TeenNick Blog

  • Kidneys and Cash

    Posted on 08/16/2011 by Mary

    THARS SPOILERS DOWN BELOW. Avert your eyes until you've seen "Mr. Brightside, pt. 2".

    Well! GIANT relief on the Holly J front! Not that kidney transplant surgery is a walk in the park, but it sure is nice that there's a kidney to transplant!


    Holly J and her birth mom Dawn, changing the subject to something besides kidneys.

    I know after last night's ep, some people were feeling pretty anti-Dawn:

    "Holly J's mom has entered my "degrassi enemies" list. COME ON LADY GIVE YOUR DAUGHTER THE FLIPPIN KIDNEY! Way to be there for your kid. Good job." - ALLABOUTELI<3

    But after tonight's episode... did anyone change their feelings toward HJ's birth mom after seeing how hard she was struggling with guilt? I have to say, it was weirdly kind of a relief for me to see her feeling terrible. Like she's at least human.

    I also maybe feel a teensy bit weird that Fiona kind of bought Holly J's way out of this? The ethics of paying living donors for their organs are really slippery -- the problem is that, taken to one extreme, it would mean only rich people could have their lives saved by organ donation and poor people would be out of luck. And you definitely don't want a situation where, say, people can pay as much as they want for a kidney (above and beyond reimbursing expenses) because then it would create situations where financially desperate people would be selling their organs to wealthy recipients.

    But, doing a little research today, I'm seeing that there's some talk out there about loosening the laws about reimbursing living donors for lost income, since financial hardship is a common reason for people to not donate. In fact, Canada (British Columbia, anyway) is one of the places where it's somewhat allowed (though the lost wages reimbursements are still not much). Anyway, it's... a pretty thorny topic, to be sure. What? A thorny topic on Degrassi? Whodathunk!

    But enough kidney talk:
    What do you guys think of Drew and Katie? Datie? Krew? Dratie? Isn't it interesting that Drew is such a magnet for over-achiever girls (Alli, now Katie)? I guess they want to overachieve on the hotness of their boyfriend, too?

    Also interesting that Adam just kind of let that one go. I guess since he has a definitive answer about her not being into him, he had a minute to get over her. Plus there was that time Fiona chose Adam over Drew, so.

    And UP TOP ALLI BANDHARI! Finally broke the Bandhari sibling dating curse! Anyone out there want to hire her to talk to your parents?

  • Songs from Degrassi: "Mr. Brightside pt. 2"

    Posted on 08/16/2011 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

    "An Island Now" by The Canvas Waiting
    Drew kisses Katie. Check the Degrassi page for a sample.
    " Lyrically, this song is perfect for Drew: "Stand tall and proud, your rusty bow." We also love songs about ships -- but that was a coincidence. The mood, instrumentation and soft vocals were perfect for this tender first kiss. "

    " "I Wonder" by Bobby Bazini
    Drew and Katie make peace and practice martial arts. Check the Degrassi page for a sample.
    " Juno nominated Bobby Bazini was kind enough to loan us his song for use in the show. Turns out the song was written about his grandparents, and how they felt when they first got together years ago. Could this be Drew and Katie's moment, too?"

    Other songs in tonight's Degrassi:
    "Summer" by Manuela

  • Is Drew OK?

    Posted on 08/15/2011 by Lisa

    SPOILERS BELOW! Don't read any further unless you've seen "Mr. Brightside, Pt. 1."

    Is fighting making Drew a stronger person... or not so much?
    Is fighting making Drew a stronger person... or not so much?

    Drew has always been a star athlete, but his new method of training isn't exactly principal-approved. Watching those guys beat each other up made me cringe. I know mixed martial arts is a real thing, but I don't get it. Even on my most stressed-out days, I don't think I've ever been in the mood to just fight someone.

    I guess I'm with Adam when he says "I like my violence virtual." (Though sometimes, even violent video games are too stressful for me to handle. I prefer the kind with rainbows and unicorns.)

    This is probably a dorky thing to say, but I kind of wish I could read the article Katie wrote for the paper about violence in youth culture, just so I could hear her perspective on the whole thing. Though... I was a little worried about her at the end of the episode, when Drew came in to confront her -- he seemed like he was *this* close to losing control. Drew seems to view the no-holds-barred fights as a way to let off some steam, but lately, he seems even more on edge. I wish he could just sign up for yoga or something!

    What do you think Drew is getting out of this?

    Do you think Katie (or anyone else in Drew's life) is in danger?

    p.s. One non-Drew question: Anybody out there have a kidney for Holly J?

