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Best and Worst of Degrassi

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This is the place to rank and talk about the best and worst of this long (long, long, LONG!) running, insanely addictive show: favorite and least favorite seasons, plotlines, relationships, friendships, etc. 

 

Here's one to kick us off: Who would you pick as your 7-10 all-time favorite characters? And, for snarky fun, your 7-10 LEAST favorite characters? Current and former characters from any season are eligible!  

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I LOVED Manny, I thought she was pretty realistic. I will always have mixed feelings about Darcy I thought the rape storyline was pretty well done and I liked her in season 5.  I could not stand Mia after she made JT's death about herself. I really hate how the writers ruined Paige in the movie. 5 seasons of character development go in the drain for a stupid movie.

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Holly J is my all-time favorite character. Emma is probably my all-time least favorite character, though Claire is a close second for that dishonor. In real life, I'd probably prefer an Emma or Claire to a Holly J (if only because they'd scare me less!), but for fictional purposes, I find Emma and Claire both insufferable, dull and obnoxiously self-righteous annoyances while Holly J was consistently entertaining to me and surprisingly layered.  

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Spinner is my least favorite character. I hated the way he treated Paige (at the end of there relationship) and Darcy. The whole Jimmy storyline I might be the only one who did not have any sympathy for him. To be honest I did not feel all that bad when Jane cheated on him. It was nice to see karma hit him.

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Thanks for bring up, Jane---you reminded me that she, too, is on my 'worst' list! 

 

I actually liked Spinner for the most part, though, like many other characters, I agree that his relationships didn't exactly bring out the best sides of his character. 

 

I have an admittedly weird fondness for Sav. I'm pretty sure he'd make my top 10-15, if only by default! 

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I hate Liberty.  Her character is so annoying.

 

I liked Mia but hated how they basically forgot she had a kid after her first season.

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Joey Jeremiah.  The best character ever, since his first days on Kids of Degrassi.  And Caitlin Ryan was the worst character on any incarnation of the show.   Although "You were fucking Tessa Campanelli?" is the best line on television, all time, ever. 

Edited by Quof
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As far as least favorite characters go I think mine would be...

Imogen- I go back and forth with her. Sometimes she's okay and I like seeing her on the screen, but then there's time where they amp up the childishness in the character and she's annoying. Overall if I had to pick one of last years seniors to stay she wouldn't have been my choice, but she hasn't been too terrible this year. I would have let her have her endgame with Fiona.

 

Jimmy- My least favorite of the original bunch, mainly because of what his character became after the shooting. I hated how he treated Hazel and in some ways Ashley during their breakups. He wasn't a complete jerk and I like some aspects of his character but I feel like he became more of one in the later seasons. His plots were kind of a mix. Some were good (i.e. Can't Hardly Wait) while others were boring (i.e. Broken Wings). Either way I wasn't too sad that he wasn't focused on post graduation.

 

Mia- Liked her in season 7 when they did stories focusing on her baby daddy issues with Lucas. I mainly disliked the direction the character went in in season 8 and 9. Randomly paired with Peter, very little responsibility in raising her daughter, became a model out of the blue, etc.

 

Part of me wants to put Clare but I don't know. There's a lot of good times with the character and I will probably miss her once she's finally gone, but I also remember in season 11 when she was on my nerves so badly and recently she's been annoying about her Drew drama.

Edited by love21

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I also hate Ashley, so sanctimonious all the time.  I don't like Claire (although she's been better in the past season).  I don't understand why the writers thought that they needed to have people fighting over her when she first came on.

 

I'm ready for the seniors to graduate.  They've been around a long time.

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I'm ready for the seniors to graduate.  They've been around a long time.

Agreed! I think this was the biggest problems when they decided to stretch out senior year. It made some sense with Emma/Manny's class because they are the original 7th graders. If I had known it would be with every class I would have been completely against it. Actually, I think I was against it at the time.

Edited by choclatechip45

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Least Liked:

Ashley - the worst.

