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Degrassi Next Class Season 4 discussion: 7/3 in Canada/Family Channel, 7/7 in US/Netflix

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Man, these breaks are hard to get used to. Apparently all episodes will be on the Family Channel app starting 6/30 so I decided to get the thread out the way. Here are our episode descriptions for season 4 aka season 16 part 2:

401 #BackToReality: Grace and Jonah keep their relationship on the DL and Tristan starts back slowly at school. Esme is willing to do whatever it takes to keep her man.

402 #GetMoney: Frankie is uploading some questionable posts on her socials so Esme encourages her to re-curate her online persona. Shay is determined to up her game to get scouted.

403 #ILookLikeA: Goldi has been flirting with Winston and doesn’t even know it. Miles questions a post-grad opportunity that seems too good to be true.

404 #RollUpToTheClubLike: After a terrorist attack in Brussels, the Muslim students at Degrassi find themselves in some very heated situations. Grace creates a bucket list.

405 #Preach: Saad is torn between his own beliefs and the students’ collective show of solidarity for Brussels. Frankie wonders if hanging with Esme and Zig is really good for her.

406 #FactsOnly: Yael feels like an identity overhaul is needed and turns to Lola for help. Maya auditions for Zoe, Goldi and a special celebrity judge for the charity talent show.

407 #Fire: What starts out as a small grad camping getaway with Zig, Tiny, Jonah, Grace and Maya turns into a bigger ordeal when Frankie, Esme, Shay and Lola latch on. 

408 #GetYouAManThatCanDoBoth: Tristan and others wonder if his turbo-mode recovery is a good idea. After seeing others get ‘promposals,’ Shay is hoping that Tiny will do the same. 

409 #Obsessed: The senior prom is delayed due to a code red emergency. Esme is furious when prom doesn’t go exactly as she’d hoped. 

410 #KThxBye: The gowns are on and the caps are about to be thrown, it’s another Degrassi graduation! Zoe wonders how much support she’ll get as she prepares to make her valedictory speech.

Edited by MegaJ
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I will probably binge during July 4th as I have the day off but need to be back at work on Wednesday. I cannot tell from the descriptions how the season will go. 

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are all the episodes for the season going to be discussed here, or will they be broken out per show?  I don't watch them all at once and just want to avoid spoilers...

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Previous seasons we grouped them in one topic since the US would release them all first.

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I didn't think this season was as strong as the last one, but I thought it was a pretty decent sendoff to the graduating class. I'm concerned about next season though, since half of the grade 11s are barely side characters (like what is Rasha going to do without Zoe and Goldi?), but we also might get a tighter story line with a smaller core cast, and I'm betting that Saad's younger sister will lead the incoming group of students. 

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I watched it on YouTube since I'm in the US. But, Esme was so annoying for her whole time being on the show so this season really had me so mad because she was taking away from Zig and Maya. I thought the whole Zig-Esme-Frankie thing was ... weird for lack of a better term. And I also think that they should've had Zig fail that History test and bring him back for next season just because I love Zig lol. It was weird because Zig and Lola were lowkey the mains this season and they weren't really relevant in the last season, but it was an okay season overall. I miss the old Degrassi: The Next Generation hour-long episodes, but these are still good. Oh yeah, so is Degrassi ending soon ?? There's been ZERO introduction to the class of 2019! 

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What I want to know is how the administration missed Esme's spiral. They were on Frankie like a hawk when she posted a couple of emo pictures, but Esme stops going to class for a month and it's all on Zig and Frankie to figure out the nuances of mental illness. I want to sympathize with Esme, but I'm having similar issues with her as I did with Hunter's arc in Season 1 and 2 (speaking of, I can't believe there was an episode where Maya wrote the theme song for Hunter and his friends after what they did to her in season 1!) I keep on imagining in the prom episode, if Zig and Esme's roles had been reversed, how irredeemable her actions would be.

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On 7/5/2017 at 9:33 AM, downtownsasquatch said:

Oh yeah, so is Degrassi ending soon ?? There's been ZERO introduction to the class of 2019! 

We are getting Next Class seasons 5 and 6 (or season 17 since I'm a stickler for the original numbering). The remaining kids will be the senior class and they're bringing freshmen. If the trend continues, then seasons 5 and 6 will be the final season for Frankie's class but I have the feeling they'll extend that.

I'll post my thoughts later once I see the episodes in better Youtube quality but I will add it was nice and sad to see Craig Manning again. Nice because I missed Craig and sad because I'm upset Jake Epstein didn't break out of the Canadian entertainment industry like I thought he would.

Edited by MegaJ
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4 hours ago, MegaJ said:

We are getting Next Class seasons 5 and 6 (or season 17 since I'm a stickler for the original numbering). The remaining kids will be the senior class and they're bringing freshmen. If the trend continues, then seasons 5 and 6 will be the final season for Frankie's class but I have the feeling they'll extend that.

I'll post my thoughts later once I see the episodes in better Youtube quality but I will add it was nice and sad to see Craig Manning again. Nice because I missed Craig and sad because I'm upset Jake Epstein didn't break out of the Canadian entertainment industry like I thought he would.

