Degrassi Junior High Reviewed

Degrassi Junior High Reviewed is a blog about the sometimes cheesy, a lot of times badly acted, but beloved Canadian 80's tv series. Each episode will be reviewed in order by a guy who just loves Canadian melodrama. New reviews every week, on Mondays and Thursday's.

Season 1, Episode 10, “Smokescreen”

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In this episode Degrassi Junior High attempts to go green.

Pre credit opener: Right from the get go Kathleen annoys the shit out of me just by looking at her sour looking face. Apparently Kathleen, Caitlin and Susie are part of an environmental club at the school and they want people to sign a petition about pollution but no one gives a shit. Rick walks in and Kathleen just has to say something shitty about him. He signs the stupid petition because it’s obvious he likes Caitlin. Susie tells Caitlin to just admit that she has a thing for him, then she goes on about how much of a hot piece Rick is. Kathleen has to add that he’s as dumb as a post. I swear, what is it with this fucking chick where everything she says has to be hateful and hostile?

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In Ms Avery’s class Susie seems to be giving an oral report about someone in her family or some shit like that. She says that her uncle is an astronaut. Even as I’m watching this I’m thinking, “What a bunch of fucking bullshit.” After a round of applause Ms Avery says that Yick is on deck for his report and he clearly looks nervous as hell. Why? We’ll find out in a few. Meanwhile Ms Avery asks Rick about his report and he said that he didn’t do it. She warns him about being a dumbass and that if he’s not careful he can repeat the grade yet again. He goes out super pissed and hits a locker. Scaring the shit out of Arthur.

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He asks Yick if he wants to play some basketball and surprisingly Yick says that he has to do research about his family project. Arthur says that there’s no need for research and Yick says that no one would be interested in hearing about a bunch of poor ass refugee’s and having a shitload of people living in one house. So basically the asshole is ashamed of where he comes from. Be proud Yick!

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We then see Rick smoking in the bathroom like the badass that he is and Shane walks in. He immediately sounds like a PSA. Warning Rick about the dangers of smoking. Rick tells him to please shut the fuck up and then asks him for advice on how to get with Caitlin. Shane suggests joining the Environmental Action Committee. Rick goes to the meeting in this little garbage strewned room and says that he’d like to join. Kathleen being a shithead asks him what he knows about the environment. He says, “I live in it.” Caitlin and the others argue to let him in and Kathleen agrees. It’s pretty clear that nothing ever happens in this lousy committee.

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I wanna point out real fast the sweet posters of Sting and Tina Turner on the walls behind Kathleen and Trish.

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Afterwords Kathleen starts bitching to Caitlin about letting Rick into the committee and starts going on about what a piece of shit Rick seems to be. Caitlin says that he deserves a chance and that she’s going to give it to him.

We then see Yick walking by and he stops by a store front and see’s a cheap knockoff Chinese looking vase for $4.99. You already know that this isn’t going to go well. The next day he tells Arthur that his vase has been in his family for thousands of years and Arthur being a complete fucking idiot totally believes him. Arthur suggests having it appraised and Yick tells him, “No thanks.”

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Caitlin informs Rick that she’s going to give an annoucment the next day and asks if he wants to help. He says sure. Back in Ms Avery’s, Yick and Arthur are planning on hanging out, but they each have their own shit to do first. Yick has to return some books and Arthur has to change a sign in the class room. He moves the desk where Yick left his stuff and sure enough, he knocks everything down and breaks the vase. He’s in deep shit now, or so he thinks. He leaves Yick a message on the board about getting the vase appraised and now Yick thinks he’s fucked too.

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Meanwhile it’s obvious they filmed in a completely different area, there seems to be some sort of factory near the school polluting everything. The magic of editing baby! Rick starts going on about how when he lived with his dad there was a similar place making everything stink to high heaven and since it would get hot, he couldn’t open the window because of the smell of death. Caitlin says that he should have used an air purifier. Rick says that they’re hella poor and couldn’t afford something stupid like that.

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Back at Caitlin’s. It’s pretty obvious that Caitlin comes from an upper middle class family. Seems like both her parents are teachers, her mother being an assistant principal. Rick says that he doesn’t talk to his dad anymore but that his brother Frank is a bartender. No wonder he didn’t want to do the family report. Anyways. They start going over the announcement and what Caitlin come’s up with is pretty boring as hell. Rick then says that he has an idea.

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And here we go with one of the most unintentionally funny scenes from the entire series. They ask Doris Bell if they can use the mike to make the announcement, Rick then busts out this old ass boom box and plays a tape where a late 80’s rap beat comes on. Caitlin starts rapping about the environment and the entire school loves it. Joey starts moving his head like he wants to break dance. Nothing funnier than seeing a rich white girl rapping about the environment. But apparently it works, kids are lining up in droves to sign the petition.

