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Dallas Plot Recap: When a small explosion occurs at the mall, Dallas and Connor find themselves being racially profiled by police.  The cops have rounded up every black male around to question them, telling them they fit the description of the potential suspect.  The revelation angers Dallas, not only because of the racial issue, but also because being detained is keeping him from catching the bus with Alli for their trip to the science fair.  After police determine the bomb was a prank, Dallas and Connor are finally released.  They miss the bus to the science fair, but Principal Simpson lets Dallas and Connor borrow his car.  On the drive to Kingston, Ontario they’re pulled over by police.  The police tell the two to step out of the car and sit on the curb until they sort out ownership of the car; Dallas is livid because he feels they’re being racially profiled again for no reason.

1327-1“We’ve been stopped two times today for nothing, no reason other than our race.”

In my preview for this episode I said it wouldn’t take much to improve on the last race-related episode Degrassi did, Got My Mind Set On You back in season 7.  Degrassi takes a different approach in Army Of Me by addressing racial profiling instead of going down the route of having a generic antagonist, a blatant racist who has the n-word on the tip of their tongue ready to say at any given moment.

If you don’t know by now, I’m a black guy.  Hang around me for a few minutes and you’ll learn very quickly that I don’t fall under any of the negative stereotypes geared toward black men.  However, at times I admit I am concerned about being profiled, primarily when shopping in retail stores.  Why exactly is that? I didn’t grow up in a household where everything was made into an issue about race (though I do know relatives who are all about making it an “Us vs. Them” thing if you know what I mean).  But my parents did teach us that even though race shouldn’t be an issue, that doesn’t mean other people won’t make it one.

1327-2Gauging Dallas’ reaction, he’s been in this kind of situation before.  During the first instance at the mall he seems annoyed, but moreso because the situation interferes with his plans (the Science Fair and Alli).  However, when Dallas and Connor get pulled over that’s when we see Dallas reach his breaking point.  “Wake up Connor, we’re being persecuted her!” Dallas says.  Of course Connor behaves exactly how I expected;  during both instances he doesn’t grasp what’s happening to them because it doesn’t make logical sense.  Maybe it’s just me, but when the officer asked Dallas and Connor to get out of the car I found myself yelling at the screen as Dallas talked back to the officer.  Yes Dallas should be angry, but in that specific situation what else does being verbally aggressive do besides reinforce the stereotype in the cop’s mind that you’re an “angry black man?”

Degrassi chose to address racial profiling through the eyes of a black character, but I’d like to think that what makes this storyline great is that it should make viewers think more broadly than that.  Black people aren’t the only ones racially profiled by cops.  Cops aren’t the only people who profile based on race.  Race isn’t the only characteristic used to profile others.  From Hispanics, to the gay community and even women, profiling knows no bounds in society.  Watching a story about unfair treatment based on a general characteristic should lead to introspection, looking at how we view and treat others in our own lives.  The Golden Rule has been around for forever, so there’s no use in not knowing and living by it by now.

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Clare Plot Recap: Clare’s tired of people at Degrassi thinking her and Drew are a couple, so she decides to create and manage an online dating profile for him.  However, when Imogen tells Clare that Drew would never date Clare because she’s not his type, Clare creates a fake online profile named “Annabella” to test him.  She presents him with three potential options: two girls whose profiles include a picture, and her “Annabella’ profile, which has Clare’s interests listed but no picture.  Clare seems disheartened when Drew ends up picking one of the other girls.

1327-3“Well maybe she’s looking for an intellectual connection and not a physical one.” 

Clare says that about her— err I mean “Annabella’s” profile, as Drew casually glosses over it in favor of dating Eden.  Are things so bad between Clare and Eli that she’s completely “Clewless” to the fact that if she’s ultimately looking for an intellectual relationship with someone who appreciates a woman with depth, Drew is not the guy she should be lusting over?  Clare’s still trying to contain her seemingly unwanted feelings for Drew in this episode, but she’s hammered hard twice, once as mentioned earlier when Drew chose Eden over Clare’s fake profile.  Granted Drew probably doesn’t think Clare Edwards is boring, but that scene also shows the difference between reality and how we perceive others based off of a limited amount of information.  Clare’s ego is also bruised when Imogen tells her that even though crushes are natural, Clare has no chance with Drew.  “It’s not like Drew would ever actually date you,” Imogen says.  “…because you’re not his type, like, at all.”

