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Degrassi Junior High: Season 2
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Go to school with the show in a class by itself-and get real! Hailed as "groundbreaking," "powerful," and "totally authentic," Degrassi Junior High confronts it all-friendship, puberty, rumors, sports, studies, and more-with a refreshing ensemble cast and a unique teens-eye-view of life. Sometimes moving, sometimes shocking, but always believable, Degrassi Junior High is a classic for teens of all ages. All your favorite characters and storylines are waiting-find your seat-schools open!
Includes all thirteen episodes of Degrassi Junior High from Season 2: Eggbert; A Helping Hand; Great Expectations; Dinner and a Show; Stagefright; Fight!; Bottled Up; Sealed with a Kiss; Dog Days; Censored; Trust Me; . . . He's Back; and Pass Tense
Year 2 of the youth-oriented series from the 1980s, popular in Canada and on American public television, remains uncompromising in its portrait of middle school-age kids as kids: complicated and unformed, a little vague about values and ethics, often powerless to affect their destinies or achieve what they believe to be right. Set in Toronto, the show follows the dilemmas of several students at Degrassi, though season 2 spends less time with the younger set than in the series' debut year. Perhaps that's because there are some truly serious matters for the program's 8th graders (mostly the same kids carrying over from season 1) to confront, including issues of teen pregnancy, alcoholism at home, inappropriate teacher behavior, censorship, sexism, and much more.
The most pronounced storyline in season 2 is the pregnancy of Christine "Spike" Nelson (Amanda Stepto), a situation her peers seem to handle well but not so Degrassi's PTA or the local school board. These agitated adults want to pull Spike from school and force her into some kind of shame-based program for unwed mothers. Spike's friends stand up for her, including the earnest Caitlin (Stacie Mistysyn), whose editorial in support of Spike is rejected by the school paper's faculty advisor and ends up on a flyer passed around campus. (For her trouble, Caitlin receives detention and a lecture from Spike, who doesn't want to be a cause du jour.) Meanwhile, the father of Spike's baby, Shane (Bill Parrott), wants to help but is hindered by his parents, who want to sweep the whole matter under a rug. Apart from Spike's woes, season 2 finds a provocative recurring story in the arrival of a substitute teacher at Degrassi, a handsome fellow with a subtle tendency to touch female students in flirtatious ways, peer down blouses, etc. After Lucy (Anais Granofsky) is duped by his attentions, she makes a point of educating other girls about him. Sexual issues are also in the forefront of a confrontation between Joey (Pat Mastroianni) and Degrassi activist L.D. (Amanda Cook), the latter objecting to the presence of pin-up photos of near-naked women inside Joey's locker. L.D. retaliates with pin-ups of hunky guys in her own locker, embarrassing Joey and landing both of them in hot water with the principal. As with season 1, this suite of episodes really grows on a viewer and becomes irresistible family television. And, hey: what about those '80s hairdos.... Wow. --Tom Keogh
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Other tough subjects are also tackled here: Kathleen, who is the typical straight-laced high achiever hides the secret that her mother is an alcoholic; seventh-grader Arthur worries he is a sex pervert when he keeps having recurrent wet dreams; Caitlin finds it a struggle to hide her epilepsy from her friends; and, in one of the most disturbing episodes, lonely and neglected Lucy, whose parents are too busy to be real parents, finds herself the victim of a predatory monster. This episode enabled my daughter and I to have a frank and meaningful discussion about how to handle such situations and what should be done should something like this crop up. As difficult as it was to watch this episode and talk about it later, it proved to be very rewarding. This is what I love about this show: it enables honest and meaningful conversations to be had around what can prove to be extremely unpalatable topics. Highly recommended.
Recommended to pre-teen, teen, and post-teen viewers, especially those of today. Young at heart? They can watch and learn too. A lot of adults forget they were kids themselves.
Far beyond anything Glee, The Secret Life of the American Teenager, Switched at Birth, or other patronizing convenience-driven shows of the past ten or so years can dish up.
Top international reviews
Great acting and excellent storylines ,a must for any collection...