• Things can't get worse? Think again, Anya.

    Posted on 08/01/2011 by Lisa

    SPOILERS BELOW. Don't read this post until you've seen "Paper Planes, Pt. 1."

    Anya seems lost.
    Anya thinks she's hit rock bottom, but has she?

    At the very beginning of tonight's Degrassi, Anya's worried about her future and stressed about the talk she has to have with her parents. She says, "Well, things can't possibly get any worse," and uses that as an excuse to try cocaine for the first time.

    ... and then her life gets worse.

    I get that Anya doesn't want everyone telling her what to do, but when you see someone messing up in a big way, it's hard to resist. If you were friends with Anya, what advice would you give her at this point in her life? Aside from, "Stop doing coke!"

    Keep in mind that if you try to tell her what to do, she'll be just as mad at you as she is at Owen. Can you give someone advice without telling them what to do? I was mad at Owen for walking away, but like he says at the beginning of the ep, "I'm not your mom." Ultimately, it was Anya's bad decision, right?

    Also: Tonight's episode may have skeeved me out more than any other Degrassi episode ever. A few years ago, when I lived in Brooklyn, my whole apartment building got bedbugs. For several months, I lived a nightmare of itchiness, insomnia, and paranoid over-cleaning. Bedbugs are reeeeaaally hard to get rid of, so I understand why Fiona freaked out. I seriously wish I could hug her right now, but then again... I'd rather run away from her at about a million miles per hour, because bedbugs are really easy to spread, and one might get on me during the hug.

    Sorry, Fiona. My only advice is: "You'll get through this, with the help of lots of toxic chemicals."

    But back to Anya. What would you tell her if you ran into her tomorrow morning?


  • Songs from Degrassi "Paper Planes, Pt. 1"

    Posted on 08/01/2011 by Ryanmcl

    DEGRASSI SPOILERS below if you haven't seen the new episode yet. But if you watched and need to know what songs were playing, the generous Degrassi Music Team is happy to share the info and the stories behind how the songs got there!

    TeenNick's Degrassi

    "Acid Rain" by The Tanuki Project
    Anya decides to try some cocaine. Check the Degrassi page for a sample.
    "Other than the obvious title and lyrics representing Anya's downward spiral, the beat of this tune is what sold us for the placement. This was the first time we were in this club; we had to establish a more mature sound, and The Tanuki Project was a great fit."

    "Sound The Alarm" by Shapes of Race Cars
    The volleyball game. Check the Degrassi page for a sample.
    "We loved a bunch of songs on Shapes of Race Cars' album, so we picked this one for this scene, and it fit real good. The pounding chorus is just so much fun and that's all we needed for this scene."

    "Get Out Of My Way" by Brooke Rose
    Goodbye bedbugs.
    "This was a quirky placement, because the song is so serious but the scene is so light and almost... fun? Well, bedbugs aren't fun, but this "goodbye bedbugs" song makes it seem pretty effortless to get rid of them. Anyone who's had bedbugs wishes it were as easy as putting on a Brooke Rose song."

    "Desire" by Tara Lett
    Anya struts in the club and dances with a random.
    "Heart-pounding, slow-motion, definitive gaze, yeah, something is about to happen. We won't know until the next episode, but this song leads us to believe Anya's spiral is not slowing down... it's speeding up. "


  • A Tribute to Ziley

    Posted on 07/28/2011 by Lisa


    Don't read any further unless you've already seen "Dirt Off Your Shoulder, Pt. 2."

    I sometimes take notes as I watch Degrassi to keep track of the things I want to write about, and the main note from tonight's ep (aside from a few things about Eli and Imogen) was the word ZILEY written in giant letters. Giant sad letters.

    I can't bring myself to rewatch that scene at the Dot. I'm tearing up just thinking about it. Ziley (or Rane, whatever you want to call them) are one of my all-time favorite Degrassi couples. I'm still using the present tense, because I'm not ready to accept that they're over. ...and now I'm tearing up as I type. Seriously. I'm a sad little blogger tonight, so instead of writing a thoughtful post about the whole episode, I'm going to post a bunch of pictures of Ziley in happier times.

    Zane (aww, look at his messy hair) and Riley.

    Panthers. :)

    Ziley kiss!

    Ziley makes me sigh-ly.

    Zane and Riley in suits... because they *suit* each other.

    Think they'll ever reunite? (Just tell me yes. I'm crying here.)