This plot of Clare’s is almost frustrating because it constantly has me going back and forth.  There are parts that make complete sense (Clare trying to hide her feelings and setting Drew up). But then Clare does something to make me question what in the world is happening.  It’s like season 11 Clare all over again, when she lost her freaking mind after her parents’ separated.  The difference now is, unlike her parents deciding to divorce, Clare has complete control over how this current situation with Eli and Drew plays out.  The concept of Clare becoming attached to someone else because she feels emotionally distant from Eli is so simple and relatable, but things are complicated but now that it’s turning into a game of her mentally flip flopping.  Who is this Clare Edwards who’s allowing her ego to get in the way all because of a guy who isn’t even her boyfriend?

Back to the quote above where Clare mentions that “Annabella” is looking for an intellectual connection and has more depth than the other dating prospects, that statement contradicts Clare’s egoistic pitch for Annabella.  Yes, girls’ behavior in real life can be frustrating and contradictory, but I’m not sensing that’s the point here, as Clare has officially drifted into that dreaded zone Degrassi girls always wind up in.  You know, the one where they lose who they are by doing the most mind-boggling things all for the sake of some boy.

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Tristan Plot Recap: A unique new teacher named Grant Yates takes over the Tenners’ English class.  When Yates decides he’s creating a playwriting group, Tristan is desperate to join as it will give him something to take his mind off his parents’ current marriage troubles.  When neither of his parents pick him up to take him to his dentist appointment, Tristan ends up spilling his guts to Mr. Yates about how he’s feeling;  Yates then offers to drop Tristan off at his appointment.  The next day Tristan discovers that he was no accepted into the playwriting group; the invitation is so secretive that not even Zoë will tell him where they’re meeting.  However, Tristan finds out anyway and crashes the meeting.  He begs to be let in and eventually succeeds.  After the meeting is over Yates keeps Tristan behind, telling Tristan he rejected him to test him.  Yates also says that Tristan will probably end up being his favorite student.

1327-4“I wanna be in this group Mr. Yates…I need this in my life right now.”

Normally a character’s troubled home life is what we want to see, but the constant bickering between Tristan’s parents isn’t really the focus here.  It merely serves as the launching pad for Tristan’s vulnerability, leading him to find something to distract himself from the worry that his parents will get divorced.  An emotionally vulnerable Tristan is not a good thing, because it causes him to become shortsighted and make poor decisions (ex: his juice cleanse, and any time he’s ever had a crush on someone).  And that’s what makes this storyline so wonderfully creepy; something feels off about Mr. Yates, and if Degrassi were to go down this route Yates would be able to take advantage of Tristan with ease.

Mr. Yates is immediately introduced as kind of an unconventional guy, babbling about the Algonquin Round Table and walking on top of the desks.  When Tristan “problem vomits” his friend and family issues all over him, Yates is able to relate to Tristan because his parents got a divorce when he was a kid.  Things get weird though when we discover Tristan is the only one who wasn’t invited to be in playwriting collective, but then Yates pulls him aside after Tristan is able to beg his way in.  “Don’t tell anyone else this, but you’ll probably end up being my favorite student,” Yates says to Tristan.  The fact that Yates wants Tristan to call him by his first name, Grant, also screams that this plot is setting up for things to go down a very inappropriate path.

“I’ve never had a teacher like you before Mr. Yates,” Tristan says, “You really…care.”  But does Yates care a little too much?

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Posted by Kary

37 Comments

  1. Oh good I thought I was the only one sensing something off about Mr. Yates. He’s young, good looking, and Tristan is vulnerable so it’ll be interesting to see what happens.

    Clare is frustrating me. Throwing the possibility of her and Drew together is just like Emma and Spinner, it’s so random and incompatible. I don’t blame Clare for feeling insecure or rejected but her crush seems too far fetched.

