Tonight’s televised horror comes to use from the year 2004 and the nation of Canada! Love you, Canada!
In this episode of Degrassi: The Next Generation, the students at Toronto’s Degrassi Community School are still struggling to come to terms with a recent school shooting that left one student dead and another paralyzed. What better way to help the school deal with their trauma than a play? And what better play to select than an adaptation of …. Dracula?
J.T. (Ryan Cooley) and Libertry (Sarah Barrable-Tishauer) are directing their own script. Starring in the play is Emma Nelson (Miriam McDonald). Before the shooting, Emma was known for being rather strident about her political and environmental activism. After the shooting, Emma has been spiraling out of control. And, as we all know, spiraling out of control on Degrassi inevitably leads to a visit to the ravine where all-around trouble-maker Jay (Mike Lobel) has a van and a collection cheap bracelets.
Meanwhile, in another part of the school, Ashley (Melissa McIntyre) tries to get Craig (Jake Epstein) to join a support group that will help him deal with his recent bipolar diagnosis. Craig is upset to discover that Ellie (Stacey Farber) is in the same group. This episode was the start of the very long and very angsty Craig/Ellie relationship arc. When I first watched Degrassi, I always related to Ellie and I still do to a certain extent but, in retrospect, I think I was probably a lot more like Ashley when I was in high school.
This episode of Degrassi aired, in Canada, on November 30th, 2004. This episode was considered to be so controversial that it actually made national news when it later aired in the United States. (I can actually remember watching some outraged wannabe censor talking about how Degrassi was a corrupting influence.) Part Two of Secret, which we’ll get to tomorrow, was even more controversial.
As for how this fits in with October …. it’s Dracula! And really, when you think about it, Jay’s a bit of a real-life Dracula. That’ll especially become clear in the next episode.
Anyway, here is tonight’s episode. Remember — whatever it takes, you can make it through!