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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 face neglect.

      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.

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