Emma- Incredibly annoying person considering she was the ostensible "heroine" of seasons 1-7. 

Liberty - Could've been an interesting character had the writers not made her completely insufferable in nearly every episode. 

JT - Couldn't stand him for most of his tenure on the show. 

Derek - Obnoxious little weasel.

Useless wastes of space: Leia, Blue, Bruce the Moose, Danny, Hazel, Chantay, Damian... 

 

Most Liked:

Of the originals I'd say Paige, Ellie, Manny, and Spinner were my favorites, but my all time favorites would probably be Anya, Fiona, Holly J, Declan, Sav, and Riley - all were consistently entertaining and likable. 

 

Of the people currently on the show, I'd say Maya and Becky are among my favorite leading ladies the show has ever had. Great characters and their redeeming qualities override their flaws. 

 

I've also liked quite a few of the more recently introduced characters and wish we'd had more time to get to know them - Zane, Katie, Marisol, Mo, Jake, Bianca, Cam... 

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Some of my favorites were never were really used to their potential, aside from Tori. I wasn't too sad when she left. She was sort kind of flat, fake, and I never warmed up to her character. Wesley was adorable. Owen seemed like a missed opportunity. Toby just kind of disappeared. Mo and Jake were fun. I also had a soft spot for the friendship between the Studz. Right now, I'm liking Frankie and Winston, and I wish Connor had more to do. I go back and forth with Alli, but Sav was cool, save for that icky relationship with Ms. Oh. That was gross, and it bugged that she never got any fallback from that. I liked Riley, Ellie, Spinner, Darcy, Jane, and occasionally Craig. Holly J and Anya were awesome.

 

I hated Marisol because she just always seemed like a bitch. Mo could've done better. I liked Claire initially, but not so much now. Just the opposite with Jenna, who I hated at first but am cool with now. The show tried hard to get me to like Bianca, but it didn't work. I'm on the fence with Zoe in the same way, but I like the trial storyline.

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I originally posted this in the other thread:

 

I really loved Owen, and was looking forward to his character development after Anya and the reveal that Tristan was his sibling.  Then they brought in the Ice Hounds and relegated him to the background where he had maybe 3 lines that entire season and then graduated.  What a waste.

 

And Manny is one of my all time faves.  I still laugh at the episode when she decided she didn't want to be "cute" anymore and showed up the next day with her sexy clothes and her own theme song (maybe the theme song was only in my head - can't remember).  She also had some great storylines and got interactions with multiple people/circles in the Degrassi-verse.  I even liked her and Jay (another favorite character) together - Did they end up together in the end? (I really love Cassie Steele and wish she would get a fantastic TV show to star in.)

 

I also loved Wesley, where ever he may be now.

 

Other characters I like
•Eli (except when he's with Clare)
•Dallas (although they don't spend enough time on his personal life, including his kid and his possible struggles with his baby mama)
•Craig (so much drama, so little time)
•Jake (so chill and indifferent; and had enough common sense to dump Clare :-D  )

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Manny and Jay were going strong at the Emma/Spinner wedding, so I'd assume they're still together, even though they don't get mentioned anymore.

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And Manny is one of my all time faves.  I still laugh at the episode when she decided she didn't want to be "cute" anymore and showed up the next day with her sexy clothes and her own theme song (maybe the theme song was only in my head - can't remember).

and the thong. . . then when she gets in trouble she just goes without

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I loved Manny. I think she was the most developed character out of the original TNG. I feel one big difference between the original TNG and the new crop is the new crop interact with each other more while Manny was really the only one from the original crew who interacted with the majority of the cast.

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I hated Owen.  A homophobe with a gay brother, mistreated Adam, made fun of Maya for being "flat".  He had no redeeming qualities.

 

Didn't much care for Drew, either.  Considering Adam was his brother, he treated Riley poorly, and then was just awful with girls.

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Best: Eli (ugh. I'm so mad at myself, but I'm a sucker for an absurdly sensitive guy); Holly J all day and into tomorrow - her character development was great. Craig Manning - again with the sensitivity. Ellie's growth was also exciting and well done. But my all time favorite in the new series? SEAN. MOTHERFUCKIN. CAMERON. 

