Degrassi: 13.08 “Young Forever”

Season 13 Episode 8
Airdate: August 22, 2013

funeral

It’s Adam’s funeral (I hope at a Catholic church to be canon). His friends are here, including Bianca, who has returned for this very special episode. Eli remarks on the large number of people in attendance, mostly 6’2” women and men who have to sit down to pee. Adam was an icon in the community. Becky the group, “I guess Jesus wanted him close.” Then Eli and Bianca give her condescending looks of disgust that atheists love to show towards religious people. “What a stupid thing to say,” says Bianca. Eli and Bianca are pissed the funeral had to be held in a church instead of a courthouse.

Drew doesn’t want Becky here either. “He died because of you,” Drew says. Dallas tries to intervene to keep things civil, but he’s the one who encouraged Adam to go after Imogen instead of Becky. In a way, Dallas killed Adam.

Connor, Jenna and Alli find Becky crying alone. Becky isn’t going to go to the reception because she doesn’t feel welcomed. But she still holds onto her faith. “I know Adam is in heaven right now,” says Becky, “and he’s sporting the biggest boner the world has ever seen.”

The reception is at the Torres house. To save on extras, we only see the main kids, who are having their own reception downstairs. Mini-Connor is even here for this very special episode! He asks if anything exciting happened this summer. No, for real he did. It made Drew upset, but was kind of funny.

Bianca finds Drew outside acting like a Gloomy Gus. Drew says he failed to protect Adam as an older brother should. “And I killed him,” cries Drew. “Now I have to kill Becky to get revenge.”

connor

Becky, Alli, Connor and Jenna aren’t at the Torres house. They are in the Ravine, setting up for a memorial bonfire. By that I mean Connor is setting up the bonfire. Three teenage girls aren’t going to shit when it comes to physical labor. Becky worries that no one will come because Adam’s friends hate her. Except three of Adam’s friends are here. Adam had maybe two other friends. Bianca hates Becky, but Bianca used to hate Adam, so her opinion of people can turn on a dime.

clarecry

Meanwhile, Clare couldn’t attend the funeral, due to cancer. The nurse was all like, “hey, if you really want to leave to attend a funeral, you can go to yours in two weeks. Sit the fuck back down.” Damn surly eastern European nurses. So Eli shows her the memorial video he has been working on. Clare’s mom enters the room to announce that her cancer is in remission, because the producers didn’t have the money to pay for the doctor or nurse actor today. Oh joy! This is great news. She will be discharged soon.

But Clare doesn’t want to go to bonfire. “Adam got me through this summer,” she says. What? When? When he brought you Die Hard? That is a sweet movie. I can totally see how it would help.

Clare just needs to be all special snowflake right now. She says she doesn’t know how to face everyone when she lives and Adam died. Who would have expected that at the start of the season? That’s like Charlie Sheen outliving Heath Ledger.

“What kind of weirdo God math is that?”

–Clare

Clare cries and we don’t need to see that. With her bald head, she looks like a penis, so it’s like a penis is crying. Disgusting.

guestsarrive

Back to the bonfire. Becky is upset because no one has arrived. That’s because it’s 4pm. No one has a bonfire when it’s daytime. But then one of them says, “Look over there.” And like a Christmas special where you think Christmas is not going to happen this year, but then suddenly there is a red light in the sky and you know Santa is on his way, a large group of kids appear from the woods at the same time. They must have all rode in the same mini-van. Dallas says more are on the way. Dallas must have gone on Facerange and said they’d have beer.

The bonfire is boppin’. Connor and Mini-Connor reunite. Bianca hugs Becky (told you Bianca’s opinion will change easily). Eli and Clare are here as well.

drew

Drew is not. He is off walking around the city and crying. He still checks Facerange from his phone (kids these days) where he sees the video Eli made of Adam. There are many comments from people who miss him. Adam snuggles with Becky is in the video and Drew realizes how happy Becky made Adam.

It’s night at the bonfire. Everyone watches the video projected onto a blanket. There is much crying. Especially from Becky. Drew arrives and man hugs the hell out of Dallas. “How do we move on?” asks Drew. “We find a way to say goodbye,” replies Dallas.

Then we go to Jenna singing some awful song. Damn it, we need another way to say goodbye. For all I know, Jessica Tyler could be a good musician, but you never see it on the show. Drake is a famous rapper, but whenever they had Jimmy rap, it was awful.

Adamsshrine

Drew gives a heartfelt eulogy and ends it with a message to his brother. “You’ll always be in here,” Drew says while pointing to his head. “Unless you get another concussion,” replies Dallas, which gets a fair amount of chuckles. That was a risky move by Dallas, a joke at a funeral. It could have bombed bad. Telling jokes at a funeral is precarious, let me tell you.

end

The episode ends with the kids releasing a balloon with a candle in it.

The balloon then hits a tree.

Adam will be young forever.

Final Thoughts:

This summer, Degrassi had four stories that continued over eight episodes. That didn’t provide much time to develop any plotline, and left us instead with four half-assed adventures. In Toronto, we had Clare undergoing treatment for cancer and Adam’s jealousy over Becky. In Paris, there was Alli’s romance with the Parisian and Maya & Tristan’s bullshit with Miles & Zoe. Clare in the hospital should have been the primary focus of the summer. Instead, Clare fell to the background and was reduced appearing in telephone calls with her friends.

