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  • Interview: True Jackson's Matt Shively

    Posted on 05/28/2011 by Mary

    True Jackson will be airing on TeenNick starting with a marathon Memorial Day weekend -- then on weekdays @ 5p et. To celebrate, we got on the phone with Matt Shively (aka Ryan Laserbeam) to talk TJVP -- and of course, his Degrassi fandom.

    Matt Shively and Ashley Argota from True Jackson, VP
    Matt Shively with co-star Ashley Argota from True Jackson, VP

    So, would you say True Jackson is pretty much a girl-dominated set?
    Yeah. It is very woman-dominated. I will say I'm probably the biggest diva on set.

    What have you learned about girls just by being around that set?
    I have learned that... because we became so close, like brother and sisters, I learned a lot from them about how women communicate. And I learned that sometimes you have to take those tricky little side notes that they say and read into them a lot more than you usually would.

    Do you have close just-a-friend girl friends like that in real life?
    Yeah, one of my best friends out here is Sarah Highland, she's on Modern Family.

    Do you think there are benefits to having co-ed friendships that you don't get out of being friends with just guys?
    Oh, 100%. Because whenever I have a girl problem, I know exactly who I can go to. She'll give me the girl perspective of the problem. It's always nice to have at least one or two girl or guy friends because they'll always all have different advice and it's nice to get it from different angles.

    How about style... have you learned anything about style from working on True Jackson?
    I have! I've learned MATCHING. I never knew the word until I joined that show, but I guess matching is like when colors go together and it looks good? I learned how to do that.

    Matt Shively of True Jackson, VP How would you describe your personal style in real life?
    Well, as much as I do try to match I'm kind of all over the place. I've always been kind of a skinny jeans guy. A lot of people don't understand why I always wear tight jeans, but I just really like things to fit perfectly. Especially since, on the show, everything gets fitted [by wardrobe pros]. And you start to realize what things really feel like around your legs and around your arms when they're perfectly done.

    You know, skinny jeans on guys can be kind of controversial... what do you think are "too-skinny jeans" on a guy?
    Too-skinny jeans are when there are no wrinkles in the pants at all. Flat from hip to ankle, that's too skinny. When it's like painted on. That's too much. Cause then... there's no room. It's hard to walk. And I've tried that, like when I was in 7th grade I wore my cousin's jeans because that was the thing to do, to wear THAT skinny of jeans. No. It's not OK.

    So my friend and co-worker Lisa was at the Kids' Choice Awards, and when she was talking to Aislinn Paul and Munro Chambers from Degrassi, she said you came running up to talk to them and that you're a big Degrassi fan. Can you confirm?
    I am a huge Degrassi fan. When I went to the KCAs last year and I saw people from Degrassi... I'll admit, I was a little starstruck, because I've been watching Degrassi since I was in like 7th grade. So this year, I was kind of like: you know what? I'm taking this opportunity. We work for the same network, I'm gonna go say hi. And little did I know that a TeenNick person was standing right there, able to tell the world.

    Was that embarrassing for you at all?
    No, I'm really happy about it because now a bunch of people want me to be on it! So I'm glad I got it out there. You have no idea how honored I would be to do an episode of Degrassi.

    What kind of character would you want to be? The Eli, Jay, Johnny DiMarco guys...
    I want to play like, Eli's older brother who has kind of a drug problem and tries to get him to go down the same road.

    Oooh, juicy. That sounds very Degrassi-ish. What are your favorite characters and episodes? Ok, one of my favorite episodes... was actually the episode where JT got killed. That episode was like, just absolutely insane. Because at that point, he had been on the show for like five years. And he was my favorite character, because he was like the quirky, funny guy. To watch him for four years and then for them to take him off was just insane. I'll be honest, I cried a little bit. And then, watching the behind the scenes where he had his last shot of the entire episode, and them saying bye to him, it was so sad!

  • Saved by the Bell!

    Posted on 05/12/2011 by Mary

    I saw on the twittering machine that a bunch of you are stoked to be coming home from school to a double dose of Saved by the Bell these days:



    Therefore, I thought it would be a defensibly valid use of company time to go digging through some photo archives to bring you these bright, sparkly, blinding gems of early '90s awkwardness, so that you can print them out and hang them in your locker, obviously. Or just put them under your pillow, for totally sweet dreamz!