    I loved Dallas and Conner scene. It was great to see Degrassi handle that scenario. I also felt like Dallas was walking a thin line getting mouthy, cops don’t tolerate that even if warranted. I was cheering for him but pretty scared they’d assault him. I found it interesting all they had to do was sit on the curb though, in the US they would have been put in cuffs as soon as they were asked to step out and were accused of stealing

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    1. Keep in mind in Degrassi’s universe cops also apparently don’t cuff people being arrested for rape as they escort them to the car.

      Although I do know police can impound your vehicle without arresting you. So not sure if that was unrealistic or not, they said they were verifying they had permission or something like that. Might not be the same at treating it as stealing but I am far from an expert on police procedure.

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  2. Mr Yates creeps me out.. Is he a sex offender?? The first thing they do is figure out the victims vulnerability. Tris be careful. I wonder if this is going to be an on going story arc.

    II’m not going to say much about racial profiling I see it in my own backyard and its horrible.

    As for Clare shes all over the place emotionally, I have been in her shoes and it sucks. But I broke up with my boyfriend and told the other guy to back off. Clare needs to hash out out her emotional mess but she needs to talk to Drew first, to find out if hes in the same place, then she needs to talk to Eli about everything. She needs to lay out all those cards. Then tell both guys she needs to figure this stuff out on her own.. She needs avoid both guys which is hard since her & Drew are Pres & VP. If shes smart she needs to drop both guys, to me its selfish for her to hold on to Eli and make him wait for her. If that happens Eli needs to move on too. Maybe this is where there going with Eli & Clare. Moving on, unexpectedly find new people in there lives and are scared to break up.

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  3. I was pleasantly surprised by Dallas’s outburst in the car with Connor towards the end of the episode. It was pretty intense for what’s normally such a fluffy show. I like that Degrassi is addressing this issue from the point of view of a character who tends to be somewhat bombastic and aggressive, rather than a more passive character like Danny was in season 7. It makes for a much more interesting story. Dallas pulling up his hood right before the credits rolled in anger and defiance was a nifty little touch. I also like the pairing with Connor, who sort of stands in for viewers who turn a blind eye to how non-whites are treated unfairly (even when they are the ones being screwed over by the system) while Dallas breaks things down for him.

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  4. “Wake up Connor, we’re being persecuted here” made me lol, What white person wrote that shit? lmao. This was still done 10x better than whatever that old Danny plot was, mostly because Demetrius and AJ pulled off what I felt was corny dialogue. Now that I think about it, does Degrassi have any black writers? Hm.
    I like the Clare/Drew plot. I kinda view the characters similarly, so pairing them off for what seems like a brief senior year arc makes sense to me. (I don’t think the writers will really fuck with Eclare endgame… I think). Clare and Drew both had the cornerstone, big drama plots of the past few seasons, so seeing them interact in a cute fluff way is refreshing.
    Yates is an irritating creep. So pretentious and bullshitty. He reminded me of the current incarnation of Lady Gaga, mixed with a sex offender. Tristan needs to look out. I hope this guy doesn’t take advantage of his desperate tendencies, though it may go that way.

    *OH, and as someone that crackships Climogen, I loved Imogen’s almost having a crush, swoopy hair comment. Especially mixed in with the Eli obsession throwback and shading Clare in general. I just love Imogen, she’s so great.
    **Where the fuck is Dave? Did he get blackholed? I just noticed, sorry if this is old news lol

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    1. “He reminded me of the current incarnation of Lady Gaga, mixed with a sex offender.” This is a really good quote.

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    2. I am a white person (my step mom and brothers actually are black, but I have had limited exposure to seeing them racially profiled like that although I know it has happened). But I kept thinking “would Dallas, of all people, really say we’re being persecuted here”. Hell I wouldn’t expect a white person relating this second hand to say “they were being persecuted” it sounded completely unnatural, and also like they really thought Dallas had to spell it out in so many words for the audience to get it, and I think teens were smart enough to get what was going on without the characters drawing a diagram.

