Degrassi Next Class: 1.06 “#NotAllMen”

Miles’s brother defends video games. Zoë thinks she has found her real father. Miles’s sister tries to be less of a selfish c-word.

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A Plot: Miles’s Brother

01

Led by Miles’s brother, Video Game Club competes in a tournament. It takes place in the gym (which should be reserved for real actual sports). The opposing team is not present. They are seated in their own school and the game is played via this mode of communication known as the “Internet”. Get this: if you have a computer, and someone else also has a computer, you can plug both your computers into a phone line and then you can talk to that person on the computer, just like a telephone! Anywhere in the world! The other person could be in Japan, it doesn’t matter! It’s called the World-Wide-Web and it’s going to be big.

webGet yourself ready. Install onto your Personal Computer’s HardDrive Internet Explorer to explore, or Netscape Navigator to navigate and Log On! You can buy shoes—in CyberSpace! Real shoes too, not cybershoes. Do you want to learn about something? Say Italy or potatoes? Well, mister or misses, just Log On to a Search Engine such as Www.AltaVista.Com or Www.Lycos.Com or Www.Excite.Com or Www.HotBot.Com or Www.AskJeeves.Com (that last one is fun because you ask a butler questions!) and type in “Italy” or “Potatoes” and after a few hours of clicking on Links, you might actually find a useful WebPage. It’s not easy to find a useful WebPage on a Search Engine, because there are perhaps hundreds of WebSites on the Internet, and it will never be possible to catalog them. Don’t be intimidated cyberbuddy, it’s all part of the grand adventure of traveling down the Information SuperHighWay. I don’t know why we have four terms for the same piece of technology. We’ll have to sort that out. In the meantime, take all your money out of the bank and invest it in tech stocks.

Anyway, a video game competetion would be a boring thing to sit through if you are not playing, but the school’s unnecessarily large USS Enterprise-style view screen shows us the action (it’s still boring to watch). Degrassi wins when four of their players gang up and kill the last opposing player (the gamer equivalent of a lynching). The small crowd in the gym cheers because they can finally leave.

This victory means Degrassi advances to Regionals. But it was a close victory. They only won by a single point and almost died. And when you die in the video game, you die in real life! Miles’s brother says they need to buy new computers, or will be blown the fuck out by the competition. Except if they qualified for Regionals, they must have already beaten every other team in Toronto. That’s Canada’s ritziest city. Degrassi has the most expensive computers of any school in this continent. No team will have better equipment than Degrassi. The team from Nunavut is still using Gateways with Windows 95.

How will Video Game Club afford new computers? Well, they could hold a fundraiser, or steal money. But Miles’s brother’s family is rich, so I assume he’ll just buy them.

Actually, he makes some phone calls to business people to beg for new computers. I don’t know who—Michael Dell, probably. Miles and his girlfriend/drug dealer make fun of him for liking computers. That’s a weird thing to bully someone over these days, when everyone carries around a computer in their pocket and uses them all the time. It’s like making fun of someone for driving a car.

Miles thinks his little brother is going through all this effort just so he can share sexy times with the sole girl in Video Game Club, once they get to their hotel room for Regionals. This impresses Miles. But his brother assures Miles that this is only about video games, nothing else. Kid, it’s actually cooler to say you are doing this for a girl.

02

Miles’s brother turns to online fund raising. The club makes a video where they dress in cosplay costumes and ask for money. They have a page on GoFundMe or Kickstarter or whatever. Also, they suddenly have four new members. I don’t know about you, but I would give the club money if they dressed in cosplay all the time.

The WebPage was an instant success, as the club raised $1000 overnight. That’s $1000 Canadian, though, which is only $299 US. They can get a Dell! Not a Dell with touchscreen technology. That costs extra. You want to get finger grease all over your monitor, you have to pony up.

03

But the good news is short lived. Feminist Club has brought charges of mysogism against Video Game Club. Miles’s brother must go before the Tribunal Vaginal and defend himself.

Isis is the lead prosecutor and charges that the video game the club plays hyper-sexualizes women because the female avatars have big balloons for boobies. Miles’s brother replies that the male avatars are tall and have beefy muscles. But the girls reply that doesn’t count because men should look that way.

Miles’s brother says the avatars are not even human, but “animals and plants and robots and stuff”. The feminists reply that makes the video game racist because nobody can play as a person of color.

Isis then charges that the video game norMALEizes violence against women, because they witnessed male avatars gang up and kill a female. Miles’s brother responds that was not a real event, but simulated. He then asks why the feminists are not campaigning to eliminate the football team, because their sport is violent for real, and footballs players beat up women. Isis answers that is irrelevant because no in Canada cares about football. And besides, NFL players have to wear pink half the season, so feminists got them already.

