When I saw that Degrassi Junior High was on Netflix, I was pretty excited. I was a bit too young when this show originally ran in the late 80’s, but I’m sure I must have seen some re-runs as I’m somehow familiar with the characters and major plots.
Though pretty dated, Degrassi is a refreshing change from contemporary portrayals of grade school kids where they’re good looking and impeccably dressed. The kids of Degrassi are what I remember being like in junior high: an awkward girl with crooked teeth and frizzy hair in regrettable clothes.
This realism translated to episodes in which difficult issues were routinely discussed. Teen pregnancy, abortion, alcoholic/abusive/negligent parents, divorce, masturbation, drug use, and homosexuality were discussed in frank terms.
The show has even aired in the US (with writer/director Kevin Smith a huge fan – watch for references in his movies), the UK, and Australia.
I can’t wait to start on Degrassi High.