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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)

-Kasper
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DEGRASSI

With the Drianca breakup episode I remember giving it a good grade because I took a very narrow approach in my analysis.  To summarize, I looked back at what they’ve been doing with Drew for several seasons now, constantly reminding us that underneath his stupidity he’s a guy with zero confidence in himself.  From the point Bianca nominated him to be president, he became determined to show people that he’s not useless.  His biggest fear is failure, broken down into not being good enough to succeed in life past graduation and not being good enough to keep Bianca, the only person who’s shown any amount faith in him.

In Spiderwebs, I saw someone’s worst nightmare come true and even worse, they weren’t able to do anything to stop it.  From a life perspective that’s a pretty scary thought, as fear of rejection is one of the biggest dictators of human behavior.

But stepping back and looking at things from a widened perspective, you know something’s not right when even someone who portrayed one of the characters involved questions their character’s actions:

I became a big fan of Drianca and was also disappointed with how things ended between them.  It’s not the framing of it that’s the issue…it’s believable that someone would go off somewhere, gain a new perspective on life and want to end a relationship because they feel they’ve changed.  The sudden nature of it is what’s unsettling, which highlights a bigger issue: the show’s awkward integration of graduated characters, in particular two very important ones.

Eclare lovers and haters unknowingly combined to build up Eclare into the behemoth it became within the fandom, but if you’re just taking into account what’s happened on the actual show itself and not fandom white noise, Drianca is on Eclare’s level in terms of how much time has been dedicated to their relationship (It’s similar to how for years everyone talked about Eli this and that, but Drew Torres has been Degrassi’s leading man since season 11.  No one noticed this until Eli was no longer a regular in season 13).

Combined, Eclare and Drianca have virtually owned this show for the past several years, and it was really weird how these ships were treated in season 13 with both having characters who were off at university.  For years all this effort was placed into crafting their relationships, and suddenly key moments in their existence were presented in underwhelming fashion.  Bianca’s desire to no longer be in a relationship with Drew happened off screen, as did Eli’s mental breakdown leading into his infidelity with Lenore.  The odd thing is these instances are on opposite ends of the frustration spectrum; Drianca’s demise seemed to come out of nowhere, while we knew a year in advance that Eli was destined to have a meltdown without Clare nearby,and we saw none of it.

Seeing the perspectives of both characters in these respective ships was key in shaping them, but in season 13 the point of view of these relationships became one sided.  Because Drew and Clare are still at Degrassi we viewed these relationship plots from their eyes, while Bianca and Eli were reduced to little more than plot devices.  Knowing the emotion Bianca and Eli can bring to this show, it’s borderline offensive watching Alicia and Munro waste their talents to play generic, hollow versions of their characters, especially after watching Eli and his supporting cast (JJ, Lenore) effortlessly slay season 13’s accompanying webisodes.

Mentally I’m in somewhat of a bind because I’m disappointed in how these graduates were used, but I know Degrassi can’t spend a lot of time creating an entire universe elsewhere for a couple of characters making a handful of brief appearances.  You can’t make s13 Eli or Bianca regulars because spending a lot of time following characters away from Degrassi doesn’t have a good history of working out (heck, even following the kids to Paris in 13A was a dud).

I guess it comes down to finding an optimal workaround, whether it’s webisodes (hopefully doing more than just filling in the gaps) or something within the show that can continue to maximize the value of former regulars now in significantly-reduced roles.  It’ll be interesting to see  what they do with Eli in season 14, but regardless of your love or hatred for an Eclare or Drianca, these two are the types of couples that are far beyond the level of being treated as casual casualties of Degrassi’s golden rule: no ship is ever safe.

