Not feeling that well last night, I snuggled into bed, in my pajamas, with Netflix, looking for something to watch. I flicked through the titles for a while – wanting something that wouldn’t require a lot of thought, elicit a lot of emotion, but wouldn’t be too incredibly stupid. Do any of you have good sick day go-tos for TV shows? As a kid mine was The Price is Right but watching it now without Bob Barker makes me sad. If I had The Joy of Painting on DVD, I think my life would be better.
Anyway, so last night I settled onDegrassi Jr. High. I could not tell you why. I would say it was some misplaced nostalgia but I was barely two (wait, I double-checked, I was not yet two) when the show began and I never watched it regularly in any of its incarnations.
It’s made in Canada, so obviously the quality is sometimes lacking.* The thing I really noticed while watching the show though was that I couldn’t tell who was supposed to be cool or not. They all looked so small and dorky to me that for the first few minutes, I assumed the show was following a group of misfits through junior high. But no, some of them are apparently popular and thought to be awesome by their peers.
(*That is not meant to be a disparaging comment towards Canada or Canadian talent. There’s huge amounts of talent in our country, unfortunately our television doesn’t always reflect that.)
Those two are a couple of the main characters from the first episode. Joey (the one on the right) is, apparently, the most popular guy in school. And yes, he does make that face a lot. Stephanie (the one on the left) becomes more popular the more skin she shows and trades kisses for votes in the student election. You can’t really see it in this picture but that red thing in her hair is a chip clip. We also get to see her backcombing her hair quite a lot.
And, oh, the high fives. So many high fives. And not a single one looks cool.
In most high school dramas, the popular kids are very clearly and visibly defined from the “geeks”. They’re all played by gorgeous twenty-somethings but the nerdy kids wear glasses and like science. Think of She’s All That (yikes, dated and terrible reference!) where you can tell the main character isn’t cool because she wears glasses and overalls.
But I actually like what Degrassi does here. The kids are all okay looking and all dressed relatively the same. And that’s actually what high school is like! There might be someone extraordinarily beautiful here or there but for most people, high school is not their most attractive time. You’re still figuring out how to wear make-up, your body’s changing constantly, your skin is probably going a little crazy. Basically, in high school, you look like a kid from Degrassi.
Personally, I can’t wait to see how Stephanie fares as school president.