Degrassi is a Canadian soap opera series focusing on a group of Toronto residents living on or near the real De Grassi Street in the province of Ontario. The series focuses on teens and adults going through real life issues such as religion, racism, sexism, sexuality, peer pressure, self-image, school shooting and lockdowns, natural disasters, abuse, addictions, school stress, and other things. The phenomena began in 1979 with an educational children's program known as The Kids of De Grassi Street, which was a miniseries focusing on elementary school children dealing with friendship issues. However, this series is not connected with the other arcs in the Degrassi universe, though some of the same actors have moved on into the different arcs. The arcs of Degrassi Junior High and Degrassi High from the '80's are combined into one arc known as Degrassi Old School in the U.S..
The first arc in the franchise, The Kids of De Grassi Street, was an educational program that was mainly geared towards children and pre-teens. It focused on such issues as crushes, friendships, academic stress, and divorce, among other things. The Kids of De Grassi Street was also not connected to the characters in the following arcs. The next arc, Degrassi Old School (two separate arcs in Canada called Degrassi Junior High and Degrassi High) were created for pre-teens and teenagers, along with young adults, though older adults still took interest in them. The genre in this arc was drama, as it was filmed as such and didn't have all of the over-the-top storylines as more traditional, daytime serials. Degrassi: The Next Generation, took up the form of teen drama (even though pre-teens and adults still watched the shows) to add a bit of comic relief in it, as well as use storylines that younger people face in real life, such as abuse, rape, sexuality, and substance abuse. The show used the teen drama format to try to give the younger viewers in school a way to deal with problems. The current arc, which is simply known as Degrassi, is in a soap opera format. The first 24 episodes of season 1 aired daily for six weeks, until the show reached the end of its summer run at a cliff-hanger. Although the final 20 episodes only air once a week on Friday nights, the show's visuals are more like a soap opera, along with the fact that Degrassi has turned into a show more for entertainment than the advice-giving show it used to be. The show has gone over the top, with less-realistic storylines and characters, though it is still more realistic than other soaps and dramas on TV.
-The Kids of De Grassi Street (Education)
-Degrassi Junior High (Drama)
-Degrassi High (Drama)
-Degrassi: The Next Generation (Teen Drama)
-Degrassi (Soap Opera)
Degrassi Old School
Degrassi Old School was a series that ran from 1987-1991 that focused on a group of teenagers and a few adults that deal with such issues a molestation, school stress, friends, relashionships, teen pregnancy, homosexuality, and other issues that young people face. The main characters included Principal Raditch, Archibald/Archie "Snake" Simpson, Shane McKay, Christina "Spike" Nelson, Joey Jeremiah, Claude Tanner, Caitlin Ryan, and several other caracters.
Degrassi: The Next Generation
Degrassi: The Next Generation is a series that ran from 2001-2010. It followed the character Emma Nelson, who was born in Degrassi Old School, along with Emma's friends and other characters close to her, that attend the fictional new Degrassi Community School. Like its predecessor, it deals with kids who are in high school and college that face such issues as school shootings, friendships, bullying, pranks, homosexuality, religion, abuse, racism, sexism, addictions and other things like that.
Miss Hatzilakos- Principal and Peter's mother.
Riley Stavros- A gay jock.
Zane Park- Riley's boyfriend.
Emma Nelson- an environmentalist and human rights activist.
Manuela "Manny" Santos- a Filipino immigrant who dreams f being an actress.
Tobias "Toby" Isaacs- A computer nerd and J.T.'s best friend.
James Tiberius "J.T." Yorke- a class clown.
Paige Michalchuk- A queen bee wih a hatred for Manny.
Darcy Edwards- A Christian bad girl.
James "Jimmy" Brooks- Rich but kind basketball star and artist.
Liberty Van Zandt- A nerdy girl.
Theresa "Terri' MacGregor- Plus-size model.
Chantay Black- Degrassi C.S.'s gossip queen.
Mia Jones- A model and new girl from Lakehurst school.
John-George "Johnny" DiMarco- School bully.
Bruce the Moose- Jonny's partner in crime.
David "Dave" Turner- Chantay's average cousin.
Kelly Ashoona- Emma's college sweetheart.
Blue Chessex- An interesting artist.
Marco Del Rossi- A flamboyant gay.
Eleanor "Ellie" Nash- The goth girl.
Declan Coyne- Rich, flirty player.
Holly J. Sinclair- The new queen bee after Paige graduates.
Fiona Coyne- A fashionista. Declan's twin.
Archie Simpson- The Media Immersion teacher.
Principal Radtich- The former Degrassi principal.
Ashley Kerwin- Ellie's best friend.
Hazel Aden- A girl that's hiding a secret and Paige's sidekick.
Allia "Alli" Bhandari- A school slut.
Clare Edwards- Darcy's younger sister who is Alli's best friend.
Jenna Middleton- A bubbly boyfriend stealer.
Connor Deslauriers- Snake's Asperger's godson.
Spike Nelson- Emma's mother.
Caitlin Ryan- A reporter.
Joey Jeremiah- Graduate of Degrassi.
Jason "Jay" Hogart- Sean's bud.
Sean Cameron- Degrassi's bad boy.
Alexandra "Alex" Nunez- A lesbian.
Kirk Cameron "K.C." Guthrie- A troubled teen who lives in a group home.
Savtag "Sav" Bhandari- Alli's older sister in a band.
Peter Stone- Head of a band.
Gavin "Spinner" Mason- Emma's current husband.
Danny Van Zandt- A musician and Liberty's younger brother.
Leia Chang- The new shy girl.
Derek Haig- A school bully.
Jane Vaughn "Anastacia Valieri"- The only girl on the football team who had a horrid childhood.
The newest arc of the franchise, simply entitled Degrassi, began its 1st season after the season 9 movie finale (AKA, The Heat is On) of Degrassi: The Next Generation, The Rest of My Life: Degrassi Takes Manhattan. The season takes place in the 2008-2009 school year and has dropped most of the original cast from the former arc. This season began making the visuals resemble the visuals in a daytime soap opera, and also began airing it in nightly in summer 2010, with the first 24 episodes called "The Boiling Point", filled with juicy drama and a horrific code blue in the summer finale. Additionally, 4 episodes (an hour long each) were added to the season in fall of that year called "The Breaking Point", which dealt with the children's reactions to the new rules and sex-scandals of the Vegas Night Dance. The season is to resume in 2011 and will be called Degrassi: In Too Deep. The show will continue to revolve around the students of Degrassi and their reactions to the new rules.
The second season of the show, with the summer event titled Now or Never, will take place in spring 2009 after spring break, dealing mainly with relationships and gang problems with the characters. A new school year will begin for the weekly second half of the season, coming in fall 2011. New characters coming this season are the manipulative Imogen Moreno, alpha girl Katie Matlin, and hunk Jake Martin.
Leia Chang (guest star)
Holly J. Sinclair