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Posted by Kary

10 Comments

  1. I agree with you, I loved Drianca. I was done with Eclare after Jesus ECT. Thats me. TBH, They should have broken up these two couples in The Time of our Life. It would have been easier that way. Also I wouldn’t surprised if Eclare stayed broken up. I feel like they are holding on to Munro which is stupid. Anywho, The way they broke Driance was a cop out especially on Bianca’s part, she would never break up with anyone like that. As for Eli it didn’t surprise me that he cheated, he does have co dependency issues that is common with OCD & being bipolar. Also Eli & Clare don’t know how to communicate and thats a real problem. We’ve seen these issues through out S10 – S12. LDR is very hard especially with young adults & teens. Hopefully S14 Drew will become more secure and overcome his fear of failure and rejection. As for Clare I hope she becomes more dependent without a guy. I want Eli to move on and learn to let go, stop using women because his misses Clare, Thats twisted. I feel that Eli & Clare are holding on something thats not there anymore. I think thats what the writers were doing in S13. This is how how I feel.. I’m not getting into the pregnancy but maybe this is something that maybe positive for Drew & Clare dealing with responsibility, maturity and finally growing up. Being parents do change peoples perspectives.. :) TBH I hope Clare leaves pregnant and happy.

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  2. i dont find anything TOO wrong about the break up. its totally believable on biancas end. she came on to the show as THE bad girl, the bitch. from season 10 i thought it was a little weird that the bad girl would date a preppy guy like drew. THATS wat really seems off.

    WAT TRULY IS TRAGIC IS bianca was an AMAZING character, GREAT ACTRESS and SOOOOOO UNDERUTILIZED!!! NOT ONE A PLOT IN SEASON 12!!!!! if i remember correctly she didnt even get a subplot!!!!! now someone like jenna i can understand why they wont give her a plot. shes kind of dull, boring and her acting skills are avg. but alicia was so good at playing bianca.

    after under-utilizing alex’s character i thought finally! we get to see a new bad bitch’s perspective in bianca. but i WEEP cuz bianca nor alex never got there shine and never will ;(

    kary i would like to see a recap review of season 13 as a whole. or maybe top 5 episodes

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  3. I’ve watched Degrassi since the original version. I’m probably the only person on this list older than Kary. LOL. :) …..I think the Drianca break up was the worst and laziest writing in the shows history. They want you to ignore the fact that Bianca was ready to marry Drew in Vegas. Now just 2 months into college she has little to no feelings for him. Huh? Did she ignore her blue collar bad girl roots and become a preppy at Vassar? Is her whole goal in life to make millions in real estate and open her own winery? Does she want to do it with a new love interest guy or gal she met in college? Nothing was answered. The actress that played Bianca, Alicia Josipovic, gave the under statement of the decade when she said her characters behavior was totally uncharacteristic. This was a cheap way to write out Bianca and pave the way for Drew and Clare. …..By the way Drianca are also bound together by Drew taking the rap for killing that gang member that attacked and wanted to rape Bianca. So much history and chemistry between those characters went out the window. Alicia acted like she played those last scenes under duress. Maybe they had to give her anti-depressants to get her through the stilted monotone robotic dialogue she was forced to deliver. :(

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  4. hahahaha wouldnt it be interesting for vince to see drew again when tormenting Zig and drew just being like “Bianca? fuq dat bitch.” or vince being like ” I will shoot your brother again!” and drew just being like “fuq u”

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  5. The issue with romance comes down to the tools to show them, with Alicia and Munro moving to other projects (I would hope, both are strong actors and should have careers after Degrassi), they should move on from the show. This leaves too equally unfortunate options for what to do.

    1. You keep the relationship going off screen, via text, email, or casual mention.
    2. You end the relationship.

    The problem with 2, as shown by the show, is you have to get a relationship you forged through fire, a slow path of heartaches and coming together to the point it snaps. Of the two ships, Eclare had the better breaking point, and reason for the end of the relationship. Drianca was a much weaker break-up, it could have worked but they would have needed more set-up and a better execution of Bianca’s desire to be on her own again.

    But before anyone says “Well clearly option 1 is better” it isn’t, if you look at the rather strong showing on Drew’s plots in 13C-D, Drew was playing the role of leading man. Which requires him to be on-set with ladies, looking charming. Clare’s plots, equally, could have been retooled to be about Eli’s being in New York, but her plots without Eli needed someone in them, and that someone was Drew.

    The problem with an off-screen relationship is that it is pretty much an iron ball on the character’s plot arcs. I imagine S13 with a smaller cast could have made a smoother transition from Drianca to just Drew, and better express Eclare turning into just Clare.

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  6. I knew Bianca would soon dump Drew so I wasn’t bothered. I always thought the relationship didn’t have a real chance, anyway. She went from bad girl to someone with a real shot of making something out of herself, and Drianca was just kinda of this whirlwind teenage romance. It makes total sense that Bianca would really consider breaking up with the guy and leaving all remnants of her old life in Toronto.