Teenage me just swooned at the thought of Craig Manning.   I think Jake Epstein does a bit of Broadway.   Not sure.  

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9 hours ago, MegaJ said:

We are getting Next Class seasons 5 and 6 (or season 17 since I'm a stickler for the original numbering). The remaining kids will be the senior class and they're bringing freshmen. If the trend continues, then seasons 5 and 6 will be the final season for Frankie's class but I have the feeling they'll extend that.

I'll post my thoughts later once I see the episodes in better Youtube quality but I will add it was nice and sad to see Craig Manning again. Nice because I missed Craig and sad because I'm upset Jake Epstein didn't break out of the Canadian entertainment industry like I thought he would.

He does have a semi-regular role on Designated Survivor, so he is doing mainstream stuff. 

Did they address Grace using oxygen?  Maybe I missed something, but she wasn't using it in one episode, then all of a sudden she was. Also, if I was getting an organ transplant, I'd be a bit more disappointed if it fell through. Really, all 3 of them were like,"Well, next time!" Like lungs just fall out if the sky. Maybe they do in Canada. 

Edited by LadyNebula
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9 hours ago, MegaJ said:

We are getting Next Class seasons 5 and 6 (or season 17 since I'm a stickler for the original numbering). The remaining kids will be the senior class and they're bringing freshmen. If the trend continues, then seasons 5 and 6 will be the final season for Frankie's class but I have the feeling they'll extend that.

I'll post my thoughts later once I see the episodes in better Youtube quality but I will add it was nice and sad to see Craig Manning again. Nice because I missed Craig and sad because I'm upset Jake Epstein didn't break out of the Canadian entertainment industry like I thought he would.

Did I blink and miss Craig?

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Did I blink and miss Craig?

He's the judge for the talent show in episode 6, and then he offers Maya an audition to open for his tour.

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4 hours ago, LadyNebula said:

He does have a semi-regular role on Designated Survivor, so he is doing mainstream stuff. 

Did they address Grace using oxygen?  Maybe I missed something, but she wasn't using it in one episode, then all of a sudden she was. Also, if I was getting an organ transplant, I'd be a bit more disappointed if it fell through. Really, all 3 of them were like,"Well, next time!" Like lungs just fall out if the sky. Maybe they do in Canada. 

Yeah.  She wears oxygen for a few episodes.  I'm on episode 5 or 6 now.

2 hours ago, absnow54 said:

He's the judge for the talent show in episode 6, and then he offers Maya an audition to open for his tour.

This actually makes more sense than when Peter mentored her that one season.  Even if he was hella awesome.

Tiny works at the Dot.  Does this mean we're stuck with him and boring Shay next season too?  

I like Sayed a lot.  I ship him and Lola already.  

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Sayed had a little sister that was barely shown, I bet she'll be joining the cast next season with the new group of freshman.  I totally love Lola, she's totally the most open minded and accepting character ever.

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It was nice seeing Katie for a bit when she was taking prom photos of Maya and Zig. I was a bit surprised that we didn't see much of Maya's mom though. 

I like that Simpson, Armstrong and Perrino are still there after all of these years.

At least Winston had a bit of a storyline this season before he graduated.

Not going to lie, I wish Cam had at least been mentioned at graduation.

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I wish Esme had gotten help sooner-- and I mean that from a writing standpoint, not just from an I-feel-bad-for-this-person standpoint.

I actually really enjoyed her as a character and as someone with an undiagnosed, untreated mental illness (I was thinking maybe BPD) up until the prom episode.  After that I still felt for her, but I wasn't a fan of the direction they went with it and felt it made the show less enjoyable.

I love Lola, so much. Back in like season one of Next Class, I wasn't a fan of hers at all, but now she's a fav.

Speaking of favs, I was so here for GENDERQUEER YAEL. I thought it was indicated well beforehand, and I loved Yael and Lola's friendship and just all of it.

Also, I was a fan of the comments on Zig's sleevelessness. Made me laugh.

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The only thing I hated about Yael taking off the wig was that she looks so much like Claire lol.  

I about died when they mentioned Zig's sleeves lol.  

I love Lola and Sayed.  I haven't actually liked a Degrassi couple in a while.  

So.. next season, I think we get Lola, Frankie, Shay, Sayed and his sister, Hunter and Yael  and their annoying friends, and probably Esme.  I think they said she didn't graduate.  Not gonna lie, she was my favorite because there hasn't been a trouble maker that good since Holly J/Paige.  

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Also, why was there no adult supervision at prom? You know, to deal with things like kids drinking, sneaking off to have sex, or picking up knives and threatening to kill themselves.

Were they just like, "Well, we've already had a bomb threat. That's probably all that's gonna happen."???

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They keep thinking.  Eeh, last year was so bad with the (insert crazy drama here) that this year will be great.  No need to worry.  Then Esme pushes someone down a cliff.

Am I the only one that thought that Zig was going to be dead.  It became such a lifetime movie when she pushed him.

