20 October 2004

Everybody wants something

by Matt Rubinstein at 7:14 pm

degrassi.jpg So I’ve finally caught up with Degrassi: the Next Generation, which has been showing for a few weeks on the ABC and is of course the latest tilt by the loveable overwrought Canucks who first turned up in The Kids of Degrassi Street, found their edu-melodramatic form in Degrassi Junior High and then Degrassi High, and disturbed a lot of nostalgic 80s-survivors when they returned briefly to shag and maim each other in Degrassi High: School’s Out, but have been pretty quiet since. Until now!

These four are the only ones left from the old days, apart from the long-suffering Mr Raditch—and guess what? They’re all teachers now, guiding a new cohort of eh-sayers through their awkward phases.

Tonight’s episode was a pretty faithful reworking of one of the first Junior High outings, where some 13-year-old decides she’s had enough of being a wallflower and decides to be a skank instead, winning instant popularity and dismaying her bookish best friend, who is charged with jealousy when she expresses her concern, and so on… only last time it was eye-shadow and boob tubes; this time it’s low-riders and outrageous T-bars. Voula’s turning in her grave, I just know it.

Also, Joey Jeremiah now has a step-son, and he’s in a band (the stepson is), and they’re all really good until Joey forces them to join him in a long-awaited rendition of The Zit Remedy’s (Everybody Wants) Something. Then they’re instantly crap. Caitlin lands a well-placed sledge about how could Joey, Wheels and Snake ever think they’d make it as a band when they only had one song? Definitely one for the last generation, who still remember how Shane knocked Spike up at a party, then took acid and fell off a bridge and got brain damage, and thereafter hung around the school being creepy and telling people they should be kicked in the head; how Wheels’s parents were killed in a car crash and he reacted by growing a mullet and becoming a dickhead, and wound up in jail for vehicular manslaughter (irony?); and how Caitlin kept doing weird things with her hair but was always hot, and should never have let Joey wear her down, especially when he was boning that blonde chick!

It was a good show. Let us never speak of it again.

8 Responses to “Everybody wants something”

  1. Alastair Says:

    Eh-sayers. You funny.

  2. Alastair Says:

    Just seen on boingboing: It’ll be a clash of pop cultures next week, as indie movie cult figures Jay and Silent Bob enrol at Degrassi High.

  3. Matt Rubinstein Says:

    Oh man… I don’t think I approve of that. The Degrassiverse is pure and earnest; we don’t need it seeded with slacker “irony” by Kevin bloody Smith. I’m definitely never watching it again.

  4. Nick Says:

    how can you mention DeG without going to the mother lode of Grange Hill? “Tuh’ar!”

  5. Matt Rubinstein Says:

    Believe it or not, I never watched Grange Hill. The closest I ever got was Ben Elton’s cameo on the Young Ones:

    BEN ELTON: So that’s settled then! We organize a protest against school uniforms!

    SOME OTHER GUY DRESSED AS A GRANGE HILL WONK: Great! We can use the banners left over from the last protest we organized, so that racism wouldn’t be an issue in this school.

    BEN ELTON: Good! Then that’s what we’ll do. I’ll get Mucker, Trucker, Ducker, and Sucker. You get Spaz!

    OTHER GUY: But I am Spaz!

    BEN ELTON: Oh. Well, I’d better get Spaz as well then. But we’ve got to hurry. [They start running, but bump into a stern-looking man in a 3-piece suit]

    OTHER GUY: Sorry, Mr. Liberal. We were in a hurry.

    MR. LIBERAL: Hang on, you pair of young scruffy tearaways. Don’t you realize the way you act is influencing millions of children to talk Cockney and be insubordinate?!

    BEN ELTON: Come on, sir. Don’t be silly! We’re the only kids in Britain who never say fu…

  6. Sara Says:

    And I thought I was the only adult fan of Degrassi Junior High! It brings to mind my other ‘young adult’ fave from the ABC (the british version): Press Gang. Highlights being another character called Spike, the exotic American student (male this time) who wore a leather jacket, and the earnest editor of the school paper whose name I’ve forgotten but who was played memorably by Julia Swahalia (Saffy from AbFab). It’s nice to think I wasn’t the only one who spent hours of “studying at home” time while at uni watching mid-afternoon ABC programming.

  7. Matt Rubinstein Says:

    Press Gang was bloody good too. Didn’t Spike end up in Lock, Stock or similar? His mock-American accent was only one of the many gems of this high-school classic.

  8. Sarah Says:

    i totally love degrassi the next generation!!! it’s the best show on i’ve seen on the ABC for a really long time!!! i’m just hoping they sell the seasons and DVD so i can keep them forever!!!

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