When thinking about season 13, my feelings on the season can be briefly summarized by rating each individual block. 13A was disappointing. 13B was an improvement over 13A. 13C and 13D were on point. I think 13A left such a bad taste in the mouths of some fans that it was difficult for them to enjoy anything that came after it.
I’ve wondered why for me there’s such a large gap in quality between be the beginning of the season and the end, and I think one of the reasons leads back to the death of Adam Torres.
Something I forgot, and probably had a very heavy hand in S13’s really lackluster start. I don’t think the writers were prepared for Jordan Todosey to not renew. Meaning they had to quickly write out a character that was pretty close to impossible to write out ‘cleanly’ (like writing out Tori, or K.C.) since they were keeping Drew around. Meaning the choices were new school (unlikely), divorce (recently done), and death (…what they chose).
After that they had to spend a lot of time killing Adam, and a lot of time reworking various plots to work around losing Adam. I figure that the Adam/Imogen/Becky plot might not have even been a thing before Adam had to be written out.
One of the most memorable moments of Degrassi season 13, and not in a good way, was the death of Adam Torres. I don’t remember getting into an in-depth discussion about the technical reasons for his death, but Rakath’s recent comments sum up my thoughts on the matter.
When Adam died, to say the online fanbase was pissed would be a major understatement. It went from fans straight up attacking Stefan and the crew, to some calling for a boycott of the show. Adam’s death was referred to as pointless, and a slap in the face to the LGBT community. Degrassi has shown a lot of support for the LGBT community over the years, but in the specific case of Adam’s death it comes down to something way deeper than this groundbreaking transgender character. Among the fandom outrage after Honey, the warning signs that something wasn’t right were sitting quietly in a pile in the corner.
In season 12, Adam appeared in almost every episode of 12B, then was literally nonexistent in 12C. If you follow the cast members on social media, they tend to engage and hang out with each other often. For a lengthy period of time the perception was that Jordy seemed disconnected from the rest of the group. I’m not going to speculate about specifics, but the point is when all was said and done with Adam’s character, it felt like the show was forced into a position where they had to write off Adam quickly.
Well, how does one go about that? Like Rakath said, you can’t write off a character like Adam Torres the way they did Tori or KC, where they were conveniently able to move away. You also can’t just have Adam disappear into thin air and pretend like he never existed, the way the show did in 12C. Some angry fans said they should’ve just sent Adam away to receive “T” treatments then have Adam return, now played by a male actor; that doesn’t even make sense. The “replace Jordy with a male actor” option would make more sense if Adam had already been receiving treatments for some amount of time.
So then we’re left with this option of killing off Adam, an uncomfortably-brief period after the show had killed off Campbell Saunders. Degrassi hadn’t killed off a major character since season 6, isn’t it weird they’d suddenly kill 2 characters within a span of a little over 15 total episodes?
In the aftermath, Linda Schuyler was forced into releasing a statement explaining Jordy’s contract expiring is the reason the show wrote what felt like a rushed texting and driving storyline. Trust me, a serious car accident plot is one I’ve been dying to see since I watched Degrassi High’s School’s Out, but Adam’s storyline and the explanation afterward made it seem like the plot was less about addressing the dangers of texting and driving and more about addressing the sudden predicament of needing to write off a major character.
I’m not mad at anyone involved for how things played out…sometimes shit happens and there’s nothing you can really do about it. It’s an awkward position to be in, and regardless of what you think you know about the cast and crew through the lens of their social media accounts, that doesn’t always tell the whole story. Not all of it has to be bad…hell, most of it is probably great. I’m just saying, just because you follow everyone involved with this show online it doesn’t mean you know them or know what’s going on in their lives or on set.
Ultimately, Adam’s death is disappointing in a sense that I’m not alone when I think of all of the potential storylines that could’ve happened if Adam’s story had continued. How would things progress with Becky? What challenges would Adam continue to face, such as simple things like getting his driver’s license? What would it be like viewing Adam’s transformation as he started taking testosterone?
I want to believe this amazing video is what Adam’s future could’ve looked like.