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5 minutes ago, meatball77 said:

They keep thinking.  Eeh, last year was so bad with the (insert crazy drama here) that this year will be great.  No need to worry.  Then Esme pushes someone down a cliff.

Am I the only one that thought that Zig was going to be dead.  It became such a lifetime movie when she pushed him.

Oh, I was definitely wondering if Degrassi was about to meet How to Get Away with Murder. Especially when by the time Maya came, he was still just laying there. I was like, "Well, this is a tonal shift."

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JONAH IS A FATHER?? Why was nothing done with that at all?? It shook me. 

 

On 7/5/2017 at 1:04 PM, absnow54 said:

What I want to know is how the administration missed Esme's spiral. They were on Frankie like a hawk when she posted a couple of emo pictures, but Esme stops going to class for a month and it's all on Zig and Frankie to figure out the nuances of mental illness. I want to sympathize with Esme, but I'm having similar issues with her as I did with Hunter's arc in Season 1 and 2 (speaking of, I can't believe there was an episode where Maya wrote the theme song for Hunter and his friends after what they did to her in season 1!) I keep on imagining in the prom episode, if Zig and Esme's roles had been reversed, how irredeemable her actions would be.

Yes and I also am having a hard time believing that Hunter has NO lasting issues. There doesn't seem to be lasting interpersonal consequences in general. For example, Miles' biggest problem with his dad now is that Papa H doesn't see writing as a legit career? Also, why would the Hollingsworths be cool with Frankie hanging out with Esme after her relationship with Miles? Lots of areas of conflict just papered over. 

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Episode 9-Miles suffered from addiction? When?! Or was his Dad referencing his own battle with alcoholism?

They brought back Katie for a the prom episode. Awww. I loved loved LOVED Zoe's prom look. It was so beautiful. Goldie's too. 

Edited by Scarlett45

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4 hours ago, Scarlett45 said:

Episode 9-Miles suffered from addiction? When?! Or was his Dad referencing his own battle with alcoholism?

They brought back Katie for a the prom episode. Awww. I loved loved LOVED Zoe's prom look. It was so beautiful. Goldie's too. 

He had a Degrassi pill addiction that lasted a few episodes.  I think it was when Maya was having Cam flashbacks and thought he was going to kill himself.  

6 hours ago, Ikki said:

Oh, I was definitely wondering if Degrassi was about to meet How to Get Away with Murder. Especially when by the time Maya came, he was still just laying there. I was like, "Well, this is a tonal shift."

I thought Zig would have brain damage or something and be held back.  

Speaking of.... Tristan got an honorary diploma.  I hope he's not staying.  I was looking forward to no Tristan anymore.  Tbh, I won't miss much of the grads.  Jonah was boring and... has a child?  He's been on this show since before Dave disappeared.  His story has been hanging out with whatever Degrassi girl the writers need paired off.   So, now they give him a story?

At least the best couple in the grads ended up together:  Winston and Miles.  

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This season was very meh. The only thing I really enjoyed was the thrupple, although, in true Degrassi fashion, we don't know if they just fooled around or had sex.  Also loved Tiny and Shay's prom proposal storyline, but the rest of the time they are boring.  Also, Tiny got into Cal Tech?!?!

Since Esme wasn't on the graduation list, I guess she'll be back next season? Hopefully not.  I can't stand her.  I'm all here for her sexual freedom, but why does it have to be wrapped up in manipulation and psychosis?  Can't she just like sex because she likes it?  And it rings false to me that the school admins were keeping track of everyone's downward spiral, but miss Esme's?  She's been spiraling since last season and posting all sorts of shit on her facerange.  Not to mention the nude painting?  No talk with the counselor after that one? Nonsense.  

I was worried for a second there that they got rid of Perino, what with all the focus on the new teachers.  

Didn't Goldi have a brother?  What happened to him?  But good Lord that girl is absolutely gorgeous.  I see they had to find another way to get her hijab off.  

Saad's little sister is adorable, hopefully she'll be featured in the upcoming seasons.  I also like Saad and Lola together (although, if she's Argentinian, I'm not sure why her family is running a Mexican restaurant).

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Based on the quick montage at the end of KThanksBye, are we supposed to assume Grace finally got her transplant? She seemed to be written to play the supporting parts, a kind of second-level character, but I liked her quite a bit and wish the scripts had featured her more often. Jonah was a big yawn, but he became more interesting around Grace. Esme was . . . taking up a lot of screen time. As with Grace, if they'd explored her background a bit more, given her more distinct motivations or allowed her to reflect on her own descent into mental illness, she might have been a useful interactive moment for viewers (adolescence and early adulthood can be the period of onset for so many mental illnesses). Instead, the poor actress had to stay well hydrated to produce all those tears and do all of that screaming and crying.

Moving forward -- well, there's Saad and Lola to look forward to? The writers will have to do quite a lot of character building for any incoming frosh, and I'm not particularly interested in any other rising seniors besides Yael.

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10 hours ago, Chairperson Meow said:

Speaking of.... Tristan got an honorary diploma.  I hope he's not staying.  I was looking forward to no Tristan anymore.

tumblr_osqmwzT6FQ1ucwjljo2_400.gif

So you shouldn't have to worry.

