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S14.E01: Smells Like Teen Spirit

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Clare has a serious dilemma that will affect her entire future and confides in Alli. Zoë sees red when Becky tells her she’s too much of a distraction for the power cheer team. It's time for Zoë to bring Becky down, literally. Miles and Tristan are getting close, but with his campaign in full swing, Mr. Hollingsworth is worried his son’s behaviour could damage his political prospects. An upset Miles decides to take annoying his father to a whole new level.


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For an episode full of Manny retreads, I hate that they didn't go through with the abortion one. I hate it because I think it would be interesting to investigte the psychology of someone who has gone through with doing so and how they feel and how they believe they have helped or hindered themselves. Of the many things that air on television, abortion is still one that is harldy touched. Counting up all of the pregnancy storylines on the show (Anya, Liberty, Jenna, Elena.. I mean Mia) Manny is the only time someone goes through with it. The only other instance I can recall on television is Becky from Friday Night Lights. As a socially conscious program, they seem to avoid this one repeatedly. Moreover, I watch this on American television, so the Manny episodes where she does go through with it were banned or only aired once, something like that. I wish what is much of the time a PSA show would go through with the PSA.


Also, what is with the bases and spotters on Degrassi Cheer Squads? Blonde flyers beware.

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Wow, I really enjoyed this episode! Though it's not "Degrassi", I really liked the flash forward... gives us something to chew on while we watch the season.


Clare/Drew - I've been on the "Clare's gonna have a miscarriage" train for a while, and now that she wants the baby, I'm all but positive that's going to happen, and that's something that hasn't been covered on the show before. I'm glad that they entertained the idea of an abortion, and that her reason for not going through with it was related to her cancer, not her religious views. It's a different look at the issue, I like it. I'm glad they were clear on who the father is and that Drew was so supportive; he wasn't cheering about her getting the abortion, he was just glad she had a plan because his mind was blown. I used to live for Eclare but now I'm all about Clew, and Drew's response and support of Clare basically reaffirmed my feelings. I know they want to make Eclare endgame, especially since they're keeping him around for another season, but please, blow my mind and do something else (I'll take a single Clare, even).


Zoe/Becky - I'm relieved that Zoe didn't conspire with the team to get them to drop her, though her revealing the baby news was still rotten. I think she's going to be high on power with this cheering stuff... but I'm happy to see another sports team. I hope it's not too Bring It On, though (nice joke about how many of those movies there are, lol). That scene between Zoe and Zig and her short skirt... whew! That was pretty hot. I'm here for those two.


Miles/Tristan - They're what I've been looking forward to the most, and I wasn't let down. You can see a marked change in Miles; he was never that moved while kissing Maya or Zoe (not trying to start anything, just an observation), he clearly didn't want to tell his dad about his boyfriend (!) aka he's not using Tristan to screw with his dad, and they touched on the sexuality topic without committing to anything yet. However, his dad's response is clearly going to push him to do some shitty things, so we'll see what happens. But I think he's for real with Tristan. I really love the Hollingsworth siblings, so I'm glad to see them interacting... I hope they continue to do so. That breakfast scene was great (Miles and Frankie playing around, Hunter's single line, telling Miles to suck it).

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That was good and a much better start to the season than season 13.


A-Plot. I'm glad Sarah Fisher is getting some shine, she is a really good actress. And it looks like she'll get primary focus throughout. Her delivery to Zoe about not making Power Squad/Spirit Squad/whatever was spot-on. I thought her excuse to not let Zoe on the team was weak, but also in character in terms of judgmental-ness. I wonder how Becky will feel when she finds out Drew also slept with Zoe. Speaking of Zoe, I'm glad they're taking the Paige route with her and keeping her edge and not having her turn completely nice after her rape.


I liked Zig and Maya in that plot too. Maya's not getting in the way of Zoemund, and Zig was cute here as well.


B-Plot. Yeah, that was a bunch of miscarriage setup. The spotting, the cancer mentions, Clare wanting to have the baby since it's her last chance essentially...yeah. Nothing much to say here, it was good, good acting but Aislinn, Luke...tried. And Dallas's line was everything.


C-Plot. I LOVED how bemused Miles's family was to his boyfriend announcement. Like they pretty much already decided this was him getting more attention which makes sense given his pattern. God I love that messy rich white family. I think Miles does like Tristan, doesn't want to be labeled and yet also wants to piss his father off even more. I don't know if Eric was acting or just uncomfortable making out with Lyle but it did add to the greenhouse scene. Miles has no idea what he wants really, too much of his personality is a reaction to his father's expectations. Bro needs to find himself.

So all and all, a good start. I wish the new characters were spotlit more though.