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Back at the meeting. They start things off and the first thing on the agenda is picking out their actual fucking name. No wonder nothing ever happens. They wanna talk about the petition and taking it to the factory. But Kathleen being a jealous bitch wants nothing from it and for once is actually right. She says, “No one’s going to pay attention about a petition from a bunch of kids.” But Rick and the girls insist.

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After school at Caitlin’s, she asks Susie what she really thinks of Rick and Susie points out how Caitlin is acting like a crusader towards him. Just because he’s poor as hell. Back at Arthur’s darkened sex dungeon of a room, he’s trying to glue back Yicks vase together and is doing a fairly mediocre job at it too.

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The next day on their lunch break, Rick, Caitlin and Susie take the petition to the factory. How they could leave campus like that is beyond me, but ok, they left. Caitlin wants to pussy out and Rick tells them to bring their asses inside. After waiting forever this guy from the place comes around and basically gives them the run around. Saying they haven’t gotten a complaint. Rick showing major attitude, get’s in his face and tells him that this is a complaint.

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The guy takes the petition and thanks them for bringing it to them and then leaves. Pretty obvious the petition went straight into the trash. They leave and Rick is fucking livid. Stupid Caitlin says, “At least he’s going to give it to the president.” Rick points out how naive the both of them are, then leaves and kicks a can in anger.

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Kathleen walks out of the local neighborhood De Grassi Market and see’s Rick all pissed off smoking a cigarette. She looks at the smoke stacks in the distance and get’s a smile which only says that she has evil intentions.

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The next day that shithead Kathleen starts the meeting off by saying they need to talk about Rick being a part of the club since she saw him smoking. Everyone is shocked, mostly Caitlin. Kathleen says that he needs to go since he’s a polluter too. Rick get’s instantly pissed and points out how nothing ever happens and that they’re all talk. He storms out and starts beating the shit out of various lockers.

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After the meeting Rick is waiting for Caitlin and tries to talk to her but she acts like an asshole and tells him to stay away from her. That she stood up for him and helped him. He’s all, “bitch please!” “I helped you.” Then points out how he came up with the stupid rap, and the fact that they went to the factory and made her timid ass go up there. Then he says that he may not be rich like her and that he only joined the stupid committee because he liked her and not because he need her help. Yeah right on Rick! You tell her!

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The next day Arthur shows Yick the busted vase and Arthur says that Yick should just give his story to the class. He does. Apparently they were boat people and they were escaping from Vietnam I’m guessing. After many struggles they made it and everyone in the class loved it, the end! Arthur then gives Yick a wad of cash and offers to pay for the fucking thing for life. Yick says that he bought it cheap and gives Arthur the money back. I would have kept it because Arthur is such a gullible moron.

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Caitlin’s looking at Rick all sad and Kathleen comes up to her and says that Rick wasn’t the right person to be in their stupid club. Caitlin finally get’s fed up and calls Kathleen a jerk. She should have called her a fucking cunt.

After school Caitlin comes up to Rick and apologizes for being a judgmental asshole and I love how he says, “yeah, yeah.” She then says that the factory pretty much ignored their dumb petition and Rick comes up with another idea of letting the local paper know how the factory ignored a bunch of Junior High kids. Caitlin says that he’s brilliant and kisses him on the cheek.

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He shushes her and say that he does have a reputation. Apparently he likes it that people think he’s a fuck up.

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Author: Degrassi Guy

Hi there and welcome to my little corner of the Degrassi Universe in the far side of interwebs. For all ten of you who are reading this, welcome! Degrassi Junior High/High was a show produced in Canada that showed the trials and tribulations of every day students. This show tackled everything and I mean everything. From alcoholism, depression, pedophiles, bullies, eating disorders, hitchhiking, death of parents, adoption, teen pregnancy, hiding other products to get condoms so no one will notice. To pornography, suicide, getting the smack down from your mustached boyfriend and getting the guts to get away from him. If I missed anything, trust me. Degrassi didn't. Degrassi was pretty much as real as it got. Especially back when I first started seeing it. Saved by the Bell it was not. You never saw Zack Morris smoking weed, getting Kelly Kapowski pregnant or AC Slater giving Jessie a good beating when she sassed him. So sit back and get ready to reacquaint yourself with the beginning of the Degrassi Universe. For those of you who are new, you don't know what you're in for. But that's a good thing. This is Degrassi Junior High/High seen through my eyes. Basically what I loved and hated. Some of you may disagree with what I think, but that's ok. Mostly though, after all these years later. I still love this cheesy show.

2 thoughts on “Season 1, Episode 10, “Smokescreen”

  1. I love Rick. He’s such a boss in this episode too. And something about a pre-pubescent child smoking really entertains me. I still get that “omg he’s so cool!” impression I used to get as a kid.

    It’s hilarious that you mention the way Rick says “yeah, yeah”. In the episode where they do Quest for the Best, and Rick says “yeah yeah!” to the cameraman, that’s my favorite…. My husband and I say that to each other now all the time, because of Rick.

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