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.


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Behind The Music: The Zit Remedy

Edit: Check out the new companion blog Degrassi The Next Generation Reviewed.

https://degrassithenextgenerationreviewed.wordpress.com/

zit remedy behind the music

In the Pantheon of popular Canadian musical artists such as Rush, Nickelback, Celine Dion and Snow. Comes what is possibly one of the greatest school bands in the history of school bands. The Zit Remedy! Led by front man and keyboardist Joey Jeremiah. Lead guitarist Archie “Snake” Simpson and bassist Derek “Wheels” Wheeler. They were so bad ass, they said, “Fuck it, we don’t need a drummer!” Their one and only single Everybody Wants Something catapulted them right into the stratosphere. In Joey’s mind that is. They’re what every lazy, short sighted juvenile band strives to become.

The zits joey snake and wheels

THE EARLY YEARS.

The Zit Remedy had their humble beginnings in the Degrassi Junior High Cafi-gymitorium stage. They originally formed because they wanted to play at the school talent show. Their first rehearsal was a disaster. Musically they sucked a bunch of donkey dicks. Ms Avery wanted to have a heart attack when she first heard them play. Joey also started sporting a stupid looking wig that made him look like the guy from Kajagoogoo. We never did find out how that talent show played out. But we can assume it was bad.

Some early name suggestions were The Creatures, Lovely Lads, The Electric Shoes, The Hong Kong Cavaliers, The Joey Jeremiah Experience, Snake and the Charmers and Joey and the Joey Buzzers. After much arguing they decided on The Zit Remedy and thus a musical legend was born.

zit remedy band pic

About that time Wheels grades were so much in the shitter, his parents made him quit the band while his grades improved. Joey and Snake then decided to recruit Simon Dexter to become a Zit because Simon could also play the bass. Wheels asked them what happens when he comes back. Joey’s brilliant idea is that they’ll be the first band to have two bass players. That Joey Jeremiah, always an innovator. Soon after that, Simon lost all interest in the Zit Remedy because he would rather play Soccer. Snake was so disgusted with him that he called him a Narbo. Wheels’s grades eventually improved and he returned to join the band. The boys kept practicing and practicing the first 5 seconds of the song and then they’d call it a day.

zits practicing

They then hit their second snag as the band slept over at Snakes house. This was also the time when talk of making a music video first started to surface. Wheels was late for an eye Dr appointment the next morning so they decided to take Snakes dad’s car for a little joy ride. Of course they got caught, especially after Snake ratted them out. So their parents hit them where it really hurt and forced them to disband. Joey’s parents who normally don’t do jack shit to him took away his Z 7000 keyboard.

zit remedy no more

Some how the band survived and continued to rock on. It was never explained but not that long after that the band reformed and Joey being their leader started to bother Stephanie Kaye if they could play at the school graduation dance. After much begging, she finally agreed to talk to Mr Lawrence to see if they could even play. Right away Joey had stars in his eyes.

THEIR FIRST AND ONLY CONCERT.

zit remedy

But this was the moment that tested one young Joey Jeremiah. He found out that he actually flunked the 8th grade and had to repeat. Wheels found him at the local arcade sulking. Joey informed him that he wasn’t going to play at the dance due to extreme embarrassment. Wheels basically called him a pussy and if he can’t even play at the dance for their classmates, then how could he play in front of thousands of people. Finally Joey came to terms with his stupidity and came dressed in his best tuxedo shirt. Of course the Zit Remedy rocked the house. Maya started to boogie in her wheel chair, Ms Avery started to twerk way before that was a thing. Spike went into labor during their rockin performance because even Emma wanted to get into all the fun. This was to be the greatest night of Joey Jeremiah’s life, especially after he heard the crowd chanting, “Zits! Zits! Zits!”

zit remedy concert zits joey and sanke concert

STARDOM.

After that, everyone at Degrassi couldn’t get enough of the Zit Remedy. That’s when Joey decided to sell copies of Everybody Wants Something in a live album called The Zit Remedy: Live at the Budokan. Too bad the band never made a vinyl. These things were hot and selling for 2 dollars a pop. Too bad Alex only wanted it so that he could tape over it. How dare he. This single is music history because it was recorded at Joey’s basement at the same time that Wheel’s nerdy parents went to go meet their maker. But we’re getting a little ahead of ourselves here. This was also around the time that Caitlin Ryan became their biggest fan and Joey’s groupie. She bought the cassette and played it where ever she was, whether it was in Mr Raditch’s class or at her home where she was daydreaming of becoming Joey’s girlfriend. Of course Joey broke her heart because he was more interested in Liz. He must have started a drug habit, because what was he on when he decided that? So what did Caitlin do? She threw the single into the trash. Da noive!

caitlin buying tape zit cassette tape

A DARK TIME.

