Over the course of a few seasons, Glee has gone from a fun teen show with music to a jukebox show with plots and characters that make little to no sense. And while the long-running Degrassi franchise has hit some tough patches of its own over the years, they've managed to stick through it all (even adding occasional music), successfully entertaining and educating several generations teens since the mid-'80s. If Glee wants to last anywhere near that long (and God help us if it does), there's plenty that it could learn from our favorite neighbors to the north:
If you haven't watched Degrassi: The Next Generation since Paige-and-Co. graduated, this summer is the perfect time to get acquainted with the current students of Degrassi Community School. Starting tonight, TeenNick will air new episodes of Degrassi Monday through Thursday. Don't believe the slander -- Degrassi hasn't died along with the use of Aubrey Graham's full name. This guilty pleasure is still as strong as ever, thanks mostly to the fantastic variety pack of characters that we've been treated to these past few seasons. Here are some of the superlatives we think these students deserve come yearbook time.
For that small group of people who make up that cute little crossover audience between USA Network and [adult swim], today is your day.
I was slightly worried about the new format of Degrassi, in which the TeenNick show goes from a weekly series and turns into a show that airs four nights a week. I thought it might be overkill, especially given that fact that while I've watched the show since I was a teenager (back when now-Principal Snake was just a student himself) my interest in the show had started to wane in the last season. The plots were sort of simple and ground that the show had covered before, or just mere placeholders until favorites like Manny or Emma or Marco could return for an episode. However, with "The Boiling Point" (the moniker for this nightly-serialized run) has really upped the ante and renewed my interest in the show. Here's why....
Television is no place for children. Between Teen Mom, Toddlers & Tiaras and Dance Moms, we cringe for those poor kids who are clearly growing up in dysfunctional homes. But as bad as it is to be forced into pageantry or to have Amber Portwood as your mother, at least reality kids don't have it quite has awful as many of the tykes on scripted series. Here are the ones that really need to have a fictional Child Protective Services intervene on their behalf:
We're still depressed about the end of Friday Night Lights and then we started watching the new "Now or Never" arc of Degrassi only to see a very familiar plot from being played out on the teen show. Now we loved FNL, and we love Degrassi, but FNL did make a major misstep with one little tiny murder storyline that dragged down its second season. Out of all the fantastic issues that Lights tackled, why, oh why, did Degrassi choose that one?
There's been a lot of debate recently about whether MTV's Skins actually represents "real" teenage life and what sort of supposedly terrible example it's setting, but judging by the rest of the television landscape, there could be a lot worse places to send your fictional children to school. Here's our ranking of TV's least educational institutions of learning:
Tonight kicks off TeenNick's Degrassi-palooza, in which the addictive Canadian teen saga goes from airing sporadically on Friday nights, to monopolizing the summer with a five night a week schedule. Four half-hour originals air Monday through Thursday, and then the entire thing is rerun in a two-hour block on Friday to catch up. While we're not sure that we need a nightly telenovela with this random cast of newbies, we'll probably get sucked in, anyway, because we just can't get enough of that bitchy Holly J. Plus, with a show like this, there are so many cast members that only get screentime every other week, so in some ways this might actually serve the stars better. With that in mind, we got to thinking of the other shows on television that we'd watch every single night, if we could.