  • Songs from Degrassi "Dirt Off Your Shoulder, Pt. 2"

    Posted on 07/28/2011 by ryanmcl

    DEGRASSI SPOILERS below if you haven't seen the new episode yet. But if you watched and need to know what songs were playing, the generous Degrassi Music Team is happy to share the info and the stories behind how the songs got there!

    TeenNick's Degrassi

    "Rich Doors" by NewVillager
    Eli watches Clare from a distance. Check the Degrassi page for a sample.
    "This song took a little bit of extra listening to hear its TV placement potential. It travels around at the right speed, its heavy piano chords pierce at just the right moment. It sounds like Eli's heartbeat -- he's watching her like she used to watch him."

    "No Power" by Absofacto
    Imogen convinces Eli that Clare never loved him. Check the Degrassi page for a sample.
    "Let alone the title of the song being fit for the scene, it was the electricity of the song that perfect for the moment. A little bit of witchcraft and uncertainty -- Imogen is casting her spell over Eli... he has no power!!"

    "Hold Me In Your Arms" by Zerbin
    Riley breaks up with Zane.
    "Here the song title is ironic -- it's actually a very sad moment for everyone who was rooting for Zane and Riley. Beginning with the gorgeous moon married to the beautiful violin, a dark evening mood set the tone for the end of one of the most arduous and tested relationships in Degrassi history..."

    "Honey Crystal Cave" by Minotaurs
    Eli dumps his pills in the trash.
    "We found this song before we knew Imogen would need her own music. Its wonderfully creepy, crawly, jagged and twisted enough to make us feel what Eli was feeling -- and what Imogen was doing. The hit in the song on the Producers' Card left us all reeling..."


  • What do you think of Imogen?

    Posted on 07/27/2011 by Lisa


    Hello, people who've seen Dirt Off Your Shoulder, Pt. 1!

    Do you think Adam's right about Imogen? I mean... "psycho" is a strong word, but what kind of person injures herself just to keep someone she's never spoken to before out of trouble? Imogen seems to have made a real impression on Eli (putting tampons in your nose is a pretty memorable action), but I'm a little worried about the effect she could have on him.

    Eli's going through a rough time, and I feel like he needs to spend time with calm, sane people (like, say... Adam). At the same time, I'm also kind of worried about Imogen. From what we've seen so far, Eli might not be the best influence on her either.

    Meanwhile... Do you think Ziley are headed in a bad direction? What about Kenna? (I can't add anyone else to my worry list tonight -- it's full.)

    And one final Degrassi thought of the night: I've never worked at a restaurant, so I'm not an expert on this, but there didn't appear to be much cleaning going on at that clean up party. If you've ever worked at a place like Little Miss Steaks, do things really get that wild after it closes up for the night? Enlighten me.

    Imogen and her tampon-filled nose
    What do you think of Imogen?


  • Songs from Degrassi "Dirt Off Your Shoulder, Pt. 1"

    Posted on 07/27/2011 by ryanmcl

    DEGRASSI SPOILERS below if you haven't seen the new episode yet. But if you watched and need to know what songs were playing, the generous Degrassi Music Team is happy to share the info and the stories behind how the songs got there!

    TeenNick's Degrassi

    "Get Loose" (remix) by Quanteisha
    Marisol's Little Miss Steaks party song. Check the Degrassi page for a sample.
    " Marisol had her tunes on her iPod -- so it was really fun to figure out what she would actually listen to. This Quanteisha song was perfect, Marisol definitely likes the fat bass line and groovy chorus."

    "Big Bird in a Small Cage" by Patrick Watson
    Eli struggles with creativity, takes his pills. Check the Degrassi page for a sample.
    " Among the most powerful moments we've seen so far, we knew the scene would need the perfect, most emotionally driven song we could find, and came up with one of our very most cherished songs, "Big Bird in a Small Cage". The scene, lyrics and music all speak for themselves, and we sincerely encourage you to go find more about the artist, Patrick Watson!"

    "Honey Woman Lady Cutie" by Alexander Fairchild
    Imogen is a freak!
    " We quickly realized that much like Eli, Imogen needed her own sort of music... and this tune kicked it all off. Eli is definitely interested. Though, whether she becomes his honey-woman-lady-cutie remains to be seen..."


  • One Way to Change a Mind

    Posted on 07/26/2011 by Mary

    So, here's what put these two shows on my list of Favorite Degrassi Eps Ever.

    I love when Degrassi shows us not just a candy-coated version of high school foibles, but the ugliness that happens when people make mistakes because they just don't know any better yet.