Inevitably with every band there comes a dark period and the Zit Remedy were no different. It all started when Wheels parents were tragically killed in a car accident by a drunk driver. Wheels fell into a deep depression and lost all interest in the Zit Remedy. He even told Joey that he sold his bass. Then he added the insult to injury that the Zits weren’t going anywhere and he didn’t care about the “stupid” band anymore. This news devastated Joey and they had to cancel what would have been their triumphant world tour. Too bad because they had London, Paris, Munich, and Degrassi all lined up.

zit remedy ad

So having nothing left to lose, he decided to run away to Port Hope to be with his real dad and possibly join his shitty cafeteria band. Even though Wheels was out of the band, he still had the bass guitar rock god living inside him. So he couldn’t help slapping the bass with his air guitar while he was walking over there. But he soon found out that his dad wanted nothing to do with him and his nag of a grandmother told him that she does love him and for him to come back to live with her and his vegetable of a grandpa. It was also around this time where Joey wanted The Zit Remedy to make it big in the air waves, so he decided to go get a job at CRAZ radio. Even Snake didn’t think that the Zits were going anywhere. His job there was mostly just a front so that he could leave his demo with the program director. But he was such a bad janitor that he got fired and nothing really came of his attempts of making it big in the Toronto area.

wheels rocking joey radio station

A CHANGE IN DIRECTION.

The boys then started high school and it was at this point in their careers that the group decided to change with the times so they decided to change the name of the band. One suggestion was The Barf Bags. But Wheels and Snake hated that name. So what did they chose? They simply decided to drop Remedy from the name. So from then on the band was simply known as The Zits. Very creative huh. They also decided to write more songs that was big to the teen market. This entailed writing about getting a car and getting good grades. I’m sure Joey wanted to include a song about boning, but more than likely he was vetoed by Snake.

the zits

THE MUSIC VIDEO.

Finally after much talk through out the years The Zits finally made their long anticipated music video. But even this had a few hurdles they had to over come first. The biggest one was getting Lucy Fernandez in directing it for them because she was the only one who had a camcorder. But Lucy being drunk with sudden power wanted 100% creative control and told Joey that there would be no way that there would be girls in bikini’s in the video. It’s a shame because those girls would have been the hot duo of Allison and Amy. Joey and the band decided to give in and she finally agreed to direct. Of course the video was filmed around Degrassi. They even included Clutch’s paint ball shot up car to be the Zit Mobile. The video then had it’s world wide premiere on public access and it seems like they finally recorded a studio produced version of the song. Because it’s much more superior than the demo version.

zits video

THE END OF AN ERA.

After the video came out all three band members seemed to lose interest in The Zits and eventually never talked about it again. Joey and Snake moved on to driving and dating woes. Meanwhile Wheels went into a downward spiral and resorted to stealing. Especially after his grandma kicked him out of their house for being an unruly asshole. Thus the brilliant career of The Zit Remedy came to a close.

the zits ending

LEGACY.

Years later the group continues to get new fans and influence people the world over. People even love to dress up like their favorite Zit. Even though here, whoever’s dressed like Snake looks like Buffalo Bill from The Silence of the Lambs. They’re so influential that someone  even recorded a reggae version of Everybody Wants Something. Yet again proving how timeless the music of The Zits actually is.

zit fans

Well there you have it. The long anticipated retrospective of The Zit Remedy. This one had it all. Humble beginnings, triumph and tragedy. It’s a shame their career was so short lived. Who knows what other singles they could have came up with if they sung about getting a car. But their music will live on forever, even though it was just one song. But you never know, maybe this will help the Zit Remedy get a whole new generation of legions of loyal fans. Especially since this is one of Degrassi’s most iconic musical gifts.

zit remedy banner

And the rest as they say is Rock and Roll… The Zit Remedy foreva!

I’d like to thank my friend the lovely Veronica for doing the Behind the Music pic. Thanks Ronniecakes!!


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Degrassi The Next Generation, “Should I Stay Or Should I Go?”

Edit: Check out my new blog Degrassi The Next Generation Reviewed.

https://degrassithenextgenerationreviewed.wordpress.com/

Ok, since people enjoyed the first episode of the Next Generation. How about another one? But this time it’s Wheel’s triumphant return to Degrassi. Although it’s brief as hell. This is another one that’s named after a song, this time the classic tune by The Clash.