    Zack and Slater with their shirts inexplicably openScreech, Dustin Diamond
    L: OMG, Zack and Slater, I know just how you feel... that happens to me ALL THE TIME. R: One of these things is not like the others.

    Kelly, Jessie, and Lisa Turtle from Saved by the BellJessie and Lisa are supportive friends to Kelly as she gazes at herself in a mirror. L: Kelly, Jessie, and Lisa having fun in the sun(-like studio lighting). R: Three girls, one mirror, and no fisticuffs!

    Lark Vorhees, Saved by the BellTiffani Amber Thiessen, Saved by the Bell
    L: Lisa Turtle: proud like a leopard. R: Don't lie... if they offered this background for your senior portrait, you'd be all over it like flowers on Kelly's pants.

  • Happy Degrassi Spirit Week!

    Posted on 04/18/2011 by Mary

    Degrassi Spirit Week

    It's Day 1 of Degrassi Spirit Week, leading up to this Friday's season finale! First off, don't forget to Show Us Your Degrassi!

    And secondly, here's a fresh Facebook taggable picture for you (complete with Zane). Which of your friends is the Clare, which is the Jenna, and who's a total Eli? Drop this on your Facebook and tag 'em up. (To grab this, right click or ctrl-click the image and choose "save image as" or similar.)


    A new Degrassi taggable for Facebook!

    Join us every day this week in the blog for new Degrassi Spirit Week activities!

  • Degrassi Season Finale Sneak Peek Pictures!

    Posted on 04/18/2011 by Mary

    Degrassi's Clare in Drop the World pt. 2
    Degrassi's Clare in Drop the World, pt. 2

    Click here to see all of this week's sneak peek pictures from Drop the World, pt. 2... plenty of surprises to come, Friday night at 9!

  • Degrassi: The Death Card

    Posted on 04/17/2011 by Mary

    As we lead into the season finale for Degrassi: In Too Deep, I've seen some people mentioning the Death card that Clare pulled waaaay back when in the carnival promo. Which reminded me that I totally snuck into the "fortune teller's tent" on the set of that shoot and took this picture, which I never got a chance to share with you. So here it is!


    Degrassi Carnival Promo - The Death Tarot Card

    And while looking for it, I also stumbled on these pics of everyone messing around with the giant snakes that were on set that day.

    Degrassi's Aislinn Paul, Munro Chambers, and some very large snakes
    Degrassi's Aislinn Paul, Munro Chambers and some very large snakes

    Degrassi's Charlotte Arnold, snake charmer
    Degrassi's Charlotte Arnold, snake charmer.

    Joe Pappalardo
    TeenNick producer Joe P, rocking the snakes as they were intended to be rocked

    Mary Chen
    Me, rocking the snakes with invisible but very real enthusiasm, I swear to God.

  • Sneak Peek Pictures of Degrassi: Drop the World pt 1!

    Posted on 04/11/2011 by Mary

    Eli Goldsworthy hanging out on Morty's hood in Degrassi: In Too Deep, Drop the World pt. 1
    Eli Goldsworthy hanging out on Morty's hood in Degrassi: In Too Deep, Drop the World pt. 1

    Only two more episodes left in Degrassi: In Too Deep... Drop the World, pts. 1 & 2. And they're both MAJOR.

    Click here to check out all the sneak peek pictures of this Friday's episode in the new flipbook!

    Are you ready to find out what happens? What are your predictions?

  • Degrassi Sneak Peek Pictures - Time for Fadam?

    Posted on 04/04/2011 by Mary

    Fiona and Adam on Degrassi
    Fiona and Adam on Degrassi: In Too Deep

    With Fiona back from rehab and back at Degrassi, is it time for her and Adam to finally make things work?

    Or... are we looking at a Folly J future?

    Click here to check out all of the sneak peek pictures from Degrassi: In Too Deep - "Chasing Pavements, pt. 2".

  • Pictures from the Degrassi Set!

