Blog | degrassi breakdown

  • 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."

  • The Week in Degrassi: Let's Review.

    Posted on 07/22/2011 by Mary

    Drew and Bianca from Degrasi DREW AND BIANCA: It took some pretty extraordinary circumstances to do them in, but now it appears that Drianca are over. I talked to Luke Bilyk and Alicia Josipovic about the break-up, and they were as bummed as some of you guys out there about it:

    Alicia: We were SO UPSET.
    Luke: After we did that scene, we were like, "So, Stefan. We're getting back together, right?"... It was really rude of Drew to do that, especially after all that Bianca's done for Drew.

    What do you think... was Drew rude? And do you think they'll get back together?

    KC AND JENNA: So, Jenna's stuck in a pile of poo-protectors while KC gets to go to school -- and now a job -- with friends. How do you think things will go for them long term? Will Kenna figure it out and stay together until baby Tyson is old and gray?

    ANYA AND OWEN: After a rough week, Anya is going for a sure thing. Do you think the fact that Owen is so into her will be good for her self-esteem? Or will he find some way to make things even worse?

    ANNND CAKE. The mighty mighty Lumberjake has ambled into our lives, eaten Mrs. Edwards' food, and kissed Clare just to shut her up. Do you think he really is as "low drama" as he seems?

    NEXT WEEK: We meet Imogen! And Katie! Plus some Ziley story, and two of my favorite eps from all of Now or Never.

    And don't forget -- the Degrassi mobile game has already had its first update (and I officially suck at Degrassi skee ball... but I'm really good at making Eli like me.) It's only $0.99 in the app store at iTunes - just search for Degrassi.

  • Sympathy for Bianca and Anya?

    Posted on 07/21/2011 by Mary

    SPOILERS IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN "IDIOTEQUE" YET...

    So, starting off with some of your reactions to the Ownya hook-up from last night:

    "I personallly think Owen is kind of hot, but he is such a pig. So this can go many ways." - TEENTITAN6

    "I actually like Owen. I mean he seems like a nice guy, but he puts all his nasty on the outside." - AIYA222

    That's actually a really good way to put it Aiya222 -- and it's probably true of all bullies, mean girls, etc.. They "put their nasty on the outside" to protect their vulnerable spots on the inside. But... I still can't stomach the fact that he threw Zane in a dumpster, threw Adam through a glass door, and probably defaced Riley's locker. Until he owns up to the wrongness of that stuff, he's on my bad side -- tender wounded inner child or no.

    Mostly, I'm really feeling for Anya in this whole situation. Your best friends are basically gossiping about you, you make a stupid facebook (sorry; facerange) move because you're too flustered to think, you're still reeling from having no post-high school destination and rejection from a great guy, and your consolation prize guy utters such sweet nothings as: "You're not too good for me, Anya." Yowwwch. Crappy sitch for Anya all around.

    Speaking of crappy sitches: My Bianca sympathy meter went through the ROOF on this ep. Of course, I still don't forget what she did to Adam either. But I think her wounded inner child is on full display. When Drew dumped her... oh my God! You could see her struggling to keep a brave face and being so eerily good at it... like it's a skill she's perfected.

    And so sad that Drew thought this would mean a fresh start. That didn't seem to turn out so well.

    Actually, question: Do you blame Bianca for what happened to Drew?

    Drew lies in the snow post-attack on Degrassi
    Drew lying in the snow post-attack on Degrassi

  • Anya! Really? Him?!

    Posted on 07/20/2011 by Mary

    SPOILERS BELOW IF YOU HAVEN'T WATCHED YET.

    Otherwise...

    Anya and Owen share a special moment at her birthday party on Degrassi.
    It's Anya's party and she'll hook up with Owen if she wants to.

    ANYA! What? Why? Him? Really? Are you sure? You can't be sure. You're not sure. Right? You're just reeling from Dr. Chris. (Yet another Degrassi love lost to Africa! Forsooth!)

    How do you guys think Anya will be feeling about this tomorrow? How do YOU feel about it right now?

    Also: I love both Fiona and Holly J, but I felt so bad for Connor when they were giggling about him at Anya's party. I just want him to be happy... and to stop openly staring at girls' boobs.

    And what do you think of KC's new job? What percent do you think he's doing it for Jenna and baby Ty, and what percent for himself and freedom?

  • Clare-Bear Unhinged

    Posted on 07/19/2011 by Mary

    SPOILERS BELOW! Watch the ep before reading... it'll be online some time tonight.

    Without taking sides in the great E-Clare v Cake Debate of 2011 (well... except to say that I really want to have a serious sit-down talk with anyone who thinks a life-threatening stunt is "romantic")... now that you've met Jake, what do you think? I am personally a big fan of his low-drama vibe. And I like that rather than staring goggle-eyed at Clare when she had her petite tantrum, he "saved" her -- and made me laugh at the same time.

    Also, how satisfying was Clare's rant at Above the Dot?! "IT TOOK YOU A YEAR... A YEAR TO GET OVER YOUR EX!" Not saying I've ever freaked out quiiiite like that in public at an ex before buuut... I'm sure I'm not the only one who's said some version of Clare's lines into my tear-stained pillow after a brutal break-up. I'm glad Clare took one for Team Frustrated Girls Everywhere and just said it all out loud.

