Renowned for some iconic dramatics, there were ten particular moments in Degrassi history that emotionally took us ‘all the way…’ (with Stephanie Kaye).
- We woke up in the morning feeling shy and lonely and things didn’t get easier for our teenage angst when Stephanie Kaye herself developed an eating disorder. Thus breaking our collective hearts as she proceeded to sever ties with her nearest and dearest including distraught but endearingly dorky kid brother Arthur.
- Remember that time Lucy Fernandez was caught shoplifting with friend Voula? Basically all us teens with an ounce of naughtiness felt like this could really have been any of us in a moment of peer pressured stupidity? Urgh, such mortification.
- Perhaps most memorable though for its ground-breaking introducing to teen pregnancy themes, was the ‘It’s Late’ episode saw Spike fall pregnant unexpectedly. Some months and a happy welcome later baby Emma join the Degrassi crew.
- On the other side of the pendulum was the spectacular fallout from Erica Farrell’s abortion & her twin’s inability to psychologically cope with what something that was clearly not about her. This was neatly packaged into an episode where a hate crime regarding the conundrum was levelled against Erica during her time of utter turmoil.
- There were few dry eyes when show favourite and all ‘round good guy, Archie ‘Snake’ Simpson revealed his battle with leukemia. Lord, no… take anyone but ‘my man’ Snake!! Hopelessly lazy though he may have been he showed more academic promise and sporting prowess than most of the rest of the motley crew put together.
- Our hearts were absolutely in our mouths, and jaws literally touching floor during the episode in which Claude Tanner was found in the washroom, having committed suicide. And to be frank, my younger self is still in recovery. There’s not much more that can be said to dispel that particular trauma.
- The death of Derek ‘Wheels’ Wheeler’s adoptive parents brought more shock and grief to the Degrassi crew. In particular of course, for Wheels himself who thereupon entered a one-way trek down wayward street. Because not even the undivided love of that scruffy little dog could save him.
Based on the tumultuous events of the years prior most of us avid Degrassi fans sensed that the School’s Out’ finale would take no prisoners. And of course, it did NOT disappoint. Which brings us to Degrassi: School’s Out.
- In a showdown spectacular fuelled by lies, cheating and waaaaayyyyy too much alcohol every girl around the globe is Caitlyn Ryan and can feel the shatter of the heart upon learning that Joey Jeremiah has been cheating with Tessa Campanelli. And in response Caitlyn hisses with hatred the now iconic quotation, “You were fu*^%ng Tessa Campanelli? You bastard!”
- Few are truly surprised when in the very next scene the aptly named ‘Wheels’ goes completely off the rails making a fatal error of judgement.
- In the same incident there is a dramatic twist of fate for class valedictorian Lucy Fernandez who is rendered partially incapacitated.
Now, while all of that was a lot of guts, gore and glory to live through… most of us avid Degrassi tragics are more than ready to start at the beginning and do it all again. Thanks to STAN and Netflix who are now screening re-runs of the classics. Because in the words of The Zit Remedy, “everybody wants something” and we’ll never give up!
Originally published at Good Men Project