My Problem With Degrassi Next Class

Hey loves,

Today, I wanted to talk about some of the issues I find with shows like Degrassi: Next Class. Enjoy!

The third season of Degrassi: Next Class has recently been added to Netflix. I’ve been watching this show for a while now and finished this entire season in a few days. I really enjoyed the first season that I just casually happened to stumble by. This lead me to a binge-watch session. So, when I heard the third season was finally out, I was obviously excited. However, there are some issues I want to point especially with this new season.

The Netflix Original show is based on a group of high school teenagers just trying to cope with school and the personal issues in their life. As usual, each character has their own set of problems they are battling. Some issues covered in this series include sexuality, homosexuality, feminism, racism, religious freedom, gun violence, depression, and abortion among others, of course.

I very much enjoy watching series that center around societal issues. I like the fact that tv shows can talk about issues that are happening in today’s society. They appeal to me as they seem to be more ‘realistic.’ These types of shows do a good job of letting people know that there are some serious issues in our society that we all need to be aware of. They go beyond social norms of ‘comedy shows’ and portray some possible real life events. That being said, I do find some issues with shows like Degrassi.

  1. They not as realistic as it seems. Yes, I know that television shows aren’t meant to be realistic. They are simply for entertainment. However, if you are going to talk about realistic issues in society, then you better have some realistic aspects. While I do believe that many teenagers face these issues, none of them are to this extent. TV shows like Degrassi make it seem like all teenagers are having lots of sex, drinking, doing drugs, etc. I don’t know about you guys, but I never engaged in these behaviors.
  2. Everything is always resolved. I’m not going to lie, I love happy endings. This is why I love Disney; no matter what happens, everything gets resolved and everyone is happy. While this is great, in real life, these issues don’t always have a happy ending. I’ve never seen a show or a movie about these types of issues where the suicide attempt actually ends up in death or an abortion actually ends up in injury. I understand that no one wants this to happen and that for the sake of the show, they all have to ‘magically’ get better immediately. This leads me to my biggest critique.
  3. The problem is never fully explained. I understand that due to a 30-minute time constraint, important issues need to happen and be resolved in a blink of an eye. However, this sets a very unrealistic portrayal of major issues. One does not have severe depression in one episode then is ‘cured’ by the next. It simply does not happen. There is so much more that happens in between and we never see this development. In one episode, one of the characters of the show finds out she’s pregnant. In the same day, she gets a 5-minute abortion, goes back to school, and is all cheery and happy again. This simply does not happen. It reinforces the stereotype that women who get abortions don’t think about this at all and are all ‘cheery’ as soon after it’s all over. Obviously, it’s not like this. This ‘theory’ does a lot more harm than good. It makes many issues seem like they are not serious, which is totally incorrect.

Like I’ve mentioned before, I love the fact that these shows are talking about important issues in our society because they affect so many people, but I do think script writers need to change a few things. If they weren’t so focused on involving too many characters to ‘complicate’ things to make the show more interesting, I believe we would see more development of these important problems. I would love to see a show with a few characters but that really go in-depth with their problems. Yes, the drama is important as well as the happy ending, but I also think these shows have great potential for social awareness and should have a lot more going for them.

On a side note: This third season wasn’t what I was expecting. I was expecting a lot more. I was a bit disappointed.

What do you think of shows like Degrassi? Do you think they do a good job of bringing social awareness to certain issues? Or do they end up doing more harm than good? Let me know what you think down below!

Liz.

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4 thoughts on “My Problem With Degrassi Next Class

  1. Although I haven’t watched that show your assessment is reflective in many shows. I am currently binge watching House. One thing I like about that is that things aren’t always resolved, sometimes the patients die and the main characters are left to resolve it which they sometimes do, and sometimes don’t. One character actually committed suicide leading the main character into a series of awful flashbacks eventually putting him in a psych ward. Obviously there are lots of unrealistic parts to the show because it is, like you said, TV but they aren’t afraid to end the show in tragedy, loss and even death.

    Awhile back I was utterly frustrated with American made shows since they always ended on a high note, completely unrealistic to life. I started watching Canadian made shows and discovered they are more apt to have at least some realism. I’m thinking Regenesis, and Flashpoint. But then Degrassi is based in Canada so that doesn’t always apply.

    I spend a lot of time defending young people to my peer group. At one time I was discouraged by the newer generations and figured humanity would soon burn out and become extinct. That’s a bit extreme but I’m into scifi, lol. Anyway, the last several generations have completely changed my mind, my perspective, and my hope for humanity. They are more globally aware, have a unique perspective, are thoughtful and less apt to fit into societal labels, completely different than what is shown on TV shows. If todays generation was reflected on TV though, either no one would believe it or the show would soon be destined for cancelation.

    Even the news is edited to show the worst in society which is why I don’t watch or read the news. I check in on Apple News occasionally to make sure the world isn’t on the verge of nuclear obliteration but that’s it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve never seen House but I’ve heard of it. I have heard that it’s not always a happy ending which is good because it ends that mentality of everything always getting resolved. I guess the main reason why I don’t watch it is because there’s too many seasons and episodes and I get this feeling where if I start a show I have to finish it lol. The last part is very true! If the real teenagers of our society where to be shown on tv, it wouldn’t be as exiting. It would be rather boring, and no one wants to watch it. It’s so hard to know what reality really is when we watch so much things that portray the world in a negative light.

      Liked by 1 person

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