Degrassi Junior High: 204 “Dinner and a Show”

Tension arises between the McKays and the Nelsons concerning Spike’s pregnancy. Meanwhile, wackiness ensues when Melanie goes on a date with Snake. Season 2 Episode 4

Original Airdate: January 25, 1988

Enhance your Degrassi Junior High viewing experience by eating dinner while watching the show. It will keep the other 90% of your brain entertained, while the other 10% dozes off in another boring Shane/Spike plot.

Shane comes home from school to find his father, Benjamin Button, hogging the family’s pay phone once again. That guy is always on the phone. Since the last episode, Mr. Button has gotten younger so that he doesn’t really look like Benjamin Button anymore. From now on he is just a smaller version of Dave Thomas.

Anyway, he’s on the wire with Shane’s older brother about Shane’s recent snafu of impregnating Spike. He mentions sending him away to private school. He is obviously moved, but of course, when is the last time we saw Shane do anything gutsy? He’s only had about 2 lines since last season.

Arthur and Yick are scoping out chicks when out of the blue, Yick says he’s going to ask Melanie out to a movie. As far as I can remember, Melanie and Yick have never had a conversation together since the disasterous “pimming swools” incident except that one time when Yick asked Melanie about Dr. Sally, the teenage sex question radio host. I guess that’s where he got the idea to ask Melanie out.

Oh God oh God oh God please don’t let there be a plot about this kid.

Spike’s mom is really supportive of Spike because she had Spike when she was a teenager too. I guess it runs in the family. She gets naggy at Spike for skipping breakfast and having a candy bar instead. I don’t think I would mind that if I were Spike’s baby. I like candy.

Either way, it reminds me of a kid I knew years ago who was a little… OK, she was more than a little overweight. But every morning instead of having cereal or juice or something, she had a Carmello bar and a Mountain Dew. And then complained about her weight. There’s something about middle school that makes you completely overlook obvious correlations like that. At least Ms. Nelson is on the ball.

Joey reminisces about last week’s episode, when he almost pressured Liz into “doing it.” Meanwhile, Yick surprises even himself and asks Melanie out to a movie. He suggests Revenge of the Reptiles. Melanie’s got the upper-hand on Yick because she has a mouth full of razor-sharp braces. He agrees to see a movie of her choice, Crying in the Wind, because he is sadistic and is attracted to her bear-trap of a mouth.

Back to the A-plot, Shane is doing some more sneaking around. Shane says Dave Thomas wants to have a dinner get-together with Spike and her mom. Spike calls him a creep and tells him to buzz off.

Arthur doesn’t understand why Yick would go see Crying in the Wind because he is a big fat baby. Yick says it doesn’t matter what movie they see, he’s gonna…

And he trails off, catching a glimpse of Melanie’s butt.

Joey takes really bad notes. This will definitely hurt him later on, mark my words. On the right there, he’s written either “Raditch is a dope” or “Raditch is a bope.” He forgot which way the ‘d’ goes so he compensates by writing both as one letter.

Snake bends seductively over the water fountain, which turns out not to be flattering at all, since he is about 2 feet too tall to use that water fountain anyway and his butt sticks out like an old woman. He asks Melanie to go see Revenge of the Reptiles at (GASP!) the same time she already has plans made with Yick. It’s a difficult decision for her because neither Snake nor Yick are exactly a good catch, but at least Snake is tall and can reach things on high shelves.

Melanie can’t wait till she gets home to call Yick–she calls him right after she gets out of school. Which makes no sense that Yick would answer, since he would be walking home from school as well. Kathleen rolls her eyes and calls it rude that Melanie would tell a lie to call off an unwanted date, and as the only voice of reason (and prudery) on the show, she’s probably right.

Ironically, Spike’s mom works at a hair salon.

Mr. McKay/Button/Thomas is planning to send Shane away to some private Mountie cult school, but Shane doesn’t want to follow in the footsteps of his brothers or his other dad. I call his mom “other dad” because I’m pretty sure she’s played by a man.

