One of the longest running and most successful shows in TV history is finally back! From the first season on Teen Nick in 2001 to the last season in 2014, “Degrassi” remained one of teens’ most favorite shows because it portrays the true reality of the typical teenage life.
On Friday, January 15, 2016, Netflix released 10 episodes of the new and improved “Degrassi: Next Class.” The original Canadian show kicked off with “The Kids of Degrassi Street,” and continued for many years into “Degrassi Junior High,” “Degrassi High” and finally, “Degrassi: The Next Generation,” which aired in the United States on Teen Nick.
Even after three decades, “Degrassi” still manages to keep its viewers interested with its story lines. This season deals with issues teens deal with on a day-to-day basis – drug use, body image, sexuality, bullying, school violence, and online harassment. Hearts get broken, kids make bad decisions, and well-meaning parents sometimes just do not understand what their children are going through.
“‘Degrassi’ has always been one of my favorite shows all throughout middle school. I used the show as a way to help me familiarize myself with the high school community and I can honestly say that it helped. ‘Degrassi’ is probably one of the realest shows out there,” says sophomore Kiera Sears.
The show had become known for its punchy slogan, “Degrassi: It Goes There,” which highlighted the show’s willingness to tackle any relevant subject in teenage culture while staying consistent with the show’s perpetual drama.
Despite the show running for 37 years, Linda Schuyler, the creator, still manages to keep the show updated in technological advancements and modern day trends.
The first episode of “Degrassi: Next Class” opened with a Drake reference. The famous rapper got his start on the Canadian teen drama, but the reference is not just a witty shoutout. Drake is what the teens and everyone else are into these days.
The episode titles feature a hashtag in the front of the title and occasionally refer to current social media trends.
The cast features the Hollingsworth siblings Miles (Eric Osborne), Frankie (Sara Waisglass) and her twin Hunter (Spencer MacPherson), struggling to define themselves outside of their wealthy political family. Maya Matlin (Olivia Scriven) is a talented musician whose desire for independence is sometimes at odds with her well-meaning, but insecure boyfriend Zig (Ricardo Hoyos). Finally, Zoe Rivas (Ana Golija) returns after being sexually assaulted in the previous season.
Some of plot line of “Degrassi: Next Class” involves Maya and Zig trying to decide whether they are ready to take their relationship to the next level. After Claire and Eli left the show last season, fans were worried that the show would not be as good because they were the OTP (One true pairing).
“I did not think that this season would be that interesting since my favorite couple of all time, Claire and Eli, won’t be on the show, but I was definitely proved wrong. In the last season I thought Maya and Zig were kind of annoying but they definitely changed,” said sophomore Ria Varughese.
What do you think of this new season of “Degrassi”?