Flashback Friday: Degrassi Season 1 Episode 8 – Secrets and Lies

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Because I missed last week I decided to do 2 episodes today. If you need a refresher you can watch this episode here.

Can you keep a secret?

Let me start by saying I think this episode is both unintentionally and intentionally hilarious in so many ways. This episode is more Ashley family drama. They really should call Iyanna to come fix all her problems. Ashley bio dad is visiting and it all starts off great. Ashley even thinks that her dad and mom may be getting back to together. I don’t have a blended family like this but I did find it kind of sad that Ashley would be so excited to leave Toby and Jeff like that. However Ashley’s parents are not getting back together and they never will.

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I laughed a lot during this scene even though I know it is supposed to be serious. Ashley does not take this news well.

Terri and Paige both sense something is wrong and try to help her. Terri  wants to listen but Paige wants to talk. Paige comes to the conclusion that Ashley’s dad (who she has the hots for) must be gay. Is it really that unrealistic that a good looking man can be single and not be gay? Regardless that is Paige’s guess and she guesses right but Ashley does not appreciate someone calling her father gay so she retaliates. She throws her glass of milk all over Paige much to everyone in the cafeteria amusement. That’s what you get for getting your friends drunk Paige.

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There is no way that little milk cartoon filled that glass like that.

In other Degrassi drama Liberty for some reason has just suddenly fallen in love with JT but JT is not happy about this. At first he tries to avoid her but Liberty finds him. Then he tries being rude to her but Liberty just thinks JT is playing. So finally JT comes to natural conclusion to pretend to be gay in order to stop Liberty.

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JT develops some stereotypical mannerisms and comes out to Liberty and it works. It works so well that Liberty wants JT to come out in the paper to help other students. JT is then forced to tell Liberty the truth that he just doesn’t like her like that.  This breaks mine and Liberty’s heart and she walks off sulking. I’m sure some people may be bothered by the way JT acted but I  didn’t take it too seriously. Because of the other storyline with Ashley’s dad showed me Degrassi can talk about issues with sexuality with some respect. I also think it is reasonable to believe JT would pretend be gay in such an over the top flamboyant manner.

I understand it must be difficult to have your parent come out to you but I found a lot of this storyline hilarious. Not so much for its subject matter but more for the way it was acted. This was over the top for me even for Degrassi standards. There was one moment that I thought was really well done.  Ashley and her dad’s talk on the table outside of Degrassi. It did feel like a real talk. I felt for her dad and his struggles and finding his true self. I know how difficult it can be to hide a secret for so long so I sympathized with him on that but I understand Ashley’s anger.  Bailing on your wife and kid to go find yourself is not something I think would go over well. I’ve seen a lot of coming out storylines and whenever the charter has a wife or husband I always feel bad for them too. Sometimes I even feel for the straight character more. (Talking about you Jenny and Tim from the L Word) While the need to pretend to be straight is by product of our homophobic society, their partners in these situations never ask for this. They’re just collateral damage to a messed up society. I understand Ashley’s pain and I get her dad’s perspective. It is an extremely messy situation and I don’t think there really is a “right” way to handle it.

That scene ends with Ashley anger and vowing to never speak to her dad again. It is hard to hear her say that even though you know she doesn’t really mean it. But hurt feelings are hurt feelings and I think if her dad just gives Ashley time to cool off she’ll come around.

Extra Extra

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Oh so Emma can tell Liberty has a crush on JT but not that Toby has huge crush on her.

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This isn’t really relevant but I hate turtle necks

They zoomed a lot in this episode.

JT has a sister?

“I have my mom, I have Jeff, I even have Toby”

“I don’t know some people are just gay I guess”

We get a sneak peak of Ashley’s goth look  after she finds out her dad is gay . She is in all black to really showcase her disappointment.

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Flashback Friday: Degrassi Season 1 Episode 7 -Basketball Diaries

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It all started with an orange basketball

Our first Jimmy centered episode of Degrassi. Jimmy feels like he is destined to be Degrassi next great basketball star but Mrs. Kwan’s English class is in his way. The struggles of juggling school and extra circulars is tough game to play and it is a game that a lot of kids end up failing. I never did sports but a lot of my friends that did band ended up having to sit out because of bad grades. I also remember one year a huge chunk of the football team was benched because of poor grades. We obviously did not win that year.

