Degrassi Junior High: 102 “The Big Dance”

Voula just wants to grow up, and Stephanie just wants to throw up. Find out what happens at the very first of a long line of catastrophic dances at Degrassi.

There’s a big dance coming up at Degrassi, and everyone’s talking about it. Even Voula, the biggest dweeb this side of Saskatchewan. Of course, Voula’s dad is a Big Fat Greek Stereotype overprotective of his little fava bean and won’t let her go. “No dance for you! Ach, Voula, eat your souvlaki, it’s getting cold. And wash the windows when you’re done!”

When I said everyone is talking about THE BIG DANCE (episode title hoooo!), I meant it. Every bit of dialogue in the episode relates to the big dance one way or another. So what are the two coolest chicks at Degrassi talking about? The dance, naturally. Stephanie, while transforming herself into a “lady of the night,” gets some hook-up tips from Lucy. Underneath all the tube tops and scrunchies, it turns out Stephanie is a little bashful. Stephanie is thinking about asking Wheels to the dance but isn’t sure how to do it. Since Lucy is a wealthy orphan or something, she knows all the hottest tricks and tips straight from Canada’s version of Seventeen, PouTEEN Magazine.

“C’mon, Steph. This is the 80s!” – Lucy Fernandez

I’m so glad the couple portmanteau naming convention didn’t exist when this came out. In fact, I long for such a day when they fall out of use entirely. But since Billie and Johnny’s new site caters to cool kids now, I’m falling in line and calling this one Stephawheels. Shut up, just SHUT UP!!!!!!!! I’m not good at being cool. I’m not, how you say… jiggy with it. Do people still like Aaron Carter? Cuz it ain’t no party like an Aaron Carter party.

God bless the 90s.

So anyway, Joey plans on asking Stephanie out to the dance, but of course, it’s only a pipe dream. Steph’s got her eyes on #1 hottie and part-time lesbian Wheels Wheeler. But does she have the courage to ask him to the dance? Of course she does. I mean, she kissed every guy in the school in the last episode. Are you trying to tell me that hookers are just like the rest of us?!

Voula is having a hard time convincing Zorba the Greek to let her go to the dance, so she makes a terrible excuse worthy of only the lamest sitcoms. I’m talking Reba-style bad, worse than that caveman sitcom that only lasted a few episodes. “Uhhhh hey papa? There’s this meeting at school at 9pm on Saturday night. It’s at the same time and place as the dance, but it’s totally not the dance, it’s a school thing. Can I go?” Mr. Grivogiannis, his mind clouded by Ouzo, says yes. Then they yell and throw plates on the floor and whatever else Greek people do.

Stephanie puffs up her already-gigantic hair, practicing in the mirror how she plans to ask Wheels to the dance. “Say here, pal, are you going to the dance? No, no. That isn’t at all right. GREETINGS, FRIEND! Mind coming with me to the big da— no, that’s terrible. Hey Wheels, wanna play with one of my boobs in the broom closet over there? Yes, that’s perfect!” Little does she know, Nancy is mere meters away, taking a dump. Stephanie realizes she’s overheard the whole thing, and is mildly irritated. But when the stench of Nancy’s fat girl turd hits the air, Stephanie goes full-on enraged. And to top it off, Nancy leaves without washing her hands. Yeah, Degrassi goes there.

Joey sees his life before his eyes when he spots his BFF Wheels getting an eyeful of Stephanie near the locker rooms. It must be tough getting rejected. Especially while wearing a child’s blue jean vest.

The next couple scenes show the kids getting ready for the dance. Voula puts on some terrible-looking floor-length skirt with a blouse that looks like it may have been stylish in the 1500s. Next, Wheels douses himself in his dad’s aftershave. Middle schoolers do not understand moderation. I remember being that age, when every boy smelled like they had either never taken a bath, or had beek soaking in a bathtub of Axe body spray. Lucy is more my style. She dons some leopard-print pants and chillaxes on the couch.

A yes, the disco ball. The poor man’s light show. Every dance at Degrassi starts with this stupid shot of a disco ball. Also, who the hell invited Arthur?!

The twins aren’t the only thing gettin’ slammed tonight. Hey-oooo. Wheels is gonna prematurely blow his load when he sees Stephanie in that silver lamé jacket. And she chugs an entire cup of Kahlua and a bottle of Port, so that helps too. Like I said before, middle schoolers do not understand moderation. Wheels is getting laid tonight, a-heeey!

 

I love a bit of unintentional foreshadowing. As far as I can tell, Joey and Caitlin have never spoken to each other before, yet they’re dancing together, 6th-grader style. That’s pretty serious. Lucy, Stephanie, and the twins roll up to the dance totally shitfaced, ready to smash stuff and trash stuff.

Just kidding, the only thing that gets trashed is Stephanie. Wheels is totally almost touching Stephanie’s boob there. He’s already creamed three times since she stumbled around and finally latched onto him, unable to stand up on her own. The dance gets hella intense, what with Stephanie throwing herself at Wheels while Heather and Erica simultaneously grind all up on Snake. Enjoy it, Snake. That is the most action you will see until at least the 2nd season of TNG, a decade later.

 

The overwhelming stench of Wheels’s aftershave makes it impossible for Stephanie to hold all that booze in any longer, so she hauls her sweet ass to the girls’ room. After some highly realistic barf noises, it’s clear that Stephanie is in rough shape. She’s got an instant hangover and can’t give a school speech about adopting some foster child or whatever, so Voula has to do it.

Voula introduces the foster child that Degrassi has sponsored (does he look a little old to anyone else?). The dance was some sort of fundraiser to buy him food and scrunchies and a Teddy Ruxpin. You know, everything a 1980s child needs for survival. You’ll never guess who shows up just in time… SURPRISE! It’s Voula’s old man, ready to invoke the wrath of Zeus on his daughter. Voula stumbles through the rest of her speech like she’s got a mouth full of tzatziki sauce.

In the following scenes, Stephanie presumably regains lucidity and stumbles home with Lucy, while Mr. Grivogiannis punishes Voula. She says it’s not fair, that she’s old enough and is tired of being left out and treated like a little kid. But that doesn’t excuse her from lying, so Mr. Grivogiannis calls her a whore, spits three times, and beats her into a fine hummus.

AWKWARD FREEZE FRAME

Wow, you call that a freeze frame?

Well, there you have it. Degrassi’s first of many catastrophic dances. This one seems pretty tame compared to the rest of them, but it’s not without its merits. First of all, Stephanie gets wasted and tells Wheels he’s sexy. +1 for Wheels. Voula’s plot was stupidly predictable and boring. I left out all the parts where bitched out Stephanie for ruining their friendship, because she is a total bitch not worth my time. But since Stephanie got sloppy, I have to give this episode at least one thumb up.

BROOMHEAD COUNT: 2