Degrassi Junior High “The Great Race” (part 3 of 4)
Cut to Melanie and L.D. on a front porch somewhere, drinking McDonalds shakes. Whoa! Athletes really do eat at McDonalds! All this time, I thought it was just Olympic gold medalists selling their souls for endorsement money. Shows what I know.
L.D. complains that Jason is “sexist” just like her brothers. But Melanie’s tuned her out. Her mind is totally on Snake. She worries that Snake thinks she’s just a little kid, when in fact she’s almost a teenager. What’s more, she’s “a passionate teenager, whose dumb mother won’t let her buy a bra!”
L.D. has had enough. She grabs Melanie by the arm and takes her to go buy a bra right this very minute. Cut to the two of them at a department store, standing in front of the WonderBra display. Ah, WonderBra. 20 years of falsely getting men’s hopes up. That really should be the company’s official slogan: WonderBra: 20 Years of Falsely Getting Men’s Hopes Up.
The two girls giggle like, well, schoolgirls at all the bras. Melanie is having second thoughts about buying a bra, so L.D. calls her chicken. Melanie insists she’s only a little bit chicken, “sort of like a chicken wing, without the legs or breasts!” This is easily one of the stupidest lines ever spoken on this show, but it allows L.D. to basically go huh huhhuh you said breasts!
Melanie worries about what her mom will say about her wearing a bra. L.D. says not to worry. “You can change at school, like Stephanie!” Christ. Could there be a worse role model for the girls at Degrassi Junior High than Stephanie Kaye? I swear, if the school administrators would only expel Stephanie, I’m positive standardized test scores would go through the roof.
The two girls get silly. At one point, L.D. puts a bra over Melanie’s eyes, like it’s a mask, so a matronly saleslady with a British accent comes over to assist them. The saleslady picks out a bra, and Melanie, still laughing like she’s back in episode 3 getting stoned on New Zealand Zappers, goes to try it on.
Back at school, we’ve returned once again to this recapper’s favorite locale, the Girls’ Restroom of Ill Repute. Stephanie applies blush, while L.D. asks Steph, in her official capacity as school president, to kick off the race on Friday.
Steph agrees to do it, but only if she gets to make a speech. “I’m getting pretty good at speeches, you know!” Does she mean that speech she made at the Big Dance? I believe that speech was delivered to a toilet, and consisted entirely of “Blaaarrrrgh!“
But it appears L.D. is fully aware of Stephanie’s limitations in this area, because she tells her the speech only needs to consist of the words, “ready, set, go!” And I can’t wait to see how Stephanie fucks that up.
Steph asks, “Can I wear my new wet look bikini? It’s hot pink!” And in perhaps the biggest tease in the whole Degrassi franchise, she will not be wearing a bikini in this episode, or any other episode for that matter, so don’t get your hopes up.
Just then, Melanie emerges from one of the stalls, and she’s wearing her brand new bra. She asks what they think, and Steph initially has no idea what she’s talking about. I’m not sure why. It ridiculously apparent that Melanie’s bra is stuffed. L.D. drops a big hint, so Steph finally notices, and says it’s a great bra.
Melanie leaves the restroom, constantly fidgeting with her straps. She happens upon VP Susie Rivera and Caitlin Ryan, and she’s all fidgeting with her bra in front of them, and going, “Ehhh? Ehhh?” Since she couldn’t be making it more obvious, Susie and Caitlin quickly compliment her on her bra. You know what? I’m going to try this the next time I buy a new pair of boxers. I’ll stand in front of my friends and constantly adjust my junk and go “Ehhh? Ehhh?” I wonder how they’ll react.
And then… Joey comes over. And this is still Early Episodes Joey, the Joey that’s still kind of a bully, as opposed to Nice Guy Joey from later in the series, so this should be good. He compliments Melanie’s bra, then fake sneezes, and then asks if she has “any more Kleenex”. So cruel, and yet, so true. It’s funny because it’s true. Joey’s current pal Tim the Terrific makes a completely unintelligible quip (it seems his enunciation is not so terrific), and the two of them laugh and walk off. Melanie looks suitably mortified.