    Posted on 07/16/2010 by Mary

    Just a few more short little days until Degrassi: Now or Never takes over your summer nights! Are you prepared for the all-consuming madness? I think I am. I think I can take it. I'm trying to up my cardio just in case.

    I went to the Degrassi set last week -- my first time! In nine years of writing about the show for this site! Here are some of the pics I managed to get my first day... I had a ton of other pics planned for the following day but spent it doubled over in pain in a hotel room instead (kidney stone, yay). Bummer = understatement of the century. Anyway, the first day was awesome enough for two:

    Justin Kelly, Jake from Degrassi, backstage Aislinn Paul and Munro Chambers backstage

    L: New boy! Justin Kelly, who plays Jake -- you'll meet him Tuesday night. He's a doll. Here, he pulls on a pre-tied tie because he couldn't quite get the knot done himself. R: @jbdegrassifan95 and @LongLiveEclare tweet-requested pics of Munro and Aislinn together... here you go :)

    Stefan Brogren's office nameplate at Epitome

    Stefan Brogren (aka Mr. Simpson and the director of tons of your favorite episodes) was directing the eps they shot while I was there; it seemed like a remarkably calm and fun affair considering how much they need to get done every day in order to make sooo many episodes for the summer -- it could so easily be a stress factory. Stefan called me The-Mary, which killed me, and he saved me a nice seat right in front of the monitors which I was too shy to actually take up for too long, and I can vouch that he is in fact a righteous homeboy, as his office nameplate attests.

    Panther, the Degrassi cat

    This is the Degrassi read-through room, where the actors first go through the new scripts together. And on the table is Panther, one of two cats wandering the office-y side of Epitome. Panther clearly feels that he deserves some time in front of the camera, and he is not wrong. The other cat, named Noggin, was more camera-shy.

    The-Mary and Munro Chambers, sassing up Fiona's condo

    @iTweetDegrassi tweet-dared me to go around the set posing like Munro in his Free the Children Haiti fundraiser video. Instead I got him to personally instruct me in the ways of the sassy lean and stare -- we're in Fiona's condo there, btw. Sorry about the quality -- so bummed that I didn't use my real camera for this one.

    Degrassi sunshine lounge poster

    Last Christmas' Degrassi poster, personally desecrated by the cast in the Sunshine Lounge (which is the room that the cast hang in when they're not needed on set).

    Ray Ablack in Degrassi's Sunshine Lounge

    At one point I walked past the Sunshine Lounge and saw Ray Ablack full-on sunshine-lounging on the pool table, texting. In a tux. Totes regular times.

    Degrassi's Aislinn Paul and Shannon Kook-Chun

    That's Aislinn Paul and Shannon Kook-Chun checking out Shannon's DSLR and talking about its tech specs, as they are both admitted full-on photo geeks.

    Some other random observations:
    - To those who don't already know: Shannon Kook-Chun (Zane) has a South African accent in real life. It's mesmerizing.
    - Munro and Aislinn (Eli and Clare) both rock Birkenstocks IRL. I support this wholeheartedly, and I felt very vindicated about the time I put Birks in a Thing Du Jour and people thought they were lamerz. Triumph!
    - Luke Bilyk and Alicia Josopovic (Drew and Bianca) have an almost supernatural simultaneous laugh thing going on -- they laugh the exact same way, at the same things, and at the exact same rate so it's literally like two voices doing the same laugh. They even switch speeds at the same time, like they move from "Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!" to "HAHAHAHA!" at the same time. Occasionally there are snorts. Great minds laugh alike. Also, they referred to themselves as "Danca" rather than "Drianca" -- controversy!
    - The lockers are all fully "dressed" on the inside (as in all look like a real student's locker inside, with pics and contents), but there's no particular locker that's always "Alli's locker" or "Adam's locker" -- they stand by whichever one works best for the shot they need. And the doors are compressed wood rather than metal -- quieter.
    - There is gum on the bottom of the desks in Ms. Dawes' classroom. Most likely from students who used to get bored to death at them in a real school. Just think: those students had no idea that their desks were destined to end up under Munro Chambers' butt. What noble and unpredictable fate might your school desks have?