Today is my birthday. I’m 31 now, and have no shame about still watching this cheesy teen soap opera known as Degrassi. I’ve been watching it for over a decade now, so at this point I deserve to see how it ends!
As I get older, I realize the way I watch a show like Degrassi changes. I’m single and don’t have children, but the way I analyze the storylines is far different than how I did 5 years ago, or how the average teen girl may view them at any point. Whether Degrassi’s storytelling is on point or it just doesn’t work, I find myself looking for a deeper meaning in what’s happening than just hyper focusing on the superficial aspects, or what I call the “promo effect” (Promos sell angst and ships because, as much as you or I might complain about relationship drama on this show, fans of Degrassi are most passionate about ships).
For instance, it was very easy to get caught up in the hoopla that was Clew in season 13. There were aspects of how it was presented that I didn’t like, but there were also points where the emotions and individual frames of mind Clare and Drew were in made absolute sense, and are completely relatable in the lives of many. Your opinion comes down to whether or not the overall message, whether plain as day or hidden in the story as a universal theme or life lesson, outweighs the possible nonsensical parts of this show that must tread the line between educational and entertainment.
That leads me to this comment I received from someone about my review of the season 13 episode, Believe. I got called out for being too biased…apparently I’m totally in love with season 13 and hate Degrassi: The Next Generation. To preface it, I gave both Zoë and Becky’s plot and A+ in that episode, and gave very positive commentary about the episode’s very minor subplots. If you’ve read this blog for a lengthy amount of time, then you know me giving an A+ grade to every plot in an individual episode is a rarity. Us old men love debating and breaking stuff down, so in the words of Munro Chambers, LEGGO!
Sorry Kary but you hit this one so wrong. You’ve always favored Seasons 13 and up to TNG and give almost every plot in every episode an A+. If the show was so good, the ratings would be quite a bit better . They’re tanking because the show is bad and that reflects in how the fanbase who cared during seasons 10 and 11 have all but left in Season 12 and 13.
The show is horrible and cringeworthy to watch. It’s WAY too romance heavy and rarely about the issues. this specific plot was a return to form but everything else going on in the show has been lackluster yet you still overrate it.
Hopefully, Degrassi gets cancelled and you get some time to take off your bias towards this new, trashy show and see how ingenius TNG was. People do overrate it but it’s not all hype. TNG was that show for a reason and no amount of A+s you throw at this new lazy plots and casts will change that. The ratings show it and the fans are all but gone.
Enjoy your day sir.
If this person thinks I’m blindly biased, I’d hate to see what they think about the young fanbase this show’s targeted toward, fangirls on twitter and tumblr who have no shame in declaring their undying and forever-unchanging love or hatred toward characters and couples on this show.
Look, it’s very easy to share your opinion with the world, especially in the digital age. You can jump online, say whatever you want and then go about your day, because for an overwhelming majority of people no one is going to really read into what you’re saying or hold you accountable.
But the issue with a comment like the one above is that it shows it’s TOO easy to give an opinion that lacks substance, because it offers ideas based off generalized reasoning, if there’s any reasoning at all.
1) You’ve always favored Seasons 13 and up to TNG
I don’t ever recall taking a “side” in the TNG vs the current Degrassi series debate. But I do know that I’ve even written on this site that season 3 is my favorite Degrassi season of all time. My current ranking of the seasons goes like this:
1) Season 3
2) Season 12
3) Season 4
4) Season 2
5) Season 10
6) Season 1
7) Season 13
8) Season 5
9) Season 7
10) Season 6
11) Season 11
12) Season 9
13) Season 8
These rankings aren’t set in stone besides maybe #1 (season 3) and #2 (season 12). #3-#6 could shift around among themselves…same goes for #7-#13.
Also, the grades given to TNG episodes without reviews are not the end-all, be-all. They’re merely placeholders until I go back and re-watch the episodes with an analytical eye. Again, I point out that how I look at the episodes now (far more critically) compared to when I added those grades (emotionally) has changed. Remember when I wrote off Don’t Believe The Hype as one of Degrassi’s worst episodes ever? Add a little perspective, and my how one’s point of view changes.
When I was younger, I thought the same exact way that some TNG purists think nowadays, claiming that TNG is amazing and their is literally nothing this show can do now to ever compare to seasons 1-4, etc. I also had a top 10 list where every episode was from the first three seasons, and I was convinced that list would forever be set in stone. Then I grew up and realized it was dumb to write off new stuff simply because it was new, as I sat around looking smug in my rose-colored glasses.
I’m not really into comparing TNG to the current seasons anymore to determine which generation is “better.” I’m of the frame of mind that both generations offer things that the other one couldn’t or don’t.
2) You’ve always favored Seasons 13 and up to TNG and give almost every plot in every episode an A+
Of the 101 grades I gave to plots in season 13, only 7 of them were an A+. Of the 58 grades I gave to plots in season 12, only 5 of them were an A+. Of the 69 grades I gave to plots in season 11, only 6 of them were an A+. The moral of the story is I don’t give out many A+ grades.
