Degrassi Junior High: 103 “An Experiment”

Arthur helps Yick get back at Mr. Raditch with a little homework experiment.  Meanwhile, Kathleen and Melanie experiment with drugs. And Joey experiments with his own body. The experiments! They’re everywhere!

Look at all that shit on Yick’s desk. How you manage to create that much mess within the course of an hour baffles me. And of course he’s not even using any of it, he’s reading a Spider-Man comic. No wonder he’s flunking English. Who does that?! Even Mr. Raditch has taken up calling him “Mr. Yu the Disorganized.”

Arthur tells Stephanie he’s going to try out for the basketball team, which makes Stephanie guffaw so hard that whatever brain cells she had left explode. And rightfully so. Arthur flubs the tryout big time, comically missing every single shot. And no, this is not an allusion to erectile dysfunction like in that Levitra commercial. He’s just the least athletic person on the planet. Yick notices his new friend’s inability to get the ball anywhere near the net, so he agrees to help Arthur after school. But of course, Yick wants something in return.

Cut to Melanie and Kathleen, the female dweebs of grade 7. Melanie complains that junior high isn’t as wild she expected it to be. She says she’d thought there’d be more “parties, with dancing, drugs, and potato chips.” Hey ladies, come over to my house some time. I’ve got at least one of those things, and they are spicy barbecue flavor. I also have some Werther’s Originals, if you’re down with a little bit of pocket lint. Kathleen the prude is hesitant about drugs, but eventually the two come to a consensus. “Let’s do drugs. Just once.”

Arthur is pretty much hopeless at basketball, so the two of them give up and grab two tall glasses of chocolate milk instead. Arthur comes up with AN EXPERIMENT (episode title, a-hooooo!) to get back at Raditch for giving Yick an F and calling him names. He’ll turn in one of Stephanie’s old papers as his own, and compare the grades. The two make a toast to their new friendship. With chocolate milk. Because they are children.

In case the Arthur/Yick plot was too boring for you, there’s a B plot waiting for a conflict. And here he is, Mr. Joey F. Jeremiah. This week, the F stands for “farmacy” (his words, not mine). Joey overhears Melanie and Kathleen talking about drugs, and offers them a wide selection. “I got weed, drugs, y’know.” So they agree to meet the next day at school to buy the “drugs.”

Boy, when I was in D.A.R.E. class in fifth grade, I could at least name a few drugs. The cop that taught our class actually brought in little baggies of weed and crack and stuff. You know, so we wouldn’t get ripped off when we went to junior high the next year. But Melanie and Kathleen are such dimwits that they think “drugs” are an actual product. It’s easy to see how they’ll get burned later.

You got the stuff?

Arthur and Yick are way more secretive about passing along some old English papers than Joey is about dealing drugs. The two dweebs meet in the middle of the night. Yick is all, “you got the stuff?” and Arthur peers around to see if anyone’s followed him. Joey meets Melanie and Kathleen in the stairwell, which is one of the most trafficked places in the whole school. Drug trafficked, that is.

Each of the girls pays Joey five bucks for one “drugs.” That’s like $.45 USD, in case you were wondering. The two begin their psychedelic trip where the music gets all mellow and groovy, and they can’t stop laughing. I’m talkin’ sitar music, probably with a jazzy flute interlude. You know, drug music. But then Joey reveals he only gave them vitamins, so Kathleen and Melanie are on a placebo high.

Mr. Raditch congratulates Yick on a job well done. The paper that earned Stephanie a B+ gets Yick an A-. Immediately he’s pissed that he got a different grade than Stephanie. He insists on continuing the experiment and asks Arthur to get more English papers from Stephanie. You know, for the sake of the experimental accuracy. It’s not like Yick is cheating or taking advantage of Arthur or anything.

So Arthur hikes over to his mom’s house to borrow more of Steph’s old English papers, but she wants to know what he’s doing with them. Arthur won’t snitch, so Stephanie holds back the papers until Arthur threatens to blackmail her. “Y’know Steph, I don’t tell mom that you dress like a gussied-up prostitute at school.” Stephanie screams, “Arthur, that’s blackmail!” and Arthur just slyly nods.

“Yup.”

SCREW YOU, ARTHUR. THIS IS WHY NO ONE, NOT EVEN YOUR OWN FAMILY, LIKES YOU.

Melanie and Kathleen return to the stairwell the next day to buy more drugs, and this time, they’ve brought more willing customers. This includes a tiny girl in a wheelchair and some dorky mute kid. I guess the writers didn’t want to leave anyone out. But back at the stupid 1950’s jukebox diner, Melanie overhears Joey bragging about ripping them off with vitamin pills. The gang of misfits corner Joey at his locker and threaten  him. Unfortunately, he’s already spent the money on a new crappy Hawaiian shirt, identical to the other crappy Hawaiian shirts he wears in every other episode.

Mr. Raditch catches Yick on the second paper he turns in, and Arthur fesses up to lending him Stephanie’s papers. Both are sentenced to detention after school to write new papers. Yick writes a paper about how Raditch “stereotyped” him as being dumb. I don’t think he stereotyped him at all. Yick really is dumb. But Raditch takes the paper to heart and apologizes for calling Yick disorganized and whatnot. So I guess everything turned out OK, except for…

Joey. For some reason he is naked in a broom closet. I guess the gaggle of geeks shoved him in there, and he got bored and decided to spank his monkey. The world may never know.

AWKWARD FREEZE FRAME #3

AWKWARD FREEZE FRAME

Arthur gets slightly less terrible at basketball, and Yick finally makes a passing grade in English. Each of them plays off the other’s strengths, which is really sweet, except for they are hideously awkward middle-schoolers. Each one is a total broomhead in their own unique way. Come to think of it, no one said “broomhead” in this episode. That’s got to be a bad omen or something.

The Yick & Arthur plot made me want to smash my head open with a broken cinderblock, but the bit about drugs was pretty cool. I’ve never done any drugs in my lifetime either, so vitamin pills give me a pretty good high. One tab of Vitamin C and I am flying like an eagle. Last time I did ‘C, I ate a whole pizza and watched a whole season of Whale Wars in one sitting. Good times, man.