When I was in high school, I watched the show Degrassi Junior High whenever I was able to catch it on PBS. I was kind of embarrassed, because the show’s characters were younger than I was. The theme song was ten kinds of lame, too. But I guess one shouldn’t necessarily judge a show by its theme song. My favorite character was “Spike,” whose real name was Christine. One of the things I liked about the show was that it was realistic. The characters looked like real kids I knew, not beauty queens or movie stars. They were involved in realistic plots that I recognized from my own school. For instance, Spike got pregnant and had a baby as a teen. I knew girls in school that this happened to. Characters tried drugs and alcohol. It was a good show.
One day in class, I no longer remember how, one of my students mentioned the current incarnation of Degrassi. I knew there was one, because I don’t live in a hole, but I had not seen it. I mentioned to my students that I watched the 1980’s incarnation and mentioned Spike. My student excitedly told me that Spike’s daughter Emma was a character on the current Degrassi, and so was Spike. I decided I’d have to check it out when I got a chance, but my thinking was that I was too old to be watching stuff like this.
I got a chance to check out Degrassi this morning when I woke up at 4:00. I have been going to bed around 8:00 the last two nights, which is unlike me. It also means I have been waking up at about 4:00. Anyway, it’s pretty good, and to my way of thinking, a lot like the version I watched when I was in high school. One of the things I like is that the show is honest. It is about real kids, who look like real kids and have the problems real kids have. Maybe I’ll watch it more regularly.