I have a confession to make. I am 31 years old and I watch Degrassi. There I said it! It feels good to get that out in the open. I really don’t know why I am addicted to this show about teenagers, but I am. It seems like I have watched Degrassi my whole life.
I remember watching Degrassi, Junior High when I was a kid. If my parents had known some of the story lines, I doubt they would have let me and my sister watch it. There were episodes dealing with teen pregnancy, abortion, rape, interracial relationships, drugs and alcohol, even homosexuality. For it’s time, these were pretty controversial topics. Sometimes I didn’t really understand what was going on, but I watched because this was about teenagers in junior high and high school and that seemed so grown-up to a ten year old.
When Degrassi: The Next Generation began to air I had to check it out, if only for nostalgic reasons. I have watched the show on and off over the course of it’s ten seasons, but this season really has me hooked. I love the story lines with Sav and Holly J, and Claire and Eli. Also, Adam’s storyline has been compelling to watch, in spite of my views on Transgenders.
It is also interesting to see that a lot of the issues kids faced in my day are the same ones kids face today. All of the story lines I mentioned above have also been done on the Next Generation.
There are some issues that the kids of my day never had to face. Like going to school with the fear that one of your classmates might be carrying a gun. And truthfully drugs and alcohol weren’t as big a problem when I was young as they are now. At least, they weren’t in my home town. The youth of today truly have my sympathy because they do have a lot to deal with and they have to grow up way too fast.
I’ll admit sometimes the kids on the show do get on my nerves. After all, they are teenagers and 99.9% of teenagers have only one point of view: their own. Hey, I was the same way, so I know this to be true. When you are young and experiencing things for the first time, you think that no one else has ever felt the way that you do, and that no one understands what you are going through. But the truth is, everyone has felt the way that you do, and most still remember enough to understand.
I guess what makes Degrassi so compelling is that it is very honest in it’s portrayal of the teenage years, the good and the bad.