25 Days of Christmas: Degrassi Junior High, “Season’s Greetings”

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Throughout the month of December, TV Editor Kate Kulzick and Film Editor Ricky D will review classic Christmas adaptions, posting a total of 13 each, one a day, until the 25th of December.

The catch: They will swap roles as Rick will take on reviews of classic television Christmas specials and Kate will take on Christmas movies. Today is day 19.

Degrassi Junior High, “Season’s Greetings”

Directed by Kit Hood

Written by Yan Moore

What’s it about?

After Arthur and Yick having a falling out, Dorothy decides to take it upon herself to mend their friendship by recollecting the best moments they spent together. Meanwhile Emma’s daycare falls through and Spike is forced to care for her at school. While there, Spike can’t avoid Shane and finally agrees to allow him to hold and see his daughter for the very first time.

Review:

Degrassi is one of those very few Canadian TV programmes that had success outside the country. The CBC Television teen drama followed the lives of a group of students attending the titular fictional school. Many episodes tackled the true issues facing teenagers everyday. Such difficult topics included drug and child abuse, teenage pregnancy, homosexuality, homophobia, racism, and divorce, and the series was acclaimed for its sensitive and realistic portrayal of the challenges of teenage life. Following the short series The Kids of Degrassi Street (1982), Degrassi Junior High (DJH) went on to establish the franchise’s popularity. Hailed as “groundbreaking,” “powerful,” and “totally authentic,” Degrassi Junior High did it all and long before any other teen series.

It’s hard to say weather or not the program holds after so many decades. Those nostalgic for the 80’s and those who grew up watching the show could very well find it entertaining to this day. Others may be immediately turned off by the overall look of the program. After all, this was the 80’s and Degrassi was’t afforded a big budget – so it’s no surprise that each episode looks likes something Cindy Lauper or Boy George would disgorge. Still, there could very well be some fascination for teenagers of today to look back on what high-school was like before mobile phones, mp3 players and Lady Gaga were ever invented.

If you’ve never seen an episode of Degrassi, “Seasons Greetings” wouldn’t be the best place to start. The main casting draw, heartthrob teen idol Joey Jeremiah (played by the charismatic Pat Mastroianni), hardly gets any screen-time, nor does any of the other major players. Instead the writers opted to focus on two minor characters Arthur and Yick, best friends, both geeks and both under-appreciated despite sharing some of the series’ most memorable moments (Robot porn anyone?). “Season’s Greetings” basically acts as a highlight reel for the two. Incorporating flashbacks through the narrative, audiences are treated to a trip down memory lane as we watch thier best moment unfold again.

This quintessential teen series, is a show that served as a model for dozens of others shows like it since it first premiered. While “Seasons Greetings” is a very weak entry in the groundbreaking series, one can’t deny how each episode captures what being a teenager felt like, and well sometimes even life as a teenager can be pretty dull, even around Christmas.

  • Ricky D

How Christmassy is it?

like 20% Christmassy since 80% of the episode was spent on flashbacks.

You May Like It If…

If you are a member of NAMBLA or a teenage girl and have a crush on Pat Mastroianni, nostalgic for the 80’s, grew up watching the series or is someone who loves to torture him or herself.

Final Thoughts:

Yeah, this kind of sucked.

 

 

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