3) If the show was so good, the ratings would be quite a bit better.
That isn’t necessarily true, and the problem with this statement is that “good” is in the eye of the beholder and not indicative of whether or not a show can bring in ratings (aka look at any successful, trashy reality TV show over the past decade). Any insight from the ratings gurus that might read this would be appreciated!
This commenter seems to hold the TNG seasons on a pedestal, unaware that TNG’s ratings went on a major decline during seasons 6-8. By season 8, the shows ratings were so bad they weren’t in the trash, they were in a dark pit of despair underneath the trash. How Degrassi survived the axe that year is beyond me, but Degrassi’s ratings can’t possibly be as bad now as they were during a season where this franchise should’ve met its demise.
4) They’re tanking because the show is bad and that reflects in how the fanbase who cared during seasons 10 and 11 have all but left in Season 12 and 13.
I was under the impression that season 12 is widely regarded as one of the best seasons of the entire series, and that season 11 wasn’t all that great coming off the heels of a solid season 10. But the fanbase shifted in season 13, as I watched people I know personally lose interest in the show after 13A, and after that summer block I didn’t blame them. I held on, and felt I was rewarded when 13C and 13D came around. It’s also difficult to define the show “tanking” from a ratings standpoint given that access to said ratings is unfortunately limited.
5) The show is horrible and cringeworthy to watch. It’s WAY too romance heavy and rarely about the issues. This specific plot (Believe) was a return to form but everything else going on in the show has been lackluster yet you still overrate it.
When people throw out this clichéd argument with no specific explanation behind it, it tells me they aren’t really paying attention to this show. Too romance heavy? If someone wanted to, they could make a solid argument for that without a doubt. But let me also remind you that Degrassi has been romance heavy since season 3.
However, the part that irks me is when people say this nonsense about the show rarely dealing with issues, or that Degrassi “doesn’t deal with real issues anymore.” You’re going to have a hard time convincing me that Zoë’s assault is the only thing of substance to happen in season 13, with a generic statement defining everything else that happened as lackluster. I didn’t find Clare’s actual stint in the hospital to be lackluster. Neither were things like Adam’s memorial, Alli’s batter woman syndrome, Miles’ emotionally-unstable behavior all season, Maya & Zoë bullying each other (which led to important discussions among fans within a fandom that often cyberbullies its own), Dallas’ race storyline, Zig’s plot in 1333 & 1334, Hunter Hollingsworth’s emotionally-revealing outburst in My Hero, Jonnor in 1325 & 1326 and Tristan’s emotionally-needy tendencies leaving him vulnerable to a sexual predator. If you don’t see the issues, it’s because you’re not looking at what’s right in front of you.
There’s also a difference between pointless relationship drama (ex: Eli cheating and his existence in s13 being reduced to a plot device for Clare) and romantic plot points that serve a greater purpose (Clew’s existence). When the Clew stuff was happening, did anyone actually stop to think, “Why are Clare and Drew doing this? What’s the psychological reasoning behind their behavior and how they’re feeling? Could it be that how they’re feeling is actually pretty common in real life?”
You can identify which people understand the difference by their reaction to things like the Zig/Maya/Miles situation in season 13. Do you just see it simply as just another pointless plot about some Mary Sue having multiple guys fight over her, or do you see it for what it really is: an examination of multiple characters as one’s personality issues (Miles) clash with another character’s personal issues stemming from their past (Maya). This is some deep shit happening in terms of breaking down everyday human interaction, and it’d be a shame if people don’t notice because they’re busy rolling their eyes over a faux love triangle. I feel confident in saying most people hated season 13, but there’s one thing this season’s done better than most: like a ripple effect, the characters’ personal issues and their ability (or inability) to handle them directly impacted everyone around them through more than just major events like a death or Zoë’s assault (ex: Miles’ interaction with everyone is impacted by his family drama. Zoe’s jealousy sabotaged her ability to have real female friends. Becky’s online interaction with Hunter. Clare and Drew’s separate issues cause them to screw each other over.).
6) Hopefully, Degrassi gets cancelled and you get some time to take off your bias towards this new, trashy show and see how ingenius TNG was. People do overrate it but it’s not all hype. TNG was that show for a reason and no amount of A+s you throw at this new lazy plots and casts will change that.
I’m accused of being biased because I liked things in season 13, and somehow this person came up with this insane idea that I’m not a fan of TNG. The funny part is this commenter is clearly just as blindly biased in their love of TNG as they claim I am in regards to the newer seasons. They offer little besides making it clear that they think TNG was a masterpiece and season 13 was trash, and if someone like me thinks otherwise in any fashion then our opinion is written off as invalid.
You know, I think we can all agree that 13A sucked. 13B was okay (anything was better than 13A). But for me, 13C is where this season really started. It’s as if a switch was flipped on because the overall quality of the final 24 episodes of season 13 are miles above the first 16. Everybody else may have written off all of season 13 as a total wash, but I’m not going to pretend like I didn’t like 13C and 13D.