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.

-Rakath
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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.

While a lot of fandom outrage was just plain mean, this edit was absolutely hilarious.

While a lot of fandom outrage was just plain mean, this edit was absolutely hilarious.

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.

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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.

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Posted by Kary

25 Comments

  1. I agree with you 1000%.

    They were obviously painted into a corner, and while I do think they didn’t do the best job of getting to the end result (Imogen is totally into Adam even though she and Fiona broke up yesterday!), it played out about as well as it could have. Although in light of how difficult it is to keep a secret like that under wraps, they should have reconsidered the whole letting Adam die in a C plot thing. It would have been insanely shocking if we hadn’t all known it was coming, but it just ended up feeling disrespectful. (And it wasn’t just that Tumblr girl leaking set photos – it was a blind item on a TV gossip site that clearly showed Bianca and Drew in front of the church – so much for blind). I do love Young Forever though.

    I also kind of blame this plot for taking a lot of the punch out of Clare’s cancer plot. You definitely got the sense that they were holding back after those first few episodes because they didn’t want everything to be too heavy and sad. Clare skyping with Alli looking radiant despite her bald head wasn’t exactly the reality of cancer treatment for most people. (I mean, I know it’s hard to make Aislinn look bad, but even so…)

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    1. Yeah, the producers need to make their cancer patients look worse.

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    2. Well, some of the things like Imogen rebounding to Adam, and Adam dying in a C plot weren’t wrong on their own, just in the bigger picture. Writing a proper rebound romance would be interesting, and if Imogen were to rebound to any of the available characters in the cast at the time… it’d be Adam. And the problem with an A plot of Adam in a hospital bed looking like he’s dying is that… you can’t do much with that, the plot would have had to be centered on Drew and (during Drew’s perspective) Adam was going to be fine.

      But the other things were definitely things that could have taken work. They couldn’t go all out and have Aislinn transform like she was in Dallas Buyer’s Club for cancer Clare, but the make-up department should have had her look less absolutely gorgeous (which they can do, they made zombies last season). But having Clare looking like death warmed over while Adam died would have probably been too much for some people to take.

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  2. If you look at the arc progression of J.T.’s death, and compare it to Adam’s death, there’s a similar choppy feel to the plots that’s missing when you look at the other two major deaths in TNG/Post TNG era (Rick and Cam). This is one of the unfortunate side-effects of television and movies where there are a lot of moving parts to juggle. Actors are people, and Jordan’s role on Degrassi has done wonders for making her a noticed actor for her ability. Which meant that eventually she would want the time to pursue other gigs.

    I do wish they could have made a better path to get to Adam’s death, one that was not quite so… hard to swallow. J.T. at least had the entire school inside a bubble of set-up for his death. Adam desperately needing to cement his relationship with Becky, while fitting his character, still felt a bit out of place as a way to get him to do something as stupid as what he did. I dunno, maybe if he was texting to keep track of something more crisis-like, it would have felt a bit easier to take.

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    1. The difference between JT and Adam is that the writers had plenty of time to come up with storylines in the aftermath of JT’s death. Unfortunately, the two characters who were the most affected by the death just happen to be the two characters that the writers liked the least, so they went the unprofessional route and glossed over JT’s death… and as a result we got the terrible storylines of the last half of Season 6 and nearly all of Season 7. With Adam they were kind of stuck and had to throw the storyline in at the last minute. I do think that if they were given enough time, there would have been a decent aftermath after Adam’s death, since the writers obviously adore Drew and don’t seem to dislike Becky either. I don’t care what anybody says, sometimes an important storyline’s duration is related to how much the writers like the characters who were affected.

      I don’t mind the way Adam was killed. Death doesn’t always have a build up in real life. Teenagers do stupid things sometimes, especially when it involves romance. The aftermath was pretty bad, though, although not as bad as the aftermath of JT’s death, since at least they dealt with Drew’s issues more in-depth.

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  3. I’m wondering if Becky will find out about Imogen and Adam this season somehow. This could create a really awkward and complicated situation now that they are best friends (and especially with Becky dating Drew). There’s so much mystery surrounding Season 14, and it’s crazy to believe that in almost 2 weeks, we’ll see how the events of the finale have impacted everyone.