6 hours ago, luckyroll3 said:

This season was very meh. The only thing I really enjoyed was the thrupple, although, in true Degrassi fashion, we don't know if they just fooled around or had sex.

I think it was implied they only fooled around, as when Esme was pushing to actually have a threesome in the woods, Frankie was like, "Whoa, no."

Also, Goldi's brother was in this season-- her brother is Baaz. They never really mention the relation, but if I were Goldi, I wouldn't either.

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This season was very...tight. I did binge but it seemed to go by much more quickly than previous seasons. I will miss Zoe (she's a strong actress) and Goldi....  Yael's story next season should be good, Zayeed and Lola with his Little Sister should make some good storylines. We have Hunter, Baaz and who else is left??

 

It did seem that Gracie got her transplant, Winston and Miles had an awesome time in Europe. I do wish they flushed out their friendship more. Maya was a character I enjoyed (even after Cam's death) and they kind of let her just putter out, not sure if that was due to the actress' commitments etc. 

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I also really wish they had brought up Cam at some point.  That really seems to be what started Maya's whole descent and they never really touched on it.  I was frustrated a few seasons back when she broke up with Miles because she said she couldn't be with a guy who scared her again and he never found out what she meant by that.  I felt certain that Tristan was going to tell him back then but didn't.  Then I thought it would come up after the bus crash but didn't.  Then I thought that for sure they would talk about it after her suicide attempt but didn't.  Nothing ever about Cam again.  Hated that.

Hated Esme.  Please don't let her come back.  There wasn't enough depth and complexity to her character.  She seemed to just be a bitch for the sake of being a bitch and then went crazy at the end.  No build up of her character at all to have the viewer root for her or feel any sort of empathy.  Just a big pile of not caring.

Glad to hear Tristan won't be back.  I thought that with him not graduating, that might be the way that they were going to bring him back. I wasn't a fan of the character when he was first introduced and he got less and less likable for me as the series went on.  Good riddance.

I'm hoping we see more with Lola.  I liked her at first, then I found her annoying, and then I really started enjoying her again last season and into this one. More with her and Saad, please.  Also, I hope that they can do more with Shay because I see the potential for a good character there but they haven't fully explored her.  Hunter's friends are completely pointless and I'm confused as to how they just had Hunter do a complete 180º after his breakdown. I'm hoping that they explore that some more. Oh, and I wouldn't be opposed to them washing Hunter's hair before filming next season.

I've enjoyed the cameos of previous characters.  Would love to see more of that.

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I wasn't a huge fan of Yael's gender fluidity storyline because I thought a lot of the rhetoric used was actually gender essentialist with the implication that Yael was somehow not fully a girl because they don't like shaving or makeup. (Made me think of how people used to insist that Angelina Jolie's kid Shiloh had to be trans because she liked wearing boys~ clothes. Maybe Shiloh is trans, who knows, but what I didn't like is how everyone leapt to that assumption because she didn't fit society's stereotypes of what a girl should be.) If Degrassi wanted to tackle gender fluidity, they could at least have stayed away from reinforcing harmful gender stereotypes and, I don't know, given the storyline to someone who's more stereotypically feminine. 

Also... damn, that Degrassi guidance counselor is one nosy busybody. 

Edited by galax-arena
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2 hours ago, galax-arena said:

I wasn't a huge fan of Yael's gender fluidity storyline because I thought a lot of the rhetoric used was actually gender essentialist with the implication that Yael was somehow not fully a girl because they don't like shaving or makeup. (Made me think of how people used to insist that Angelina Jolie's kid Shiloh had to be trans because she liked wearing boys~ clothes. Maybe Shiloh is trans, who knows, but what I didn't like is how everyone leapt to that assumption because she didn't fit society's stereotypes of what a girl should be.) If Degrassi wanted to tackle gender fluidity, they could at least have stayed away from reinforcing harmful gender stereotypes and, I don't know, given the storyline to someone who's more stereotypically feminine. 

Also... damn, that Degrassi guidance counselor is one nosy busybody. 

Yeah I had problems with that as well. Many women don't shave or enjoy makeup etc and still fully identify as women. I didn't realize it was going to be a gender fluidity storyline until Yael wore the binder and looked so happy. The actress is good enough that they could've done a lot with the story line and chose not to. 

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3 hours ago, BlancheDevoreaux said:

Hated Esme.  Please don't let her come back.  There wasn't enough depth and complexity to her character.  She seemed to just be a bitch for the sake of being a bitch and then went crazy at the end.  No build up of her character at all to have the viewer root for her or feel any sort of empathy.  Just a big pile of not caring.

I loved* Esme and felt she was really well fleshed out. Now, I view her as having BPD, and in that light I see her as one of the most consistently written characters across seasons. 

*I loved her in a very different way than I loved, for instance, Lola, who is a beautiful cinnamon roll; I loved Esme in a way that interested me and broke my heart.

