If you have never heard of Degrassi
, then I am honestly not suprised.Degrassi: The Next Generation
is a television show which is set in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and the story lines focus on the lives of students that attend (originally) Degrassi Junior High
and more prominently Degrassi High School.
The show focuses the trials and tribulations of teenagers in school. Although there are many televisions show on tv which ultimately focus on such topics, Degrassi
goes beyond traditionally topics to cover school shootings, lesbian relationships, a gay male struggling to come out to his family, and many other very controversial topics, at least here in the United States.Degrassi
airs on CTV
(Canadian Television) and is rebroadcast on The-N
, a channel in the United States owned by MTV Networks (Viacom).
Although this show focuses on the lives of teenagers in Canada, I have found it to be extremely relevant to situations we have here in the United States. Issues with teenage drinking, pregnancy, bi-polar disorder, and even child abuse are often discussed on this show. And it is their controversial topics and sex appeal on the show that continues to draw in viewers.
Teenagers and young adults today seem to be more interested in a more "real" depiction of teenagers and in today's society that means, sex, drugs, and even more sex. Now although the show never actually shows people having sex, it does allude to the idea or more than one occasion.
As mentioned before there have been many episodes in which controversial themes have presented themselves. These themes are realistic and show ALL the angles
on a dangerous and controversial situation. When an episode aired involving a school shooting, Degrassi
should the events that led up to the shooting, the thoughts in the shooters head, and the dangers and reprecussions that occured becuase of the event.
A number of different episodes aired in which one of the characters was pregnant. The episodes tracked the girl's relationship with her boyfriend building up to the pregnancy and the events that unravel during, and what they ultimately decide to do with the baby in the end and the reprecussions and emotions involved in the entire process.
Some of the episodes are heartbreaking, their messages are so strong and resounding, that it is hard to imagine that things like this happen in high schools every day inside the country, and based off the fact that Degrassi
is based in Canada, I would assume these things even occur outside of the country.
This television, although maybe not the only one of its kind, has a strong message to send to its viewers--you are not alone. If you are ever thinking that you are alone in thinking what it is you do, then think again. Wherever you are, whatever you are thinking, someone else is thinking the same thing too.
For me personally, I may be a lot older than the target audience, but I find the show somewhat on point for how high school was. Okay, so maybe I didn't have a school shooting and I didn't know someone that was bi-polar, and I didn't get pregnant in high school, but I will tell you this. I knew someone that shot himself the night of prom, my sister got pregnant in high school, and the star football player died in a car accident the summer before our senior year (and these things are just the tip of the ice berg).
So my theory is--my school my not be nearly as exciting as Degrassi, and Degrassi may be a little over dramatic, but it is as close to real as you can get without having to put a camera inside a highschool. They cover real issues. They cover what for many people is real life.
So the next time you are channel surfing and you see Degrassi
stop and take a look, it may over do it just a bit, but you'll laugh, you'll get involved, and you'll understand.