these days.  He’s still brutally honest, but while a younger Connor simply wouldn’t understand Jenna’s position, he ultimately decides to go through with changing his look because he wants to make her happy.  Connor remains himself though, citing that he realizes compromise is important in a relationship because he read about it somewhere.

The plot seems to wrap itself up very quickly until the twist at the end, when we see Connor surrounded by a group of grade nines girls who want him to tutor them.  Of course Connor has no interest in them and is oblivious to the fact they find him attractive now (who knew all it took to be sexy was to lose the glasses and wear cool clothes?).  However, it will be interesting to see how Jenna reacts to no longer being the only female who’s physically attracted to Connor.

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BECKY PLOT RECAPImogen becomes smitten with a new female student named Jack, and it leaves Becky feeling jealous.  Imogen and Jack have so much in common that Becky feels left out when the three of them are hanging out.  Drew tells Becky that she should get some alone time with Imogen so they can talk, and it leads Becky to ask Imogen to be her date for the semiformal.

1325-4I really like this storyline so far.  Becky and Imogen have a friendship that’s been built through the time they’ve spent together working on Degrassi TV.  After the events of Unbelievable, it’s assumed that Becky has relied quite a bit on Imogen for emotional support.  “It’s been hard at home,” Becky says after thanking Imogen for being there for her.

One thing to remember is that Becky is someone who’s never had a lot of close friends.  In the season 12 episode Closer To Free, she told Jenna she had a very close relationship with her brother Luke, but “it’s not the same as having a real girlfriend.”  Her friendship with Jenna has faded over time on the show, probably moreso the direction of the writing/characters in general than any actual issue between the two.  After the first eight episodes of season 13 both Becky and Imogen were standalone characters, so it’s only natural that the show would pair them up.

However, Jack poses an instant threat.  Unbelievable continued to show how naive and inexperienced Becky is, and it continues here in What It’s Like.  The most notable scene is where Jack calls Imogen weird, and Becky doesn’t understand that Jack was actually complimenting Imogen.  Imogen is quirky and Jack shares her eclectic tastes.  The two hit it off immediately, and Becky is left wondering whether her only close friend will eventually ditch her for a girlfriend.

Friendships are a highly underrated aspect of this show, and I like a simple, common element (jealousy) being tossed into the mix.  The biggest cause of issues in romantic relationships on Degrassi is a lack of communication, and it’s refreshing to see this translate over to a friendship as well.  Becky asks Imogen to the dance so they can “get to know each other more intimately,” a poor choice of words on her part because it leads Imogen to believe Becky has romantic feelings for her.  “You’re the most important person in my life right now,” Becky says.  Imogen doesn’t seem all that thrilled for this “date” with Becky, whose shattered home life has her desperately clinging to her closest friend.

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Posted by Kary

15 Comments

  1. Why doesn’t the show pair up Zig and Becky who both have problems with their families right now?

    Date: Wed, 19 Mar 2014 06:38:10 +0000 To: lornefreeman@hotmail.com

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  2. that part where the new girl & imogen were talking about music & then art, was just like that old episode where the college kids were having dinner & manny was feeling too dumb so she took cocaine or whatever. news flash for tv shows, kids in high school & college, or any age, dont talk about books or in depth school material, or art or obscure music when theyre together, they gossip & talk about nothing. obviously in both cases its done to make manny & now becky feel left out, but thats so unrealistic. probably worse in that old episode but still in this one people that just met dont talk about obscure music & art, and then miraculously they both know what theyre talking about.

    also i think the new girl is prettier than what the show is dressing her up as right now with that horrible makeup & lipstick, not to mention that horrible outfit where she looks like a mime, but becky is way hotter so theres no way imogen would be sexually interested in this new uglier girl.

    & i never got around to posting a comment on last weeks episode, which i liked, but from a tv point of view, becky’s brother had pretty much not been on the show for 1-2 years, then he suddenly pops up and is focused on, that was a dead giveaway that he was the culprit. & i dont really think that episode needed to be pushed back an hour, the subject matter was heavier, but nothing shown was really anything, until they showed him kissing her at the end they basically only touched her shin on camera. it was nowhere near as impactful as when darcy had slit her wrists in the shower.

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    1. Wow, are you even serious? Plenty of people in their teens-20s definitely talk about books/art/”obscure” music such as… Radiohead… I’m sorry you’ve only met boring people who are into current mainstream pop culture- but hey, maybe you like it that way. Whatever, but it’s silly to insist that the only people who exist in the world are exactly like you and your friends.

      Becky being “way hotter” in your view doesn’t mean Imogen wouldn’t be into the new girl. Not everyone has the same taste in physical appearances, and some people don’t even really care (gasp!). I’m sure you think it’s a myth perpetuated by unrealistic t.v. shows that are just trying to make everyone feel good, but lots of people actually do value personality above looks.

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  3. I also really enjoyed Becky’s plot, not to mention her character a lot more than on a few previous episodes. The other two were really enjoyable as well. Thanks for the effort of writing these reviews, I always come here to read them after watching the new episodes.