    "if there's one thing we can't count on Degrassi for it's showing us the good AND the bad." - GOODOLDDAYS

    Totally, GoodOldDays.

    So, the backlash against Dave -- the LGBT club petition, the disciplinary actions, Zane's lecture, the discomfort of his closest friends, and the angry glares he got from a trans-tolerant student body at Degrassi -- it's all understandable. When people say cruel, insensitive, harmful, and intolerant things, it pisses us off. And we say things like "I wanted to punch him" and "I hope Sadie and his friends completely dump him."

    Adam gets through to Dave in Degrassi detention.
    Adam gets through to Dave in Degrassi detention.

    But did anyone else think it was interesting that the thing that actually made Dave think was a frank explanation from Adam of what was at stake (civil rights) and what it's like to be him (frickin' not easy). In that conversation, Adam took Dave seriously, and tried his best to connect with him on a human level -- he didn't just write him off. And that's what made Dave step out of his defensiveness for a minute so he could really consider his actions... the scorn of his community didn't have quite the same effect -- it made him feel cornered and persecuted. Is it fair that Adam had to be preternaturally mature and able to handle this so calmly in order to get through to Dave? No. But it was so much better for the outcome that he was. And would all of the Daves of this world sit there and listen to Adam's sensitivity training? No. But that's why I give Dave credit for being a decent and open-minded human being (if slow on the open-mindedness uptake).

    Remember: Dave doesn't watch Degrassi like the rest of us. He didn't know anything about what being transgender means (just like a lot of us didn't before we met Adam.) And if Sadie and his friends completely dumped him... there's a good chance some other students at Degrassi would have been more than happy to give Dave the pats on the back he wanted, and they would have formed an insular and potentially dangerous little crew of haters. (I don't know where Owen's at with his various phobias these days but... he's certainly a candidate.) And since the basis of their friendship would have been hate, it would have festered and festered... this is how you end up with, say, white power crews. You know?

    Anyway. Big fat kudos to Adam for being the bigger man, and to Dave for catching up eventually. Big fat kudos to anyone out there who tries to educate those around them. And major sympathy to Adam for having to figure this stuff out on his own:

    "Honestly...adam has NO help in all this as to how he should approach anything. he's lost. ... i think adam needs to hear some advice from someone who knows about transgender difficulties...and dave needs to grow up!" - BETHANY65

    Seriously... I wish Adam could talk to TeenNick user RILEY:
    "When I was watching Adam go into the bathroom I was cringing so hard! As an ftm myself I saw two things he did wrong going in there and I knew it wasn't going to end well. One he was making small talk which isn't the worst thing but then looking at Dave while he was doing his business was breaking the code of the mens room. I was sitting in bed waving my hands at the computer screen when Adam did this "like what are you thinking???" Although I see where Dave's coming from, he had no right to publicly humiliate Adam on the damn radio. That's probably the last thing Adam needs is to be openly singled out for being transgender and for making a mistake."


  • Songs from Degrassi "Cry Me a River, pt. 2"

    Posted on 07/26/2011 by Ryanmcl

    Yet again, the generous Degrassi Music Team is providing us with not just the names of the songs that were playing during your favorite scenes in Degrassi: Now or Never, but how those songs ended up there!

    TeenNick's Degrassi

    "The Lake" by Aunt Martha
    Fiona witnesses Charlie arguing with her "girlfriend". Check the Degrassi page for a sample.
    "A beautiful song and moment. Listen to the drums in this song -- such a gorgeous east-coast vibe. The lyrics float along the top of the scene, pushing Fiona to the brink -- she was so hopeful, and once again, it all comes crashing down."

    "Why Won't You Listen" by The Danger Bees
    Charlie rejects Fiona. Check the Degrassi page for a sample.
    "Fiona tries, and tries again. She's so timid and uncertain, and this song reflects her so well. The lyrics were more pointed this time -- as Fiona really does have such a good heart."

    "Pilgrim's Day" by Lake
    Dave observes Adam's handicapped washroom woes
    "Sometimes we really love a band and their sound, and we can make it through the last of their songs before finding the right one. In the case of Lake, the gem "Pilgrim's Day" is near the end of the album -- and it was just perfect when the lyrics hit "window in, window out" on the shot of Dave through the window."

    "I Saw the Devil Last Night" by Moros Eros
    Dave commandeers Degrassi Radio.
    "We loved the energy of this song and how it translated to Dave's intentions. We kind of knew he was up to something by the tone of the song, and it was all timed to hit certain moments of his actions."

