Blog | new beginnings

  • Songs from Degrassi: "Need You Now, pt. 1"

    Posted on 03/30/2012 by Ryanmcl

    Here's info from Degrassi's music team about how they chose the songs used in this episode.

    SPOILER WARNING: If you haven't seen the new episode yet, go watch it before you read this post!

    TeenNick's Degrassi

    "Stick of Dynamite" by Hilary Grist
    Eli finds Imogen taking shots of a bird in the courtyard. Check the Degrassi page for a sample.
    "Again, this song has that quirkiness factor we look for when placing a tune for Eli or Imogen. In this case, their relationship is summed up in the music. Bizarre, curious, definitely uncertain. On a side note, Hilary Grist's song "Right For You" played as Eli was leaving school in episode 1121."

    "Nowhere Near My Heart" by Kori Pop
    Imogen snaps pictures of a sleeping Eli.
    "Of course this song speaks to some sort of foreshadowing -- we're always questioning whether Eli is able to be in a relationship, but we're also not really ever sure about Imogen. Beyond the lyrics, this song has that quirkiness we look for when scoring for Eli or Imogen."

    "Diamonds" by Billy the Kid & the Southside Boys
    KC faces losing his baby for good.
    "We love this artist, and have been aching to place one of her songs forever. Billy the Kid recently completed a project called "31 covers in 31 days" -- a remarkable feat. This song played so sincerely against KC's disappointment that it spoke for itself."

    " Hell, Heaven" by Parlovr
    Eli, frustrated, slams his phone against his bedroom door.
    "If you couldn't tell by now, we love Parlovr. Pronounced "Parlour" (the "V" is a roman letter -- pronounced as a "U"). The beauty of Parlovr is their ability to create completely different renditions of their songs, and the evolution leaves us wanting more and more from these Montrealers. This song, with its powerful message, rocked Eli's emotions and left us guessing�what's next?"


  • Let's talk Degrassi!

    Posted on 03/23/2012 by Lisa

    SPOILERS BELOW. Don't read any further until you've seen the latest episode of Degrassi.

    Summer drops Clare off at Degrassi.

    So, all of Summer's friendly concern for Clare's well-being... total crap. If you care about someone, you don't put them in a situation like that. On the other hand, Jake made it clear he does care about Clare by going to investigate her living situation. I'm so glad she wasn't alone when all that stuff went down at Summer's, and their scene on the bench was great (so many of Clare's big life moments seem to happen on benches!).

    I think maybe Clare needed to hit rock-bottom before she could figure out what to do next. Do you think being involved in a drug bust *is* rock-bottom for Clare? Will she get her life together now?

    As for the Connor/Mo storyline, I'm glad Connor finally confessed the truth. I have to say though, after all he went through last year with that creepy Lovequeen16 lady, it sucked to see him using the internet to manipulate someone else. Not cool, Connor.

    Hey, if any football experts read this, help me out: I know very little about this sport, but I couldn't help wondering: Can two players really shout at each other like that, mid-game, without a time-out? Or would it be called a foul or something? I'm curious in terms of reality, but I liked the scene anyway. It made me laugh, and it was great to see Connor sort of fitting in, even if it was in an unusual way. I love that Clare's "Did you ever love me at all?" breakdown is famous enough at school that other kids quote it!

    Connor and Mo.

    And last, but definitely not least, Fiona looked like she was trying sooo hard not to cry when she realized Eli and Imogen were getting together. Her sad little "Yay!" as she hugged them broke my heart. I know Eli and Imogen have a lot in common, but I want Fiona to find love, too... and soon.

    So, what did you think of the episode?

  • Songs from Degrassi: "Not Ready to Make Nice, pt. 2"

    Posted on 03/23/2012 by Ryanmcl

    Here's info from Degrassi's music team about how they chose the songs used in this episode.

    SPOILER WARNING: If you haven't seen the new episode yet, go watch it before you read this post!

    TeenNick's Degrassi

    "Intro/You Were So Right" by Amos the Transparent
    The police bust Summer's house. Check the Degrassi page for a sample.
    "This was sent to us as a brand new Amos the Transparent album, freshly mixed and mastered the day before. This is technically two songs, "Intro" and "You Were So Right" -- but it was sent to us as one song. They both fit so well over a couple of scenes that we decided to keep them together."