Although to me it seems like Jimmy was doing fine in the basketball department. It wasn’t like he was at risk of being cut.  Jimmy doesn’t see it that way. In his mind he thinks Coach Armstrong doesn’t like him and he has to really impress him to make the team. I’m not sure why he feels that way though. If Jimmy would have just put a little effort into his studies he would have been fine. Last episode Jimmy seemed very level headed so it is confusing that he suddenly so different.

Meanwhile Liberty has been helping Ashley run the announcements and now she feels like she deserves to go solo for a change. I don’t think what Liberty is asking is unreasonable but I also don’t think Ashley has to comply. If being the class president means doing the announcements than that is Ashley’s job and she has every right to say no. I think all Liberty wanted was a little recognition for all the hard work she has done. Instead of talking it out Liberty gets upset and threatens to not help Ashley write anymore if she doesn’t get some camera time. Ashley agrees to Liberty’s demands only because she knows that giving announcements is not as easy as Liberty thinks it is.

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Sure enough the time comes and Liberty does a terrible job at the announcements. Ashley knew it would happen but she doesn’t seem to get much pleasure by seeing her embarrass herself. So Ashley ends up helping Liberty with her announcements but still establishes that Liberty will have plenty of chances when it is her turn next year. It is clear to me that Ashley has a bit of mean streak in her. From her lashing out at Terri last episode to her attitude here we see that Ashley is not as nice as she may think she is.

I wish Ashley was around to help Jimmy with all this mess. Aren’t Jimmy and Ashley in the same English class? Why isn’t Ashley helping her boo? Jimmy is falling behind in class and has to pull an all nighter in order to catch up. But that all nighter was the night before his big game where the coach will make his final cut. Jimmy doesn’t think he will perform at his best now so he ask Spinner for his Ritalin to help him out in this game. Spinner is very hesitant because he knows that this will hurt him and possibly Jimmy but Jimmy is desperate so Spinner agrees.

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Jimmy plays exactly how you would expect someone high to. He is good but he is erratic and sloppy. His obnoxious behavior makes him a terrible teammate. He ends up fouling Sean to win the game. (Can you call a foul on your own team?)  Jimmy, who is still high, thinks he did his best this game but Coach Armstrong gives him some tough love that because of his behavior he didn’t make the team.  Spinner also gets kicked off his management position on the team for mooning the crowd during half time because he didn’t take any of his meds.  So this a all-around crappy situation for everybody at least they won the game.

Extra Extra

Really Mr. Simpson the fascinating world of html. More like the headache inducing world.

Ashley gives me Devil wear Prada vibes

I’ve never read Lord of the flies. I heard it was pretty good though.

Ashley always get what she wants.

“Loser Van Zant”

I LOVE HIGH ACTING

drake degrassi aubrey graham

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Same ol’ Mistakes

New Video

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Flashback Friday: Degrassi Season 1 Episode 6 -The Mating Game

The Mating Game

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Welcome to the 6th episode of the season. If you need a refresher you can check out this  episode here.

Lets Talk about Sex

Sex is an uncomfortable topic for a lot of people. Fortunately Degrassi does not shy away from this issue. This is another Ashley centered episode but this time we are dealing with her relationship with her boyfriend Jimmy. Ashley and Jimmy have been dating for eight months (which is like 4 years in teen life) and they are thinking about taking the next step in their relationship. Keep in mind Ashley and Jimmy are only in the eighth grade. Which means they should be like 14/15 years old.

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I don’t know what the typical age is for someone to first have sex is. But I’d think 16/17 would be the average for most people.  Jimmy and Ashley are a little younger than that but it is believable that they would be considering this. This whole conversation starts because they are visited by Mrs. Sally who is a sex doctor. (I’m not sure what to call her) She gives Ashley, Jimmy and the rest of the grade eights a very graphic but informative talk about sex. I guess it works differently in Canada because at my school there was no sex education. Not even an abstinence only sex education class, I remember we had one lesson on rape in health class but that was it.

I remember watching this when I was younger and being surprised by how graphic they were. Even watching now is still a little surprising. Although the class does seem uncomfortable I think what Mrs. Sally is saying is very helpful. She is very frank and I think that is the kind of sex talk we need to be having.

This sex talk leads Ashley to think that she needs to push thing further with Jimmy or else she’ll lose him. This new pressure for sex doesn’t come from Jimmy though. It comes more from their friends Paige and Spinner. Spinner’s pressure is more joking and Jimmy doesn’t seem to give Spinner too much thought. But Ashley feels threaten by Paige who is getting closer to Jimmy because of their English assignment. There are rumors around the school that Paige has experience when it comes to sex and Ashley feels the need to compete with her. I don’t think Paige is interested in Jimmy. I know Paige can be very manipulative but I feel like all she was doing her was some harmless flirting with Jimmy over their Romeo and Juliet parts.