 

Worst: Adam. I'm still pissed at casting for going with that actress. She sucked and managed to make a transitioning teen into a boring character. Ashley Kerwin remains one of the worst ever. Ugh, fucking Jenna. I can't stand her or her inappropriate facial expressions. 

 

I'm torn: Ali. Sometimes I love her and sometimes I just want her off my screen. 

 

I love that Simpson (and Stefan Brogren, more literally) is still a part of this. I wish people still called him Snake once in a while, though.

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I'll be honest, Sean never really clicked for me. Partly because I thought Daniel Clark was one of the weaker actors on the show.

 

I would definitely put Ashley up there in the Worst category in terms of her handling overall. I mean, she was kind of a bitchy and humorless character to start with, but I was okay with her as a character through S4. It was interesting to see her make such a radical change after the first season, and then I actually like how she sort of found a balance in S3/S4.

 

But it was so clear the writers had no idea what to do with her when they brought her back. In S6 she was nothing more than Jimmy's girlfriend. I remember her being fairly nice and supportive, and I'll admit she looked great, but she also seemed like a totally different character with no identity of her own. Then in S7, the show remembered that she's a musician, but she got dour and self-absorbed again, and then literally just peaced out over Spring Break.

 

This girl who left the country prior to senior year comes back to town a year later, and completes like 75% of senior year, and then just runs off again suddenly.

 

I'm also happy Simpson continues to be around, though I'm sad he's such a non-character these days. He was probably always my favorite of the adult characters, so it's almost bittersweet. He hasn't had anything to do other than principling in like 5 years. Of course, since SB is also involved behind the scenes, I'd assume that would change if he wanted it to. I don't even remember the Simpson/Connor relationship being acknowledged in the last couple of seasons. Connor still lives with him, right?

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Cripes, I totally forgot about that. I also would like to see more adults - I know they have the "no adults without kids" rule on the show, but I feel like at least when Emma was around you got to see more of his life.

 

Now that I think about it, I'm also peeved at the way they handled Owen. He was great and had so much potential as a character. Then, poof. Lost opportunity. 

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Ashley wins the award for the worst style in the series,  Her hair from the horrible triangle to her horrible goth hairdo to the horrific hats she wore when she came back from paris.
 

 

Cripes, I totally forgot about that. I also would like to see more adults - I know they have the "no adults without kids" rule on the show, but I feel like at least when Emma was around you got to see more of his life.

 

 

The baby that Snake and Spike had should be old enough to start Degrassi soon.

Edited by meatball77

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Aside from Claire, my least favorite character right now has to be Drew. It pains me that he and Becky are now together, because Becky is probably my favorite in this current crop of kids.

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Becky is probably my favorite in this current crop of kids.

Really? I'm on the fence about her. I think her testifying against her brother was totally badass, but her innocence schtick wears thin, too.

 

I forgot about another worst: Marisol. Dude, she was a straight-up terrible person to everyone, including Katie. From telling everyone Katie was bulimic, to throwing Fiona under the bus about the foiling the caf situation, to jumping to the conclusion that Mo was a drug addict and then acting like an asshole towards him, to just generally being a snot, Marisol was loathsome. The fact that anyone was pleasant to her made me dislike all the other characters as well. I think Drew as a character is sort of a potato, but he was sure as shit right about Marisol being gross. 

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I thought I'd hate Becky when she first came on.  Her character has changed in a very real way and she's far from a stereotype (although she started as one). 

 

Marisol was a huge bitch.  Did she get any plots of her own that didn't involve her being a mean girl?

 

I didn't understand the characters that were horrible to the gay characters that had gay siblings.  Why would drew have been so horrible when he was so supportive of Drew?  Same with Owen being Tristen's brother.

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I think Marisol's main storyline of her own was getting together with Mo, which unfortunately was not enough to make me like her. And it bugged me that neither she nor Katie (whom I liked much, much better) ever got any comeuppance for the Fiona thing.

