It’s been a while since I’ve seen these episodes, so I’ve decided to only post reviews
for episodes that I remember vividly, since any other reviews would be based upon hearsay.
101 Mother and Child Reunion
Rating: 10 of 10 for original Degrassi fans, 7 of 10 for new viewers
I had never heard of Degrassi before
seeing The Next Generation. . . and I’m not entirely sure if this is even the first show from TNG I saw. I believe the
first episode I saw was somewhere along the lines of 111-114, since I was watching the shows in the midst of the 2002 World
Cup. Once I saw this episode, I had some idea of who the characters were. I think The-N’s decision to show this episode
later in the first season was good, since so many of us young Americans would have been entirely lost watching.
With that in mind, I think this show
was great. Back in 2002, I had very little idea about what was going on with the older cast, but I was immediately drawn to
the youth cast. I was struck by how great of actors they were at such a young age. I was also shocked and very pleased that
a show for teens would address such a serious issue.
Knowing what I know now about the
show, I like this episode even more. I have become very attached to the adult cast and always try to find out as much as I
can about Degrassi’s past. Most importantly, the loyal original Degrassi fans deserved a 10 year reunion, because they
very much went to school with Joey, Caitlin, Spike, Snake, Wheels, Raditch . . .etc.
104 Eye of the Beholder
Rating: 7 of 10
I think this episode was very good
because it seemed very realistic – seeing the school dance made me feel like I was in middle school again, and brought
back numerous awkward and frustrating feelings. The only downside to this episode is the fact that I never really felt like
Paige and Ashley made good friends. I love Terri though, because she has a totally adorable sweetness and grace to her. I
also liked Spinner from the start, because my middle school crushes were always the slightly awkward class clowns in the grade
above me. (Related Note: I have to say I was a bit freaked out the first time I saw JT, because Season One JT looked exactly
like one of my middle school crushes.)
106 Mating Game
Rating: 9 of 10
This has always been one of my favourite
episodes. It takes courage to approach teen sex so openly. To fight AIDS, other STDs, and teen pregnancy requires that we
break down the taboos that have infected, destroyed and killed more teens than we care to admit.
108 Secrets and Lies
Rating: 8 of 10
This episode would have earned a
9, except for the somewhat juvenile Liberty storyline. Tackling a gay storyline this early in a new series (albeit
a sequel series), is a gutsy move. When Ashley’s dad came out, I almost squealed. Homophobia seems to be one of the
last bastions of (somewhat) acceptable discrimination, and it has to stop. It is fantastic to see Ashley as she deals with
the news of her father (and the residual effects of her parents’ divorce) and comes to accept him and his lifestyle.
109 Coming of Age
Rating: 10 of 10
The Jimmy/Ashley/Toby storyline was
great, and reminds me a lot of the later episodes with Craig, and his longing for a true home life. Aubrey Graham is a great
actor, and I wish we saw him more often. He shined in this episode, and definitely represented how often privileged teens
The show truly earns the full 10
points when it comes to Emma. I just can not fathom the fact that a full 50% (give or take a little, thanks to China) of the
population experiences the same monthly occurrence, yet NO ONE talks about in openly. Drives me nuts. The female gender is
responsibly for giving birth to children. In order to successfully do that, ALL WOMEN have to menstruate, and therefore excrete
uterine lining on a monthly basis. Deal with it. So thank you Emma, and thank you Degrassi, for making it NO BIG DEAL.
110 Rumours and Representations
Rating: 7 of 10
This was a simply entertaining episode.
I really enjoyed seeing a game of telephone turned into a 22 minute episode of television melodrama. Ahh . . . the joy and
torture of youth.
114 Under Pressure
Rating: 8 of 10
I think this show accurately represents
the stress teens often go through when it comes to school. There are so many pressures placed on teens, and then exams are
added on top of that. I think teachers should realise that their students may very well be going through the types of things
Sean did in this episode: a bad family life, living with a sibling, family alcoholism and a troubled past. If teachers tried
to understand students’ lives outside of school, I believe they could reach and teach their students better.
The Emma/Sean relationship has been
appealing to me from the start. I think they go great together. Emma makes Sean try harder to stay out of trouble, and Sean
encourages Emma to act more like a teenager. The image of Sean shoving her to the ground, and the look on his face when he
realised what he had done, has stuck with me for 3 years now.
115 Jagged Little Pill
Rating: 9 of 10
I loved this episode. It has stuck
with me, and is what truly cemented my love of Degrassi. I just couldn’t believe that I could find a show that would
honestly approach teen drug use, at a time when most American pre-teens were watching Lizzie McGuire and Even Stevens.