Pre-credit opener: Oh lord, we see Craig and Ashley making out on her bed. Craig trying his hardest to unbuckle her belt. But she hasn’t shaved that week, so she doesn’t want him to. No the real reason is, she simply doesn’t want to. Or isn’t ready for it. So Craig get’s the biggest blue balls since Joey. And right away I’m thinking, “Recycled story line!” Because this is basically Joey and Caitlin’s story line about Joey wanting to bone her real hard but Caitlin is being a prude. But this time Craig is the horndog and Ashley is the prude. Going on, she tells him, “I love you.” Craig of course acts all weird about it, because he just wants to get some. Might I add, why did girls think this guy was hot? He looks like Arnold Horshack from Welcome Back Kotter.

ashley craig
craig horshack

Back at Degrassi Community School. God I hate that name. Craig is talking to resident gay kid, Marco. They run into Spinner and Paige and they’re so disgusting with how affectionate they are. Looking at Spinner I’m reminded of the time when guy’s were getting the Frodo Baggins/Bobby Brady hair cut for some insane reason. After Paige leaves, Craig tries to ask Spinner advice on what he does when Paige rebuke’s him sexually too. But Spinner is such an idiot, he just says, “Dude, I don’t know what to do.” Marco correctly says that all Spinner does is jerk off in his room because he ain’t getting none from Paige either. Spinner replies with, “Like you know anything about getting to home plate. You’re too busy checking out the bat boy.” The machismo is strong in Spinner.

spinner, paige marco craig

Ok, from what I’m seeing Snake has cancer. Leukemia if I’m not mistaken. Spike is dropping him off and she’s telling him that he should just stay home since he’s feeling like complete shit. But he says that it’s too late because they can’t get a sub. She tries to be understanding about it. But Snake can’t help being a dick due to the chemo. Or is that his natural self? I can’t tell anymore.

snake

In the hallway. Marco asks Craig if he loves Ashley, but Craig can’t even explain himself to Marco. Manny, the slut of the school comes by and says hi to Craig all seductive like. I gotta say, for some reason I never mentioned this in Degrassi Junior High. But it seems like the school has no dress code. Stephanie Kaye was dressed like the biggest skank in the history of ever and here comes Manny wearing booty shorts which leave nothing to the imagination. And not once are they told that they can’t dress like that on school grounds. Anyways rant done. Even Marco can sense that she want’s Craig’s dick. Marco then get’s the bright idea of Craig sending Ashley a Rose-a-gram, so that she can really see how he feels about her. Being a big kiss ass, he makes it a dozen.

manny craig marco

In class Spinner some how suckered Ashley into having a birthday party for Paige at her house. Archie comes into class and is being an asshole with everyone in his class, telling everyone to shut the hell up. Everyone starts to get their roses and Ashley receive’s her bouquet. She’s delighted at first, but then we see that Craig once again fucked up. He wrote down, “Ash, you rock. XO Craig.” Which is something you say to someone if you want to banish them into the friend zone. What an idiot.

ashley disappointed

Oh my God! Manny has the world’s ugliest boyfriend, some guy named Sully. This motherfucker looks like a zit faced Hailey Joel Osment. Seriously, in what world is this guy supposed to be popular, let alone attractive to women? Anyways, he acts like a dick towards her and he blows her off by saying that he won’t be going to Paige’s party. He’d rather hang out with some Bob character. This guy has no right to be that confidant. He leaves her all disappointed, but not before he slaps her ass.

sully ugly

Back at Ashley’s, she’s busying making Paige a cake. Man, she sure is going out of her way for her. Especially since Paige treats everyone like complete shit. Craig walks in and she tells him that they need to talk. Which is never a good thing. Basically she wants to take a break from him because she feels that he doesn’t feel the same way. But how could anyone like a sour puss like her? See how annoying the Next Generation kids are to me?

Uh oh. We see Craig’s band consisting of Spinner, Marco and Jimmy. But he’s better known to the world at large as Drake. I wonder if he still talks to his Degrassi peeps? Give Spinner a bone Drake! Anyways, their band sucks. But they’re still way better than the Zit Remedy ever was. After Jimmy berates Spinner for being off beat, Spinner throws his drumstick, which just happens to connect with Craig’s Jewfro. After telling them that they fucking suck, Jimmy suggests that they go have a burger so Craig can wallow in self pity with Marco. So they’re off to Big Kahuna Burger. Marco suggests that he just tell her how he feels. Craig telling him that he is a girl. Man Marco is getting fruity jokes at his expense all episode long.

marco spinner jimmy craig jewfro

So what does Craig do? He leaves a note for Ashley and she meets him in the gym. And he goes on to sing the world’s cheesiest, emo love song ever. Ashley and Manny, who’s gawking at them get weak at the knees. Manny saying, “I wanna have your babies!” But of course this lame gesture totally suckered Ashley in again. You can tell by that, “Oh God I love him!” smile on her face.

manny ashley

Back at Ashley’s, they’re busy decorating for Paige’s party. I would definitely make Spinner’s ass help out at least. Put him on garbage detail or something. Moving on, Ashley was so touched by Craig’s stupid song that she totally wants to bang him now, so she invites him to stay over. He probably got instantly rock hard when he heard that.