3 hours ago, galax-arena said:

I wasn't a huge fan of Yael's gender fluidity storyline because I thought a lot of the rhetoric used was actually gender essentialist with the implication that Yael was somehow not fully a girl because they don't like shaving or makeup. (Made me think of how people used to insist that Angelina Jolie's kid Shiloh had to be trans because she liked wearing boys~ clothes. Maybe Shiloh is trans, who knows, but what I didn't like is how everyone leapt to that assumption because she didn't fit society's stereotypes of what a girl should be.) If Degrassi wanted to tackle gender fluidity, they could at least have stayed away from reinforcing harmful gender stereotypes and, I don't know, given the storyline to someone who's more stereotypically feminine. 

I really liked Yael's genderqueer storyline, and I didn't really think it was gender essentialist. I mean, for one, a lot of genderqueer AFAB people may feel similarly to how Yael felt about those things. And a lot of cis women may too, but that doesn't mean that genderqueer people don't feel that way. Also, I think it's important to consider that Yael coming into their gender is still very new. They didn't know about non-binary genders when they started doing things like binding and not shaving, but they seemed to be having issues with people viewing them as a girl. In that case, it would make sense to try to stop doing things they felt went along with femininity, as a way to push back against that feeling of wrongness.

Yes, someone more feminine could be genderqueer, but so could someone like Yael. Most non-binary people I know are more like Yael, and while I would love for the ones who aren't to have representation as well, but that's not a fault with how this particular character is displayed in their gender. Yael is at Degrassi for another year, so there's still plenty of time for additional storylines that may explore femininity in non-binary identities as well as cis women who resist gender norms.

(Also, Shiloh' also asked to be called John, which certainly added to the feeling John may be trans. Now, I don't support assuming John is trans, but does that mean it should be assumed John's cis? Really, people just need to have less of an opinion on the gender of this kid they don't know.) 

19 minutes ago, Scarlett45 said:

Yeah I had problems with that as well. Many women don't shave or enjoy makeup etc and still fully identify as women. I didn't realize it was going to be a gender fluidity storyline until Yael wore the binder and looked so happy. The actress is good enough that they could've done a lot with the story line and chose not to. 

I mean, the binder scene was in the first episode, the shaving thing in the third, and the word "genderqueer" in the sixth. I thought it was really well lead up to, personally. 

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I'm disappointed we didn't get to see much of Zoe this season, the finale being the exception.

Any bets on who will be the leads for the incoming senior class? My guess is Frankie and Yael.

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18 minutes ago, jsm1125 said:

I'm disappointed we didn't get to see much of Zoe this season, the finale being the exception.

Any bets on who will be the leads for the incoming senior class? My guess is Frankie and Yael.

Yeah, I missed seeing Zoe. At the same time, if they had focused on her more, they probably would have broken up her and Rasha, so.

I don't know who will be the leads, but I hope it's not Frankie unless she really starts to grow,.

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 they seemed to be having issues with people viewing them as a girl.

See, IMO the way the show went about it, Yael seemed to have more of an issue with people making assumptions on what/who they should be like based on their gender. Their discomfort with their breasts didn't seem to stem from actual dysphoria but because they were too big (plenty of women with big breasts feel the same way) and how disgusting guys could be about them (e.g Baaz at the fair). They had issues with being expected to shave. They had issues with the boys thinking that they only found farts disgusting because they (the guys) thought of Yael as a girl. They didn't like makeup. Etc. All of which are simply gender stereotypes, which was summed up when Yael told Lola, "...or what everyone thinks is a girl." It just felt like Yael wanted to break free from the boxes that everyone else was putting them in because they saw Yael as a girl.  

And I'm aware that there are other people out there IRL who feel the same way Yael does, but quite frankly I think a lot of modern rhetoric in general surrounding gender fluidity is pretty essentialist, at least on Tumblr, where Degrassi seems to get a lot of inspiration from. (e.g. "On days I id as a girl, I wear dresses and makeup, on days I id as a guy, I dress in clothes from the boys' department.") Note: I am not discounting the existence of gender fluidity. However, if one is gender fluid, it should go beyond simply eschewing certain gender stereotypes because otherwise you just implicitly reinforce them. On Degrassi, IIRC, Yael is really the only distinctly non-feminine AFAB character on right now, at least where we've seen any distinct struggle with respect to battling stereotypes. (I guess Grace isn't all that "girly" either, but the show's never turned it into an issue.) So basically we just have this one character whose plotline revolves around how they don't adhere to all these girl stereotypes, and then it turns out that they're not a girl at all.  

I think a lot of this could have been avoided if there had been a passing conversation, maybe with Lola, where Lola goes, "You know, just because you're not into the same sort of girly~ stuff I'm into doesn't mean you can't be a girl." (Or maybe with Hunter, since he seemed to have a lot of trouble with accepting it, so it would seem like more of a natural question for him to ask.) And then Yael could go, "Yeah, I know, but... it's more than that. I can't explain it, really, but it's more than just makeup and boobs and clothes. [blah blah blah]" As it is, Degrassi seemed content to just let Yael's gender fluidity rest on how they didn't adhere to stereotypes. I thought the show would touch on that a bit when it turned out that Lola liked farts, but then that was just brushed off as Lola being Lola.