    What's the most embarrassing thing you've ever done in the throes of heartbreak?

    And how about KC and Jenna? Couldn't help but feel a little "GO JENNA" when she showed up and handed Tyson to KC. Dude is a little tone-deaf about how much of Jenna's life is completely on hold while he goes to school every day.

  • Aww, yeah... Degrassi's back!!

    Posted on 07/18/2011 by Lisa

    Drew and Bianca on Degrassi: Now or Never
    Drew and Bianca on the premiere of Degrassi: Now or Never

    We threw a full hour of Degrassi at you tonight, and there was lots of "Now or Never" drama right off the bat. How are you holding up? What's going on in your Degrassi-loving head? Do you think Drew ultimately made the right choice?

    What was your favorite scene in this episode? Without being too spoilery, I will say that I loved the moment where Drew and Adam were a room apart, but practically in separate worlds.

    And how did you feel about the Keke stuff? If a cute, young musician came through your town to do a show, what do you think you would've done in Sav's situation?

    Last question -- Can you believe we have MORE new Degrassi coming tomorrow? And the next day? And the next day? *my mind is blown*

  • Degrassi: Drop the World, pt. 2 - Let's break it down.

    Posted on 04/22/2011 by Mary

    SPOILAGE BELOW. Click here to watch the full "Drop the World, pt. 2" episode before reading any further!

    Clare reacts to Eli on Degrassi: In Too Deep, Drop the World pt. 2
    Clare reacts to Eli on Degrassi: In Too Deep, Drop the World pt. 2

    1) Well... those of us lucky enough not to get the finale spoiled for us sure did get a scare tonight... what did you think??

    2) I know some people were feeling kind of anti-Clare because of her pulling away from Eli... but you've gotta admit, staying with someone out of fear for how they'll handle it probably is a horrible basis for a relationship. Given how unstable Eli was in these last two episodes... do you think Clare Clare really could have stayed with him?

    3) I have to admit I kind of didn't get why Anya was so insistent that Holly J needed to know about Fiona's crush on her. Obviously spilling the beans behind her back was not the best Friend Move ever, but... do you think Anya was right that Holly J needed to know about the crush?

    4) How would you handle it (or have you handled it) if someone whom you loved as a friend -- but whom you could never be romantically interested in -- had a crush on you?

    5) You know, for some reason it only dawned on me in this episode, as I was wondering why Bianca was at the "bachelor party" -- Bianca has zero female friends. Unless those other girls in the background of the scene were friends of hers. I know some girls just prefer guys as friends... would you be comfortable at a party where you were the only girl/guy?

    6) Eeeeee Degrassi's coming back this summer! High five!

  • Degrassi: Drop the World, pt. 1 - Let's Talk.

    Posted on 04/15/2011 by Mary

    SPOILERS UNDERNEATH ME! Click here to watch Part 1 of Degrassi: In Too Deep "Drop the World", but if you're all watched up... let's talk about break-ups, bylines, the relativity of weirdness, and school dances.

    Eli Goldsworthy is not amused.
    Eli Goldsworthy is not amused.

    1) Cast your votes. School dances, balloons, and banal top 40: "trivial" per Eli, or "fun" per Clare?

    2) So, the things Eli was doing at the top of the episode... like giving Clare a byline on "Stalker Angel" without asking her, asking her mom for permission to take her to the goth lit con before confirming Clare wants to go... I've noticed that some people think he was being weird and pushy and overstepping his bounds, and others think he was being sweet and romantic. I can see how those actions can play out either way, mostly depending on the general vibe Clare was feeling toward him at the moment. I wonder: before the shotgun scene, did you think Eli was being creepy or sweet, AND, before this episode were you a member of the Eli Goldsworthy Estrogen Army or... not that into him?

    3) I'm pretty worried about Eli at this point. You? And what do you think Clare should do about it all?

    4) Sally J! Over! Who else is mourning this? I'm genuinely bummed. I liked her better with Sav than with Declan... (I'm on Team "I Think Declan Is Kind of Self-Centered and I'm Still Pissed about What Happened When He Came Back for the Drama Awards"). Are you pro-Sav, pro-Declan, or pro-Holly J just on her own, doing her own thing?

    5) Dude, break-ups are the worst. For the dumpee and the dumper both. The way Holly J tried to kamikaze the relationship to avoid having to dump him... so human. Have you ever been dumped or dumped someone? How'd you handle it?

  • Degrassi: Chasing Pavements, pt. 2 - Let's Discuss.

    Posted on 04/08/2011 by Mary

    THERE ARE SPOILERS YONDER, 'NEATH FIONA'S FACE, but fear not, for you can watch all of Degrassi: In Too Deep - Chasing Pavements, pt. 2 online in HD right now by clicking on those words there. When yr done, let's talk:

    Fiona on Degrassi: In Too Deep, Chasing Pavements pt. 2
    Fiona on Degrassi: In Too Deep, Chasing Pavements pt. 2

    1) Alli: "I don't know, how do you trick kids into studying?" Simpson: "You don't trick them! You just hope they're going to do it on their own accord. You always hope...." Haha poor Mr. Simpson. What are your true motivations for doing well in school? Your own personal growth? Not getting in trouble? Getting free tokens at Chuck E Cheese?

