reviews

What’s happening with Degrassi: Next Class is a mini throwback to what longtime American fans such as myself experienced during the TNG era.  Canada gets the episodes first, and the rest of us are tasked with either waiting or finding alternative ways to watch the episodes, hashtag #WhateverItTakes.

Back then the gap in between episodes in Canada and the U.S. sometimes would be months…with Next Class we’re talking barely over a week, so it’s not the end of the world.

I haven’t really figured out what I’m going to do with reviews yet, though.  The overwhelming majority of the readership here is American, so I’m not sure if it’ll make much sense to try and cram all of the reviews into Family Channel’s two-week broadcast period.  But then there’s also the fact that F2N and Degrassi are going to be posting spoilerific things like promos, pictures, recaps, Stefan’s Principal’s Office etc., and I’ll have to post all of that stuff here anyway.  I’ll figure something out as we get closer to January.

For myself I’m not concerned with being spoiled by the episodes airing first in Canada, but if you’re unable to watch the show until it hits Netflix just know this site will be a spoiler minefield from January 4th-15th.

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It’s pretty interesting that DeGrassi is embracing the release of all 20 episodes at once. Personally, I like it, as I’d rather binge a show that’s a serial rather than wait a week for between episodes. Of course, DeGrassi is uniquely qualified to keep their core viewers engaged for the other 51 weeks till they produce new content. Once Netflix is able to stream the whole catalog they will be able to attract a lot of new viewers, too. Still, it’s going to be a challenge for them to keep it fresh as the months wear on…. -klb9037

How Degrassi will keep their online fanbase consistently engaged in the coming year is something I’ve been thinking about often during this hiatus.  I’m not concerned about the creativity of Epitome’s digital team because they’ve proven time and time again they’re a talented group…hell, they just won an award a few weeks ago.

As Degrassi fans, we’ve had it so lucky since the season 10 reboot.  Degrassi recognized the value in the online community and it became a priority that the Canadian/American networks cater their schedules so that we could all enjoy Degrassi together.  Up until this year, a Degrassi hiatus didn’t last longer than a few months.  Now after having gone through a six-month hiatus before finishing out season 14, we’re in the midst of what will be a five-month hiatus.  We’re going to have gone without Degrassi for 11 out of 12 months in 2015.  We’re going to blow through a lot of the Degrassi: Next Class episodes at the beginning of the 2016, especially if the news that Netflix is releasing all 20 episodes at once holds up.

It’s definitely not a bad thing to be able to binge watch the episodes, but as you said the show’s online community, where there is no distinction between Canadian/American, etc., has grown into its own thing over the past five years, one that now has to be nurtured regardless of the broadcasters no longer working in tandem.

And when you think about the show’s mission, targeting Gen Z and literally building Degrassi: Next Class around the digital world, it’s even more important for the digital team to keep us engaged at a level that prevents fans’ habit of “peacing out” during the hiatus from tailspinning into something else. Taking a mental break from fangirling over Degrassi for a while is one thing, but we need them to come back!  Even I’ve had to adjust my approach in order to avoid mentally checking out during this current hiatus.

The good thing is I’m already expecting some interesting stuff from them in 2016.

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clickbait12715

A true example of clickbait is stupid shit like this article from MTV that went absolutely nowhere.  I do admit it’s strange for me to create a blog post about a tweet, then tweet about said blog post as opposed to simply retweeting the original tweet.  It’s a lot of work on my end, especially when I’m doing it during the middle of a workday, but it’s also a lot more complicated than me creating posts for the sole purpose of getting people to click onto DegrassiBlog.com.

I feel like I’m in a weird spot…I’m this grown man over here just doing his own Degrassi thing that people happen to notice on occasion.  I don’t work for DHX/Epitome.  This blog isn’t an official media site like EW or Hollywood Life (ironically I’m an accredited media person in real life because of what I do at my job). And when it comes to DegrassiBlog, I can’t just be a fan who simply retweets or reblogs important information then go about my day.  I tend to model what I do here somewhat after what every media site in existence does. If Kim Kardashian reveals her new baby’s name, every entertainment site will take that same piece of info, post it on their site, then blast it out into the universe over and over.  They know that people consume information differently, at different times and in different places.

If you have a website you should want people to visit it, otherwise there’s no point in having one to begin with.  You just shouldn’t be tricking people into going there to up your hit count, and the Degrassi fans over the years whose primary motivation was to get tons of hits their sites/blogs/vlogs quickly fizzled out.  I wouldn’t consider blogging about a new (and very important) Degrassi account’s content, or reposting information from Ehren or Richard’s tweets about their music as clickbait because I’m going above and beyond to promote what they’re doing and encourage others to support them. I also feel a default sense of responsibility to promote the hard work of my fellow Degrassians because few know how much effort those ladies go through to make every promo/video teaser available to fans worldwide.