In a stairwell, Jason Cox eats lunch with two other boys. These other boys being: Wheels (we’re already well acquainted with him and his aftershave), and some random Asian kid who never gets a name. Both Wheels and Asian Kid are worried about losing to the girls, and Wheels points out how the girls are actually, you know, good at swimming.
Jason is incredulous. “I thought you were men!” In response, Asian Kid very loudly and deliberately takes a bite off his carrot stick. Oh man, this kid is a comic genius. Unfortunately, much like Wheelchair Girls, there’s not much room for two token Asian kids at Degrassi Junior High.
But Jason is already hatching a plan wherein they’ll be “guaranteed” to win. The gist of it is this: they’re going to bring on a ringer, namely Snake. Wheels expositionizes that Snake is “terrible” at soccer—he was even cut from the team. But he’s good at swimming, so Jason’s going to let Snake join the soccer team before Friday. Oh man, he’s one crafty bastard. There’s absolutely no way anyone will catch on to this cunning plan.
And speaking of Snake, Yick and Arthur are still spying on him. Snake is sitting on the front steps, while Yick and Arthur try to determine what he’s eating for lunch. Yick complains they’re too far away, so Arthur suggests getting closer. He says, “Act casual!” Accordingly, the boys proceed to walk over while repeatedly folding and unfolding their arms, and putting their arms behind their backs. Real casual, guys.
Jason Cox brushes past them to talk to Snake, and thus set his sinister schemes in motion. Strangely, Jason leads off by asking Snake about his swimming abilities. You know, Jason, there’s a reason they call them “ulterior” motives.
Regardless, Snake says he can’t swim with the guys, because he’s not on the soccer team. But Jason says that’s no problem. He adds, “You were almost on the team!” And the way he says it, you get the impression that Wheelchair Girl #1 was almost on the boys soccer team, too.
Snake echoes Wheel’s earlier statement, saying he’s “terrible” at soccer. But Jason lies that he was “not that bad”, and that he can hook Snake up with another tryout. At first, Snake puts up a good show of resisting, saying it “doesn’t seem right”. But a few moments later, he’s seduced by the decadent allure of being on the Degrassi boys soccer team, and he agrees to try out.
Jason walks off, and Snake continues eating, and opens a cup of yogurt. And standing right behind him, and I mean like directly over his shoulder, are Yick and Arthur. Arthur asks, “Excuse me, is that yogurt?” When Snake confirms that it is, Arthur simply says, “Thanks”, and Arth-Yick back away. So, you know, just your friendly neighborhood yogurt census takers.
As they walk away, Yick insists that yogurt couldn’t possibly make a person tall, because he eats it all the time. Oddly enough, yogurt does make you lazy, disorganized, and apt to blame other people for your bad grades. It’s the acidophilus.
Arthur waves this off, saying Snake must eat something after school that makes him tall. The two of them resolve to find out what that is, and alas, this stupid subplot must continue.
Cut to Rockin’ Raditch’s classroom. And here comes the most we’ve seen of an actual lecture in this series so far, so pay attention. Mr. Raditch is reciting one of the Player Queen’s speeches from Hamlet, and oh, man… he’s actually putting on a woman’s voice as he reads, and waving around a handkerchief. It’s pretty hilarious. He sounds like Blanche Dubois. I had no idea the Player Queen was supposed to have a Southern accent.
The line he reads is, “O, confound the rest! Such love must needs be treason in my breast!” And on the word “breast”, all the boys in class giggle uncontrollably. Oh man, that Shakespeare. He was one funny SOB. Susie Rivera shakes her head in disgust, and Caitlin literally turns her nose up at the boys. The feminist outrage is thick in the air.
But all this talk of breasts has whipped the boys up into a mischievous frenzy. They murmur to each other for a bit, and then the boy sitting directly behind Melanie reaches forward and snaps her bra strap. Melanie yells out a very loud “Ow!” causing class to grind to a halt.
Mr. Raditch is livid at the disruption, and brings some of that righteous Raditch rage we’ve come to know so well. Well, not the full force of it. It’s just barely simmering below the surface, but you know it’s there. How dare someone interrupt his drag queen show! Melanie is berated and humiliated.