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100 of My Fandoms
22. Degrassi: The Next Generation




So in middle school I enjoyed referring to Degrassi as "my soap", because, well, that's kind of what it was. All that relationship-swapping drama could probably put any real soap to shame. (disclaimer: I have never watched any real soap) That, combined with my obsessive need to watch it whenever it was on, meant that it was for all intents and purposes deserving of the title. I also liked to use it as one of my examples that all the good stuff came from Canada. It was kind of the epitome of Canadianism for me - all those soarries and aboots and stuff. (The other example was Green Day. Hey - this is middle school we're talking aboot.)

My first episode was the one where Marco realizes he is gay, and I have the feeling that wasn't an accident; I think I must have caught the episode description while flipping channels or something and decided to check it out. I'm actually not sure if the reason for that was "yaoi fangirl" or "consume all the LGBT-related media!" - I was on a huge LGBT young adult novels kick around that time, so this might have been something along the same lines. I'm going to chalk it up to half and half because it makes me feel less stupid. Anyway, I had no idea who any of these characters were or how they related to each other, but Degrassi's episodic enough that it didn't matter all that much. And whatever my reasons for turning that episode on in the first place, it did the trick. Before the end of it, I was hooked.

It helped fuel my obsession that The N tended to (and perhaps still does) show Degrassi a few episodes at a time, and every few months or show they'd decide it was time for another every-episode marathon. I recall quite a few summer days spent enjoying said marathons. My brother would also join in sometimes, which is unusual as he doesn't often like the same stuff I like. He didn't watch quite as much as me, but he saw enough to know and care (at least somewhat) about the characters and their relationships. Even now, I think if I were to be watching an old episode and he walked in, he'd probably remember most of them. He's like that sometimes. Anyway, after said days wasted on marathons, I would go on the-n.com and probably kill a few more days. Their message boards were absolute crap (posts took half an hour to show up), but there were a lot of fun quizzes, and Tyma and I sank a lot of time into a glitchy Sims-eque game called Avatar High. Good times.

I stopped watching after season... 8, I think? Whenever they stopped having the original kids and started having new ones. Because screw that noise. In all seriousness, I am just really not a fan of the new Degrassi seasons. See, as I may have mentioned once or twice on this very blog, what I tend to care about most in fandoms is the characters. And now we've got a whole new cast of kids that I don't know and have very little reason to care about. It feels like a completely different show, and heck, it kind of is. So I don't have much of an interest in it anymore. I know there is a trans kid though! And that is pretty cool. :D

But there's still some indescribable feeling I have about the older Degrassi. (Yes, I know using that phrase to refer to any part of Degrassi: The Next Generation is somewhat ironic. It's a relative term okay.) It's like whenever I watch an episode I'm still back in the summer after sixth grade, and when a commercial comes on I can flip to the music video channel and maybe some Linkin Park will be on or else "Memory" or "Dip It Low" or whatever. And just kind of. I don't know. I know a lot of the time it was basically after school special: the show (what kind of potential problem a kid might face in high school can we make the focus of this episode?), and I haven't actually sat down and watched it in at least a year or two, and I probably shouldn't be having this sappy of feels about it, but. Whoops I do anyway. Whatcha gonna do.

(Also, I will never stop finding it funny that there was an episode called "Never Gonna Give You Up", and said episode was the one where Rick was introduced. Degrassi: rickrolling you at least four years before rickrolling was cool.)

Favorite character: So, this is the part about Rick. Rick is not only my favorite character, but a large part of why I keep caring about Degrassi. And that makes me feel really skeevy and conflicted when I think about it, because he's, you know. Kind of an abuser and a school shooter. And I mean, on the other hand, he did seem honestly apologetic about the abuse thing, and he was getting therapy, and it was everyone else being terrible and jerks to him after that that caused him to snap and start shooting people. But on the other other hand... abuser and school shooter and yandere in the worst sense, and I don't want to seem like I condone that. And I'm worried that I woobify him too much, but it doesn't help that he's kind of already a woobie. Riiick. ;_; Also he is very cute which probably influenced me somewhat.
tl;dr I HAVE A LOT OF RICK FEELS and I feel bad about half of them. :(

Least favorite character: wow Jay can go fall off of a thing. I know different strokes and all, but I will never understand people liking him. :c He's just... not a good person. He indirectly caused Rick's death and Jimmy's paralysis and wasn't even remorseful about it, and I don't like how the show ended up trying to redeem him-slash-pretend he wasn't a terrible person in the first place. :|

Hottest guy: maybe it is rick
Ok seriously I do have such a legitimate crush on Rick. It is part of the reason why he is my favorite. Not sure how much of a terrible person I am yet. :( I also used to find Marco attractive? That one I don't get anymore.

OTP: For some reason my go-to answer here is Rick/Craig??? I don't even know why. I think it is because of a dream I had once? Like do they even interact in canon idk..... Now if we're talking about pairings that actually do interact, Rick/Toby is preeetty canon yo. Toby/Kendra was also really cute, but it kind of suffered after Kendra inexplicably disappeared from the show. :c And I remember being heavily on the Craig/Ashley side in the Crash vs. Cranny debate. Huh, I thought I'd have more Degrassi ships than that.

Recommended fanworks: Well, not a fanwork, but getdownliberty is the greatest Degrassi-related tumblr I have ever had the pleasure to come across. It consists of episode-by-episode reviews and analysis interspersed with reblogs from both old and new seasons, in a perfect mix of fannishness and snark.
And fine, if you want to talk about actual fanworks, there is a beautiful song about Degrassi, entitled simply "Degrassi", by none other than Lemon Demon. This video for it is just the icing on the cake. (Warning: misogynistic language, rape, self-harm, among other things that happened in the show.)

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