There are two people in this world:
1. People who know that Drake was not always merely Meek Mill’s nemesis, but also “Wheelchair Jimmy,” who thinks going down to the ravine will inevitably lead to gonorrhea, and that whatever it takes, they know they can make it through.
2. Then there are the people who haven’t watched “Degrassi.”
“Degrassi” is a Canadian drama set in the titular high school, and damn, do bad things happen to those kids. The series’ winning formula has been taking every bad possible thing that could happen to a high schooler, and making sure it all happens, and then some.
Netflix execs clearly realized how amazing this show is, because they’ve revived it this month in “Degrassi: The Next Class.” For those uninitiated to the world of Degrassi, here is a rundown of all the things that happened with some of the show’s most beloved characters on “Degrassi: The Next Generation” to urge you to give this new Netflix show a try. And for those who have already metaphorically walked the halls of Degrassi, please enjoy the trip down memory lane.
20. Ashley takes ecstasy and loses everything.
Popular girl Ashley dares to take ecstasy at a party and loses all her friends and her boyfriend, Drake, thus proving that drugs is one of the few behaviors not acceptable at Degrassi.
19. Darcy’s secret life.
Darcy is a hardcore Christian trying to show her boyfriend the light, until everyone finds out she’s been posting sexy photos of herself online and sending them to a 40-year-old dude.
18. JT and his penis pump.
Poor, poor JT is consumed with the worry that his penis is too small and is caught by his girlfriend using a penis pump.
17. JT’s failed penis pump and baby mama.
JT apparently thinks that the penis pump worked wonders, uses a king-sized condom that falls off during sex, and gets Liberty pregnant. He decides he has a type and while on break with Liberty dates the school’s other teen mom, Mia.
16. Leia lies about knowing Fall Out Boy to impress her cooler boyfriend, Danny.
I repeat, of all the lies to pick, she goes with Fall Out Boy, a band that peaked in about 2006.
15. Peter takes advantage of drunk Manny.
He then films her showing off her boobs and then releases the footage around school. Manny’s best friend Emma is all NBD about this and decides to date the creep, until he plants drugs in her ex’s locker and gets him arrested. Then she realizes he is a creep. It’s possible Emma is not as intelligent as the series wants us to believe.
14. Spinner bullies a kid who goes on to commit a school shooting.
(More on the school shooting later), but Spinner struggles with that guilt, gets expelled and becomes a born-again Christian. Unfortunately, he then gets testicular cancer shortly after. Shortly after he comes to term with his cancer, he gets shot.
13. Terri’s unfortunate ending.
Terri is the girl who never quite fits in with her popular gang of friends, so she dates loner Rick. In this case, her friends were right that she shouldn’t date the school weirdo, because he bashes her head with a rock during an argument, she falls into a coma, and we never see Terri again.
12. Craig, Degrassi’s artsy guy.
So, of course, he comes a musician with a severe cocaine addiction.
11. Declan and Fiona, twins, kiss.
10. Manny walks around Degrassi with her thong out
To be fair, this was back in the early 2000s when too-tight crop tops and low-rise booty shorts were all the rage. However, she makes an even worse impression of herself when she helps Craig cheat on Ashley, gets pregnant and an abortion. The abortion episode didn’t even air in America for awhile, which is incredibly depressing.
9. Becky, the other hardcore Christian who has a change of heart.
She starts dating a transgender student. WHO THEN DIES. Oh, and after that she finds out her brother is a rapist.
8. Paige is the OG Blair Wardolf of Degrassi High.
Paige gets raped though, takes her rapist to trial, and unfortunately loses trial. She understandably loses her shit, crashes Spinner’s car, loses her license, but decides to start dating Spinner afterward until he cheats on her.
7. Anya dates a Muslim student, Sav, and convinces him to have sex with her to lure him way from his arranged wife.
She then pretends to be pregnant to help him gain votes in the student presidential election as anyone would do.
6. Emma goes to the ravine to hang and gives Jay a blowjob.
She gets gonorrhea. You never go to the ravine.
5. Emma’s drunk marriage decision with Spinner.
Ultimately, Emma struggles with university, returns home, accidentally sets local cafe, The Dot on fire while helping out Spinner, feels bad and takes him to a casino where they get drunk and elope. Spinner was previously just her friend that she had never been involved with. Oh, Emma.
4. Clare (Darcy’s little sister) has cancer.
That’s not all though. She beats cancer only to get pregnant with a whole Maury situation where she doesn’t know who the father is, but then she finds out who the father is just in time to have a miscarriage.
3. Here’s what happened to Marco.
I couldn’t remember what actually happened to Marco, Degrassi’s first gay character so I checked Wikipedia. His entry mentions struggling with his gay identity, suffering a hate crime, considering prostitution, getting slapped by Paige. His Wiki page finishes with this sentence: “He becomes a teacher and struggles with decision to give Holly J more time to finish her paper.” Ah yes, the biggest struggle our dear Marco ever had to face.
2. And of course there is the school shooting…
Where abusive creep Rick (he of the rock that bashed Terri’s head) can’t take the bullying anymore, comes to school with a gun and shoots Jimmy in the back. Jimmy spends the rest of the series in a wheelchair and Drake spends the rest of his life having this brought up to him.
1. Degrassi covered and tackled everything.
Degrassi wasn’t afraid to tackle cancer, or pregnancy, or STDs, or rape but it never included the death of a major character-that is until JT, father to Liberty’s baby, one-time penis pump user, a beloved friend to all-got stabbed during a fight and died. With this move, Degrassi proved there was no bad thing that these kids could dodge.
And to think, this is only about Degrassi: The Next Generation! We never even hit the original Degrassi! If you thought this list wasn’t that impressive, then we’re sure Degrassi: The Next Class which is now streaming on Netflix, is the show for you. As Teen Nick always said: “Degrassi: It goes there.”