When I was young, I fell in love with that special Degrassi brand of stiffly-performed Canadian preteen melodrama. Now you can, too!
Degrassi Junior High
An Interview with Michelle Goodeve, Degrassi's Ms. Avery
Posted Dec 12, 2010 by Dr. Winston O'Boogie
“Earlier this year, I spoke to Dan Woods, Mr. Raditch himself, and through that connection I got the opportunity to interview the other much-beloved teacher from the series. I’m talking of course about Michelle Goodeve, who played Ms. Karen Avery for four seasons on Degrassi Junior High and Degrassi High. What you may not know is that Michelle’s been busy ever since as a producer, screenwriter, and story editor, writing episodes of several Canadian TV shows. But if that’s not enough to pique your interest, Michelle is also a licensed pilot, with a special passion for flying antique airplanes. Yes, in real life, Ms. Avery flies airplanes. Seriously!”
Posted Aug 17, 2010 by Dr. Winston O'Boogie
“And I know what you parents out there must be thinking: taking care of an egg is a total cakewalk compared to an actual baby, right? How could watching an egg possibly teach you what it’s like to be a parent? But you have to keep in mind that Spike is a Degrassi kid. And taking care of inanimate objects is way beyond most Degrassi kids. I hear when Spike was a little girl, her pet rock died.”
An Interview with Dan Woods, Degrassi's Mr. Raditch
Posted Jan 26, 2010 by Dr. Winston O'Boogie
“Dan Woods played teacher (and later, principal) Dan Raditch on all five seasons of Degrassi Junior High and Degrassi High, and then returned to play Raditch again on Degrassi: The Next Generation for four more seasons. Despite being one of the ‘adults’, to me Mr. Raditch has always been a key ingredient in the Degrassi formula, and the show just hasn’t been the same without him.”
Degrassi Junior High: The Very Special Lessons of Season One
Posted Nov 16, 2009 by Dr. Winston O'Boogie
"This whole season totals well over 100,000 words. Basically, I’ve written a lengthy novel about Degrassi Junior High for free. So all the people who think I complain too much about how much work is involved in updating this site can suck it."
Posted Nov 15, 2009 by Dr. Winston O'Boogie
"How can you not love a show that follows up an election for school president with an impeachment episode? That’s right, in this episode, the kids start a movement to get Stephanie Kaye thrown out of office for being the worst school president ever. The premise alone is enough to make this one of the series’ high points."
Posted Nov 2, 2009 by Dr. Winston O'Boogie
"Unfortunately, Wheels spends pretty much the entire series being a selfish asshole. That’s true even for the current episode, “Parents’ Night”. Looking back on it now, it seems the Degrassi writers were determined to make Wheels an irritating, self-entitled jackass right from the start."
Posted Oct 19, 2009 by Dr. Winston O'Boogie
"From a 2009 perspective, the idea of a show aimed at middle school kids doing a storyline where a 14 year old girl gets pregnant seems pretty ballsy. I can’t think of a show airing today that would have the guts to do this (besides, of course, Degrassi: The Next Generation, because once you’ve gone there, you can’t really un-go there)."
Posted Sep 28, 2009 by Dr. Winston O'Boogie
"Caitlin performs an original rap song about the environment, and to no one’s surprise, it’s the most horrible thing ever. If you’ve ever wondered why there are no successful white girl rappers, I’m about to present to you Exhibit A, in the form of this episode."
“What a Night!”
Posted Aug 24, 2009 by Dr. Winston O'Boogie
"So the moral of the story, kids, is that if a famous actor comes to town and wants to take you out on a 'date', give some thought to the possibility that he only wants you for your body. And that's some advice we can all use. I can't tell you how many times celebrities have come to town and tried to sexually assault me. Literally, I can't tell you, because I'm saving it all for my memoirs."
“Nothing to Fear”
Posted Aug 19, 2009 by Dr. Winston O'Boogie
"I can safely say that I'll be able to get through this one in record time, because once you take out all of L.D.'s post-traumatic flashbacks to her mom dying, there's about five minutes of actual episode here."
“Best Laid Plans”
Posted Jun 30, 2009 by Dr. Winston O'Boogie
"As you can probably guess, the title is inspired by the same famous line that inspired John Steinbeck, the one from 18th Century Scottish poet Robert Burns. You all know it, I'm sure. 'The best laid schemes o' mice an' men / Gang aft a-gley.' And things are going to go very, very aft a-gley in this episode, you can quote me on that."
“Rumor Has It”
Posted Jun 15, 2009 by Dr. Winston O'Boogie
"Damn. Why didn’t I have any touchy-feely teachers when I was that age? I mean, female ones?"
“The Great Race”
Posted Dec 17, 2008 by Dr. Winston O'Boogie
"Sadly, Melanie is not cutting a very impressive figure in her swimsuit. That's because she hasn't quite started developing yet. And I'm pointing this out because it's part of the plot of this episode, not because I'm a pervert, though both are true."
Posted Mar 30, 2008 by Dr. Winston O'Boogie
"Caitlin says they should try to get Rick to smile. Ooh, that sounds like a fantastic idea, doesn't it? And somehow, the writers were able to come up with a subplot even more insubstantial than the Voula-Steph animosity. At this point, I expect a subplot where Yick Yu debates whether or not to pick his nose in class."
Posted Dec 2, 2007 by Dr. Winston O'Boogie
"Degrassi definitely goes there, doesn't it? Most TV shows for teen audiences would shy away from showing the disabled indulging in recreational drug use, but not this show. No way."
“The Big Dance”
Posted Jun 26, 2007 by Dr. Winston O'Boogie
"Voula, seeing that asking to go to the dance right now would probably be greeted with the same reaction as if she asked to get an abortion, begins to weave a ridiculous, fully transparent lie. She talks about how there's a 'meeting' at school on Saturday, to do with the foster child. She even says, I kid you not, 'It's just like school, only in the evening!' It's just like school, only with more drugs and booze and sex! How can you say no?"
“Kiss Me, Steph”
Posted Feb 28, 2007 by Dr. Winston O'Boogie
I'll guess I'll spoil things a bit and say that Nicole Stoffman, the actress who plays Steph, only sticks around for the first two seasons. I don't know exactly why she left, but I would imagine being Canada's official national jailbait may have taken its toll. I mean, I doubt there's one straight male viewer of Degrassi who wasn't boning it up while looking at Stephanie Kaye, and I presume being a 14 year old sexpot wasn't the ideal situation for Nicole. Or any girl, for that matter. That's when you start attracting the John Hinckleys of the world.
Degrassi: An Introduction
Posted Feb 1, 2007 by Dr. Winston O'Boogie
So it was something of a shock to find out last year that, not only had other people actually seen Degrassi Junior High, but it was now out on DVD. Degrassi was a part of my adolescence that I had always assumed was lost forever, like lazy Sunday afternoons riding bikes to nowhere. This was such a personal thing for me, that the existence of Degrassi on DVD was tantamount to having my brain patterns stored on magnetic disk and replayed twenty years later. It was like someone gave me a chance to drink New Coke again. In fact, it was like someone gave me a limitless supply of 2-liter bottles of the stuff.