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  4. I’m really enjoying these debates. It would be cool if you talked about the “Drianca” breakup and how the writers handled that. (Poorly, in my opinion)

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    1. I’m on board with that, especially if other people besides me see the parallels between Bianca/Drew/Clare and Jane/Spinner/Emma (the writers break up a fairly popular couple and make the girl at fault because they think that fans will accept the guy being paired with their Mary Sue pets who look better by comparison).

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  5. Haha well I mean, they did kinda just push Declan to the side after he was the show-runner in season 9 and he never came around especially after all the air time Fiona got in season 11 and 12. Would it been really THAT weird if they sent Adam away to school like they were with Alli or to have him just disappear like Dave?

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    1. I think that fans would have been even more outraged if Adam was black holed. A character as ground-breaking as Adam really needs a major exit if they leave before graduation. There really wasn’t another way to write him off, because any reason to send him away would have come completely out of left field. I must say though that I didn’t expect the writers to kill Adam, not only because he was he was one of the few transgendered characters on TV, but because they had just done a major death.

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      1. It wouldn’t been random though if they spent the remaining episodes of her contract making a story line about it instead of the whole love triangle thing

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  6. So I know this isn’t about the subject matter, but I’ve been having this thought ever since the Zoe rape happened.

    I’m not condoning rape and I’m not saying the girl and or guy should be blamed for getting raped. But I feel in Zoe’s case its different from other rape cases. Its not like Luke and Neil ganged up on Zoe and forced her in the pool house. I know Zoe was drunk so she wasn’t in the right state of mind. But need I say everyone at the party was drunk including Luke and Neil hence they weren’t in their right state of mind as well.

    Luke and Neil were drunk as Zoe was. I’m not excusing what they did, but they didn’t sobberly do the act. Luke and Neil were drunk to and probably didn’t know what they did unt the next day much like Zoe found out. I think what Degrassi mesed up on is the subject should also be overly drinking and getting drunk. I think its everyone’s fought because no one was acting properly. Like Zoe and Clare said no one did nothing to help. Because once again everyone was drunk! So how is one drunk mind supposed to think let me help someone else who is drunk.

    I think this rape case is more multilayered than the usual rape case

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    1. There are two things wrong with your line of thought:
      1. If the boys were ‘as drunk as Zoe’ they wouldn’t be able to do things like effectively work a camera, cover it up, or remember what happened. If they were as blackout drunk, Luke wouldn’t remember the fact that Zoe never said she wanted to and that ‘he could just tell.’
      2. This, and this is the big difference, the camera. Had the boys not recorded their act, distributed the act, masked their voices during the act, and edited out their faces. That wouldn’t add a second crime that reinforces the guilt they had at the first crime!
      2b. Especially since they did all this secondary illegal activity in the cold light of day after they sobered up, so there is no ‘they were drunk and couldn’t consent’ going on, there is only ‘these guys are dicks.

      This isn’t Veronica Mars two roofied people having sex, or Drew’s functional drunken state when he and Katie had sex, this is two assholes taking advantage of a girl, then further taking advantage of the girl after they sobered up. It is very cut and dry here.

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      1. I see your points, but there’s tons of people who still take videos when they’re drunk. Plus the video of Luke and Neil wasn’t that good of quality, it was blurry, shaky etc. And I wouldn’t say they were purpously changing their voices no one talks like themselves when they’re drunk. Even Zoe’s voice was different. Luke and Neil were drunkenly laughing for the most of it.

        Luke probably said Zoe didn’t say no because he was scared because he knew he was going to get in some serious trouble. From his parents, he’s a Christian and been told to wait for marriage and his dad is a Minster. That’s a whole family scandal right there.

        If Luke and Neil weren’t drunk and planned this rape then they wouldn’t have left the pictures on their phones knowing they’ll get busted easily

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      2. Any amount of achoal changes your judgement. So lets say Luke and Neil only had one drink they were already not in the right mind frame. For an example tge law doesn’t say “Don’t Get Drunk And Drive” it says “Don’t Drink And Drive”. That means of you had any amount of achoal you shouldn’t be driving. Hence it wouldn’t change a thing of they were black out drunk. Luke and Neil’s judgment was already compromised

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      3. You missed the point, they took a video (wrong, but they were drunk). They edited the video (more wrong, sober), edited the audio to hide their voices (wrong, guilt established), shared the video with everyone in the world (can you SEE WHERE I AM GOING HERE!?)

        They were sober, and purposefully and maliciously sharing videos designed to attack one person and hide themselves. After doing something they clearly felt guilt over otherwise they wouldn’t have hidden it.