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Ashley does not think Paige’s flirting is harmless and begins to obsess a little about the idea of losing Jimmy. So she decides to take the next step. She order condoms online or should I say the net. But she does end up lashing out at Terri over all of this. She apologizes later though. All of this builds to Ashley and Jimmy in her room and making out. But it doesn’t go any farther than that. Ashley confesses that she can’t go through with it and to her surprise Jimmy agrees although it didn’t seem like he was having nay trouble earlier.  They laugh it off and instead decide to make balloons out all the condoms they bought. I thought this showed a lot of maturity on both of them that they got to this so easily. This is definitely a portrayal of an ideal relationship but for what we know about Ashley so far I think it fits.

Other Points

This episode has the same title as the 1959 film, The Mating Game.

I wonder if Mrs. Kwan is just secretly a shit stirrer. I mean making kids kiss in class how scandalous .

Stop playing my boy Toby like that Emma.

What a look

I love the music in this episode. The medieval music during the Ashley and Jimmy scenes and the techno beat that play during Toby’s fantasies.

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Who the hell is this?

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Emma really loves ponytails.

Does liberty speak Italian?

Excuse you Toby don’t go in people’s room without knocking.

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Flashback Friday: Degrassi Season 1 Episode 5 – Parents’ Day

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You can watch this episode here if you need a refresher.

Parents just don’t understand. So we’re moving from bad friends to bad parents. Well maybe not bad parents. Well-meaning parents who are people too. But unfortunately for Toby his parents cause him a lot more stress than love, at least when they are forced to be together. Toby dreads this day because he knows it is going to be a battle.

That’s not the only battle at Degrassi though. Sean and Emma’s little love fest is over and they have some fighting words for each other. Meanwhile Paige has decided to stop sabotaging Terri for a while and start sabotaging Ashley. Ashley and Paige are both interested in getting a casting agent. A casting agent who happens to be Toby’s mom. I’m not really sure if Paige actually wants a casting agent or if she just wants one because Ashley wants one.  Paige seems like one of those people. You know the ones who wouldn’t share a toy with you even if they didn’t want to play with it anymore. We’ve already seen that Ashley doesn’t do best with competition but she’s not going to let Paige get this casting agent without a fight.

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Although the episode is called Parents’ Day we don’t see a lot of parents. In fact most of the episode isn’t even about parents. It is only Toby who seems to have a problem with this day. I guess they didn’t want to make to the story too complicated but I would have liked to see some of other characters parents.  I think it would have helped flesh them out a bit.

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Toby is so upset about his parents being there on parents’ day that he forges a fake note and gives it to his dad claiming to be Mr. Simpson. The note alleged that Toby was doing so well that he didn’t need to show up for parent’s day. Which I don’t think would have worked even if Toby did manage to use proper grammar. Maybe because I was such a great student (not so humble brag) I never worried about my teachers bashing me. Needless to say Toby’s plan fails and he comes clean to his dad about why he wrote the letter in the first place.

His dad seemed to understand in that moment and assured Toby that everything will be fine. But fast-forward to the actually meeting with Mr. Simpson and his dad has forgotten about whatever talk they had before. Toby’s mom and dad are going at it. You know an argument is bad when they don’t even realize that other people are in the room. Poor Mr. Simpson might as well been invisible.  Thankfully Toby is able to calm them down and they both realize that they need to do better for Toby. Toby’s parents may not like each other but they need to get a long or at least not kill each other for Toby’s sake.  I think that just boils down to what family’s do for each other. You may hate each other sometimes but you still need to try and get along for the sake of the whole family. Although it is clear Toby’s family still needs work by the end of the episode I really do believe his parents are at least going to try and work things out.

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I don’t have much to say about Emma and Sean’s confrontation although I did think the scene with Emma and her mom with Sean and his guardian ( I sure that is not his dad) was really well done. I thought Miriam McDonald did some really good acting in that scene. I did think it was strange that Spike didn’t say anything though. I wouldn’t think that a mom would just let her daughter fight with a grown man and not say anything.

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Other Points

This is a rare episode not named after any song or movie.

“Ragamuffins”

Liberty’s dad knows the mayor. She’s got connection yall

First mention of Heather Sinclair

Emma the orignial Social Justice Warrior.

