Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Broken Promises and the Epic Return of Degrassi

So regardless of the quality of the episode, Broken Promises means Degrassi is BACK, my friends!  Of course, I was in Florida for the premiere in a hotel that was amazing until I found out it didn't have TeenNick.  Then it got less amazing.  But regardless, I managed to get my hands on some Degrassi goodness the other day and I am now prepared to review it for your well-being.

So overall, the episode was great.  I had higher expectations than usual because it was a premiere, but after thinking about it, I realized the episode wasn't designed to be one so I really shouldn't assess it like that.

I only had a few problems with the episode.  My first problem was the bizarreness of Farrah's will to marry Sav.  Of course it was obvious she liked Sav during the awkward "Who's Anya?" "Oh, she's my girlfriend..." scene, and she was kinda annoying when she wanted pictures with Sav, but that may have just been me trying to make her seem like a jerk in my head because I've seen the trailers.  But Farrah was a genuinely likable character.  It didn't fit for her to be the possessive and aggressive character she suddenly wound up being.

My other problem was the subplots.  I probably would've cried when Save dumped Anya, but the subplots are just anticlimactic.  The only decent part of the Bruce-Johnny conflict was the fight between them, but then it's so awkwardly resolved that I couldn't even bring myself to laugh at the comedic relief they're supposed to offer.  And the Alli-Dave plot was great, but it deserves more attention.  Alli seems to think she's better than everyone else and can't be "uncool."  Like many high schoolers today, she's caught between being cool and being herself and Dave and her have different ideas of where the line is drawn.  It wasn't too dramatic or flashy a storyline, but it was a real one that shouldn't have been awkwardly placed between an intense Sav and Anya plot.  Both the subplots were misplaced and distracting from the main plot.

Degrassi has dealt with sex time and time again, partially because it's a big high school topic, partially because there's so many possible ways to utilize it.  There's Holly J. and her doubts as to how sex contributes to her popularity and coolness and there's the genuine love aspect of it that Liberty and JT shared until the pregnancy got in the way.  There's the social consequences that Mia faced when she chose to have sex and the emotional consequences Paige and Darcy faced when they were forced to.  There's first time anxieties and worries with Alli and anxieties in general when Jimmy faces the physical reality with Ashley.  And now there's the pressure to have sex in order to keep your boyfriend with Anya.  And although I love this new take, there are two things I wish they would've done.
1) I wish the pressure was coming from Sav rather than from Farrah.  The typical high schooler is not dealing with pressure from the girl their boyfriend is supposed to marry.  Not to slight the issue, because it's a real one and arranged marriages aren't a thing of the past which is something people should realize.  However, in the sexual aspect of arranged marriages, there's much less pressure.  Farrah wasn't utilized as well as she could've been, serving purposes she didn't need to.
2) I wish Degrassi would show more of the effects of sex that the guy faces.  Sav was stressed about having a baby, but once they took the pill he seemed to be fine and unconcerned, breaking things off with Anya because he couldn't trust her.  The only guy who's really actually had good plots revolving around the effects and consequences of sex was JT during the pregnancy.  Otherwise, the guy has never been the main focus and I'm pretty sure (I wouldn't know for sure since I'm a female virgin) that guys are effected by sex, too.  I guess Johnny had to deal with whatever he was going through, but that was never really focused on as his issue, either, rather as Alli's problem as she stressed about it.

The acting didn't exactly reduce me to tears, but as I mentioned above, the distractive subplots may have had to do something with that since I was never fully able to feel completely involved in a scene.  Raymond Ablack actually shined more in his lighthearted scenes rather than his intense ones while Samantha Munro did the opposite, making them a good, solid team.  The episode provided little bits of humor and some deeper confrontation, taking you through the full spectrum of Degrassi awesomeness.

So Degrassi is back in my life.  And coming up next week?  Heart Like Mine.  Oh, an hour of Degrassi? Be still my heart...
And as a niner myself, any niner drama just makes me exceptionally happy.  Our lives are intense, too, ya know :)

Well, bye.
I need a creative acronym like Mango with her MLML...

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