    2) I know a lot of us were pulling for Fadam because, like @rediwings32 tweeted to us @teennick:
    "I so want Adam to get the girl. He deserves it and Fiona deserves someone who will make her happy and treat her right."
    I was totally with you on that, rediwings32. But now that we know what Fiona really wants is to be with a girl... I think things have turned out for the best. Adam wants someone who will like him not for "being stuck in a girl's body", but for being the funny, sensitive, loyal, and understanding guy that he is. He's really only begun the process of transitioning from F to M... and I have a lot of hope that someday, he'll find a girl who loves him for who he really is -- a guy. What do you guys think of how things turned out this week?

    Also, because I know there's some confusion out there (I saw some in the comments last week): Adam doesn't want a lesbian girlfriend (like Fiona), because Adam isn't a lesbian -- he's a guy. A straight guy. If he were gay, he'd be into other guys (as some transgender guys are). He was born in a girl's body, but that body feels, at the core of his being, completely wrong for him. So Adam is now living and will continue to live as a guy, and he wants to date a girl who's into guys, because that's what his gender identity is. He's a he.

    3) Alli and Bianca giving each other a pound rather than a pounding... did you ever think you'd see the day?

    4) OWEN! God! When Anya was lamenting to Chantay that maybe she was carrying a grudge about the way Owen treated Riley and Zane, all I could think was, "Uh... that's a valid grudge." I mean, he's never apologized for it and it offends Anya (and me) (not to mention offending and injuring Zane) (AND not to mention what he did to Adam) so... seems like a valid thing to hold against someone IMO!

    So I guess I wasn't that surprised to see that Owen did not indeed "get it" that touching girls in a super-familiar way without their permission is gross, wrong, and gross. And wrong. Here's something I saw in the comments of last week's Degrassi Breakdown, from KayKay[:
    "I had a similar yet more intense situation as Anya in 8th grade; I was too ashamed to tell my parents, much less any teacher. I got over it, but to this day, it's still something that haunts me. Girls who get sexually harassed shouldn't tolerate it, they should be straight up with the guy, and if he doesn't stop, then the girl should definitely tell a parent or teacher.We can't let creeps like them get away with it."

    5) "OK, why are there only two options for girls: either she likes you, or she's a bitch." - Anya MacPherson. YEAH ANYA! TELL HIM! How can someone -- girl or guy -- be like "I'm into you" and then if they're not interested be like, "Get over yourself"? I guess hurt feelings make people say nonsensical things sometimes.

  • Let's Process Our Feelings about Tonight's Degrassi

    Posted on 04/01/2011 by Mary

    SPOILERS BELOW THIS PICTURE! DON'T GET SPOILED! You can watch the full Catching Pavements, Pt. 1 episode here, and then let's process.

    Fiona at Bobby's trial on Degrassi
    Fiona at Bobby's trial on Degrassi

    1) If you were Fiona... would you have taken the $100,000 or insisted on going to trial?

    2) Oh and how about when Fiona dropped a big fat kiss right on Holly J! Well, hello there, Fiona Coyne! What was your reaction?

    3) So, about Owen: I know some of you think he's hot, but this whole episode he just made me go ew, ew, ew, ew, ew, ew, ew. I GUESS, if I'm being charitable... I mean like REALLY charitable... I can see how, in Owen's head, maybe he thought he was just "flirting" with Anya. Though, I think his idea of flirting is really messed up. (Touching someone's arms like that when you're not dating? Just... no. And making comments about wanting to be the CPR dummy? It's highly aggravating to me that a girl who's trying to get an education has to have every little thing she does sexualized.) ANYWAY. I found this handy dandy explanation of the differences between flirting and harassment. In it, we see that in cases of sexual harassment, "The contact was not invited or accepted." Of course, I also imagine that there are plenty of Owens out there who are not the most skilled at recognizing when someone is or isn't "inviting" them to flirt. So here's a really good tip from that website: "If somebody flirts and it is unwanted, ask him or her to stop. If they don't stop, it is considered harassment." Your school might have its own policy that goes into more detail, too. It's probably in your handbook.

    4) Who here has dealt with "unwanted flirting" at school? What happened, and how uncomfortable did it make you feel? Did you tell them to stop or -- like Anya -- did you feel too embarrassed to say anything?

    5) It looks like Anya did learn how to be honest about how she felt though... that was kind of impressive when she calmly (rather than deliberately cruelly) told Owen, "I don't like you like that, and I probably never will." Clearly it was an uncomfortable conversation, but now they both know exactly what's up. Have you ever had an honest conversation with someone about a one-way crush?

    6) Alli and the Standardized Math Test -- eek, pressure's on Alli again, I guess! How much does your school freak out about the state assessment tests?