A couple of Fridays from now at exactly 10 p.m., approximately 2/3 of the population of teenage girls around the world will be seated motionless on their couches tuned into the season premiere of “Degrassi.” “Degrassi” is a show that deals with the “average” teenage issues including acceptance, dating, bullying, religion, and school. What sets this drama apart from others is that, as some would say, the characters (the troubled/misunderstood musician, school bully, and aspiring journalist, the mean queen bee, the passionate activist, the bubbly, gorgeous, and ambitious actress, and the goofy yet loveable class clown) are more realistic and relatable in comparison to other shows targeted to the same demographic. These characters serve as an embodiment all teenagers. The talented dancers are never acknowledged for their gift, but rather loathed by their peers for their rather undesirable pasts. All of the science lovers are marked as “geeks” and thus are placed at the bottom of the social food chain. The high school valedictorian/overachiever ends up getting pregnant and having to give her baby up for adoption. All high school basketball stars come from dysfunctional homes or have their careers ended as a result of them trying to run from vengeful trivia nerds drenched in yellow paint and chicken feathers. For a while, viewers were left wondering if normal people (not just one person) who almost never get into any trouble, but instead constantly work hard studying exist. Lately with the newest addition of the “Degrassi” cast, these viewers’ questions have been answered. These characters are more close to home in terms of good decision making and normality. However, they also show little promise as to becoming anything close to the “backbone” of the show. People love to see something fascinating and somewhat different from their daily lives; two elements that the new characters are lacking. Eventually, as a means to keep their ratings high, the writers might resort to killing of those characters in some twisted or tragic way. This just goes to show you that in TV production, fiction beats fantasy. “Degrassi” also has a way of exaggerating scenarios. For example, your typical knee injury sustained from playing sports, transforms into a drug habit. This is not always the case seeing as though most people possess a thing called self-control. “Degrassi;” 100% entertaining, yes; 100% true, no.
Degrassi: The Next Generation or The Imaginary Generation?
July 16, 2012