    "Just the Same" by Justin Hines
    Clare at dinner with her new friends.
    "This new release by Justin Hines is a magnificent album, full of wonder and poetry, and his music is perfect for the show. A little whimsical and hopeful, it made for a powerful and lovely moment as Clare searches for her place in the world."


  • Have you seen the latest Degrassi and Dance Academy?

    Posted on 03/16/2012 by Lisa

    SPOILERS BELOW. Don't read any further until you've seen the latest eps of Degrassi and Dance Academy.

    Hey, Eli!

    On tonight's Degrassi, it seemed like everyone had a lot to deal with -- and they're all dealing with it in different ways.

    FionaFiona seems crazy stressed about her crush on Imogen, but she's trying to ignore it and hope it goes away. She seems to think that if she gets Eli and Imogen together, her own feelings will evaporate. (I have a bad feeling about this.)

    When Mo teases Connor at football try-outs and makes him look bad in front of the team, Connor doesn't ignore it. He decides to get even by messing with Mo in return. (I have a bad feeling about this, too.)

    And of course, we have Clare. Poor Clare. She's so stressed out about the Jake situation that she seems to be trying every possible method of dealing with it. Distracting vampire books? Check. Dinner table freak-out? Check. Running away from her problems? Check. (I have all sorts of feelings about Clare's situation, and they're not all bad, because I feel like we have lots of good drama heading our way. Bring it on, Degrassi!)

    Other random comments/questions about this episode:
    *Imogen claims she shipped her feelings for Eli off to the moon. Do you believe her?
    *I wouldn't wish Jake's awkward birthday dinner on anyone. That scene was painful!
    *Fiona + Imogen are so cute together... Do you think there's any chance things could turn romantic?
    *Is it just me or did Eli look even cuter than usual in that scene with Fiona in The Dot? I'm not sure if it was the messy hair or what.
    *What was your first impression of Summer? She makes me nervous for some reason.
    *If I saw someone about to destroy their smart phone, I would NOT applaud. *Sigh.*

    SammyMeanwhile, on Dance Academy, Christian tries to figure out where he belongs, Sammy considers quitting dance to please his family, and Tara avoids Ethan, because she sees him as a distraction.

    Tonight's episode showed the dancers working on pirouettes, and mentioned how important it is to stay focused while you're turning. I know it's a weird thing to say, but I sort of wish Fiona, Connor, and Clare could've seen this episode. I think they all need a reminder to let go of their distractions and stay focused. I think we ALL need that reminder, whenever our lives fill up with stress. Focus! (That's today's motivational speech from Lisa, inspired by Degrassi and Dance Academy. You're welcome.)

    Sammy's situation on Dance Academy got me wondering... Would your parents freak out if your biggest goal was to become a dancer? Would they support you, or urge you to pursue something else?

  • Songs from Degrassi: "Not Ready to Make Nice, pt. 1"

    Posted on 03/16/2012 by Ryanmcl

    Here's info from Degrassi's music team about how they chose the songs used in this episode.

    SPOILER WARNING: If you haven't seen the new episode yet, go watch it before you read this post!

    TeenNick's Degrassi

    "Beggar in the Morning" by Barr Brothers
    Clare talks to her mom. Check the Degrassi page for a sample.
    "This was such a tender moment, and the song does it justice. Barr Brothers are blowing up, and this placement comes fresh off their appearance on a late-night talk show."

    "Dreamer" by Lynzie Kent
    Clare shops at the bookstore.
    "Lynzie Kent was a great asset to this scene, because the song itself just screams "Clare." The lyrics and the music are pretty inspirational, and even though we see Clare struggling, the song gives us something to hope for."

    "Bang Bang" by Dolly
    Connor beats Mo's tackle.
    " We had placed this song at the top of the episode, but decided it would be better featured here. It turned out to be much more fun and way more energetic, and was totally appropriate for Connor."