  • Songs from Degrassi: "Mr. Brightside pt. 1"

    Posted on 08/15/2011 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

    "Distance" by A Common Year
    Drew fights Julian and wins. Check the Degrassi page for a sample.
    " The build on this song is what sold it for the spot -- it's technically a love song, but the instrumentation powered through Drew's chokehold and led him to victory over his opponent."

    " On Top of the World" by Brian Hood
    Drew struts through the hallway. Check the Degrassi page for a sample.
    " This was a fun placement -- always love someone who struts down a hallway. The lyrics drive us inside Drew's head, he's feeling confident again, almost invincible... but at what cost?"

    Other songs in tonight's Degrassi:
    "The Way I Am" by Vinyl Heart
    "All I Can Do" by Bryan Finlay

  • Super Sneak Peek: Future Degrassi Characters!

    Posted on 08/15/2011 by Mary

    Maybe you saw the article on EW.com about Cassie "Manny" Steele's little sister, Alex Steele, joining the Degrassi cast as a niner who will debut some time in the future? Well, now you're getting a peek into a crystal ball: here's Alex as Tori (on the right) with fellow new niner Olivia Scriven as Maya (on the left).

    Olivia Scriven and Alex Steele join the cast of Degrassi
    Olivia Scriven as Maya and Alex Steele as Tori, Degrassi Niners of the Future. Photo Stephen Scott/Epitome

  • New Interview: Ray Ablack and Cory Lee (Sav and Ms. Oh)

    Posted on 08/12/2011 by Mary

    On the Degrassi set, toward the final days of Ray Ablack's reign of awesomeness, I sat down with Ray and Cory Lee (aka Ms. Oh). Who, by the way has a brand new super-super catchy single (featuring Shaggy) out called "Best Shot" (available on iTunes) and a new album on the way. You go, Ms. Oh. Anyway, interview!

    Ray Ablack, aka Sav from Degrassi: Now or Never Ray, how does it feel to be approaching your last day on the Degrassi set?
    RAY: I don't know, I'm scared? I'm scared as hell. Right now scared is totally eclipsing excited, but I've also been really excited. I've started to re-do my whole wardrobe; this whole era of my life is ending. I'm graduating high school for the second time and graduating this section of my life. I'm ready to try and start a new one.

    Any senioritis? You've been here and in this building for so long, ever get that feeling of like itching...
    RAY: ...To leave? No. No-no-no. I don't ever get the feeling of itching to leave. More often, I might be done after like the third scene of the day, and then I'm waiting around here for free lunch. And then after free lunch, maybe I'll go kick it in Steph Cohen's office, sit and talk for an hour. Yesterday I came in early and just hung out for like an hour and a half. There's no me wanting to leave at any point.

    What about... you know how with Senioritis, one of the symptoms is knowing you can't really get in trouble?
    RAY: These last two days I definitely feel like that. We're downstairs doing these prom scenes; there are so many background actors down there and so many cast, and only two or three have lines, but the rest of us just have to frolic and mingle quietly. And I know it's annoying for the Assistant Directors to have to continue to tell us to be quiet, but they'll swoop around and see that our table is like: me and Samantha and Shannon, and they don't really want to yell at us. I've been yelled at, many many times over five years. But what I would have been yelled at for in the past, I'm not being yelled at for these past few days.

    What are you going to do on your first day off?
    RAY: My girlfriend and I are going to this really chic hairdressing place; there are two hairdressers there that I know are quirky and crazy, and we're just gonna sit down and say, "Do whatever you want." I've had to have my hair monitored so closely for the past five years, I'm ready to just do something nuts and crazy that's Not Allowed.

    Cory Lee, aka Ms. Oh from Degrassi: Now or Never Tell us what we need to know about Cory Lee (aka Ms. Oh).
    RAY: She always smells like Curious by Britney Spears.
    CORY: (laughs) It's Jessica Simpson. But, same family of stars that make perfumes.

    Did you guys know each other well before your storylines started... intersecting?
    CORY: Actually I have an interesting story. When we did the opening sequence, it was the first scene we'd done together. And I was like, "Something is gonna happen here. This is foreshadowing."
    RAY: Yeah, she put her hand on my shoulder. And Stefan [Brogren; director & Mr. Simpson] came over and was like "No, you can't put your hand on his shoulder."
    CORY: "Teachers don't touch students."

    Did either of you ever have a crush on a teacher in high school?
    CORY: I think it might be more of a guy thing? I didn't have any crushes on any of my male teachers...
    RAY: I totally forgot: Ms. Diaz. She was a science teacher. The last night of the school play, down in the basement there was a big dance for the cast and crew, and she was there chaperoning. And I asked her to dance with me, and she said no. But I had a huge crush on Ms. Diaz.