And sure, there's always a chance that they could delve more into these issues in an upcoming season, but I can only judge this show based on what they've done so far. 

Quote

(Also, Shiloh' also asked to be called John, which certainly added to the feeling John may be trans. Now, I don't support assuming John is trans, but does that mean it should be assumed John's cis? Really, people just need to have less of an opinion on the gender of this kid they don't know.)

Meh, I'm gay and I think it's understandable if people who don't know me assume I'm straight because, well, the vast majority of people are straight. It can be a bit annoying depending on the circumstances and sometimes downright suffocating/anxiety-inducing (because then you have to deal with the stress of constantly coming out), but... people will always make assumptions about one's "status" based on how prevalent a particular minority group is, that's just how the cookie crumbles. As far as Shiloh goes, I've  always just been content to go by how Angelina (and Brad) refers to her. The John stuff was simply because Shiloh was into Peter Pan at the time, as Angelina said. Apparently in more recent news, Angelina has talked about the possibility that Shiloh might be trans, but still calls her Shiloh and afaik uses female pronouns (at least back in 2015). I'm following the parents' lead on this one, figure they know better than I do.  (lmao way too many edits)

Edited by galax-arena
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I liked a lot of things about this season, but I'm just going to talk about Esme right now...

Esme reminds me of myself on my most unstable days, so I relate to her and feel for her.  My husband was watching with me, and I could tell that he felt the same way, especially when her insecurities with her relationship with Zig were showcased.  She obviously has a lot of issues and a possible mental illness, not to mention the trauma she experienced when she found Maya.  It helps that the actress is pretty great too. 

I liked the threesome relationship between Frankie, Esme, and Zig! I thought they were all really cute together, and thought that Frankie was at her most likable during that time. It's too bad Esme was just using her to hang onto Zig. 

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I'm going to stop commenting on Yael for now because it meant a lot to me and I feel like I'm going to get too invested.

But I do have to mention something else that bothered me this season: Every time someone talking to Miles mentioned "the play." It was always in praise, and I was just like, "The play was terrible! Awful! I'd reject him from a creative writing club with no requirements based on that play!" I mean, I like Miles well enough; I was happy that he came to accept his bisexuality. But the play.

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That play was terrible, but tbh I hate all the plays, sudden singing careers, and bands (besides Downtown Sasquatch because Craig Manning made sense as a musician).  

They did explain a bit about Esme a season or so ago.  Her mother killed herself and her father blames Esme for it.  I like her.  The actress is great, and Degrassi needs a bad girl to stir stuff up.  

Remember when Eli found Cam and it triggered his mental illness?  

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I cringed at the non-binary storyline. Like someone else said it was incredibly gender essentialist in my opinion. It was also not fleshed out enough so as not to basically send the message to girls watching that hating your breasts and not wanting to shave mean you aren't fully a girl. What is a 'girl'? What does it mean to feel/not 'feel' like one? I do understand it's nuanced for those people going through it, but glossing over it this way could be damaging in my opinion. It's also very important not to glorify binders. They can be incredibly damaging to the breasts and overall health. It is not a decision to be taken lightly to start wearing one.

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I couldn't help but cackle that we had a storyline that culminated in a bunch of students telling Miles how much his play helped them with their own issues. I refuse to believe that Miles' shitty writing helped anyone.

ETA: I was holding my breath for Tristan to say something shitty to Miles when he finally explicitly told Tristan that he was bi, considering some of the dumb shit Tristan has said in the past. 

Edited by galax-arena
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I also really wish they had brought up Cam at some point. That really seems to be what started Maya's whole descent and they never really touched on it. I was frustrated a few seasons back when she broke up with Miles because she said she couldn't be with a guy who scared her again and he never found out what she meant by that. I felt certain that Tristan was going to tell him back then but didn't. Then I thought it would come up after the bus crash but didn't. Then I thought that for sure they would talk about it after her suicide attempt but didn't. Nothing ever about Cam again. Hated that.

Maya did talk about Cam the first time she struggled with depression in Season 14. There's a scene between her and Zig where she says something along the lines of "I've been messed up since what happened with Cam." along with all the imagery of her picturing Miles in Cam's place. She also mentioned Cam's suicide to Saad when she was talking about all the bad things that happen around her. I think at this point, though, it's a different show, and only three characters on the canvas even knew Cam. I also think they were being careful not to make Maya's depression about Cam, because while his death was a trauma that triggered it, it isn't the cause for it. I do think the scene between Zig and Maya in the tent would have been an appropriate time to talk about Cam, since they were both so deeply affected by the aftermath, but Maya was high, so it wasn't the best time to have such a heavy scene.

