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.

Degrassi Talks: “On Drugs”

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This is the first of 6 parts of a little series called Degrassi Talks. In case Degrassi wasn’t educational enough for us, they gave us this. Basically various cast members went around Canada bothering people asking them questions about whether they smoke weed, have sex,  unprotected sex, drinking, abuse and whether dudes jack off into a sock or not. If you thought Degrassi was hardcore it pales in comparison to Degrassi Talks. Because Degrassi Talks actually uses real kids and young people. Each special or episode is hosted by different cast members. I think they chose them because their character went through something similar on the show. That or they had nothing better to do.

Wow they even made books of the series too. Here’s the one on drugs.

drugs

Just one thing, for those of you who are new to the series, these episodes some times give away plot points on future episodes. If you don’t give two shits, then by all means, go on ahead. But for the rest of you, you’ve been warned.

degrassi talks on drugs

Pre-credit intro: Right away this dude starts talking about the fact that in a week he went through a 1000 dollars for drugs. Goddamn that Joey and his New Zealand Zappers! After a cheap looking wipe, we come to this dude talking about a binge he went on. Another wipe and this chick is saying that at ten years old she did a line of coke with her mom. Jesus. Already this is fucking intense. Basically it’s one person after the other telling their drug stories, if I try to repeat everything I’d be here all day long so fuck that.

wipe

So the stirring theme song comes on and I’m already laughing my ass off. It’s pretty lame. Check out the lyrics, “We’ve all got our problems but can’t always solve them we need someone to listen cause we all need some talkin’ no time to ignore but we’ve got to explore we can’t have it all the way let’s do this together I’ll talk to you and you’ll talk to me We’ve got to reach out to set us free Degrassi Talks!” Plus it’s sung by none other than Stacie Mistysyn and Keith White. Better known as Caitlin and Tim (Tracy Morgan). Basically the opening credits is just footage of the cast traveling to various places and shoving a microphone in people’s faces.

caitlin tim
plane
degrassi talks

The host for this episode is Siluck Saysanasy, better known as Yick Yu. No wonder they picked him to host this one, he looks like a burn out already. He says that Yick experimented with different lifestyles including getting fucked up on drugs. But I don’t remember him doing anything else. Unless he and Arthur did some other shit they never showed.

yick host

So they start asking different kids if they’ve done any drugs. We get a few lameo’s. Including one that says, “Drugs are stoopid.” In the Yukon we see Yick talking to some 18 year old chick named Cathy. She basically starting using drugs because she wanted to fit into an older crowd. Shit! Right out of the gate she did some acid and mushrooms, after that 2 month plan she moved onto cocaine. A lot of this is interspaced with video footage of different kids talking about their theories on why one does drugs. Including peer pressure, and wanting to have a good time.

interview

It seems like Michelle is talking to some black dude dressed like a cowboy in a letterman jacket. Guess he was so stoned out of his mind, he didn’t know what look to go for. Anyways he starts talking about the fact that he started smoking weed. It got so bad that it was a daily habit and he compares it to getting up in the morning and brushing your teeth.

michelle

We then cut to this 22 year old named Matt. He says that he started doing drugs to escape his problems. And holy shit, we get a wide shot and it seems Matt is in the big house for various drug related charges. Wheels is in there with him rocking his Bon Jovi hair. Basically the guy had a lot of problems at home with his step father and he loved being high cause then he would forget about all his bullshit. They cut the interview with some footage of Yick talking to some burn outs. He asks them, “What first comes to mind when I say drugs.” This chick says, “I guess having fun.”

wheels the joint
wheels bon jovi hair

So yeah at this point, this entry is getting pretty hard to write because these people are real fucked up. Caitlin’s talking to some girl who’s parents were heron addicts, oh it’s the chick who did a line of coke with her mom. The mom reasoning that if she’s going to do drugs, she wants her to do it under her roof. I love how the mom is trying to be a little responsible by having her be at home while she’s getting high on some hard core drugs.

caitlin

We get what I call Canadian fun facts, the drug edition. It’s basically text superimposed over the girls face and it says, “Large doses of cocaine or crack can cause violent behavior, convulsions, and sudden death.” Basically shit that everyone knows at this point.