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I liked this episode, despite its flaws. Sometimes I think they waste a lot of time at the beginning of the season, but this one got right down to serious business, no fluff.


I hated that they didn't go through with the abortion, and it's completely cowardly in my opinion. But at least they didn't even hint for one second at it being a religious issue; if they're going to cop out, at least they didn't do it for the reasons the political pressure wanted them to. Still, it's stupid. There's just no way I see it working for her to be a mom right now, and she can still be a mom later even if she's not able to conceive; it's just silly for her to make her decision on that basis, there are much more serious and irreversible implications she's ignoring if she does so. I will say, though, that I appreciated that they actually referenced condom expiration dates and proper usage, and potential failure anyway. I have never seen a TV show get into that level of detail and it kind of serves as a mini warning to kids to know what you're doing, I guess.


In addition to the one on FNL, there was an abortion on Everwood and one on Parenthood. I guess we can get one TV abortion on a low-rated show every few years, but they will never happen to a main character, they will never be shown to be a clean, clear, non-tragic option, and the episodes will not be advertized, so no one will know it ever happened.


I hate Zoe, but Becky was wrong there. On the other hand, Zoe really is not a team player and it's hard for me to care about her or root for her even when she's sort of in the right. She could have appealed to the admin-- they never would have allowed Becky's decision to stand, but instead she decided to disrupt the performance-- dangerous as well as bad for the school. So, again, she's a villain even when she's a victim. I don't know why Zig likes her.

I did like that Zig and Maya were acting like friends, though. That was shockingly lacking in pettiness and was probably the thing that shocked me the most about the episode.


Loved Miles and Tristan, though of course Miles is back to losing his mind over his idiotic father. He needs to just separate from that man emotionally, and stop letting his justified irritation get the best of him. The kid has major impulse control and anger issues, but I agree he did seem genuinely into Tristan, even if it later got mixed with being into rebelling against his dad. Too bad this looks like it's going to be more about Miles and his family than about Miles and Tristan. I hope I'm wrong, but that's the way it's looking so far.

Edited by possibilities
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What the hell was with the doctor having a detailed medical discussion with Claire in what was clearly a waiting room? ??

They probably didn't want to spend the money on a set for what's likely a one time use, but yeah that was odd.


It's kind of gotten to the point with me for Miles that I find him so loathsome, that when his idiot father was talking to him I couldn't help but think the idiot father had some points. On the plus side, that meal scene was really good, although again, it featured his siblings which is usually the only time I can tolerate him.


 I'm always impressed about how much Ana Golja can let yet know what's going on with her characters just with her eyes. In those scenes where she was trying out for the team and was told she didn't make it, her eyes told the her story and it was quite a job of acting .


It's a good thing I like both of them, because what Becky said to Zoe (and what she did to Becky later on) was really horrible. I am glad she didn't actually conspire with the team to drop Becky ala what Manny did with Paige. I was afraid that was actually going to happen.


I loved the way Zig and Maya were Zoe's version of a Greek Chorus. That might have been my favorite part of the whole episode, I especially enjoyed the way they were reacting behind Zoe when she was talking to Becky about Drew getting Clare pregnant, as well as Zig's awesome reaction to her glee at a spot being open on the team after Becky fell.


As for Clare, I too have thought that a miscarriage was the most likely route they were going to take with so I didn't have any real issues with how that played out. I do wish Jenna had been involved in those scenes where she was talking about the pregnancy with Alli, but the show seems to have forgotten she exists.


As a Drew/Clare shipper, I loved the scenes with them, especially that final one. They totally captured what I would imagine the reaction of a teen couple in their situation to be.


Dallas had the best laugh of the night with his "why do I have to be the guy that notices everything?" line. Ha!


Overall, a pretty good start to the season, and best of all, there was no fake Paris in sight!

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I'm so annoyed they backed away from Clare having an abortion. There hasn't been an abortion storyline since Manny, right? So one abortion vs. four going through with the pregnancy (Liberty, Jenna, Mia, Clare). I don't know what the actual statistics are on teen pregnancy outcomes, but that seems really off. I hope the show's plan is for Clare to miscarry and have to come to terms with possibly being infertile, because at least that would be a new and interesting storyline. And yeah, it makes no sense that she didn't include Jenna in her conversations with Alli about the pregnancy.

What Becky said to Zoe was horrible, but I only had a second to feel bad for Zoe before she did something equally horrible. No one to root for there, really.

I like that the show is exploring Miles and Tristan and there's no hurry to put a label on Miles' orientation. I don't really like either of them much at this point though. Miles' poor little rich boy thing is getting tired, and Tristan is apparently still being a jerk to Maya for trying to protect him from a sexual predator. At least Maya has Zoe and Zig now.

