Aug 17, 2010
Degrassi Junior High “Parents' Night” (part 1 of 4)
Previously on Degrassi Junior High: Degrassi Junior High made a name for itself with an Emmy™-winning episode where 14 year old Spike Nelson finds out she’s pregnant. Despite leaden acting and dialogue consisting mostly of statistics, it became one of the series’ most memorable moments, and it would even set up a spinoff series 15 years later that would eclipse the original show in terms of popularity.
Meanwhile, Yick asked out Melanie. Everybody forgot it happened about ten seconds after the episode ended.
Welcome to the penultimate episode of Degrassi Junior High season one. And as it so happens, it’s a Wheels episode—the very first Wheels episode, more or less. Up until this point, Derek “Wheels” Wheeler has mostly been Stephanie Kaye’s object of wanton lust, but here he finally gets a chance to step out on his own and shine, and, well… the actor is not really up to the task.
Throughout the series, Neil Hope’s performance will alternate between annoyingly whiny and utterly blank. Despite this, Wheels becomes one of the show’s central characters (he even gets a notable cameo on TNG). Unfortunately, he 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.