After the heartbreak he experienced when Melanie ditched him, Yick copes by asking Arthur out on a date to see Revenge of the Reptiles. See, these two are definitely made for each other. Yick is the adventurous, sharply-dressed, poor one. Arthur is the fat, rich one with the shark t-shirt. A match made in heaven. And another match is made as Wheels and Joey decide to see the movie too, because the writers couldn’t hire enough extras to fill an entire movie theater.

Spike buys a Coke at the De Grassi Grocery while Shane is doing some more serious sneaking around. By this point I’m pretty sure he’s stalking Spike because I don’t know how he manages to run into her so often.

There’s a black cat that walks between the pair at the beginning of this scene, which reminds me of the time I went to Canada. I went with my family to Ottawa on Canada Day about 5 years back, which is probably not a good time for ignorant Americans such as myself to go to Canada, because all the memories I brought back were of stereotypical poutine-eating Canadians, drunkenly singing “Oh Canada” in half-French, half-English.

We spent the night in a small town somewhere the middle of nowhere. I don’t remember the name of it, but it looked just like this corner. There were cats everywhere. At any given moment, there would be 6 or 10 cats casually walking down the sidewalk. I kid you not. Cats everywhere.

Melanie and Snake commence their predictably-awkward date. Joey and Wheels sneak in wearing sunglasses like idiots. I imagine it’s kind of hard to tell where you’re going with dark glasses in a dark movie theater.

Degrassi Junior High

Joey and Wheels pull all kinds of inane antics on the pair. Joey spies on them using his Godzilla action figure, hoping to catch some steamy grade-8-on-grade-7 action.

Mrs. McKay gripes about going out to eat. She must be seriously cheap because the Soup du Jour is under $2. Shut it, tranny. This place looks fancy.

It’s a staredown between the Nelsons and the McKays. I was surprised that Spike and her mom kept up like they did. Dave Thomas Jr. tries to ship Spike off to a group home during her pregnancy, but Ms. Nelson owns that old baldy. Mr. McKay has stopped being wacky and lovable and has turned into a crotchety old conservative minister. Also, Spike’s mom is trying to show that she isn’t poor by requesting a Bailey’s on ice on a separate check.

If you didn’t see this coming, you need to watch more television. Of course, Melanie’s fib goes awry as Yick shows up at the same movie she ditched him for. In tow is Arthur, who is carrying several armloads of junk food.

Melanie tries to get out of the tight spot by flashing her death-braces, but Yick doesn’t fall for it this time. From now on, Yick has the ball.

The waiter refills Shane’s class of wine while Ms. McKay directs some nasty glares in Spike’s direction. Mr. McKay rambles about how Shane has agreed to go to private school to cover up for his mistake when…

HE SPEAKS! Honestly, I thought Shane was kind of a lame duck up until this very moment. Shane chews his father out for assuming he wants to go to a private school. He admits he made a mistake, but he is no longer embarassed by being a 13-year-old dad–his parents are the embarassed ones because it doesn’t look good on his dad as a minister, and it’s somehow preventing his other dad from playing bridge. “Sorry I’m not perfect, like Carl,” he sneers. Holy moley did Shane just turn the McKay household upside-down.

Melanie is ashamed when Yick walks by and gives her a Mrs. McKay-worthy glower. Arthur tries to glare at Melanie too, but all that baby fat around his eyes just makes him look like he’s squinting.

Shane, will you stop being a total creep? Call her, talk to her at school, anything more casual that hiding behind a tree or flat-out stalking Spike. Anyway, this is the first time Spike and Shane have talked agreeably about anything since Lucy’s fated party. Spike’s glad Shane finally stood up for himself, and Shane wants to help with the responsibility of Spike’s pregnancy.

So that brings us to the awkward end-credit still shot at the end of every episode. Spike is staring deep into Shane’s eyes, trying to figure out what attracted her to him in the first place. Shane is staring deep into the space about 10 feet behind Spike’s head. That guy is so spacey. And if you thought Shane was a babbling retard in this season, just wait until season 3.

In the end, this episode was 80% lame. Melanie’s plot was the most bland and predictable thing since white bread, Snake is too awkward for his own good, and Spike and Shane’s bits weren’t interesting either. The good 20% of this episode was made up of Shane giving his dad a dinner and a show, and Yick standing up to Melanie’s abuse. OK, so all either of them did was stare blankly, but still. It works for both of them.