Any guesses on the tragic event this season is building to, based on the brief glimpse at the start of the episode? I hope they don't burn down Degrassi! Didn't they already do that in the original show?

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I dug that they moved the Miles thing ahead so quickly. I figured that he would be trying to keep his family in the dark for at least a few episodes (although Frankie had already seen him kiss Tristan, right? Or was it just Winston?) I also thought the sibling reactions were true to the characters, with Hunter mostly being quiet even if he's uncomfortable (I get the feeling that he's uncomfortable a lot of the time anyway) and Frankie being a little more playful and aware.


I didn't like Becky's attitude towards Zoe, but I figured it would be one of those things where she realizes she's wrong by the end of the episode. Did not expect it to turn out like that. And I'm okay with Zoe still not being all sunshine and rainbows. The Zig/Maya background reactions amused me. But...wouldn't Becky still have a say in who is on the team even if she's hurt, and be even more opposed to Zoe? Or is that not how cheer teams work?


Whatever winds up happening with Clare, I do actually think that her reactions in this episode were true to her character. Having said that, I do think a miscarriage is probably the best thing they could do in terms of storytelling. It allows some really good material and still lets them send Clare off the way I suspect they want to.


Random things:


I think it's funny that it seems like every few seasons they give the cheerleaders a different name and try to act like it's something new.


Simpson has a beard!


Is this entire season going to take place over the last 10 weeks of the school year? Or will they maybe split it like in Season 11? Hmmm.

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I am annoyed that TV shows, movies, whatever, never go through with abortions. Clare is supposed to be a smart, rational put-together girl (even though she seems like a flaky moron to me) and yet she has decided there's a little person inside of her so she needs to have a baby at 18 years old? What? I was begging Allie to tell her what a dumbass she was being and how ridiculous it was for her to have a baby now, but of course that wouldn't happen. The thing that's so dumb is... she's barely pregnant at this point. The nurse pointing out that one day eventually (try in a few months) Clare would feel kicking was so heavyhanded.


edit: I'll agree with the other posters that at least Clare wanting to keep the baby was related to fertility concerns and less the idea of an abortion being "wrong." I haven't watched every season so maybe miscarriage is new for this show, but it feels like miscarriages or keeping babies happens all the time in TV Land. Ah, well.


The actor who plays Drew is so awful. He always sounds like he is reading a script and doesn't talk to way people talk. He says things like "going to" instead of "gonna" and comes across very deliberate in delivering his lines. He's supposed to be the dreamy, hot character on the show but he just seems kind of douchey to me. Zig, of course, is a giant douche as well, though.


It's hard for me to take Tristan seriously as a love interest for Miles. What is with Tristan's hair? He looks like an alien. Anyway, Miles dresses, shall we say, colorfully, but I think he is straight and just relishing in the opportunity to upset his father. He clearly was wanting to hookup with Tristan in moments where it would end up creating conflict with his father. Given the number of storylines we've had with straight girls figuring stuff out with lesbians, I'm OK with a straight guy hooking up with a dude.


On a same-sex note, I wish Fiona was still on this show. I dislike most of these people. Ha.


Any guesses on the tragic event this season is building to, based on the brief glimpse at the start of the episode? I hope they don't burn down Degrassi! Didn't they already do that in the original show?

A fire so they can get a new school set, maybe?

Edited by Falafel
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Olivia must have asked the writers to be light on her character since she absolutely loathes the Maya character. I kind of feel bad for her especially since I think she's one of the better actors but no one seems to like her unless they ship Maya with someone.

Drew and Claire are still the most likable couple I've seen out of these two. Theirs something different with them than Drew was with Ali and Bianca and Claire with KC and Eli. Of course it's because this whatever they are started off as friends and they are much older.

Miles is a hot mess. The way he acted is exactly why Maya was afraid to be with him. I still remembered that scene where he tried to scare Zig with the gun and she yelled at him and said "Not again." which shocked me because I thought they long and forgotten that they killed off cutie pie Zack Morris I mean Cameron. I wonder if Tristan will be able to handle Miles and his first world problems with his dad. Also? He should be thanking Maya for getting Ezra Fitz away from him. Being a thirst bucket is not cute.

The writers need to give Drake -lite something to do. When ever they give Demetrius a good storyline he delivers.

All in all I'm loving the start of this season so far.

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Oh, one other thing: What was with Miles' family having a campaign photoshoot in the middle of his first day back at school? That made no sense to me. And it also made no sense that Tristan was ditching his first class too. That's about as weird as the nurse giving Clare medical advice in a waiting room. (BTW, didn't that waiting room look exactly like the one in New York City to anyone else, right down to where Clare was sitting?)