 

Re: Gay characters, we should keep in mind that transgender people are not (necessarily) gay. As far as I remember, Adam did not identify as being gay. He identified as a male who was (exclusively, as far as we know) attracted to females. I assume people are meaning more the general "queer" umbrella of LGBTQ, but I thought I'd put that out there.

 

But yeah, Drew's behavior towards Riley when he was first introduced is troublesome, especially because (much like Owen's) it was never really dealt with. Though to be fair, he did also seem to still have a bit of a hard time accepting Adam at first, too.

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I think my all-time least favorite characters are Emma and Ashley.  Cannot stand either one.  To a lesser extent, I really didn't like Toby or Craig all that much either - Toby I chalk up to having a terrible actor play him, and Craig I feel like I should've cared about, I just didn't.

 

I will say though, Craig does contribute to my all-time favorite musical moment, which is "Can you be my Cinderella"?  There is something that makes me laugh hard about that every time I think about it. 

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My favorite characters...

 

Jay is probably my overall favorite character. He kept his wit throughout his time on the show and it was great seeing him grow, especially since he never got his own story outside of his romances.

 

Spinner is also another that it pained me to see him go. I loved Spinner. Him and Jay together is one of my favorite parts of the middle seasons. Even when his only purpose was Jane I never felt he overstayed his welcome.

 

I'm also one of the few Dave Turner fans. He was far from perfect but I always wanted him to get better stories than he got.

 

And for females I really liked Jane. Didn't care for the cheating story but sucks she didn't get to be on the show that long.

 

Alli...okay I'm kind of worn out on Alli now after that abuse arc but she was easily my favorite minor ninor and a favorite for a while. I hope next season isn't drama filled for her and she gets a good ending.

 

Paige...it's hard not to love Paige. The movie made it clear to me her time on the show was up but she's such a classic character who brought a lot of great memories for me.

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Best: Eli (ugh. I'm so mad at myself, but I'm a sucker for an absurdly sensitive guy); H

 

Something about Eli works so well for me. He has this utter charm, and I think a happy Eli just lights up the screen. I think that's why I really like Eli and Clare together - a happy Eli is one of my favorite characters. 

 

Of course Holly J is one of my all time favorites. I loved Manny and Paige so much. I think those three are my all time favorites from Degrassi. In the current cast I really like Imogen and Becky. I like Maya when she focused on anything other than romance, and I'm remain one of the last Clare fans. (Though if someone has to take a victory lap next season, I hope it's not her. I'm ready for Clare to get her happy New York ending with Eli and fade away). 

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My favorite characters...

 

Jay is probably my overall favorite character. He kept his wit throughout his time on the show and it was great seeing him grow, especially since he never got his own story outside of his romances.

 

(snip)

I agree with pretty much everything in that post. In particular, Jay was also a favorite of mine. I was disappointed that he never really had a personal storyline (or even a "Jay episode").

 

Also liked Dave, and it continues to irritate me that he just disappeared from the show after 4 seasons with no explanation.

 

I liked Jane a lot, too, minus the cheating storyline. She was probably one of my favorite characters/actors brought in around that time, and I was definitely a little bummed that she couldn't stick around longer.

Edited by Jonathan Seagull

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Favorites:

  • Eli. Sure they saddled him with Clare, but I still consistently enjoyed him and his creative ventures at Degrassi, plus, his generally being a sensitive babe. 
  • Fiona. She wasn't perfect, but she was admittedly really gorgeous. Also, I liked that she's one of the most consistent characters they've had (drinking problem and abuse that didn't disappear as soon as they were introduced, plus I called her being gay from the start, so I was thrilled when they revealed her feelings for Holly J). Wish she could have gotten an interesting love interest along the way, though. 
  • Holly J. Charlotte Arnold is one of the best actresses this show has had. 
  • Jake. Also saddled with Clare, but after the fact, he was a very fun character. 
  • I would say Alex and Jay for old generation (I don't feel like I really consistently liked many of the early characters). Sad Jay never got his own eppy.
  • Anya. She was adorable.
  • Cam. He was adorable and I will never not be saddened by his ending.