I wonder why Ashley picked that depressed artist look to impress Toby’s mom

I called it.Terri is beautiful

Did anyone ever have to write a paper as a punishment or does that just happen on TV school?

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Eye of the Beholder

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You can watch this episode here if you need a refresher.

The last episode was all about family. This one is all about friendship. Good friends, bad friends, well-meaning friends we’ve got them all. Let’s jump right in.

The big dance is coming up and it seems like no one is excited to go. Terri doesn’t want to go because she is insecure about how she will look and Emma’s grade 7 gang has completely bailed on her for various reasons. Emma is obviously disappointed because she feels like as her friends they should want to go to the dance with her but it looks like she’ll be going solo. She is disappointed but she ends up taking Liberty’s advice and going by herself and not letting anyone else ruin her good time. This was a small conflict compared to other relationships in this show.

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Jimmy and Sean’s friendship, if you can call it that, is a bit more complicated. We are finally introduced to Sean who is the last main cast member to show up. We learn he was a former student at Degrassi but left because of…… reasons. Jimmy who used to be a friend of Sean tries to integrate him back into his circle but Sean is not having it. It isn’t clear if Sean has some beef with Jimmy and that is why he’s blowing him off but it seems more likely he is just annoyed about how Jimmy approaches him. Jimmy is trying to be nice to Sean but is still trying to bust his balls at the same time. He does this a few times until Sean finally snaps.It takes Emma to stop Sean from hurting Jimmy by asking him to dance. I probably wouldn’t ask out a guy who just slammed someone into a wall but Emma doesn’t seem to mind.

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The main focus of this episode is the friendship between Terri, Ashley and Paige. It was clear from last episode when Paige was introduced that she is a bit different from Terri and Ashley both style wise and personality wise. The friction between Ashley and Paige runs through this episode with Terri caught in the middle. Ashley is trying to be a good friend and get Terri to enjoy herself at the dance but Terri’s insecurities are too strong and they are only being fueled by Paige.

I don’t think Paige hates Terri. I think  Paige is insecure just like Terri is. She sees that Spinner likes Terri so instead of being happy for her friend she finds a way to make Spinner hers. Paige helps Ashley give Terri a “makeover”. Makeover is a strong word because she really doesn’t look that different. But once Ashley leaves Paige manipulates Terri into getting completely drunk so she’ll act a fool at the dance leaving Spinner all for her. It’s cold, it’s calculating and its mean. We got the vibe that Paige was a little stuck up last episode but now we fully understand that she is mean. We understand where her meanness is coming from but it doesn’t make it any better. On the way to the dance it is clear that Paige does feel guilty or at least a little uncomfortable about what she did but not enough to stop it. At the dance Terri makes a fool of herself just so Paige can swoop in and latch on to Spinner.

Terri and Paige’s friendship is not as strong as Terri thinks it is. Even by the end of the episode it isn’t clear if Terri recognizes what Paige did to her. Although I do think Paige and Terri have some things in common. They’re both insecure but they handle their insecurities in very different ways. Paige successfully gets the attention of Spinner and Terri is just at a loss. There has to be a mean girl on every show and it is clear Paige is ready and willing to fill that slot.

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Extra

Ashley called Terri hun. Excuse you that is Paige’s word

Starlight Starbright is a terrible name for a dance.

“Tell me something I don’t know Liberty”

We meet Sean. A mysterious bad boy who has Emma intrigued. We know he’s bad because he rides a motorcycle or at least he gets driven to school on a motorcycle.

That dance looked pretty pathetic even by Jr High Standards

How do we feel about Toby and JT watching porn with Toby’s parents? That feels a bit much to me. Especially since JT is not their kid.

Also who needs to get urls from their cousin for porn? I know this is the early 2000s but still.

I’m surprised Sean even went to the dance.

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I LOVE FAKE DRUNK ACTING

At first it seems like Paige’s trick won’t work. Until the alcohol really starts to sit in. Poor Terri.

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Terri has some amazing skin.

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Re-living Awkward Moments

How do you deal with reoccurring embarrassing thoughts? I have been struggling with this for a long time. It seems I am always stuck in an eternal loop of the past. Constantly bringing up awkward things I’ve said or done and then feeling embarrassed by them all over again. It is obviously not something that I do on purpose but it can have a big effect on my overall mood. It can immediately take me from a place of happiness to a place of sadness. Does anyone else deal with this? If you do how do you mange reoccurring awkward moments?

 

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