Season 2 of Degrassi Junior High sees the second half of our kids first year in Grades 7 & 8 respectively.
The stories and the characters are still resonate, and it’s so amazing to watch all these young people grow up before your eyes. Long before we were enchanted with Hogwarts Academy, we were watching kids just like us go through problems we were going through in the big city of Toronto, well, for most of it, some of it’s actually Etobicoke.
The point remains that these kids were us, they had their faults, their problems, and their issues. Just like we did.
This season sees the continuing arc of Spike’s pregnancy, the continued practice of Joey, Snake, and Wheels’ band The Zit Remedy (and their one song), the troubling subject of a substitute teacher taking a more than passing interest in one of his students, the danger of rumors, bullying, alcohol abuse, depression and suicidal tendencies, puberty, crushes, kissing, flunking the year, as well as learning about principles that should govern the press (perhaps a few ‘news’ organizations should actually rewatch that episode). And, we learn that Caitlin has epilepsy! (She’s still my favorite).
Yet despite the fact that a lot of this could be very heavy-handed, the show continues to get its message across in a way that feels real without being preachy. It also continues to have a lot of fun, and provide a lot of laughs.
Just because something is going bad in one student’s life doesn’t mean the rest of the world stops for them. Life goes on around each and every one of them.
An apt reminder that we are not the center of anyone’s world, only ourselves, and those we count as friends and loved ones.
I can’t fully express the joy and the nostalgia I am having at re-watching these episodes. I still laugh out loud at moments, feel crushed, outraged and upset for characters, and though I truly would never want to go through my own oh-so-very-awkward teenaged years (and there are pictures to prove it, despite my best effort at destroying them all) again, just as in season one, I don’t mind revisiting these halls, and hanging out with people I knew as my friends, despite the fact that they had never heard of me.