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  4. Just as I feared, this was about Jenna instead of Connor. Is it too much to ask for a plot from CONNOR’s POV? I’m so sick of the writers wasting characters’ potential because they don’t like giving nerdy characters who aren’t Clare or Maya screentime.

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  5. After last week’s heavy episode, it seems that we got some rather light fare in “What’s it Like”. I only saw the last half of the episode, but feel like I got a pretty good grasp of what transpired.

    I must say this week was a disappointment after the previous couple of episodes. Of course, anything following last week’s “Unbelievable” would be considered a disappointment. The Zig/Mya/Tristan love triangle was coming from a mile away and it looks like things will come to a boil on next week’s episode. Despite the predictability of this storyline, I have been impressed with Zig’s bad boy role. It suits him to a tee. Last night we discovered that his parents kicked him out the house and hopefully we will soon find out more about the actions that led them to make that decision.

    The gist I got from the Connor/Jenna story is that Jenna was embarrassed of Connor’s appearance. Ironically, Jenna now seems bothered by the attention he receives from other girls. Is it just me, or has Jenna not been involved in any meaningful storylines this season?

    It remains to be seen whether Becky just wants to become better friends with Imogen, or if there is a deeper romantic connection. If it’s the latter, then it would be quite the departure from the Becky who started Season 12 as the mildly-homophobic bible thumper.

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  6. I actually loved this EP.. it actually focused on the biggest problem with people, yes even adults. communication errors. Opening up to people you care about and saying the wrong thing or using the wrong words. Maya should have talked to Zig before talking to a teacher to get the story why his parents kicked him out. I can see this will not be good for Maya and her family. 2 of the biggest reasons why parents kick there kids out.. Stealing and Drugs. And a few may have to do with sexuality. Becky uses the word ‘intimate’ the wrong way towards Imogen, now Imogen seems confused. As us viewers we know Becky is really upset that thinks she will lose another friend to a romance. Like she did with Jenna. As for Jenna her insecurities are at a high again but at least she and Connor actually communicate and thats a big plus. Unlike other couples on this show. *cough cough* Eclare & thats all.. Hopefully in the next EP we will see the aftermath of the Maya/Zig/Miles drams. And for Imogen & Becky to balance there friendship.

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  7. I usually have a lot issues with this show but I enjoyed this episode.
    I think whoever said the new girl isn’t prettier than Becky is totally right. They really screwed the new girl over with her ugly outfit. It was really ugly even IMO and I usually don’t notice that stuff. I kinda thought the new girl was a bit bold asking Imogen out so fast and in front of Becky like that- I’m not sure if I like her boldness or not. I’ll have to see her more to find out.
    I’m pretty excited to see how Becky will react when she realizes how Imogen now views their friendship tehe that’ll be funny. They’re friends so I don’t think it will be a bad thing just funny because they had a communication failure.
    Now I know I’ve expressed my hatred for Ricardo Hoyos before on here but I actually didn’t hate him in this episode haha. I hope he doesn’t ruin it in the next episode. I really am excited to see why he got kicked out I just hope it isn’t something totally stupid. It’ll be interesting to see the effect the new living arrangement will have on Miles, Maya, and Zig.
    The only character I can’t stand atm is Tristan because they’ve made him so stereotypically flamboyant that it drives me nuts. I don’t care who he likes but he is just annoying and he is only there to be everyones gossip pal. He needs another episode about him. I generally like him when he is the focus of an episode but not as a supporting character- he makes up too many words. I really hope my opinion of Tristan doesn’t sound anti-gay since it isn’t intended that way.

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    1. I kind of agree with you actually. I cant stand Tristan this season. which is a shame because he was one of the more likable characters in season 12.

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      1. I actually like Tristan more now. Things he says and the way he says them makes me laugh. I wonder if people are put off by it because it’s become so un-PC to portray a gay character as flamboyant? But Degrassi waited so long before they had a character like this that I don’t think it’s a problem. I don’t view it any differently than how they’ve always had stereotypical shallow cheerleader types- not every teen girl is like that, but some are, so some characters are going to be developed that way.

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  8. ok why is Zoe’s story not the main focus?

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    1. Because it was the focus of two episodes last week? It’s best to space storylines out by a few episodes so we don’t get sick of the character.

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  9. I really hope that this means we get more Zig time. Besides the fact that Ricardo is incredibly good looking, Zig is a great character and has gotten the shaft in the same way that Sam Earle/KC did in his later seasons.

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  10. I don’t know but some times it seems like the younger characters are acting a little more heartless. Like Tristan accusing zig of stealing the computer, or the group not caring that this boys is homeless. Even though he was once Tristan and Maya’s friend. Even when everything was happening with Zoe the group seemed very selfish, and had a lack of care at first with whatever had happened to Zoe.

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  11. Im just really excited that Zig is finally getting some attention around here. Im personally getting sick of Maya/Miles all the time. I think Degrassi should start shedding some light on minor characters now like Grace and Connor and give them good storylines.
    I wonder what Zig’s issue is? I think it might be drug related, either he was selling or buying and his parents found out. Cocaine has been done before, so hopefully its like heroin or something hardcore like that. idk unless his story is completely different.

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