    "Crybaby" by Basement Superheroes
    Jake plays Jenna some music in his room.
    " We had to play this as light-hearted. Clare is struggling, but Jake and Jenna are having a blast. We thought this would be up Jake's alley, and to have those lyrics pounding through the wall was pretty ironic."

    "Hourglass" by Blocks
    Clare waits for her dad.
    "We loved the retro vibe of this song, and its imagery matches its title -- time passing. It helped us feel like she'd been waiting for hours. We helped the scene move along and lowered the song so it would sound like it was coming from Clare's dad's car radio."


  • Degrassi, Dance Academy, and Owen's Theory on Life.

    Posted on 03/09/2012 by Lisa

    The world is "full of sharks" -- agree or disagree? Let's discuss tonight's Degrassi and Dance Academy episodes.

    SPOILERS BELOW. Don't read any further until you've seen the latest eps of Degrassi and Dance Academy.

    Jake cleans up Katie's mess.
    Jake cleans up Katie's mess.


    Tori and TristanI want to start off by talking about the life advice Owen gives Tristan: "The world is full of sharks, Tris, and unless you adapt, you're gonna get eaten alive." Do you think that's good advice?

    It got me thinking... who are the "sharks" at Degrassi? I think in a lot of ways, Katie is a shark. To get what she wants, she's willing to push herself as hard as it takes -- and push everyone else out of the way. But that "shark"-like behavior ends up hurting her, and she hurts a whole bunch of other people in the process.

    Other random thoughts:
    *K.C.'s poem sure was "emotive."
    *I loved seeing Fiona confront Katie and Marisol.
    *Katie on the scissor lift = HORRIBLE to watch, but also kind of hilarious. (Does that make me a bad person?)
    *I liked the song Jenna sang at the coffee house, but I loved the performance of "Half-hearted 'Til I'm with You."

    Dance Academy:

    Kat and her duet partnerI still had Owen's advice in mind as I was watching Dance Academy, and I think he'd probably say the same thing to Tara. She and Tristan are both in their first year at a new school, and getting in way over their heads.

    The dance world definitely has sharks, too. I think Abigail and Ethan see Tara as someone who's way too sensitive to succeed. Maybe in some ways, she does have to toughen up, but I don't want to see Tara (or Tristan for that matter!) change much. I like them just the way they are.

    If anyone on Dance Academy needs to change, I'd say it's Abigail. When Sammy asked her to go to the beach, and she said, "I don't do beach... I don't do sand, I don't do salt, I don't do sun," it made me so sad. I think Abigail needs a relaxing day at the beach more than anyone else on this show. I don't want to see her end up like Katie.

    Other random thoughts:
    *I would lose my mind if I had to be tied to Abigail for 24 hours.
    *I am really starting to like Kat.
    *Christian is so messed up in the head (but I love him anyway).

    If you have a sec (or two) to share your opinion...
    Do you think Tristan needs to adapt to survive at Degrassi? What advice would you give him?
    Do you think Tara needs to adapt to make it at the National Academy of Dance? What advice would you give her?
    How did you react when Tara confronted Ethan? Was he out of line -- or was Tara?

  • Songs from Degrassi: "Can't Tell Me Nothing, pt. 2"

    Posted on 03/09/2012 by Ryanmcl

    Here's info from Degrassi's music team about how they chose the songs used in this episode.

    SPOILER WARNING: If you haven't seen the new episode yet, go watch it before you read this post!

    TeenNick's Degrassi

    "Gonna Getchya" by Sherry St. Germain
    Katie tries to use the scissor lift. Check the Degrassi page for a sample.
    "This was a really fun scene -- not the stealing of the pills, but the crazy scissor lift fiasco. We decided to start the song as Katie starts to feel the kick. She starts to feel invincible and like she's in control of everything, and the song needed to reflect that."

    "Fire" by Tin Star Orphans
    Katie researches knee injuries on the internet.
    "A great emotional internet research scene. We got into Katie's head for this, and the lyrics drove the scene. Though it is a cool country band, the song was very flexible and definitely delivered the emotion we were looking for."


  • Songs from Degrassi: "Can't Tell Me Nothing, pt. 1"

    Posted on 03/02/2012 by Ryanmcl

    Here's info from Degrassi's music team about how they chose the songs used in this episode.

