Kary hi, so idk if you’ve answered this already but how do you feel about the way Eclare ended?

asilinnfknpaul

 

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The short answer is I’m fine with it.  Actually, having all three senior ships leave the show felt more natural than the usual protocol of having everyone conveniently break up before leaving the show.  But when it comes to Eclare, things are never just about this couple; Eclare is a phenomenon with a profound effect on the Degrassi fandom.

Ultimately, fandom is all about strong reactions (excitement, outrage).  For five years Eclare has caused the most-extreme fandom reaction of nearly anything to have ever happened in the franchise’s 35-year history, this coming from every corner of the Degrassi fandom. Five years of this!

Fandom behavior has skewed perception of this ship so incredibly hard and for so long that it’s impossible to have any grasp of reality when it comes to Eclare.  There’s often a difference in “fandom reality,” which also includes reaction to marketing and promos fans know damn well are misleading but fall for anyway, and the reality of what’s actually happening within the 22-minute episodes.  This is partly because by default, an exorbitant amount of time is spent in fandom (in our own heads, reading and reacting to other fans’ opinions) as opposed to the amount of time watching the episodes.  An example of this would be fandom overblowing Eclare’s existence on the show in certain seasons (s12), or acting like Eli is king of Degrassi, when in reality Drew Torres has been the most-dominant male character on the show since season 11.

And the thing, Degrassi knows this.  One of the writers’ goals is to evoke strong emotions from its viewers, and Eclare made that incredibly easy.  If you’re reading this, you fell into the trap at some point; some more than others.  I did back when “Eclare vs. Cake” was all the rage.  At the heart of it all, hardcore shippers and anti-shippers are no different from each other because they’re all obsessing over the same ship.  You could say Eclare is a guide of how to have and maintain an emotional stranglehold on an entire fandom, and they’re the biggest example of why Degrassi focuses so much on relationships despite the fandom complaining about this tendency for years.  Look at what “Tenner Roulette” did to the fandom during 14B…take a stroll over to tumblr during those two weeks and at times you would’ve thought nothing else was happening on the show.  If you can get people to be consistently passionate about either side and remain caught up in the neverending loop of defending their position it’s a victory, and it just so happens that ships always have and always will be the easiest way to get fans of this show worked up.tumblr_nsex4rgMSZ1sof7tvo1_250

When it comes to Eclare there was no running off to New York, or getting married or having a baby and riding off into the sunset on a unicorn.  There was no Clare telling Eli to go screw himself, then her going off to eventually work at a prestigious publication in NYC.  There was no Clare running into Wesley’s Betenkamp’s arms and telling him that she couldn’t see it while she was biting him on the neck or he was touching her boobs, but she now realizes he was the one all along.  It’s so interesting if you look at the history of the nonstop back and forth between Eclare shippers and anti-shippers that the show chose what is essentially as “neutral” of an ending as possible.

Just so we’re clear, Eclare was endgame.  All a couple has to do to be considered “endgame” is leave the show still together, and Eclare was definitely still together at the end of Finally.  Their immediate future is more clear to me, but Finally presented the kind of ending that would allow either side of the Eclare debate to create whatever future they want for this controversial couple.  If you’re an Eclare fan, you’re hopeful that they’ll find their way back to each other.  If you’re an Eclare hater, you can believe that a year from now, based on past history, this couple wasn’t able to make it through.

I feel like it’s our job as producers to present all sides of the argument. Then the audience can make their own decisions. Ultimately that’s what kids need growing up: the tools to make their own decisions without being be told what to do. – Linda Schuyler

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What are your thoughts on Winston? He’s not very popular amongst the fandom right now.

-anonymous

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This is kind of hard to answer for me because it wasn’t like I totally loved him before 14B or before all of the Andre drama.  I didn’t dislike Winston, but it became pretty clear he’s the kind of character who could get blackholed without a second thought.  The characters he’s been surrounded by most, Miles and Frankie, are so much bigger than him.  The show even acknowledged Winston’s lack of a “role” as a way to thrust him into the awkward cheating plot.

Looking back I don’t view Winston as some master manipulator who preyed on Lola and bullied her into keeping quiet.  He might be “cunning” enough to do such things anonymously, but not as himself.  With Lola he’s behaving like any kid begging their sibling not to tell on them so they won’t get in trouble.  And to me this whole thing comes off as a “character made a mistake and everything happened so fast that suddenly no one remembers who kissed who” story that falls flat.  I’m not buying the “innocent mistake” vibe from the mixed messages Winston and Lola are sending (both claiming they don’t remember who kissed who when specifically telling someone else about it) when it seems pretty clear they both know what happened while talking to each other.  Because Lola’s memory being “hazy” happened in Walking In My Shoes, the same episode where we learn she’s actually smart in the classroom, this could play into the interesting theory that Lola is someone who actually plays dumb on purpose.

But for Winston, who once claimed girls are his kryptonite, he’s just another dumb boy on Degrassi who also has a history of subtle, yet jerky behavior toward females. You know, I agree with Winston in Don’t Look Back about emotional cheating hurting worse than physical cheating.  But it still doesn’t change the fact that him dumping Frankie the way he did comes across as a dick move, especially after all he went through to get her back and, more importantly, all Frankie went through to forgive him for the pain he caused her.

