Degrassi Next Class: 1.02 “#NoFilter”

Zoë learns New Alex will die in 20 years! Miles’ mom separated from his dad and plays the field! Miles’s sister meets a boy online—but all is NOT as it seems!

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A Plot: New Alex and Zoë

1

New Paige (Zoë) and New Alex (don’t know her real name) are partners in a Media Immersion. They also flirt a lot. Later, Tristan asks Zoë if she and New Alex are going to be gay together. Oh. When I called them Paige and Alex, I wasn’t aware they were gay. Talk about a coincidence! Through Zoë says she and New Alex are not gay. They just like to cuddle and put their fingers up each other’s vaginas. Totally not gay.

At the school atrium, the two girls flirt and non-sexually stroke each other some more. But New Alex has to leave when she starts coughing. That is God telling her that being homosexual is a sin. I cannot wait until Armageddon when Degrassi will be smitten just like Sodom and Gomorrah.

After school, Zoë goes to New Alex’s house, but her mother says New Alex is not home. Zoë walks away, but sees New Alex watching her through a window. This made me laugh because New Alex makes no effort to hide.

The next day at school, Zoë confronts New Alex about blowing her off, and New Alex coughs up blood. Oh no. Being around Zoë makes New Alex ill!

2

Turns out, New Alex has been suffering from cystic fibrosis her whole life. But luckily she won’t for much longer, because the disease will kill her in a few years. Or will in her 30s. Or maybe even in her 50s. Her mother is optimistic about a future breakthrough in medical science. If science can allow me to watch this episode on a telephone while sitting on the toilet and crying, surly medicine can be developed to save New Alex. Get to it, Netflix.

3

Later, Zoë takes New Alex to the roof of the school for a speech about holding onto hope and living fully or some such shit. I didn’t pay much attention. I was distracted wondering how in the hell they got up to the roof. I had no clue where to go to access my high school’s roof, and even if I did, I assume the entrance would be locked. This isn’t even the first time students have been up there. In Breakfast Club episode, the kids got on the roof because they stole a key by killing a janitor, but in later episodes, kids are just hanging out there without explanation.

Anyway, New Alex had long ago accepted she will die young and Zoë is sad. New Alex says they cannot be together because Zoë cannot accept her death. This is why I avoid romantic relationships with humans and instead have taken a Japanese love pillow as my waifu. Nozomi will never break my heart.

But Zoë wins back New Alex with a Media Immersion project that shows her at New Alex’s funeral. Yes, that is how this episode ends. I would not lie to you.

B Plot: Miles

It must be Monday and Miles must be Garfield, because he is not happy today. In poetry class—or I suppose this is English class—Miles recites a poem he wrote about how much Tristan sucks. The two still hate each other after their big gay break up and class election kerfuffle. The teacher is pissed that Miles is not respecting the art of poetry and tells him to write a new poem or get his ass kicked.

Miles decides to skip the rest of school day, go home, and drink malt liquor in the pool. That’s no way to live your life, young man. Though Justin Trudeau blew off school to spend his youth smoking weed and working at a feminist-run soybean farm, and he is now the Prime Minister.

4

Miles hears some odd banging noises from his parents’ bedroom and decides to investigate. No! Miles no! That room is rockin’, which means you DO NOT—I repeat DO NOT—come knockin’!

Miles opens the door and sees his mom having sex with a man he has never met! Miles flees in horror. Thankfully, Miles’ mom did not hear him enter because her ears were squished between the man’s legs.

Miles learns that it is best to stay in school. He tells his Asian friend, Winston, what happened. Winston really wants details, the more descriptive the better, but Miles doesn’t like it and wants the man to go away. He jokes about killing the man. Come on Miles. First, you don’t want your dad around because he beats you. Now, you don’t want your mom shagging up with a new man. Your mom has needs. Needs. Did you know women in their forties are super horny? It’s a biological fact. They are driven to have one last burst of libido before menopause sets in and they dry up down there.

5

The next day, Miles and his mother are called into a meeting with Principal Simpson. Simpson takes out his Leapfrog and shows them that a student recorded Miles joking about killing someone. Simpson wants to know who Miles was talking about. Simpson assumes it’s a student, most likely Tristan. Miles doesn’t want to discuss it, but Simpson threatens to suspend him. After nagging from his mother, Miles blurts out he was referring to the man he saw her banging.

