Oct 9, 2020
Degrassi Junior High “Parents' Night” (part 2 of 4)
Cut to the Swank Gym, where Mizzzz Avery is holding rehearsals for the big talent show. A kid wearing Fat Albert’s sweater, a hobo’s hat, and big plastic sunglasses is playing a keyboard. And by “playing a keyboard” I mean that he appears to have flipped the switch that starts up one of the preset beats. Out come the horrible sounds of a tinny beat and a tinny piano.
And up on stage, grooving to the beat… well, it’s going to take me some time to find the words to explain this. There’s Caitlin, doing strange moves to the music while wearing pink short-shorts, a pith helmet, and a long, blonde wig. And then there’s Arthur, dancing right along with her, and he’s wearing a long, curly wig. Hang on, it gets weirder.
They’re half-singing, half-talking to the music. Caitlin says, “I’m Phyllis!” And Arthur says, “I’m Fran!” And they both sing, “Goin’ south to get a man!” I’m confident that there are very few words in the English language capable of adequately describing this. What the hell am I even seeing? The only way I can even process these visuals is by assuming that the original idea was to have Arthur and Caitlin do a musical number from South Pacific, you know, as a funny callback to Wheels’ birthday present. But they couldn’t afford the royalties to Rodgers and Hammerstein’s estates, so they just made up a South Pacific-esque musical number on the spot. That’s the assumption I’m making, anyway, for the sake of my own sanity.
As they dance, Arthur and Caitlin accidentally step on each other’s toes, and the number grinds to a halt. Ms. Avery tells them to take it from the top, with more energy this time, and also louder. They start over, and the big question on my mind is… why is Arthur playing a woman? Why is he “Fran” and why are they making him sing about going south to get a man? Doesn’t he have enough problems? Don’t you people know who his sister is? He’s already scarred for life.
And between this and the environmental rap of two episodes ago, it appears Caitlin Ryan is Degrassi’s go-to girl for all heinously embarrassing musical performances.