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  7. I’ve said this in other comments: Clew is Spemma 2.0. The female half of a fairly popular couple is suddenly demonized in order to make the writers’ pet Mary Sue characters look better by comparison because they think that fans will accept the pairing more easily. The only difference is that Clare and Drew had more build up than Spinner and Emma (although despite this build up, Clew is just ridiculously contrived. When you consider these characters’ personalities, there is absolutely nothing that Clare should find appealing about Drew and vice versa).

    You might notice that I haven’t mentioned Eli. That’s because unlike Bianca, his time on the show isn’t over. They might still try to redeem him.

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    1. I do agree that it’s Spemma 2.0, but not for the same reason and not for the same result. But the rest of your comment is more or less off on every point.

      Villainizing Bianca to make Clare look better: I don’t think that was the intent, but that wasn’t the intent of Spemma and Jane, Jane wasn’t the villain in the narrative, she just wasn’t right for Spinner anymore. The aim of Spemma was to give Spinner and Emma an ‘ending’ before they left the show. The aim of ending Drianca was to open up Drew for his plots with Zoe, Mr. Hollingsworth, Clare, and eventually Becky (which I think was due to Adam’s death).

      Clare and Drew should find nothing appealing about each other: Clare has, at every turn, been shown to have a shallow love of pretty boys who look good topless. From there she fills out a narrative of romance to make it more palletable (Innocent While you Dream, Clare and Jake, some amount of Clare and K.C. (but a much lighter form)) to her love of romantic dreams. Drew has a lot of problems, but being charming isn’t one of them, he can definitely play into the narrative Clare wants (while Eli is too far to play into this narrative).

      Drew meanwhile has been shown, in many ways, to not actively have a type. He likes girls that like him. With each other romance there isn’t a lot of work on Drew’s part to seek out a girl. So it’s hard to really related what he specifically wants. Clare is fairly close to Katie in type, so it isn’t a completely out of left field pairing on regards to what Drew wants.

      Narrative-wise, Clare and Drew are a nice balance, in the same long standing tradition of X-Files ust-fueled partnerships way. There is a middle ground between them, but they both come from very different central mindsets. They make a good power pair for the same reason they would make a good couple, the primary problem is Drew and Clare have too much history, and came off of two well written long play relationships. Drianca and Eclare both started in Season 10 with a fairly strong off and on through 11 and 12. If we went from Katie/Drew and Cake directly into Clew, skipping Drianca and Eclare 2: Electric Boogaloo, there wouldn’t be nearly as much problem with it.

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      1. I’m still convinced that the writers demonized Jane and Bianca in order to further the plots. After all, Emma, Clare, and Drew are their obvious favorites. They could have easily made Drew cheat on Bianca with Clare, which would have been perfectly in character for him and much more believable than what actually happened, but because they didn’t want their precious Clare to look bad, they copped out.

        I still can’t see Drew and Clare as anything more than a quick fling. Clare does like pretty boys, but she also seems to like guys with triple digit IQs. Plus, there’s the whole Alli thing and the old Clare probably would not have pursued him based on that alone. Unfortunately, that Clare died a long time ago and she’s devolved to the point where she has no problem pursuing a guy who has a history of treating girls, including her own best friend, terribly. As for Drew, I’ll give you that one. He likes anything with a vagina.

        I agree that certain pairings work, because they provide a nice balance. However, I just can’t see Clew bringing out the best in each other. Not to mention that both characters just need to be single for once!

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  8. The thing I like about how they did things is that from the perspective of the active characters it really is out of character for these people (Eli/Bianca) to be making these decisions because the characters and the audience don’t see what has been happening on their end. Although as the audience it is indeed a frustration to see these things happen without adequate information from both sides I like to think of it more as seeing things from the perspective of the active characters and really degrassi as an isolated universe. In real life when people are separated by distance things become hazy as experiences aren’t shared physically but verbally. Miscommunication or lack of communication for that matter can occur. It reminded me very much of how it felt when older friends graduated and moved on and also from the other side as I moved away from my home town and how I lost contact or altered my relationships with friends and significant others back home. So I say good on degrassi for representing what can happen in reality.

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