Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Spotlight On: PAIGE

I was digging through some old posts and stumbled upon this.  I haven't touched it since late July and rereading it, it appears that I gave up after season 4 without thoroughly touching on season 3.  And I never mentioned anything about Lauren Collins... wow, this is gonna be a freakishly long post when I finish, but I figure you guys can enjoy this much of it thus far and as soon as I finish my "Freshman Wellness Project" (that's code for gym homework... I know, right, gym homework?  Us honors students never get a break...) I'll add on to this.  Then I'll finish my 10 series.  Just want to assure you that I haven't forgotten about my promise.  Okay, enjoy.

Paige Michalchuk... where to start? So much Paige. So much time. But there's only so much I can say about her before you say "This is stupid!" and close the link. And since, according to Google Analytics, the most number of readers we've had in a day so far is 15, we need all the readers we can get.

I think I'll do this chronologically. Paige starts out as the queen bee character, almost a Mean Girls style ruler but more realistic. She discreetly insults people on backhand and gives them looks that you just know are not happy smiley looks (much as they may appear so) instead of just calling you names and ruining your life. Which means right from the start, Paige Michalchuk was a believable character. Paige starts out as a bad friend. Well, not bad. She's sorta there for her friends. But she's also sorta not. For instance, she manages to meddle into a relationship between Jimmy Brooks and long-time "frenemy" Ashley Kerwin, pressuring Ashley to have sex. But she also helps Ashley come to terms with having a gay father (although that ended interestingly... try picturing Ashley throwing milk in Paige's face because she thinks Paige is being mean and later realizing she was trying to help). Paige tried to be a good person... it just wasn't in her blood. For instance, she tried forming a band with Ashley, Terri (another friend), and herself, but even that wasn't the greatest thing for their relationship when tensions are raised at the talent show. But she tried.

Now, Paige and Ashley didn't last very long.  Pretty soon, Paige had an exciting falling-out with Ashley (I dunno if "falling-out" was the right term but it's so much fun to say). Okay, maybe not the most exciting thing you've ever heard, but when you get high on Ecstasy and call your friend a hag, you might burn some bridges. And when you're friend then becomes the most popular girl in school who completely abandons you when you need the most help (I mean, come on, you were just high on Ecstasy for crying out loud), she probably burned down the remainder of the bridges you managed not to burn. By the way, in that statement, Paige was the not-so-loyal best friend and Ashley was the one on Ecstasy (not that I think my imaginary readers are on Ecstasy, it was just a metaphor-ish thing... no, I believe it was an analogy).

Although Paige is still angry, she manages to forgive Ashley. But this is Degrassi, so that lasts a few episodes and then their right back to hating after a little dating incident. In a confusing series of insults and misconceptions, Ashley winds up isolated by Paige and, after Paige forcibly made it so, Terri. Terri, Paige, and a new character, Hazel, become friends. But in this season, Paige's problems are much more intense than just friendships.

Paige attends a party with Dean, the Bardell sports star, as his date after a soccer game. At the party, Paige is warned to be careful with Dean by another girl, but Paige just assumes it's jealousy and dismisses the precaution. She later asks Dean if they can go upstairs so they can talk, but Dean misunderstands and thinks Paige wants to have sex. Paige tries to tell him she isn't ready for sex in their relationship yet, but Dean pushes her down and rapes her... isn't he just darling?

After the rape, things just get worse. Spinner confronts Paige about the party and calls Paige a slut. Then Ashley joins Paige as she reunites PMS (their old band) in an attempt to win a songwriting competition. Ashley writes a song about rape which Paige disapproves, leading Ashley to accuse Paige of having "no emotions." Paige opens up to Ashley and confesses to her about the rape. Ashley tells Paige they won't do the song, but when Paige sees Dean in the audience, she sings the song, anyway. Afterwards, Paige goes to the school counsellor, finally coming to terms with her rape and after a few months of therapy, she accepts the rape and feels ready to move on. The episode has been dismissed as in the past in her mind, but then she learns that Dean will be visiting Degrassi for the basketball play-offs. She tries to avoid him, but after that fails, all hell breaks loose.

Well, not all hell, but a lot of it. Paige admits the truth about her rape to JT who gets in a fight with Dean on the basketball court. Dean is suspended from the game. Then, Spinner also learns the truth and goes after Dean. Paige interrupts the fight that the two wind up in and tells Dean she is going to press charges. It isn't until season 4 that the trial happens (don't worry, I'll jump back to season 3 after this). After a long and intense trial, the judge must reluctantly find Dean innocent due to the lack of witnesses and physical evidence. Devastated the result of the trial and trying to cope with the stress it provided, Paige goes to a party at Dylan's (her brother) college where she gets drunk and flirts with guys (lovely way to deal with stress, right?).  Now drunken and upset, Paige goes to see Spinner and have sex with him, but he refuses.  The two argue and Paige claims that no one seems to be showing any compassion for her while Spinner rebuts that she'll never get over the rape.  How do you solve a problem with your boyfriend?  Well, if you're Paige Michalchuk, you steal his car keys and drive back to your brother's frat house where you announce to the world (or the portion of it that's there) that Dean raped you.  And Dean, being the indifferent jerk that he is, first reacts angrily and defiantly but then admits to everyone he did rape her and doesn't seem to care.

No comments:

Post a Comment