Degrassi Next Class: 1.04 “#NotOkay”

Maya is victim of micro-aggressions. Malia cannot introduce her parents to Zacku. Tristan dates a new boy to get back at Miles. The Malia and Tristan parts are boring, so I will only recap Maya’s stuff.

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A Plot: Maya

1

Maya, New Alex, and a boy perform a song in a bar. It’s daytime and the only other person there is the owner. He likes their audition well enough to hire them for tonight, after the girl band he booked cancelled because they all got their periods at the same time. He assumed the boy wrote the song, when it was Maya, and tells Maya to “dress nicer.” Maya is already wearing tight jeans and a sleeveless top that shows her midriff. Maybe he means “nicer” as in “more modest.” He has a daughter Maya’s age.

Zig is excited that he can be either Maya’s roadie or groupie. No, he really is. But Maya’s mom says no to her performing in a bar. I would too. I’ve watched this show for over a decade and am starting to identify with the parents. Which means I’m an adult now. Shit. I’m going to have to buy furniture. Right now all I have in my apartment is a laptop and wi-fi router, a pile of clothes I use as chair/bed, and a bucket I eat and drink from.

Anyway, Maya has to wait for her mom to fall asleep before she can sneak out to the bar. If Maya’s mom is anything like my or my friend’s parents in high school, she only had to wait for 7pm when her mom will doze off watching TV.

Zoë and Zig are there to watch. How? I know the drinking age in Ontario is 19, but why are minors allowed in the bar? They could totally buy beer if they wanted. I’ve never been to a bar where you had to show ID every single time you ordered a drink. There are several bands here, and the place will be crowded. The bartender will assume anyone at the bar is of age.

Maya and her band go on stage just as another band is leaving. A guy in the other band offers to help Maya plug in her gear. Maya says she can do it herself. And then plugs something into the wrong input, creating a feedback screech. The man again offers to help, but New Alex calls him a sexist. Feminist logic, everyone.

Anyway, Maya and her band play their dumb Avril Lavigne ballad. But they are distracted by man on his cell phone bragging about a business deal. Maya interrupts their set to get off stage and tell the man to be quiet. The man says Maya is on her period, then calls her a bitch. So Maya takes his cell phone and drops it in a cup of beer. Way to prove you’re not a bitch on her period, Maya.

2

At school the next day, Maya consults New Alex and Zoë on whether to apologize for last night. New Alex says she should not, because she was the victim of sexism. Zoë says Maya should because, if she wants to make it in the music business, she will have to “play nice with the [Jewish] men that control the industry.” Zoë frames it as whether Maya wants to choose “your dreams or your pride.”

3

Now Maya is super sad. While a Cat Power song plays, she rips up all the musical memories in her bedroom. Her mom sees her crying and gets Maya to tell her what happened. She had grounded Maya for going to the bar, but the tale of sexism put her into protective mommy mode. Damn straight Maya will go back to that bar and stand up for herself, and mom will even be there with her. Maya left out the part where she wrecked the guy’s phone, but that wasn’t important to the overall feminist narrative.

4

So we end up back at the bar, where Maya’s band will play again tonight. Maybe they have to do free shows until they work off the $750 for a new phone. Tristan is at the bar, talking to Zoë about Miles. How many teens are allowed in this place? I hope the bar becomes the kids’ new hangout. It’s way better than the Dot.

Maya introduces her band. A man in the crowd catcalls her, so Maya points out that her mom is here to protect her. Maya’s mom waves and the jerk is put in his place. Yup, if there is one thing I want when I go to a bar, is to kick back with my friends and mind myself around children and their parents. And instead of putting some Springsteen on the jukebox, I’d much rather listen to the feminist anthems of a 15-year-old. This place totally won’t go out of business soon.

Seriously, how to the Degrassi writers not know what a bar is supposed to be like? I always pegged them as heavy drinkers.

Anyway, Maya says she wrote a new song about how sexism is bad. It sound like every other song they’ve played. Maya’s band is like The Ramones but boring.

QUESTION & ANSWER PORTION

There will be no questions today. Questioning feminism only reinforces the patriarchy.

ADDENDUM

In January, every episode of season 1 of Degrassi: The Next Generation was uploaded to the official Degrassi Youtube channel. Degrassi‘s production company, Degrassi Inc, promised to add more seasons to Youtube, but hasn’t yet. Maybe their computer broke when they tried to upgrade to Windows 10, and have to wait for the Canadian government to give them money for a new one. But that won’t happen until the new prime minister is settled in.

Putting the show on Youtube is good. The old episodes are not available on Netflix, Amazon Prime or Hulu. I assumed the episodes would have been added to Netflix by now, but have not. Fucking Netflix can spend money on new Adam Sandler movies and Fuller House, but not old Degrassi.

It would have been funny if the Netflix deal had fallen through and, with nowhere else to go, the Degrassi producers continued the show as a Youtube channel. There would be cameos by Shane Dawson and that Asian chick who likes makeup. Hank Green would be a new teacher and lecture the students about white privilege during math class. The Fine Bros. would get episodes taken down because someone said “react”. And I would be spamming the comments section by calling everything retarded.