The Paris thing should have been dropped. It maybe would have been worthwhile if the cast and crew had actually traveled to Paris, but the cheap green screen that was used instead only ended as the perfect visual reminder for how little effort was put into the whole thing.

Alli’s story ended abruptly when her man turned abusive. Normally, Degrassi would use this as yet another opportunity to explain to the viewers that men are awful. But they didn’t have time for that. Unlike with Rick, there was no indication that Jacque Strappe could turn abusive. Rick was shown to be trouble and kind of domineering towards Terri before he ever laid on hand on her fat. That was not the case with Alli’s boy. Jacque was always a cool mellow fellow. Now stupid people will say this teaches girls that any man can be an abuser and they should just give up and chew carpet. But that was not what the Degrassi writers were going for. The writers had no idea how to end the story, so they pulled something out of their asses that will allow them to end it right there and get Alli on the bus home. Hell, Jacque knew what he had with Alli was just a summer fling, so it made no sense for him to do anything he did in “Honey”.

The Maya/Miles/Tristan/Zoe love triangle rectangle was even more ridiculous. Let’s go over it again. Tristan assumes Miles and Chewy are homophobic despite neither of them saying or doing anything to indicate they have a problem with gays. Miles learns this so tries to make friends with Tristan. Tristan totally misinterprets this as a romantic gesture and is hurt when he sees Miles making out with Zoe. So much that he runs away. Maya sides with Tristan and hates Miles, partly out of friendship, but also because she thought she had a connection with Miles. How the hell do a fag and her hag think they have a chance with the same boy? Miles was never the bad guy in any of this. Miles was under no obligation to feel guilty because Tristan thought he was gay. Maya and Tristan were stupid. Alli was stupid. This whole Paris thing was stupid!

Also, how weird was it that Zoe tried to steal Tristan away from Maya in the opener? Normally, you try to take a boyfriend from another girl, not her gay. Zoe really wanted to be a fag hag badly. I can understand why straight girls like gay boys. They aren’t trying to get in your vagina, so they are non-threatening. But they are still guys, so they are actually fun to be around. “I love my girlfriends! We have so much fun together. We have way more fun than my boyfriend does with his friends,” said no woman ever.

My point is, we had all this Paris nonsense instead of Clare. It’s shame because Clare’s cancer was such a bigger deal and we were led to believe in the season 12 finale that Clare’s situation would be a really big deal. But now she’s in remission after only a few scenes in the hospital. The show ruined the opportunity it set for itself there. I think the reason is the writers weren’t up for the challenge they set for themselves by giving Clare cancer, so fell back on writing relationship drama, which is easy. You just take a boy and a girl and another boy or girl and let one of them feel hurt. It’s Degrassi’s stock and trade.

Paris should have been dropped. It was stupid and took away from the only important story. Plus, Miles Zoe and Chewy were hardly so interesting they their introductions couldn’t have been held off until the school year began. The three of them are all repeats of characters we’ve had before. Miles is troubled rich kid like Declan, Zoe is like Fiona or Paige or whoever, and Chewy is like Toby and Kendra’ child.

Now onto the big event: Adam’s death. Some people have asked what I think about it, and to be honest, I don’t really care. Dying because he text and drove was a stupid way to write a character off. But look, Adam was going to leave Degrassi soon one way or another. Jordan Todosey had been growing out her hair, was absent from a bunch of episodes last season, and clearly was not interested in the role anymore. And she and the producers got what they wanted out of Adam. Degrassi received a bunch of awards and positive press, and Jordan added something really unique to her acting resume.

I suppose you could argue that it’s unfair that the writers had characters run off to Hollywood or Europe or Africa to leave Degrassi, but had to kill off the trans character, but I’m still meh about Adam dying. Quite frankly, he had been wasted on the show for awhile. So I couldn’t really bring myself to care about Adam.

The funeral episode was good, though, the only good ep of the summer. Drew has really become something interesting, too. It’s really rare that any of the boys on the show can act, so hats off to Luke Bilyk. It will be interesting to see what they do with Becky now. She’s really only existed to play off of Adam, so now she’ll have to have her own stories.

P.S.

It was one year ago today that I got back into recapping Degrassi. I don’t know if I’ll do any more when the show resumes. I mean, I certainly thought I meant it when I announced we were done back in 2011, and look how long I kept that commitment. The thing is, I like creating things for the internet (and having a decent-sized readership) but didn’t have any good idea of what to do next.  “OK, no more Degrassi. I wipe my hands of that wretched show. So what should I do now? Um…shit…I dunno…I guess write snarky about Glee and…uhiCarly?”

But this year I started a webcomic which already far more people read than any of my TV recaps. So I’m going to focus primarily on the comic and only do recaps when I have the time. The comic has given me the opportunity to do something else creatively and develop a new audience. More importantly, I find I am happier when I create my own content rather than snark on someone else’s work. I am serious. I actually sleep better when I spend the day drawing a comic rather than writing yet another review of a shitty Degrassi episode. I hope all of you who were excited when I got back to Degrassi is understand why I really don’t want to.  Degrassi has been slowly killing me.