That’s one of the reasons I’m here…I don’t get paid to do it, but I’m promoting the heck out of the show and its people like I just earned a sweet desk in the communications department at Epitome, complete with a snack basket and a photo of Sellie.  The ultimate goal of DegrassiBlog.com is to be a central hub for Degrassi information, and when Degrassi’s long gone this site will then serve as an archive of everything that happened during this era.  That’s what the Degrassi fansites were like back when I first discovered this show in 2004, and that’s one reason why I’m still a Degrassi fan 11 years later.

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Posted by Kary

7 Comments

  1. Kary,
    I’m sure some bean-counter, buried somewhere deep in Epitome’s dungeon, has a line item called Kary’s DeGrassi Blog.com. There’s no costs associated with it, so the revenue it produces is pure profit. I know you realize that for a few years, you were the source for DeGrassi information. Sites, to numerous to count, have come and gone, but here you are, still providing a free site, devoted to all things DeGrassi. My point is simply to say well done, Your site is appreciated by fans all over the world.

    I think I’ve said it before and even tho you do this as a fan, you really should think about some possible revenue streams from your blog. It’s great to be altruistic, but it doesn’t pay the bills!

    I’m anxious to see how you decide to structure your reviews going forward. I’ve noticed other TV bloggers sticking to 1 episode a week for Netflix content. I don’t have the numbers, but people who like a show will watch it if there are new episodes available. I recall seeing a very popular blogger reviewing the 8th episode of Sence8 a while back. (probably about 8 weeks after it was released. I remarked at the time that it had been so long since I had watched it that I was no longer interested in his thoughts. He’s doing the same thing with Jessica Jones and I can’t help but think he’s losing readers. So there must be a way to meet fans in the middle, review them quick enough where they are still in the fans thoughts, but not so quick as to have a site where every other word was a spoiler. I’m sure you’ll figure it out.

    Have a good holiday!

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  2. Kary, you are the best Degrassi fan in the world. We appreciate all your hard work and great reviews. ….I was hoping you would review season 2 of “Teenagers.” It added a former Degrassi cast mate. …..I guess “Open Heart” is finished. To bad we didn’t get a resolution or wrap up for that series. …..Will the new Degrassi still have input from creators Linda and Stephen?

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    1. Linda and Stephen are still the executive producers of the series. :)

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  3. Kary, I wouldn’t say that because someone’s blog, vlog etc… quickly fizzled out doesn’t mean the person was just out for popularity and tons of hits. Life gets to everyone, so they could’ve just simply couldn’t continue to dedicate a lot of time into it because they had to put things in priority or maybe they didn’t realize just how much hard work it is to keep up a website daily.

    I know a lot of people who had a love for something and worked hard at it, but had to give it up because of various reasons.

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    1. I agree with you. Just because every time a blog/vlog, etc. fizzles out that doesn’t mean it’s because the person was only looking to become popular. The Degrassi Experience girls didn’t fizzle out quickly, but they’re a great example of what you’re saying about life priorities. They were really good at what they did and everyone from fans to the Epitome team adored them, but adult responsibilities hit and they had to step away from vlogging about the show they loved.

      But what I was saying in my blog post is that if a person *is* doing something mainly to become internet famous or whatever, they’re more likely to fail because of their expectations of instant fame and not understanding the amount of work needed to put into it on a consistent basis.

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  4. “We’re going to blow through a lot of the Degrassi: Next Class episodes at the beginning of the 2016, especially if the news that Netflix is releasing all 20 episodes at once holds up.”

    I think there is only one article posted by Variety over the summer that stated the twenty Netflix episodes would be split into two seasons and only ten would air in the beginning of 2016. Ever since then, all of the articles were quick to claim that Netflix will be dropping all twenty episodes on January 15th, and the official sources never bothered to confirm or deny. Personally, I don’t think Family Channel is airing “half’ of a season, but a whole season all together, and the same goes with Netflix. If that is the case, we might get the other ten episodes later in 2016 (there’s been some buzz about the same thing with American Horror Story), thus making the hiatus a lot more bearable… or we might only be getting Season 2 at the beginning of 2017. :O

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  5. AmethystBeloved July 26, 2016 at 3:30 pm

    Can I submit a question for your next Q&A?

    Now that all the Next Class episodes are officially released, can you please tell us about some of the #DegrassiSecrets that you were trusted to keep?

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