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I've really been liking Lola these past 2 seasons, and I hope it stays that way.  I'm also glad the drama between her and Shay over Tiny seems to have finally been put to bed.  I actually liked the Zig, Esme, Frankie three-way relationship.  I also wish it wasn't just about Esme trying to hold on to Zig, especially because it did really seem like Esme liked Frankie.  I also wish they had let it last a little bit longer, it officially "started" at the end of one episode, and then next episode it ends at the camping trip.  Also on the camping trip it seemed like Esme really was trying to relate to Zig's friends, she just didn't know how.  Considering all the emphasis the counselor had this season, I'm really surprised no one was concerned about Esme, if I remember correctly she was also kind of self destructive when she was with Miles.  And speaking of Miles, kind of funny they had Lola say she had sex with Miles, and her friends not believe her. 

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I think some of the "ignoring" of cam was the move to netflix and the show not wanting to reference that much that happened in the past with those characters.

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I am flabbergasted that people are saying Yael's new look is edgy or "unfeminine". I mean, how Yael identifies is a separate issue, but there was nothing to me in their appearance that bent any major norms. It's kind of blowing my mind that Hunter was so freaked out and offended by it, or that everyone acted like it was a big deal or very strange. I didn't even think it was that big of a difference pre and post makeover, if it's all about appearance for him (i.e. for Hunter). And he seemed angry about it, not even kind-- those two had been friends, their relationship was always based on more than superficial attraction, but it was like Hunter didn't even give a shit about Yael anymore whether or not he was still attracted.

And I agreed very strongly with what Yael was saying about not stereotyping people based on gender. I was really annoyed by the guys when they were being such normative, obnoxious, sleazeball assholes, which was pre-makeover so clearly had nothing to do with the makeover or Yael's identity, and everything to do with their own BS and hang ups.

I had hoped that Maya and Esme would connect at the camping. I thought Esme was really trying at first, and no one was really giving her a chance, and then Maya was open to the brownies, plus she has her own history with suicide (her own attempt plus Cam's), and I just thought it would be great if they discovered they actually liked and understood each other and Maya showing up would break the ice and get everyone to relax and get along. I actually really liked the throuple of Zig, Frankie, and Esme, and was very disappointed when Esme said it was all a ploy-- I'm not sure I believe it, either. I wanted it to be that she just said that because she was freaking out, and she actually did like Frankie and was sincere about their friendship.

Obviously, they went another way with it, and I don't mind. I think they developed it really well. She was very stressed from her mother's death and her father's coldness, and then finding Maya on the roof, and she had a mix of genuine and desperate qualities that made her not fit in well, and as usual the Degrassi kids don't ever seek adult help and the adults don't notice the problem til it gets very dangerous.

I felt terrible for Saad. He had something valid to say about the selective sympathy and his own personal experiences, and when he finally let down his guard and trusted and tried to reach out, he kept getting hurt-- accused of stealing, accused of terrorism, heckled/mic cut, bullied (with Zig and Tiny and the camera), ostracized even by Goldie. I also thought he was interesting, with his photos (I love photography, so there's that), and his overlaps with Maya. And then Lola, like Winston with Goldie, even if sympathetic, didn't know what to do and kept disappointing him. It was one of the more interesting stories they've done.

I liked how they kept going back to "talk about it with your partner" as the resolution to relationship problems and creating intimacy. I thought the relationships were way more serious and happy-ever-after than usual, but it was actually a relief to get away from the extreme teen drama.

I liked that Zoe's mom didn't come around and accept the situation-- I mean, I hated it, it was terrible. But I liked that they didn't white wash it, because sometimes this is how it turns out and making everything a wish-fulfillment fantasy ending can be tough to swallow if it's all we ever see. I also liked that they made the point via Craig wrt Maya's song, that sometimes a song (or talking about hard stuff) can validate and help people who are going through something-- that's how I viewed Zoe's ending with her mom; it was one of those stories that didn't pull punches, and not all stories have to end that way, but sometimes seeing that portrayed is what is helpful.

I was actually a bit uncomfortable with how much they were exploiting Zig's porn star poses, like the time he was lying on the picnic table. I get it, he's a hunky dude. But still... I don't know how old the actor is, but the character is supposed to be in high school and I thought they went a little too far with that. Though I did laugh about the sleeve joke.

I liked Goldie and Winston. I was truly shocked that Winston would send her a dick pic; it seemed so totally out of character-- so I was glad it was not intentional.

Tiny going to CalTech was a shocker.

I was pleasantly surprised that Miles was totally down with Tristan's disability, was not phased by the possibility that he'd need to help with dressing him and so on, and didn't flip out after the pee incident. I get that it was a tough situation, with Tristan needing to slow down and take rehab at a manageable and healthy pace, and Miles wanting to go to Europe. But I liked that Miles didn't see himself as a martyr, and I wished Tristan had been willing to engage and talk about it and not just cut it off. Living in disability world, one of the things that I've found is that you can't navigate successfully if you're squeamish or trying to keep a distance. The willingness to not flinch, and the willingness to embrace the lack of veneer and create intimacy by being completely real and unvarnished can be an unexpected benefit. It seemed like Miles was willing but Tristan wasn't, which was an interesting twist, and sad. Even if I also understood the pressure Tristan was feeling, I still found it sad. He got the love he always wanted but wasn't sure he wanted it after all.