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Loved that Perino, and his look of utter disdain for all the students, is back.  He's my favorite Degrassi adult.  You just know that he has a little something extra in that coffee cup.


On a shallow note, all the guys looked really hot.  Even Tristan with that awful hair.


How exactly did Frankie make the team without trying out?  You'd think Becky would have learned by now about her judgmental behavior.  Zoe delivering her that news at the pep rally was priceless, and classic Degrassi.  Nice to see Zoe keep her mean girl-ness and still want to be hot and cute despite being assaulted.  

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  1. RE: Miles/Tristan (Mistan? Triles?): must be nice to be able to blow off the first day of class to go make out and suffer no consequences, and
  2. RE: Claire: or to just walk right out of class to take a personal phone call. 
  3. Archie looks like Yukon Cornelius.  
  4. I'm guessing the flash-forward event is a fire resulting from the work that's taking place now for the Degrassi Renewal Project (BTW, would they really be doing renovations while school's in session?) - faulty electrical wiring or some such. No idea why the urgency to find Frankie (as opposed to anyone else), however.  Mayhaps a mishap for her between now and then that will impede her ability to get around. Power Cheer accident?
  5. Speaking of Power Cheer, they have their own slo-mo hallway strut in the opening credits, just like the hockey team did. Shine on, you crazy diamonds!


I'm glad this show's back.  Now that Boardwalk Empire is gone, I have something else to look forward to watching come DVR time on the weekend.

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What on Earth was that on Simpson's face? Holy heck. hehehe. 


When I was in school - I knew someone that had a baby in high school because she found that she needed to have surgery done that had impacted her chances of getting pregnant. She married her boyfriend and they had a baby, because she really wanted to be a mother and have babies. 


So i guess - I don't find it so much a cop-out that they didn't have an abortion for Clare. Especially because Alli was going to have one, Heather (Degrassi High) had one, and Manny had one. that's 2 for sure, and 1 was going to. Liberty had adoption (right off the get go), Mia raised her baby (barely), and Jenna raised her baby then decided to give it up. I think a miscarriage which has never happened that I can recall, would be something great, I think. 


It would be something as well, if they had someone face the idea at 16-18 years old that they could be infertile for the rest of their life. (as someone mentioned before as well).


So Tristan - even finding out the Teacher Skeevy was Skeevy is still mad at Maya? (I guess it's the principle of the fact here).   I really wish we could get an outcome/resolution on the Teacher/Tristan that would be so awesome.  Though, i'm really not feeling his hair anymore. 


Poor Becky. - i know a lot were calling it judgemental etc, but I could understand. She still could be getting the frosty shoulder from her parents, Zoe and she aren't in the same grade so she could pretend that it didn't happen. having to play with Zoe on the (power cheer? ookay), squad would be a constant reminder at school so she gets no escape. I do feel for her. 

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Why do I never know when Degrassi comes back? It takes forever and then I always miss the premiere.


I'm not sold on the flash forward. I've already had a whole season of that on How To Get Away with Murder and I hated it.

Drew and Becky are played by two of the better actors in the cast but their relationship is still a bit weird.

They went for it really quickly with the bathroom scene and the abortion. I knew it likely wouldn't be that simple but it was at least a strong first move.

To contrast with that, I am loving Zig and Zoe. I am a simple girl with simple desires. I just want a stupid romance plot on a teen soap to fawn over.

Not that excited about Tristan/Miles but it has potential to go somewhere. We're in the early stages. 

So excited for Power Cheer! I hope they really commit to this as a part of the show like they did with that band a few seasons back. Bringing in another element, like the music on Glee, can really break up the monotony of the same basic teen soap plotlines.

At least Clare didn't act like Drew assaulted her again when they finally had their confrontation.

The Hollingsworth aren't reaching the heights of Gossip Girl or anything but they have potential if the writers can figure out what to do with them.

Gasp! Becky, how could you?

Dallas' "Why do I have to be the guy that notices everything?" got a laugh out of me.

So she's keeping the baby. Fingers crossed they do something interesting with this through the rest of the season but I don't have high hopes. Just don't let it drag everything else down.

Snake's facial hair was a bad choice. I hope it's for another role.

Oh, God, no! Becky! Karma sure works fast all of a sudden. Also, that look Zig gave Zoe when she said a spot just opened up was priceless.

I don't know if this baby drama is better or worse than Jane the Virgin. Probably worse.

Also, what? Clare Edwards always does the right thing? Are you still on those pills, Ali?


It was perfect but I'm happy it's back. I'm feeling great about Zig and Zoe and Power Cheer and a bit meh on everything else but I hope they keep injecting fun and don't weigh everything down with too much angst.

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