    "Tonight" by Take Me to the Pilot
    Dave offers an olive branch; Adam accepts; all is well.
    "We had known about Take Me to the Pilot through the friends who share our office -- a company called Dale Speaking in Toronto. They loved the band and so do we, and this epic song helped us tell the tale of how differences can be overcome."


  • Songs from Degrassi "Cry Me a River pt. 1"

    Posted on 07/25/2011 by Ryanmcl

    DEGRASSI SPOILERS below if you haven't seen the new episode yet. But if you watched and need to know what songs were playing, the generous Degrassi Music Team is happy to share the info and the stories behind how the songs got there!

    Which songs were on Degrassi?

    "Lay Your Heartbreak" by Winterpills
    Fiona leaving a sad message on Charlie's phone. Check the Degrassi page for a sample.
    "This is a pretty depressing moment for Fiona -- so the song had to reflect that, obviously. The lyrics didn't match the scene per se, but having lyrics too on-the-nose can sound pretty nerdy. This was a delicate balance of feeling and lyrics, and they matched the scene very well."

    "This Work" by Meligrove Band
    Sav cuts Dave off-air after his Degrassi Radio rant. Check the Degrassi page for a sample.
    "There have been so many opportunities for this song -- its theme is so general and applicable to everyday life. But when this scene came along -- where we actually see how hard life can be for Adam -- the lyrics play a double-entendre. On Adam's side, obviously, he leads an abnormal life and it's tough to fit in. For Dave, we think it's just as tough -- he expressed himself in the wrong way, but in the end, he's just trying to fit in, too."


  • New Interview! Argiris Karras and Shannon Kook-Chun!

    Posted on 07/25/2011 by Mary

    I caught up with Argiris and Shannon (who are not dating each other in real life, lest you get confused by their jokestery below) on the Degrassi set. The three of us sat down for a little chat in -- true story -- a booth inside Little Miss Steaks. The seats there are kind of uncomfortable, if you've ever wondered.

    Degrassi's Argiris Karras and Shannon Kook-Chun, aka Riley and Zane, 2011 I've heard that you guys knew each other before the show, and that maybe Argy, you suggested that Shannon should audition? Or what's the story there?

    Argiris: It was more of a surprise actually. He told me, "Hey, I've got an audition..." I don't know, do you remember how it went?
    Shannon: I think we were at Jake Epstein's birthday, who played Craig on the show. I came to meet Argy because he and I were together like, every day that summer. We'd bike in the rain back from a night out, we'd double on the bike.

    Oh my God! How did you know each other?

    Shannon: I saw him somewhere before, and I was like "Yo, didn't I see you at...?"
    Argiris: At an audition room actually, yeah.
    Shannon: Yeah, he was doing a self-tape for an audition, so I saw him and stopped him. And then, where did we actually hit it off?
    Argiris: Maybe... I can't remember.
    Shannon: You don't remember our first date! (laughs) There were a lot of nights and days out. So then at Jake's birthday, I just told him. And he was calling me Zane all night trying to get me in character.
    Argiris: Yeah, I do remember that.

    So you were specifically auditioning for Zane, it wasn't one of those things where like, Liberty auditioned for Manny...

    Shannon: No, and they didn't even know that I was friends with him until when I got the role and we came for rehearsal. Our director was like, 'So, you guys are friends? That's a bonus! We never knew that.' And I don't know if it would have affected their decision, in a good way or bad way -- it could be a bad thing. And then she asked, 'Do you think this makes it easier or more difficult for you?' And I wasn't really sure. It is easier in a way because we have a rapport and we're comfortable with each other.

    It's interesting that you weren't just friend but like fast friends, too.

    Argiris and Shannon: Yeah.
    Shannon: And it's not often... you meet a lot of people in the industry but to get to work with someone that you would actually go out and dance with -- Argy and I would be the only two guys really breaking it down on the dance floor.
    Argy: Yeah, a lot of guys wouldn't go out there, they're pretty pathetic, they're just staying against the wall. Though, you know, we were there at some point in our life.
    Shannon: They're scoping out chicks.
    Argy: They just scope and they kind of creep and they kind of try to pull girls' dresses. It's just like, 'No, you've gotta have fun!' You've gotta show the girl that you're having fun and then stuff flows.

    TO BE CONTINUED... too many spoilers in the rest of our conversation!