Degrassi Review: Summertime

Last night was the season premiere of Degrassi. There were new characters introduced along with the drama and romantic twists and turns we’ve all come to expect of the franchise. I will attempt to review each new episode on a weekly basis.

“Summertime” was the obligatory one-hour premiere that gives you an overview what’s to come for the duration of the season The key storylines featured were the beginnings of Clare Edward’s battle with leukemia, Maya Matlin’s involvement with bad boy Miles Hollingsworth, the blossoming BFF relationship between Tristan and newcomer Zoe Rivas and a love triangle involving Adam, Imogen and Becky. The final scene saw most of the crew heading to Paris for a school outing.

The Good

New logo and opening sequence – Instead of the traditional opening montage showing the cast in various areas of the campus, the new sequence is an abbreviated version of “I Know I Can Make It” that only lasts for a few seconds. The sleek new logo gives off a more sophisticated aura.

New season, new logo

New season, new logo

Eli’s visit to Clare at the hospital- These two are hands down one of the best couples in franchise history. A scene where Eli showed up just as Clare broke down over her grim prognosis done to maximum emotional effect. It was another in a long line of classic moments the two have shared over the last three seasons.

Eli and Clare

Eli and Clare

New rich guy Miles Hollingsworth- I found this character to be highly refreshing. Opposite of Declan Coyne, another rich kid from seasons 9-10, Miles doesn’t appear to revel in his family’s wealth. Instead, it seems that he tries his best to distance himself from the lifestyle. He also has a volatile relationship with his father that has the potential to produce some engrossing television as the season progresses.

Miles Hollingsworth

Miles Hollingsworth

A bumpy ride to Paris- The show closing scene of everyone boarding for Paris was your standard Degrassi-style prelude to everything exploding on next week, or as Tristan said, “this summer is going to be cray.” You could just see all the machinations and schemes at hand (particularly in Zoe’s facials) as Miles and friend Winston Chu were thrown in as last minute additions to the trip. I expect a couple of new relationships to form by the time they leave Paris.

The Bad

Imogen, Becky, and Adam love triangle- The setup is fairly predictable. Adam and Becky are together. Becky leaves for the summer. Imogen begins to put the moves on Adam. Before Becky leaves, she tells Adam to stay away from Imogen. Adam refutes Imogen’s advances. By the end of the episode Imogen tells Adam that Becky should realize what a great guy she has. Naturally, Adam agrees. I’m sure they will make out on next week.

This storyline frustrates me for two reasons. The first is that Becky and Adam spent a significant portion of last season fighting to be together and now it seems all their hard work was for nothing. Second, Imogen came across as a typical girl for the first time ever. Imogen was among the most fascinating new characters when she debuted in season 11. She always walked to the beat of her own drum and carried herself in a manner different from the other female characters. Hopefully, the writers will get her back on track with some quality storylines.

Unexpected departures- When I first began viewing the promotional shots for this season, I was stunned to discover the absence of major characters Dave Turner, Luke Baker (Becky’s brother), and Tori Santamaria. It’s possible I missed it, but I don’t recall Becky ever making mention of Luke last night. Tristan did mention Tori in passing, but never made reference as to why she decided to leave. Dave was in an on again-off again relationship with Ali Bhandari for years, so I thought they would’ve at least written him off with a fairly good explanation.

So long Dave!

So long Dave!

I hope all you Degrassi fans have enjoyed this recap. Until next week folks!

Season 13 cast

Season 13 cast

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