Thursday, July 22, 2010

Degrassi Takes Manhattan

I know technically for a TeenNick lover I've titled this post wrong, but I don't care.  I love you TeenNick, but "The Heat is On" is an infinitely lamer name that "Degrassi Takes Manhattan."  Anyway, I've decided that I prefer my reviews when I don't ramble on about the plot and talk more about the significance of events, the quality of the acting, the script, the content, and the episode overall so enjoy my perfected (or slightly improved) review of DTM.

Okay, so the first thing I must address - Spinner and Emma.  3 words - What. The. Fish.  I mean, sure, there have been equally awkward couples, but those couples broke up.  They didn't get married.  Don't get me wrong, the whole thing was very well done and not at all forced, but it was just... ick.  I foresee a divorce in their future.  I dunno if it was originally suggested as a joke or if someone was like "Oh, you know what we haven't tried?  Emma and Spinner!  Wouldn't that catch everyone off guard!"  And so Spemma was born (ew, even their name sounds gross, like some sort of artificial meat).  All of their interactions were all so spontaneous and rushed that I just sat there waiting for it to fall apart.  But it never did.  It was like a giant hormonal lovefest that, for two characters that always seemed to have their feet on the ground and somewhat decent judgement, was completely unexpected.  Other than the bizarreness of the couple, though, I really have no problems with the story-line.  It was a cute way to end their Degrassi life.  Considering they stuck around forever I personally felt they needed a memorable exit, and I do believe they got it.  Oh, but before I move on.... something specific to only TeenNick watchers - The whole being married after waking from a drunken stupor you were only in because you were sad because of a break up thing seems to be stolen right from What I Like About You.  And it's fine to share story-lines, but not if you're playing on the same network, sometimes one after the other.

Next thing to address - Declan-Fiona-Holly J love triangle.  First of all, I was expecting more focus on the incest and maybe more clarity as to whether or not this had happened before, but that wasn't the case.  It focused more on Fiona's dependency on her brother and the defensive reaction she has when someone else tries to date him.  Fiona finally got to actually do something and I really enjoyed her performance.  Annie Clark proved her worth on Degrassi and I officially believe she earned her role.

Also, just wondering, did anyone think of the episode when Marco almost had sex with Ellie when they were watching Declan tell Fiona to go to the Hamptons?  The whole "we depend on each other for everything (even intimacy) but we need to find our own lives" type lecture brought back memories.  I enjoyed that... 
I also enjoy how it didn't focus too much on "OMG WHOA I'M IN NEW YORK!" and all the New York glamour shots were used in the sight-seeing montage.  But anyway moving on.

Unfortunately, the most boring part for me was Jane.  I love everything she does, even when she's stealing a car from Declan or making out with some random jerk of a guitar-player in the random band she joined called "Flashin' Midnight."  But her character had no point in this and I was really hoping she'd have a cooler send-off.  She was useful up until she joined Flashin' Midnight and then once again when she called Spinner and found out he was getting married.  So why did she even get involved with that band?  It was very weird, and even weirder was the way she left it... I mean, I've only been in two bands all of my life (and neither one has more than one song... I feel like the Zit Remedy) but I never heard of walking into practice to find someone else standing where you're supposed to stand, being all flirty with the guy you made out with less than 24 hours ago.  So clearly that whole block of time in the middle was very frustrating because this was the end of Anastacia "Jane Vaughn" Valeri and I wanted it to be all about her (which of course I knew wouldn't happen, but I wanted a little more).  Fortunately, though, that final scene with her was very touching.  I really liked that last line she had, "I can't wait to find out" or something to that extent.  I'm glad the end of her Degrassi chapter leaves room for the imagination.  I get to picture her doing whatever it is I want.  Right now, I'm picturing her curing cancer while also teaching Venetian orphans to fly.

One other thing that bugged me (I don't know why) is that Jay and Manny are back.  DGH (which was a better movie than DTM, by the way) gave them a very cute ending and bringing them back was just a little unnecessary.  I don't know what they were supposed to be doing but it was just kind of annoying.  Emma could've taken Spinner to Niagara Falls alone.

So final comments: great performance, as always, from Landon, Paula, and Charlotte.  They always manage to blow me away and have me hanging on their every word until the credits role.  Equally notable work from Annie Clark, who I'm looking forwards to more of in season 10.  I love watching Shane Kippel as Spinner and I loved that performance.  And Miriam McDonald?  I have been waiting for her to just GET ANOTHER JOB for the past year.  I'm glad she had such a memorable send-off.  That was one of her greatest performances since season 8.

So, DTM?  A very good way to wrap up a very solid season 9.  Whose ready for some season 10?


  1. I don't know. I thought the movie was a tad...lame. I loved Spinner and Jane but they both kind of collapsed in their characters. Spinner marrying Emma? I think was just a way of killing two birds with one big lame stone. Also, I was also expecting more explanation of Fiona. Declan's reaction just wasn't enough. No questions as to why either, I mean not directly. No " WHY DID YOU KISS ME, GROSS!" As much as I've loved Degrassi these past years, I think I'm going to drop it. But its been a great run. I think the only thing that has me holding on would be be Fiona. But all in all, it was fun :)

  2. I think Fiona and Declan are left a little unexplained so people will keep watching. They're still in the next season so it's a good way to draw us in and explain their relationship with time. And I think they've been in a relationship involving incest in the past. Spinner and Emma? Yeah, I think that was the final send off. It was a little forced but I personally didn't think it was lame. I'm glad you enjoyed Degrassi while you watched it, though :)

  3. I tend to agree on most of your points, especially when it comes to Jane deserving a better send-off and Peter getting stuck as the resident Spinner- working at the Dot and being every Degrassi student's sounding board. I would rather see him leave the show and go off to college than be stuck there. But where was the send-off for Danny? He's been around as long as Peter, and longer than Jane, and he got diddly-squat. The graduation scene was bascially nonexistent- especially considering that the show has done much better with the graduation scenes of the past. Your thoughts?

  4. I completely agree! Additionally, what happened to Danny being smart? He was at that leadership symposium that Jane went to for being awesome. And although he wasn't my favorite character, he deserved to be valedictorian more than Jane did. It's a shame his character lost purpose towards the end. I would've rather he had a more notable send off than introduction.