Are You Listening?

10:03 AM Posted In , , , Edit This 0 Comments »
So we're more than halfway through Degrassi's summer season, and while I'm enjoying it and clamouring for the next episode the second the one I'm watching is done...something feels off about it and I can't put my finger on what. I actually like what they're doing with the season, and I've thought all of the storylines have been good apt choices, and I appreciate that they're not neatly (or ambiguously) wrapped up in 22 minutes...but what is it? Maybe that there is a certain level of inevitability to most of the storylines? Or all the previews online kinda spoil a lot of the drama? Or that there isn't this insane level of buzz that surrounded the show the first time they did the 24 episode summer? I'm debating.

Either way, thinking about Degrassi and Project Runway - my two fave summer TV fixes, along with Pretty Little Liars - inspired me to look back at two posts I wrote about last year in regards to stuff these shows had (surprisingly) not tackled yet.

The Degrassi post touched on issues I was surprised weren't that prevalent in this incarnation of the Degrassi-verse. Here's a quick rundown of what I said, and what Degrassi has or hasn't done about it:
- Adoption: Came up in a big way this season with Holly J's increasing health worries. I appreciated that they put a very tricky, sticky human life element into the story...but I also feel like Holly J's health issues have overshadowed the turmoil of emotions she should be experiencing right now. Consider Wheels' downward spiral in the original Degrassi compared to Holly J's laissez-faire "Well I'm still reeling, but I need a kidney so whatever." There's no family drama to be seen - it's all health-based.

- Suicide: I listened to a Stephen Stohn interview while making dinner one night and he explained the discrepancy here. First, he didn't think the way they handled Claude in the original series was the best storyline, and I agree - the show wrapped up shortly after that episode if I recall so there was a lack of reverb (particularly for Kaitlin). Second, they were worried about copycat situations in real life. Third, and this was skirted around, they don't want to kill off a character the fans are invested in. Obviously Eli would make the most sense at this point, but can you imagine the Eclare hysteria??? HOWEVER. I suspect that if Eli is scooped up by a US network at some point, he'll be the one to carry the suicide storyline.

- He Said, She Said: I'd say to a degree this has happened with Clare and Eli, although Adam seems to be doing fine straddling their collective friendships. There has been a big focus on "I heard you..." between the two of them, Jake, Katie, Imogen, etc.

- Duelling Exes: Underway with Eli and Jake. Weird - I'm feeling like the Degrassi people read this blog lol.

- Interracial Dating Tension: This is sort of happening with Alli and Dave right now, however it's more about Dave as a person versus Dave's 'race'. But the Bandari household is a copout for this plotline - we've seen seasons worth of material regarding Sav not being able to date who he wants to date.

- Aboriginal: Still no aboriginal characters, which is a shame. Like I said before though, I see why the show is probably super hesitant to dip their toe in this - from a political and a story-relevance-based point.

- School Cheating: Still nothing major here, which is so weird to me. Oldest trick in the book I say, and I can't think of a single major example of this being pulled off effectively. I can't believe I'm saying this, but Season 4 of One Tree Hill had a cheating storyline as a major plot point, and they did it well.

- Depression: Eli was on anti-anxiety (codename for depression?) drugs this season. I'll give the writers credit there.

- Stalking: Imogen seems to be a borderline stalker / psychopath so far, which I appreciate. I like that she's in the school versus an outsider, like Darcy's temporary stalker.

- Uppers & Downers: Ummm hm. Anya's cocaine addiction is similar, but not directly tied to this plot point.

Now I also wrote a post about Project Runway challenges I was surprised they'd never done.

The only piece of advice they heeded from me was...oddly...fitness wear. Except it was 'active wear' for Heidi's Amazon.com line, and it was really moreso loungewear. Not stuff you'd actually work out in, but might run around town in, or wear post-gym while grabbing a carton of milk on your way home.

I still think my other ideas were awesome. And the season is still young, but I doubt I'll see any of them come to fruition. I also thought the other day about designing tennis dresses! It harkens back to the practical-meets-fashion requirements of designing a skating costume of one of the earlier seasons, but tennis wear is KNOWN to be super innovative and interesting and downright trendsetting. Having Anna K or Maria Sharapova or one of the Williams sisters in the house would make for an interesting judging panel.

Now to brainstorm a dozen other ideas for Degrassi to steal...use...in Season 11!

- Britt's On

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