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I don’t know what the future holds for Winston.  I’ve referred to certain plots involving him with words like “falls flat” and “filler” without having fully admitted that I don’t think Winston’s all that interesting of a character.  It’s also enhanced by the fact the characters in his social group have skyrocketed and are now a cornerstone of Degrassi’s future. Without Frankie his primary connection is Miles, and Degrassi viewers should know by now social connections are vital to a character’s existence on this show.  Floaters will float off into the Degrassi abyss, and it’ll be as if we never knew them at all.  One thing do I know is I’ll be sitting here waiting for a certain storyline to be tackled in this opening season of Next Class.

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Posted by Kary

7 Comments

  1. What an excellent blog post! I shared it on my Tumblr with a brief review. :)

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    1. Just 2 questions

      1. What race is Frankie? She is not all white. And around the H family… She’s like out of place. When you see her with them she looks like she’s adopted. Everyone else looks the same but not her.

      2. After seeing the S15 info… Do you think Zoe will last past thanksgiving break in her school year? We heard about sentencing & then they made her nicer. Epic fail! Then she helps save a life? Just sad. I hope they don’t slap

      Probation on her. She had too many free rides. 14B was a let down. I best see juvie by the 8th or 9th episode next year. Cus she’s not getting a true punishment. After all she did what she was told in 14A. But if what she told

      Tristan is correct: she told the police she forced the girls (12) to take nude pics while she took some, then she made the blame page. That’s not even close to probation. Even with saving a life.

      3. Tristan so reminds me of Cam from Modern Family.

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  2. I tend to have a soft spot for the dorky male characters on this show, but unfortunately, Winston just isn’t as endearing as Toby, Connor, or Wesley were. Even before the Lola incident he just didn’t resonate with me.

    The theory about Lola is AWESOME! I’m on board with that.

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  3. I actually believe what Winston did was worse. You can control who you kiss, but you can’t control who you develop feelings for. And at least Frankie was honest, while Winston tried to act like everything happened so fast and he didn’t remember that he was the one who kissed Lola.

    I also believe that the problem with Winston is the acting or writing not matching up with his archetype. He’s supposed to be this funny, dorky kid, but unlike Lola who makes me laugh at least once an episode, Winston makes me feel like a forced and fake laugh track should play after every single one of his ‘funny’ lines.

    Hopefully that certain storyline will get tackled with him because he isn’t going to get any fans or support if he stays like this.

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    1. Actually you can control your feelings and who you have feelings for. But its normal to have lack of control. But kissing a friend is 1 thing but giving a guy 10 grand is worse. Kisses are free. Plus having feelings for Logan?

      He is over 20. The relationship wouldn’t work. He’d be charged with stat rape. How would you feel if you had a BF who gave a person 10 grand? Money trumps anything. I’d be mad too. I’m tired of seeing others who date someone

      Who like others. If she likes Logan then she’s not invested in her relationship. He kissed a friend but he never gave someone e he had feelings for money.

      & his behavior? Really? He didn’t do anything illegal. He’s better than Zoe. He knows what he did is wrong from the start. If Miles found out she gave a dude money he would side with Chewie.

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  4. Winston to me is a typical teenage boy. I understand him, he has a lot of growing to do. He reminds me of grade 10 Dave.

    I think many of the Anti Eclare fans are still very angry because their fandoms got screwed over that got between Eli and Clare. The Imogeli’s, The Clew’s and The Drianca’s. And they are still very bitter about it. TBH I wish Eli & Imogen had a scene in the finale as I did with Drew & Clare. I am happy they did have Eli & Clare’s endgame ambiguous. And I also can see where they will go relationship wise. I’m not saying which way, i don’t people getting pissy at me. lol

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  5. Great points. But what he did was not as bad as what Frankie did. Yeah he kissed a friend but he didn’t ever have feelings for her. Giving g anyone money is worse. Plus liking a college guy? It would never work out. Do you know what Mr H would

    Of done to him? We’d have 2 deaths in 1 year. & Lola ain’t dumb. She’s smart in class but let’s not forget her thinking in 14A. She didn’t even know she was doing child porn. Who doesn’t know their a victim? Either the gifts fogged her mind

    Or she didn’t know. Cus after Jack knew she didn’t care. Not to mention she said “make it up to us”. Really? There is nothing to make up. She forced her to take pics. Be happy your not in juvie.

    And Chewie ain’t bad. Kissing a friend is not a crime. The put too much sadness in it. But he didnt do anything illegal. & how mean is it that Zoe told him why Frankie has trust problems if she caused it. Mean much?

    Overall OK block. But seeing Zoe get a easy time made me sick. I swear there better be juvie next year. Probation is too easy. I’m glad she helped save someone but who cares? You don’t get special things in life. & for the record Lola having

    A job was like MIND BLOWN! A Argentinian serving Mexican food? That’s mixed up. So funny. But she reminds me of Jake from 2 & A Half Men!

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