As if Degrassi Junior High and Degrassi High aren’t the greatest shows ever! I used to watch these shows religiously when I was a kid and I was over the proverbial moon when all the episodes started getting released on DVD just recently. Suffice to say, I snapped them all up and watched them in no time.
And now I am sad because I have no more Degrassi to watch.
Here’s a quick run down of Canada’s greatest export…
Degrassi started out as a continuation of the show ‘Kids of Degrassi Street’… ‘Kids of Degrassi’ was a slightly-educational drama show about a bunch of kids in primary school. It didn’t feature the same characters as the other Degrassi shows, but it featured some of the same actors and had the same intent – to explore serious themes in an entertaining and dramatic manner.
‘Degrassi Junior High’ focused on two grades of students at a junior high school, there are a lot of characters – enabling the writers to focus on a wide range of issues without subjecting any one character to an unbelievable amount of baggage. This show ran for three seasons in 1987 and 1988.
‘Degrassi High’ then continued the story onwards with many of the same characters and actors for two seasons from 1989 to 1991. Whereas ‘Degrassi Junior High’ dealt with serious issues such as bullying, teenage pregnancy, divorce, broken homes, abuse and wet dreams, ‘Degrassi High’ upped the stakes a bit – throwing in some AIDs, suicide and abortion.
The show was capped off in 1991 by a movie-length follow up called ‘School’s Out’.
The show was also recently revived as ‘Degrassi: The Next Generation’, which is about to start it’s 6th season this year. It features a couple of grown-up characters from the original series of Degrassi.
I’m yet to see the new version of Degrassi, so I can’t really comment on it. But I absolutely love the classic series to pieces. Joey Jeremiah is one of the greatest characters ever… some of the acting is surprisingly good for a bunch of kids too. It’s a shame that the actor who played Joey can now be found hawking Degrassi memorabilia on eBay.