You can tell this was done like in 1992 because the fashions just give it away. The girl Cathy says that her drug addiction got so bad that she started living in the mean streets of Vancouver. Ew, she said she even shared needles with drunken bums. But she didn’t care because she just wanted that fix. Matt reveals that crack causes you to become instantly addicted. Wheels is just nodding his head the whole time.

yick

I think one of the twins is asking different kids the same thing Yick asked the burn outs. Which is, “What is the first thing that comes into your mind when I say drugs?” This girl says, “Illegal Drugs.” This other kid says, “Crack.” Others say, “Trouble.” Holy shit we get a shot of Canadian Judah Friedlander. And this guy with his neon clothes is saying that he used to do solvents. Even sniffing some gasoline.  Then we get another fun fact.

canadian judah
fun fact

Joey is then seen talking to some Indian guy from Winnipeg that looks like a taller version of himself. According to Yick this guy was a solvent abuser. He says that it’s a big problem in the native community. Oh man, I just noticed that they’re all wearing Degrassi Talks t shirts. I feel so embarrassed for them. Then we get to some guy talking about the fact that they would use solvents because they were too poor to afford real drugs. The injun says that if they wouldn’t have found him when they did, he would have been dead meat. Then we get another Canadian drug fun fact.

joey

Haha, we then get a scene from Degrassi High. It’s the one where BLT was confronting Michelle over using caffeine pills. Then she starts talking about how her character abused them. The black dude starts laughing and said, “Didn’t they do that hilariously on Saved by the Bell with Jessie crying?” “I’m so excited. I’m so excited. I’m so… Scared!” But no he says that he was prescribed some shit for being hyper. I guess he shared his meds with his rugby team and they got super juiced.

michelle interview

This punk rock chick is talking about the fact that this is a drug culture and that everyone uses them to some degree. Others basically talk about prescription drugs and then we get another fun Canadian drug fact.

punk chick

Some kids gang up on Yick and confront him over his joy of smoking cigarettes. Yick tells them that he enjoys smoking and that he’s addicted to it. We then cut to him sitting in front of Degrassi High talking to the camera. He admits that he was put on the spot when that little shit called him out. Yick should have said, “I don’t have to explain myself to you, you little turd.” But from what he’s saying, he basically can’t stop and that one should never pick up the habit. I guess he’s a smoking fiend for life.

yick on spot
yick on spot 2

The issue of alcohol comes up and this guy says that he started drinking when he was 10 years old thanks to his parents. He says that he did it because getting drunk off your ass at the tender age of 10 is more acceptable than getting stoned off your gorge. We get another fun fact.

We then see Yick talking to the sister of the guy who started drinking young. She said that he moved on from that to drugs. She starts talking about what the ravages of drugs do to families. Yick looks really uncomfortable during this exchange. Yick then asks the guy what he thought of all the shit he put everyone through, but he said that when he was on his benders that he didn’t give a shit. This chick with really thick eyebrows starts talking about how her mom did some speed while pregnant with her and she was born an addicted baby. Geesh!

yick kitchen
eyebrows

We then cut to Yick in the Yukon with that one girl Cathy. She tells a story how at the age of 17 she was already a seasoned pro in doing drugs. She said that some dude asked her if she wanted to get high and just from seeing how he was doing everything she knew he didn’t know how to do jack shit, so she showed him. So wow, she said she was so disgusted at herself that she quit cold turkey right then and there. Even went back home I think.

yukon girl

So I’m thinking this is the recovery segment of this episode. Everyone is talking about how they finally managed to get clean and sober. Michelle being morbid wants to know how it was to get off and how bad it was. The guy says that it’s scary as fuck. The brother and sister duo start talking about how much better life is with out him being fucked up on drugs. Yick says, “Hug it out bitch”, so they do.

brother sister

Yick trying to look like a bad ass concludes this episode with some facts. He says that kids are using less drugs today (1992) than they did ten years ago. Who knows how this statistic is now. And holy moley! Caitlin is chasing these Asian people saying, “EXCUSE ME! EXCUSE ME!!” They finally stop their tandem bike, yes tandem and she asks them if she can ask them some really invasive questions about being naturally high. It’s a pretty lame question. Some people say playing Nintendo, going to the arcade to play some Street Fighter II. This white guy says that he likes to rap. He totally looks like Vanilla Ice. The Asians just love riding their tandem bike in the great out doors and talking to their parents. The Indian guy says that people need to take responsibility for their own actions. Which is true.

yick closing
caitlin maniac

The last person we see is Matt in prison saying that if he get’s released he’s going to get hooked again or do some other stupid shit. It’s a pretty sad never ending cycle for this guy. The episode ends with the theme song coming back on.

end

So yeah, I can imagine that they showed this in various health classes in schools all over the place. Who knows if anyone took it seriously, some things they talked about are things that most people know already. But you can all look forward to future installments of Degrassi Talks. Other topics covered include, depression, abuse, sex, alcohol and sexuality. Unless I don’t slit my own wrists, because this show is seriously depressing.

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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 “Degrassi Talks: “On Drugs”

  1. Wheels’ hair is just way too much for me!

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