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      1. I get what you mean. I thought his phrasing there sounded kind of weird, but only because it came off as a “proper,” thought-out response in a situation where he was losing his cool. I’m just thinking in terms of how my relatives and other people I know would’ve reacted in that situation, and “We’re being persecuted here!” is not the phrasing they would’ve used…their language would be a lot more colorful and aggressive, and they would’ve directly said they thought the cop was being racist.

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  5. I know this is random, but does it ever bother anyone else regarding Zoe and maya? I’m still in high school, and I understand that not every school has a mean girls thing going. In fact at my school most people are pretty open to everyone and willing to socialize and be friends with whoever interests them, no matter what stereotype, clique, (is that how you spell it? Or clic?) or social group they are in. I understand that there are unlikely friendships and all that. But even at my school, if two girls fought the way Zoe and maya did in 13a/13b, it wouldn’t just be forgotten after winter break. The girls might get over it, but there will always still be that underlying despise between them. Does anyone else have an issue with Zoe and Maya’s sudden friendship? It’s like their fighting in 13a has totally been forgotten!
    Well I shouldn’t say that…. Let me rephrase. In one episode in 13c, miles has a get together. (I’m not sure if it was the big party from basket case or not, but I don’t think it was….it was the episode where Zoe pressure Drew to stay with her) Drew tells miles something along the lines of “if you don’t let me and Zoe stay, I’m going to tell your dad that you served alcohol to minors.” Maya replies (in reference to Drew and Zoe’s relationship) “wow blackmail…you two are made for each other.”
    In that instance, maya makes a snide comment about Zoe, and she acts like she doesn’t like her. But if you watch the rbc bank webisodes about maya, Zoe and maya are hanging out and Zoe is helping her find a dress, etc. Yet, maya sometimes makes rude or sarcastic remarks in regards to Zoe. I just don’t get this flip flopping sudden friendship between maya and Zoe. Any thoughts Kary or anyone else?

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    1. I mean i dont think they are best of friends which is why its always shown tristian with zoe because they have that common mutual friend but i think a lot of it has to do with what zoe was going through. She was practically made an outcast in 13c because of what happened and Maya had a kind heart to see through the troubles and be the friend that she needed. Its almost like how Tori and Maya were feuding but when Cam killed himself Tori knew it was time to stop being childish and just be there for her.

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  6. Thank God I’m not the only one who hates the Claire and Drew situation. It makes no sense of how she likes him like that. They barely talked really till this season. I think she should still stay with Eli.
    With the whole Dallas and Conner situation, i liked the way they played this out. I liked how Dallas understood what was happening and he didn’t have a blank eye of the racially profiling.

    With the whole Tristan and Mr Yates thing i think it’s creepy. I’m not liking it at all.

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  7. THANK YOU Imogen for being the first character to point out that Clare is not some amazing girl who every guy should automatically fall for (before anybody gets offended, I’m mostly referring to Clare’s personality).

    Maybe Clare still has chemo brain? I also hope that Alli calls her out on the fact that she’s coping with a cheating boyfriend by running into the arms of a guy who has cheated on every single one of his girlfriends.

    GMMSOY wasn’t the most recent racism plot. There was the whole Liberty sorority issue in Season 8, but that is a bit different. I think that this particular storyline would have been more interesting from Connor’s POV, though.

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  8. I actually like Mr.Yates and I really want him with Tristan, I do admit Mr. Yates does remind me of Asher a little bit (Claire’s older boss who tried to get with her) So Tristan should be careful but I really want them together cant wait to see what’s in store.

    I am an Eclaire shipper but I also want her with Drew I am so conflicted. I don’t blame Claire for liking two guys first Eli crashed his car into a brick wall to stop them from breaking up then all of a sudden he cheats on her with a friend in college makes no sense but that’s what its like in Degrassi unpredictable. So while Eli is away doing god knows what Drew has been by her side. Its obvious they have a mutual attraction for each other but is scared to admit it to each other. I like Claire with both guys whoever she ends up with I’ll be happy.

