Thursday, October 22, 2009

Degrassi Shot to Thrill and Definitely Did

Well, for starters, I'm glad the Riley plot was followed through on.  I really can't wait to see what happens as his character develops.  As you all know, I absolutely adore Marco, so another character dealing with the bumps along the road of coming to terms with your sexuality completely enthuses me.

But Riley wasn't the main focus of this episode.  Johnny and Alli (Jalli?  Allnny?  No, they don't have a nickname... Mango was right as always, cuz she's a genius :D) was.

I've gotta say I love this plot.  It works really well with previous events in Alli and Johnny's relationship, not seeming out of place.  Melinda Shankar has completely captured the essence of Alli by now, so the acting was 100% flawless and Scott Paterson has really evolved as a performer, going from greasy and tough guy in the corner to someone who you really believe.  Heck, even Bruce the Moose did a good job, almost making me laugh as hard as I did when Stefan Brogren looked at the phone (and I laughed really hard, so hard that my sister and I had to utilize our DVR and pause the show so we could gather ourselves and stop).  All the performers have really improved as far as the greasy jerks and the genius niners go.  In addition to the improved performances, the scripts have gotten much better.  I've gotta say, this is one of my favorite episodes since season 8.  The writers seem to be going back and fixing all their mistakes from last season.  For example, instead of painting a black and white picture of who made the mistake and who was the victim, it's more realistic this season, with some room for doubt as to whether it was Alli's fault or Johnny's fault.  Everything from the issue we're dealing with (sexting, definitely never done, especially since the concept is rather new) to the way it flows to even the dialogue was just way more free-flowing and for once, it actually "went there."  I think Degrassi actually IS getting real.

The episodes are back to their former 2 part formula, thank the lord.  More importantly than just 2 parts, though, they're also back to the old formula in which they let some incidents drag out over time.  You see, Johnny kept the cellphone and I promise you this incident isn't over.

But, as I said at the top, the selling point for me was the Riley story.  I loved Riley season 8 and wanted more of him.  And that's exactly what I got.  Moreover, Fiona actually has a purpose now.  Riley and Fiona are "dating" now, Fiona dating him to get the scumbags off her back and Riley because... well, we all know why Riley wants a girlfriend.  And Fiona's taken a liking to him.  But, surprise surprise, Riley's old boyfriend (that guy named "SoccerStud" who was like kissing him in the woods when he was on steroids) is back and seems to be seriously pissed considering he liked Riley first.  Although, as said before, they're not cramming everything into one episode, so cut the heart to heart conversation and watch Riley drag Fiona out of there, claiming SoccerStud (does he have a name?) was on drugs.  But Fiona's suspicious.
This episode's subplot managed to not only present a good foreground for Beat It (big two parter about Riley) but also managed to have a plot (unlike the subplot in "Touch of Grey" which had no major plot developments).  It's definitely very well done, and I really like Annie Clark.  Both her and Argiris Karras did a really good job.

Shoot to Thrill is the dawn of season 9.  A season of good plots, deep subject matter, and fearless screenwriters.  Let's hope they keep this up.

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