In one of Simpson’s funnier moments, he is completely speechless. The only way it could have been better is if Simpson tugged at his shirt collar and steam came out. Simpson wants to leave the room because this kind of talk is too PG-13 for him. He tried to watch Brave the other night because Merida’s dress was pretty, but cried because the movie was too violent. All the bears made him scared.

6

We go back to poetry class. Zacku wrote a super awesome poem about dolphins. By that, I mean any poetry about dolphins super awesome. Miles didn’t write a new poem like he was supposed to, and instead tells the teacher, “You don’t want to know how we feel.” And launches into a riff on how adults only want a sanitized version of a young people’s feelings. It’s a great slam poem, just needed a bass guitar playing. It impressed the teacher. Looks like Miles is turning things around!

The story ends when we learn that Miles’s mom and dad get back together. Whoa!

Wait, was Miles’s dad the man Miles’s mom was in bed with? Or was she sleeping around before getting back with her husband? I don’t want to delve into that. Moving on…

C Plot: Miles’s Sister

Miles’s sister is upset over a break up with a boy. My research in the archives indicates this boy was Winston, who is a ridiculous person to be upset over losing. How did that relationship work? Did Miles’s sister have to comfort him every time he saw a spider?

Miles’s sister deals with her pain by putting blonde streaks in her hair. This alarms her two friends. Keep in mind, one friend already has her hair dyed pink and the other sports an afro, so they all have ridiculous hair. Pink Hair Girl says that dying your hair is a cry for help. I could have told you that.

Later, in her bedroom, Miles’s sister gets a text from a mysterious boy with the username C3P0. Though given how ridiculous Gen X is about naming their offspring, C3P0 could well be his birth name. The two text back-and-forth and Miles’s sis thinks she has found an online boyfriend. Watch the fuck out girl! Every time this happens on Degrassi, the girl almost gets raped!

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Turns out C3P0 was a fake account created by her two friends, who wanted her to have a boy to talk with. She was catfished! It’s funny because she wrote to this boy about how much she did not like her friends. It’s even funnier how she found out. She was in the atrium texting with C3PO, but then saw Malia and Pink Hair hunched over a computer. They were in another room, but there was an open window between them. 14-year-olds have no idea how to be sneaky.

Miles’s sister’s friends tell her they did it so she would feel better. Pink Hair says they were worried that when she dyed her hair, she was planning to kill herself. Why is no one looking after PHG? She’s loudly proclaiming she needs help.

Miles’s sister cries in the music room and tries to have a heart-to-heart with the boy who plays guitar in Maya’s band, but he is having none of it and wants her to go away. It’s one of the funnier scenes (intentionally funny, I mean) in Degrassi history.

She makes up with her friends and they all go back to being stupid together.

ANALYSIS

The New Alex-Zoë thing happened too soon. I suppose those who watched the second half of the previous season saw their sort-of-but-not-quite-romantic relationship develop, but this Netflix season should be treated like a brand new series. Like, the writers should have shown the girls developing their kinship over a few episodes and then revealed New Alex’s illness in episode 6 or 7. Bringing that out this early blunted the emotional impact they were going for. It’s also odd because New Alex’s condition won’t be brought up in any other episode this season.

I don’t have anything more to say about Miles. The kid is prominent in every episode, so I’ll save my comments for another time. He’s a lot more interesting once he takes female anxiety pills.

The trio of Miles’s sister, the black girl and the pink-haired girl is fun. They are all such doofuses. I like that after years of JT & Toby, the dirty boys, and the Connors, that for once, the crew of dorks are girls.

QUESTION & ANSWER PORTION

tristan

Fig. 1-A

  1. The Canadian accents sound thicker now that Degrassi is on Netflix. Cite examples.
  2. Why does Tristan now have jet black hair? (see Fig. 1-A) Do you think he saw Grease for the first time last night? Is Grease to gay boys what Scarface is to straights? Yeah, that makes sense, I’ll go with it. Show your work.
  3. Have you or any of your classmates died from cystic fibrosis?
  4. Do the writers intend to use New Alex’s illness to rip off The Fault in Our Stars?