    SPOILER WARNING: If you haven't seen the new episode yet, go watch it before you read this post!

    TeenNick's Degrassi

    "Hit the Ground Running by These Electric Lives
    While Katie's playing soccer. Check the Degrassi page for a sample.
    "Though it's actually a love song, the feel and energy and tension of the instrumentation was the reason for this placement. Sometimes the lyrics and meaning of a song can be put aside in favor of its strength and imagination. The composition of the music in this song adapted to the scene quite well."


  • Songs from Degrassi: "Underneath It All, pt. 2"

    Posted on 02/24/2012 by Ryanmcl

    What song was playing during the Tori/Maya Brawl? Here's info from Degrassi's music team about how they chose the songs used in this episode.

    SPOILER WARNING: If you haven't seen the new episode yet, go watch it before you read this post!

    TeenNick's Degrassi

    "Astronaut" by Robyn Dell'Unto
    Clare and Jake almost have sex. Check the Degrassi page for a sample.
    "Robyn's music is dreamy and elusive, and was perfect for this scene. We had no idea where the scene was heading, and we felt the nervous tension. Cutting through it with Robyn's song was like wrapping the scene in a warm duvet blanket. It felt awkward, but still comfortable."

    "Because I'm Awesome" by The Dollyrots
    Tori and Maya fight in class.
    "This song had been on our radar for a while (in fact, we placed it before, in Season 10). This wasn't a serious fight scene -- we wanted to create a bit of a ridiculous atmosphere. We decided to use the song again, because, well, it's awesome."


  • Welcome Back, Degrassi, and Hello, Dance Academy!

    Posted on 02/20/2012 by Lisa

    Degrassi is back!! And it made a friend! Did you watch both shows tonight? Want to discuss them?

    SPOILERS BELOW. If you haven't seen the episodes yet, go here for Degrassi or here for Dance Academy.

    Some of you got to watch "Underneath It All, pt. 1" at the Degrassi parties last week. So much fun. I wish we could do that all the time.

    Imogen arrives at Fiona's partyOh, so... new friends. What does Fiona have against Imogen? When she said, "I would love to sit with you, but I promised that girl," I felt so sad. Yes, Imogen is a little weird, but don't weird people deserve friends, too? I'm also not happy that they left Imogen behind at the end of the episode. Also: I thought Imogen looked so cute and Imogen-y in the outfit she wore to Fiona's party. She looked nice in the black dress, too, but the tutu seemed so much more her.

    As TeenNick's quiz writer I have lots of thoughts about the fact that Clare tried to use a personality quiz to figure out if she and Jake are ready to have sex. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!! I love quizzes, but there is a time and place for them -- and losing your virginity is NOT one of those times. Watching that scene (see it again here), I wished that Clare and Alli were still friends, because I feel like Alli would've talked things through with her and helped Clare figure out what she wanted.

    Other random thoughts as I watched the ep:

    *Connor is back!!
    *I wish I had a sushi guy on call.
    *Zig & Maya = cutie patooties. I want this to happen! I hope Zaya happens!
    *The plaid mini-dress Marisol wore to Fiona's party was super-cute.
    *That is a LOT of tin foil. Either they bought every roll of foil in a twenty mile radius around Degrassi, or the Degrassi caf is very well stocked.

    And let's talk DANCE ACADEMY!

    Tara and KatYou've probably never seen Xenia Goodwin (who plays Tara) on TV before, because she's primarily a ballet dancer. I love that they cast actual dancers in this show, because that makes it feel so much more real.

    When Georgia tells Tara, "Abigail always stands at the front of the bar," it gave me such a sense of what Abigail is like as a person. I would not want her as a roommate.

    Who's your favorite guy on the show so far? Christian, Sammy, or Ethan?

    Other random Dance Academy thoughts:

    *I'd like to visit a sheep farm in Australia.
    *This show inspired our new What Style of Dance Are You? quiz!
    *The second episode of Dance Academy, "Week Zero," will air Friday at 9:30 pm on TeenNick, but you can watch it online right now!