    I feel bad for Dallas I didn’t see him get this mad since Cam’s death when he yelled at Allie says he could’ve helped him. I like that Dallas is talking back to the cop its what I’ve would’ve done. I just hope this doesn’t affect his hopeful relationship with Allie because in next weeks commercial it doesn’t look good.

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  9. OK DID ANYONE NOTICE THAT A BLACK COP PULLED OVER DALLAS??????? dallas was crying about being persecuted for his race but one of the cops was BLACKKK!!! either thats a major plot hole or dallas is supposed to be acting paranoid? but why didnt he notice the cop was black??

    anyways the best line of the show was imogen saying she used to have a crush on clare!!! that was like OMG worthy and it was so quick u wouldve missed it haha love it

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    1. its not a plot hole. its because the black guy is a cop and wears a badge so he thinks he is above them and most likely that will be used against him by dallas somewhere in the show.

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      1. I agree. It’s not a plot hole. Just because one of the cops is Black doesn’t mean anything. The Black cop wasn’t the one driving so he might not have even wanted to pull them over, but that’s besides the point. People profile people of their own race all of the time both negatively and positively, For example White cops stop White people in my old neighborhood all of the time assuming that they are there to buy drugs.

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  10. also, it seems as if theres a general dislike of tristan gettin romantically involved with his teacher? i feel like some people need to grow up. its NOT about mr yates taking advantage of tristans vulnerabilities!!! i think that there both genuinely attracted to each other. just because one of them is older dosent mean hes out to get the younger one. they both probably have one thing on there mind that is sex. they both want to have sex with each other. i am 21 years old now and at 15 if i had the chance to have sex with a 30 year old i would have in an INSTANT. and it should NOT be seen as rape or being a pervert. its two consenting individuals wanting to express there human emotions! AGE IS JUST A NUMBER

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    1. I really can’t believe that you don’t see the problem with a 15 year old getting “romantically” involved with their teacher who is atleast 10 years older than them. Like the multitude of legal and ethical issues, plus all of the abuses that could occur when one person has so much more power and control in the “relationship.” Just, no.

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    2. 1) a minor and an adult is illegal and he can be convicted as a child molester. Right now he is giving of pedophile vibes but we will see.
      2) Even if he were legal it would still be illegal because the teacher is in a position of trust over Tristan and doing anything with him would be a violation of that trust and an abuse of power over him

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      1. ok you say the relationship is “wrong” and the reasons you are both giving me is that its against the law?? it was against the law for blacks to sit in the front, gays to get married, women to vote, to drink alcohol in the 1920’s. history shows that laws are wrong. this instance is no different. if two ppl consent to get involved with each other its there choice and no one elses.

        now the power and control thing is ridiculous. that could happen in any relationship regardless of age.

        i hope people will stop listening to what their mommies told them about obeying laws and rules and go with what your heart says

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      2. Okay, but where do we draw the line? What if a ten-year-old consents to being in a sexual relationship with a forty-year-old? Is that Okay? They might really love each other! What about a five-year-old? These kinds of laws are in place to protect children, and fifteen is still considered a child in most, if not all of the Western world.

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  11. Hey Kary did you know Dallas and Conner’s story was actually a real story/event/thing that happened to Demetrius and A.J. while they were out driving together. Aislinn spoke about how they told this story in the readthrough on after degrassi. So it is coming from a personal place this a-plot.

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    1. Wow, I’m so glad I read this. That makes this story even more incredible. Kudos to the writers for actually picking this up.

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    2. Just watched them talk about it. That’s so eerie, especially given the fact that a long time ago I remember seeing AJ and Demetrius posting pics and videos online of themselves hanging out together and driving around.

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      1. Stefan also talked about it in this weeks Principals Office. Saying that AJ and Demo had gotten pulled over because their muffler was too loud according to the cop and that Demo genuinely thought it was a “driving while black” situation.

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  12. I am actually very proud of the show for Dallas’ plot. American shows don’t even touch Black issues unless it’s a predominantly Black show so mostly only Black people see them. I think it’s important for people to know the impact racial profiling has on people. I have been harassed and singled out on several different occasions and it feels really really shitty. I also understood Dallas’ frustrations, even though he did get mouthy. Please know that he definitely wanted to say a hell of a lot more but when you’re a Black guy opposing the police in an isolated situation without witnesses, being defiant is not is not in your best interest so everyone should actually give Dallas some props for not just completely losing his cool.