Edited by possibilities
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@possibilities I agree with a lot of your post. Regarding Zoe and her mom, I knew that her Mom wasn't going to make amends with her when she responded to her call via text message. Heartbreaking but true to life. 

As far as Miles & Tristan- I think Tristian wanted the opportunity to focus on his rehab and his own self improvement without feeling like he was letting Miles down or holding him back from living his life to the fullest. I think he had too much going on to be anyone's boyfriend at that time.  I think Tristian and Miles' feelings for each other were genuine but they are both so young, it's a different situation if your adult life partner was in the situation Tristian was in, where yes one would expect Miles not to go to Europe etc. I liked that they spent "prom" together. 

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I don't have much to say other than I enjoyed the season overall. It's when I hate it that I go into big rants.

* So Zaya was endgame, sorta. I'm glad they left it up to the audience to decide, depending on how much you hate or like them. Maya's arc was pretty interesting, especially juxtaposed with Esme spiraling out of control. I did sort of feel like Olivia was sort of phoning it in compared to her previous performances, I hope it was just the director encouraging her to be sort of despondent because on everything that has happened and me just being crazy. And I missed her glasses. Zig finally redeemed himself to me after his cheating, it felt like he gotten just a tiny bit more mature in helping out both girls at the same time without feeling the need to cheat AGAIN and being insecure.

* Glad that it seems like they're not done with Esme, her arc of her completely fall apart was thrilling to watch and the actress is really good. It seems like the TPTB were trying to bring a character like this on the show for awhile (hinted with Leia and Imogen) but with no TeenNick restrictions, they could really go for it. I'm not sure how she'll fit in with next year's seniors but she already has a link being Shay's rival so there's that.

* I'm going to miss Goldi, I really wish they would've made the character a sophomore so she can be on longer. She does have a link with Baaz and Rasha so maybe she'll be recurring.

* Triles broke up!

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Sorry for those who liked them, not a fan. At all. 

* Yael's non-binary storyline was good, but like some had mentioned, I was surprised that they were being confused for a boy because to me, they didn't look all that different, just took off the wig and is wearing a tie. Like, if I saw them and Hunter walking down the street, I would just think he's dating a girl that doesn't like wearing girly stuff. I'm glad they broke up, if Hunter isn't comfortable with it then they should be together, I wish he was nicer about it.

* You know Shay, creatine is like, $20 at Wal-Mart and Amazon...

* Yikes, Frankie freaking lost it this season. I am sort of glad she did, she didn't really have any glaring negative traits in the previous seasons and now her immaturity is in full display. Like, I really wanted someone to tell her to get a grip. I was wondering why her friends weren't more helpful but I then I realized they're also a bit more mature than Frankie, what with Shay training hard and Lola basically helping her dad run the restaurant. I wonder if that is going to be a point of contention later on.

* Saad's story was sad, but I wish the show did make a stronger point with his initial argument and conveying it to the student body. It's awful when these things happen in Paris and Belgium and in America, but brown-skinned Muslims who die the most during these attacks are paid absolute dust and get banned from countries they're trying to flee to. It's totally not fair at all.

So yeah, good season, see y'all in January!

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I agree that Saad didn't make his case in the most effective way, and the show never made amends to him for the wrongdoings against him. But I also think that it's thought-provoking to realize that sometimes when people are not the most articulate or savvy in their presentation, they still might have something very important to say-- it would have been great if they had taken the time to follow up and show a conversation starting, and eventually more of the others coming around to understand his point of view. But it's so true to life that often the people who have been through a lot are too upset or tired to polish their speech, and others aren't patient enough to really listen, preferring to leap to self-confirming conclusions instead of becoming curious.

It's a real problem, and I thought by keeping Saad from being well-received, they managed to put more weight on the horrible consequences of this kind of ostracizing and prejudice, which is really important. It was sort of like how they left Zoe with her mother still rejecting her. She didn't get her happy ever after the way she wanted, and we all have to sit with that and realize that for people like her, and Saad, often they suffer for other people's willful ignorance and hostility.

If everyone had embraced Saad, he wouldn't be talking about leaving town and living in fear of deportation, and the show wouldn't be showing how serious it is when folks don't listen. It's a delicate balance, because I agree that the more airplay and weight given to his point of view the better. But I also see the value in not giving the happy ending that papers over the kind of resistance he faced.

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I didn't mind that Zoe didn't get her happy ending but was able to make the best out of a terrible situation so I'm good with that. With Saad, while I agree that it's realistic that somebody so withdrawn would have issues communicating his point, with this show having it's roots as an educational show...I just wish they had him explain it better because I just think it's important for the targeted audience to realize that these events that happen on "western" countries happen to the middle east and pre-dom Muslim countries almost everyday and no one cares. I hope they came away with that, at least.

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I thought they did explain it. Lola heard him and understood because she listened. He only was booed off the stage in the crowd scene, or not listened to by Goldie, but we already knew what he had to say was important because he said it just fine when he told Lola, and she supported him saying it to the larger audience, but they didn't want to hear him.

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