 

Worst:

  • Without a doubt, Emma wins the prize! She really went off the rails after the first couple seasons. Particularly hated what a judgmental bitch she was to Manny throughout their friendship. 
  • Honestly, I was never sad that Tobey dissapeared into thin air, since without JT, he did nothing for me. 
  • Never liked Jimmy. Endless post-accident whining only made it worse.
  • Craig. I thought Jake Epstein was beautiful as a teen and I will never not feel betrayed by what a doche he was, bipolar or no.

 

Other observations:

 

  • I perhaps wasn't around when Dave disappeared (I honestly forget), but that's disappointing since I actually really grew to like him despite HATING him to begin with for tazing Wesley.
  • I was really tempted to include KC in the hate list, before I remember they actually made me like him a bit more before abruptly writing his character off the show.
  • I can fully understand thinking Marisol is a bitch, because she was one. But I was happy the actress got some screen time after the lame KC/Marisol story, since given Hazel and Chante, this show has a bit of terrible track record of featuring young black  women.
  • Speaking of Hazel, she was way too boring to hate, but the scene where Spinner yells at Marco for walking out on her since she's the COOLEST girl in school always makes me laugh. I mean, sure, if you definition of cool is utterly forgettable in every way.....:/

 

I have way too many Degrassi thoughts. I really do.

Edited by Beezel

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Favorite character(s):

  • Top spot is a dead heat between Paige and Manny for me. Aside from enjoying them as individuals, their character dynamic was always intriguing to me. I really just love Lauren and Cassie a lot (Cassie needs a show; LA Complex deserved better).
  • I also loved Ellie and Marco. As with my love for Lauren and Cassie, I equally adored Stacey and Adamo, and if it weren't for my love of the actors, I'm not sure I would've (and could've imagined) enjoying their portrayals as much as I did/still do. 
  • And I'll add Holly J. and Jane (minus the cheating) into this mix as (surprise, surprise), I've found Charlotte and Paula to be two of the better actresses this show has ever had.
  • Of this "Next Class" crew, Zoe and Frankie are far and away my faves, and the only reasons I'm really watching at this point. Ana Golja as Zoe is impressive and so charismatic. Mark my words, once that girl graduates from her Degrassi days, she's going to pull a Dobrev and blow up. I'm convinced of that. And Sara Waisglass as Frankie sparkles and is too adorable for words. I see a lot of potential in her character. Definitely 2 of the top performers of this bunch.
  • Special shout out to Jay/Mike Lobel. 
  • I also liked Spinner because I found it easy to ship him with his love interests. In spite of some of the less-than-stellar circumstances that transpired with each pairing, I really enjoyed him with Paige (#1 ship), Manny, Darcy, and Jane. I even accepted the ridiculousness that was Emma and Spinner because Shane and Miriam had dated/were dating (I don't know the timeline). 

 

Least-liked character(s):

  • Ashely - holy crap the most irritating character ever and I can't roll my eyes hard enough at her entire existence. 
  • Sean - if only because Daniel's performance never did it for me, so bland and wooden (and he had great material to work with). Also, the fandom's overwhelming tongue bathing only fueled my aversion to him because I. DON'T. GET. IT. 
  • Drew sucks, and Luke is a god-awful actor. 

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As far as couples go my list would be:

Best- Eli/Clare (before Eli graduated), Spinner/Jane, Paige/Alex, Jay/Manny, Drew/Bianca, Peter/Darcy, Craig/Ashley, Zig/Maya, JT/Liberty, Sean/Ellie, Sean/Emma, Jimmy/Hazel, KC/Jenna,  Johnny/Alli & Dave/Alli

 

Worst- Drew/Becky, Jake/Clare, Imogen/Jack, Eli/Imogen, Anya/Dr. Chris, Sav/Ms. Oh, Drew/Katie, Miles/Maya

Edited by love21
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I'm going to break my ranking down by class...