    I can't believe she said no! Well, I guess I can...
    RAY: I think she liked me, that's why.
    CORY: [sad trombone noise]

  • OK. Jenna Has Officially Had Enough

    Posted on 08/11/2011 by Mary

    SPOILERS BELOW; wait until you've seen Lose Yourself, pt. 2 to scroll down.

    Just because Jenna hasn't had it hard enough lately, she gets dealt yet another blow: finding out that KC has been out cheating on her with Marisol while she attends to the never-ending, all-consuming needs of their baby.

    Jenna and KC talk about putting Tyson up for adoption on Degrassi.
    "We're struggling, we're hurting each other, and you're never here." - Jenna to KC

    It looks like being overwhelmed, depressed, and now totally betrayed have pushed Jenna to consider what she was unwilling to before: maybe Tyson would be better off with adoptive parents. And come to think of it, it's interesting that K.C. was so resistant when Jenna brought up the possibility.

    Why do you think KC wants to "make this work" so badly, when he doesn't actually want to be there to parent Tyson, and he's cheating on Jenna anyway? Does "making it work" come at a different price to him than it does to Jenna?

    I doubt that KC is proud of himself, and the situation Jenna's in right now is so unbelievably stressful and painful, it seems like it has to be rare and extraordinary. But really, everything about what Jenna and KC are going through is a pretty predictable outcome for them. Since they were having sex but chose not to think about birth control, a pregnancy was basically inevitable -- sexually active teens who don't use protection have an 85% chance of pregnancy within a year*.

    And since eight out of ten fathers don't marry the teen mothers of their babies*, their break-up is just as inevitable.

    But that doesn't make it any less sad.

    How do you guys feel about Jenna's decision to consider adoption?

    [* Stats according to StayTeen]

  • Songs from Degrassi: "Lose Yourself, pt. 2"

    Posted on 08/11/2011 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

    "Be A Man by Justin Rutledge
    Justin Rutledge performs live. Check the Degrassi page for a sample.
    "We had been hoping to place this song for a little while, and lo and behold Justin was asked to make a guest appearance on the show. And we had the perfect opportunity to showcase it. It plays so well on the distant Jenna walking down the street, and the hits on all the cuts while the song is playing are just wonderful -- exciting and powerful all at once."

    "Pretty Things by Oceanship
    Clare reads Eli's script, KC and Jenna decide on adoption. Check the Degrassi page for a sample.
    "Oceanship, as we know from Season 10, is probably the thematic band for Eli and Clare, and here we've got another beautiful Oceanship song scoring a moment of clarity between the two -- a moment that we thought was lost until we hear those first few piano chords."

  • Jenna really needs a break.

    Posted on 08/10/2011 by Lisa

    SPOILER WARNING: Don't read this post unless you've seen "Lose Yourself, Pt. 1."

    On tonight's episode, Jenna seemed to be at her breaking point. As a teen mom with no way to pay for childcare, she's stuck at home all day, every day, and it's making her crazy.

    "When I'm alone with Ty, I get so depressed. I need to see my friends... be normal." -Jenna

    Jenna seems surprised to hear that K.C.'s mom never went back to school after having K.C., but that's pretty normal for a teen mom. According to Stayteen.org, less than half of teen mothers ever graduate from high school and fewer than two percent earn a college degree by age 30.

    Parenthood is the #1 reason that teen girls drop out of school, and things aren't looking good for Jenna, in my opinion. She's already missed a ton of class. Even if K.C.'s mom helps out, Jenna can only go to school in the mornings -- and whenever she has to use her breast pump, she'll be missing more class. I want to believe things will settle down, but at this rate, how long will it take her to graduate? (Keep in mind, she's only back for "two classes a day, plus lunch.")

    Prediction time: Do you honestly believe Jenna will graduate from Degrassi? Where do you think she and K.C. will be five years from now?

    If Jenna and K.C. asked you for realistic advice, what would you tell them? I emphasize "realistic" only because I just remembered Drew's quote from last season, "My only solution involves a time machine and a big box of condoms." Not helpful, Drew!

    K.C., Jenna, and Tyson
    If you were Jenna, would you keep going to school, leaky breasts and all?

  • Songs from Degrassi: "Lose Yourself, pt. 1"

    Posted on 08/10/2011 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

    "Indiana by The Strumbellas
    Jenna surprises KC at Little Miss Steaks. Check the Degrassi page for a sample.
    "A perfect Little Miss Steaks band, we especially love the clarinet solo that makes a brief appearance near the end of the scene. Such a nice swinging country/folk band, with a tinge of Americana and blues all rolled into one."