        If you, for some reason, don’t apply guilt for their raping her, then the fact that they cyber-attacked her with the videos of their crimes CLEARLY CANNOT BE EXCUSED.

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      4. Luke and Neil never edited the video though. And it was never stated that they did. Nor did they spread the video around the school Grace was the one actually who posted the video online. Luke and Neil was quiet about it the whole time until Becky confronted Luke.

        Luke and Neil never cyber attacked her. They didn’t post one thing online. Grace was the one posting everything which led to whole isolation thing Zoe had

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      5. I could be wrong about this because i only seen the episode once, but I am pretty sure Luke and the other kid did edit the videos and distribute them. I remember they messed up their voices and stuff. And i am not sure how old you are but eventually when you get into college you might have to take a law course. I had to take one for Business Law and in the US ( not sure about Canada) I believe being drunk is not a reasonable excuse to cause your actions of illegal crimes (hence drunk driving being huge) . The only way you could really get out of it is if you are under aged and could somehow hold your parents/guardian reliable, or plead insanity, but both of those have major repercussions as well (and wouldnt be possible in this particular situation). So just because Luke and the other kid were drunk it does not give them a free pass to rape people lol.

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      6. Uchihaallstar – It wasn’t stated, because we saw two versions of the video:
        1. Online version – Voices were augmented from the boys, no clear shots of their faces.
        2. Lukes Phone – Voices were clear and recognizable, both faces seen.

        So we’ve established you’re wrong, now moving on to how wrong you are. Any argument it was a mistake made in a drunken stupor evaporates when the choices sober show a pattern of ‘not caring about people other than themselves.’ Not once is Luke worried about Zoe in all this, Luke is worried about Luke. His future is on the line, he could get in trouble, he could go to prison. This is why Becky turns him in (twice) over the course of the two plotlines.

        A morally well adjusted person, in the harsh light of the next day, would look at the video on their phone (if they didn’t remember the night in question, which Luke clearly did) feel SICK and delete it. Not edit it, share it, and try to destroy a girl they already assaulted once. Not took advantage of, there is no room for argument they might have been good but drunk, there is a clear pattern of the two boys not realizing Zoe is a human being.

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    2. Ok you’re misunderstanding where I’m coming from. I’m not saying Luke and Neil shouldn’t have gotten in trouble for the act, but what I’m saying is. If Zoe was extremely drunk and wasn’t in her right mind so was Luke and Neil. Because it was already said that everyone at the party was drinking and drunk. My point is I think drinking is the problem and everyone is at fought for what happened. Because frankly all I got from Zoe’s storyline was it’s ok to get drunk and naked knowing you’re a party where at the time almost everyone there didn’t you.

      So I guess we have to agree to disagree

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      1. You ever hear the phrase “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people” ? Well, Alcohol doesn’t rape people, people rape people. Just because they got drunk (if they were, just because they were drinking doesn’t mean they were drunk) doesn’t give them an urge to sexually assault someone. There has to be a part of the person self-consciously that thinks it is okay for them to do that. Like Rakath said it also stems from a lack of morals. Not only did they commit the action, they recorded it and distributed to the school confirming that they thought they did nothing wrong – or maybe they did know it was wrong deep down and did it anyways? why else would they edit themselves out of everything?

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  7. Wow… That video was amazing. Towards the end of it, I started tearing up. Best of luck to him in his future. He appears to be a beautiful person both inside and out, and I would love to cross paths with him one day. That made me smile so much, oh my goodness. That was beautiful.

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  8. I disagree about Adam coming back as a male actor. I think it does make sense. I think it was a better option. I see your point about how Adam hadn’t begun treatments and such. Well, they could have had Adam be played by various actresses “as transitioning” then have a male lead finally show up OR just send Adam away getting treatment, and have Jordy record “phone calls” every once and awhile and I don’t know, in a year have a male actor replace her. I don’t know, it’s tricky, but in the long run, killing Adam off was the wring choice and they could have dealt with it differently.

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    1. I think you’re missing the time-table of how long Adam would have stayed on the show, and the logistics of trying to do that. You need a casting call of men AND women who look similar enough to Jordy to take over, multiple actors playing the same role, for… a year and a half (Season 13, Season 14 A)?

      No show would do that without absolutely needing to do that.

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  9. Adam already had his license 😂
    But I agree there were so many better way to handle it

    I honestly would’ve been good with an actor replacement just to keep the storylines going

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