At Spike and Snake’s house. Spike tries to cheer Snake up by making him some nacho’s. But Snake wants to fucking throw up from the smell alone. He tells her, “Are you insane Christine? Nacho’s? You know I’m nauseous.” Just then Joey comes in, being more obnoxious than usual. He tells Snake that they’re going bowling, but Snake can’t help being a fucking prick. At that Spike can’t take it anymore and she goes off on his ass. She’s all, “Put the shirt on Archie. You’re not dead yet. Put the damn shirt on and go.” Nice to see that Spike hasn’t changed one bit in being a bossy bitch. It’s funny to see that Emma seems like she wants to laugh her ass off.

joey snake spike emma

We go to the bowling alley where they seem to be playing the Canadian version of bowling. Snake finally seems to be perking up. Until we hear a familiar voice. It’s the most Canadian of all voices. That’s right it’s Wheels and goddamn. He’s as bald as the both of them. Snake get’s instantly annoyed, and uncomfortable and just says, “Joey.” Joey gives Wheels his bowling shirt that says, Pin Pals on it and leaves the two of them alone.

wheels

Finally it’s Paige’s big surprise party and stupid Craig does the huge mistake of telling Spinner all about fucking Ashley the moment everyone leaves the party. She notices Spinner giving Craig a Top Gun wind mill high five, but thinks nothing of it. Manny meanwhile is just sitting there completely bored. I have no idea what she’s even doing there.

We cut back to the Zit’s bowling some more. Wheels tells Snake that he heard that he was sick, but that he doesn’t look it. Snake acts all sarcastic towards him. Because he just can’t resist being a jerk to him. Wheels goes on to ask Snake how he’s doing. Snake admits that he wishes that he was dead. Wheels tells him that he knows how that feels. Snake retorts with, “No you don’t, I’m sorry, but there’s no way you do.” Wheels bringing up the past tells him, “Snake, I was drunk, I drove. I killed a kid. I think I know what wanting to die feels like.” Which is pretty sad if you think about what really happened to Neal Hope. Snake asks him what he did to cope. And Wheels tells him that he found something inside him that wanting to keep going. Snake close to tears admits that he’s really scared, so scared that he can’t even tell Spike about it. Wheels simply tells him that he has to keep fighting. Just then Joey comes along with their drinks and they do a toast to old friends. So finally after about what, 13, 14 years? Snake seems to have forgiven Wheels and stopped being such a judgmental asshole.

snake wheels the zits

Back at the party, Spinner completely fucks things up for Craig by blowing up a balloon to epic dick size. Ashley instantly looks at Craig, pissed off. Craig doesn’t help the situation by looking guilty as hell mouthing, “Spin.” She takes him outside to rip him a new asshole and she accuses him of conning her into sleeping with him with his stupid lie of a song. She then says the whammy that he doesn’t even love her. Craig of course get’s all pissed off and storms out of the house. Manny that Devilish little Succubus see’s her chance and follows him out. She goes for the kill by mentioning how great the song was and how she would have sucked him off right then and there if she was Ashley.

spinner balloon ashley pissed

At Spike’s house. She and Emma look out the window as the Zits are heard pulling up in Joey’s car, singing their number one hit with a bullet, Everybody Wants Something. Both seem to be delighted that Snake finally got that huge stick out of his ass.

wheels snake joey

Uh oh, We go to Joey’s garage and Manny asks Craig to sing his stupid song again. He starts off a bit, but her sexual powers are so great that there’s no way that Craig can resist. So of course they start to make out and Craig goes for it, unbuttoning her shirt. Possibly her very tight pants too.

craig manny

The next day at Degrassi, Manny is telling Emma all about how that was the best day of her life. Emma wants to know all the horny details, but Manny tells her that she can’t for some reason. Craig comes by and he’s basically treating Manny how Wheels treated Heather after he finger banged her outside of her porch in that one episode. She starts to tell Craig that she missed him over the weekend, (Which instantly makes her sound clingy as hell.) but they’re interrupted by a repentive Ashley. She tells him that she talked with Paige and she admits that she completely over reacted. Craig is now guilt ridden like a motherfucker, but she won’t let him talk. She goes on to say that she wants him back and that she loves him. Craig making direct eye contact with Manny says, “I love you too.” Breaking her skanky little heart.

manny heart broken craig end freeze frame

Well this episode hardly had any Wheels in it. It was just a brief cameo that he had. But it was probably done this way because the kid’s watching it probably had no idea who Wheels was to begin with. Once again I gotta point out how they just recycled old Degrassi story lines. But stay tuned for more posts. I thought I was done with School’s Out, but apparently, there’s plenty more to talk about.