  • I think my forever favorite will always be Paige's Class because I grew up with them, and their issues were the most relateable to me. I also think that that group had the most well developed characters and the actors all had a natural friendship chemistry. Ellie's my favorite character, and I'm sad that nobody in the crew seemed to care about Ellie/Sean, because I liked them together a lot more than Emma/Sean. PMS and Downtown Sasquatch were also the best bands (I've yet to watch OG Degrassi, so I can't speak for Joey and Snake's band) and I still know all the lyrics to Dust.
  • Holly J's Class is my number 2, even though their class got lost in the shuffle between Emma's and Clare's classes. I just found Holly J, Sav, and Anya to be so likeable, and I think they were a strong batch of actors.
  • Maya's Class is only half way through their run, so they may become intolerable, but I love the Rubber Room Kids, and I think Miles and Zoe are really interesting, complex characters. I like how terrible Zoe can be yet a second I'm sympathizing with her again. Ana Golja is terrific. I also think Maya has been a really good heroine for this generation because she can blend into supporting roles when needed. That said, they really need to cool it with the love triangles.
  • Emma's Class. If only for Manny. The friendship between Emma, Manny, Liberty, JT, and Toby was also sweet, but I was mostly done with everyone at the end.
  • Eli's Class was made up of mostly forgettable characters, especially since they held so many back for season 13/14. I really disliked Eli in the beginning because he was too melodramatic for me, but he won me over in the end. I think it was the drama vortex of Clare that was bringing him down for me. I liked Bianca. Katie was okay, and I liked her friendship with Marisol, even though Marisol was pretty terrible. Stoner!Jake on roller skates was the best thing about that character. Justin Kelly was surprisingly funny, when I originally had him pegged as a rich kid/jackass. Mo was okay, but I'll never forgive him for Whisperhug. Their music was terrible, but also an ear worm. Right now I have that stupid cloud song in my head.
  • Clare's Class. Oh man, when they were first introduced, I thought they'd be my favorite group, because they were sweet little nerds. This class definitely suffered from the 40 episode half years, especially since they seemed to be grabbing the A-plots from their freshman year on. Like seriously, what hadn't Clare and Ali been through by the end? Jamhil French was one of the better actors on the show, and I'm sad that they unceremoniously dropped him for Dallas so that Drew could have his dude bro and Ali could have a new boyfriend. I did like Dallas though, and thought he was great in the aftermath of Cam's suicide. Jenna and Connor were the most there characters of all time. Becky was amazing during the rape storyline and I loved her friendship with Imogen. I was never a fan of any of her romantic pairings though. I liked the buildup to Clare and Drew, but the aftermath sucked, and the actors were in every storyline so I was completely burnt out on them.
  • Frankie's Class is last only because they haven't really done anything yet, and the only strong character in the bunch is Frankie. Hunter is insane, and I don't think they can maintain him as a viable character to graduation, especially after season 15. Lola's cute, and funny, but the actress isn't very strong. Shay has some promise. The rest of the new kids haven't made an impression. I'm guessing this is going to be one of those interim classes that are made up of supporting players while Maya, Zoe, Tristan, Miles, and Zig do all the heavy lifting till they graduate, and then the class behind them will take the spotlight. 

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I think Eli's class kind of got the shaft. None of them were on the show for more than 3 seasons, so with the exception of Eli, Bianca and possibly Katie, I don't think any of them were particularly well-developed. I especially wanted to see more from Jake, Marisol, Mo and Owen, even if I didn't like all of them. Even Fiona was largely sidelined in her final season.

As for Claire's class, I'm still pissed that Wesley and Dave fell into the black hole without so much as a mention and that Jenna's friendship with Becky was forgotten about after season 12. Keeping them friends would have given something for Jenna to do in her final two seasons, as she was given virtually nothing to do besides be Alli's constantly disappearing sound board after she got together with Connor.

Was it ever explained why Toby got so little screen time after season 2?

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