    Tristan’s plot is kinda weird with the awkward semi-sexual tension between him and the new teacher but now we know a little more about his home life which is cool.

    As for Clare, why is she always doing the most? If she really didn’t care she would have just shrugged the rumors off like Drew did. For someone to be as stressed and busy as she claims to be she should be all Sweet Brown about it and be like “ain’t nobody got time fo dat!” but of course she has to be all Clare about it and make it all about her. Listen Clare. It ain’t gotta be all that!.. but maybe she really likes him? Who knows?

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  13. I knew Clare playing matchmaker for Drew would backfire now she us confused and jealous cant wait too see how this all unravels!!!!

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  14. If 13c ends with “Sparks Will Fly” and 13d begins with “You are not alone”, does this mean 13d only has about 6 episodes? I know nothing is confirmed yet, but that’s how it’s looking. And if 13c ends with “You are not alone”, then that’s even worst because then 13d will have even less episodes? I only started watching degrassi last summer, so this is my
    first full season. Is 13d traditionally shorter than all the other blocks?

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    1. 13D will have 10 episodes! This is the first time there’s ever been a long “D” block. The first 9 seasons of Degrassi never had more than 23 episodes, so they’d usually break the season up into three blocks. In season 10 the show bumped up its episode count to 40+ episodes every season. They’d burn through half of episodes over the summer with a 5 or 6 week telenovela format, then run a B and C block in the fall and spring. They didn’t do the telenovela this year, so that’s why we’re getting an extra D block.

      I’m not so sure anymore if season 14 will start over the summer. If they don’t do any special scheduling, then 13D will last about two months. 13C ends this month, so with a guaranteed hiatus, it could be possible that 13D might end up being the summer block and they’ll hold off on season 14 until closer to fall.

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      1. I thought Degrassi was your life, dude. Season 7 had 24 episodes.. duh!

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      2. The first 9 seasons of Degrassi never had more than 23 episodes…

        Season 7 had 24 episodes.

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  15. At the end what I meant was:

    Are the d blocks traditionally shorter than the other blocks?

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  16. Also does it look like season 14 starts this summer?

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    1. a newbie!! well congratulations on becoming a new degrassi fan! im glad that more people are being put on to this great show!!

      to answer ur question this is the first year degrassi has been cut up into 4 blocks and thank GOD it is! I love this block setup. so much better then previous years. the past couple years its been 3 blocks. and season 14 will most likely start this summer!

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  17. Something is gonna happen with Tristan and Mr. Yates and I look forward to it because it’s going to be an interesting plot, and I think it’s the first time I’ve ever seen this situation between two males on TV which is cool.

    I don’t care about the illegal aspects such a relationship is. I really don’t. This is a show, I’m watching it for the entertainment value and stories. Sometimes a simple plot is cool, but I much prefer the complicated, morally ambiguous/ect plots than anything else.

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  18. . Here why i’m not a fan of Degrassi lately…..the misuse of good characters. Dallas was such a strong character in season 12 we saw a lot of different sides to him and he was used well. This season he is either Drew’s sidekick or chasing after Alli. We literally know nothing about him which is odd cause they could do great stories with him about being a teenage father. The only time we see his son is when they are using that to further is plot with Alli. Last season we saw characters in relationships but they still had lives outside of relationships, this season not so much. Jenna is living away from her family in Alli’s house. They could give her a great storyline about figuring out her future (cause she obviously cannot live with Alli forever, and we still dont know if she has plans to go to university) but instead every scene she is in has to do with Connor. Clare just beat cancer over the summer (a strong stroyline) now they have her pining after Drew (his stroyline about being student council president has and is extremely boring). And of coarse Alli who i feel like has been having the same boy crazy storyline since she got on the show, A good plot twist would be for her to actually finish high school single. The season is almost done and its been horrible

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    1. I agree. Degrassi needs to show that there’s more to high school than chasing relationships at every turn.

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