28 Jan Vulture – What Political TV Shows Should I Watch?
What Political TV Shows Should I Watch? Your Pressing TV Questions, Answered
Being an avid Gilmore Girls fan, my Stars Hollow senses perked at tweets regarding a GG subplot on this new Netflix season ofDegrassi. I (unfortunately) have never seen Degrassi — just missed the boat when it first came out, but I have no doubts I’d be a fan. Would I need to catch up on previous seasons to watch this new iteration? — Sara Beth
The more you watch Degrassi, the more you get out of Degrassi, but that’s easy for me to say because I’ve seen more than 400 episodes of the show. (There are 385 episodes of Degrassi: The Next Generation; of course I have seen all of those. And the 10 episodes of Degrassi: Next Class, the current iteration. Plus most of the D:TNG specials, plus many, but not all, of the original The Kids of Degrassi Street, Degrassi Junior High, and Degrassi High. I am a monster, and this is my lair.) But okay, you have a civilian’s life. No, you do not need to watch old Degrassi to get into new Degrassi.
One thing Degrassi does better than just about any other long-running show is cycle new characters in and old characters out — people graduate, people … die, people move, and sometimes characters just run their course and fade into the background. New characters might have small parts in B-stories for a while before landing their own major plot points. This means there’s no one good place to start watching, since the stories really blend together, so this new batch is as good a place to start as any. Better, even, because these ten episodes are ten of the stronger episodes the show has had in recent years while still being representative of the show in general. Degrassi is incredibly earnest, bordering on cheesy now and then (it’s technically for young audiences! you can’t blame them!), and sometimes it can feel like it’s piling on. Like, for example, with Claire, one of the mainstays of TNG for the last few years (she has since graduated). Do we really need Claire to: worry that she seems too prissy; bring a vibrator to school; get a coach fired; write sexy vampire fiction about herself and her classmates; nimbly bounce back from a malicious rumor about getting breast implants; fall in love with the bipolar, grieving Eli, who turns out also to be a hoarder; be the clearest voice of support for her friend Adam during his FTM gender-transition; date a bully but then get together for-real with Eli; try to dress goth; endure her parents’ divorce; worry briefly that Eli is going to kill her; work for the school paper; have a fling with her potential stepbrother… Honestly, there are 10,000 more plots here, but she also survives cancer, processes her grief after Adam’s death (don’t text and drive), gets together with Eli again, cheats on him, gets pregnant, decides to carry the pregnancy to term, considers postponing college, and then loses her baby. AAAAAHHHH. You can’t even believe how much I left out!
Anyway. Just start, and if you like it, read the various character wikis and let your mind reel. Then watch season three of D:TNG and if you like that, go ahead and start at the beginning and work your way through. Enjoy.