Isis then states that violent video games are “triggering”. Yup, she said triggering. That word is meaningless to normal people, but is the worst thing in the world to social justice people. It’s even worse than being “problematic”. When something is “triggering” it is because it “triggers” you. When you are “triggered” it means you were upset so badly that you CAN’T EVEN. You LITERALLY CANNOT EVEN!

Calling the game triggering is Isis’s concluding statement. The video game is bad for this & this reason, therefor it is triggering. I expected her to raise her fist just above her head and then open her palm and say, “Mic drop.” See, miming dropping a microphone would mean she was done speaking and it was so powerful that no one can say anything further. When someone says “Mic drop” it means you can’t refute them. You just can’t. Discussion is closed. Jessica Williams did it all the time on The Daily Show, and the audience always found her so hilarious that they would applaud instead of laugh. She showed what fools Republican straw-men are, let me tell you.

Luckily, Isis did not say “Mic drop” so Mile’s brother is still allowed to speak up for himself. He states that calling the game “triggering” is meaningless because anything can offend anyone. He cites several examples, the last is that Isis’s Muslim hat would trigger someone who is worried about terrorism. Oh no! Miles’s brother crossed the line by implying that Islam has anything to do with terrorism. The whole room is angry at him.

Feminist Club orders Video Game Club shut down. The kids won’t be allowed to compete in Regionals. As the highest authority in Degrassi, the decisions of Feminist Club is school policy.

Jesus Christ, when did Degrassi become Hillary Clinton: The TV Series?

Miles’s brother runs to the computer lab to rage against the machine (by trying to destroy some computers). The other Video Game Club members calm him down. The only way to get their club back is for him to apologize Isis. Miles’s brother was racist to say that someone maybe could see a connection between Islam and terrorism. You can’t say that. In the US this summer, an Afghan Muslim—who attended a mosque where an imam preached about killing homosexuals—murdered 49 people in a gay club in Orlando. But based on the commentary afterward, we are supposed to blame Christian Republicans for the massacre…for some reason. I guess if Donald Trump wasn’t such a loud mouth, those killings would never had happened.

Anyway, Miles’s brother tucks his penis between his legs and attempts to make amends with Isis. But Isis is not willing to hear him. She pulls out a debate tactic that liberals have perfected, where instead of arguing facts and different points of view with an opponent, you attack your opponent’s use of language. If you respond to everything the other person says by calling it offensive or racist, you will trip them up. They’ll have to waste time rephrasing statements to appease you that they will be unable to advance their own argument. You’ll get to claim victory and feel superior without having to put in any mental energy.

Here are some examples:

It’s ignorant of you to say ‘retarded’. They are referred to as ‘Specially Capable Superheros’. What is wrong with you?”

You called that person a pregnant WOMAN! Don’t you know men can be pregnant too?”

You can’t say Mongoloid. The correct term is Finnish.”

Miles’s brother’s mistake was thinking he and Isis were going to have an honest conversation. But Isis wanted to make him feel like dirt one more time. She was never willing to reconcile with him. Video Game Club is still shut down, but even harder now. Video Game Club is on Double Secret Probation!

Later, the former members of the club meet one last time, because it is now illegal for them to be in a room together. Miles’s brother vows revenge. No, he really does. He vows revenge!

B Plot: Zoë

04

Zoë’s mother drives her and New Alex to school. The two girls text back-and-forth while sitting right next to each other, because kids do that. In my day, kids didn’t text. I mean, cell phones were around, but your plan would only allow 5 texts a month, and anything over that limit was $15 per text. No one could afford to text. If kids were sitting next to each other with a little electronic devices, it was two Game Boys connected with a cable to play Pokémon. I remember when there were only 150 Pokémon and it was easy to know them all. Now, there are, like, 700 and who the hell can keep track? I miss childhood when life was simple.

At least now there is Pokémon Go, so I can play while I wander the woods and cry over what my life has become.

By the way, I like the attention to detail here. Zoë has an iPhone because she is rich. While New Alex has an Android because she is poor, like me. The writers put more thought into that little detail than an entire episode from seasons 10-14.

Zoë’s mom takes Zoë aside and tells her that New Alex is gay for her (gay for Zoë, not gay for mom). Zoë’s mom is not OK with gay. She wants her daughter hang out with other friends, ones who are not gay. What mom does not know is that it is Zoë who is gay. Gay for New Alex!

Zoë is sad that her mom is anti-gay. Zoë wants to find her dad in the hopes he will be more accepting. I think if your dad ran off before you were born, he’s probably not going to be the best father, regardless of his views on homsexuality.

The problem is, Zoë doesn’t even know who her father is. All she knows is her mom was an extra on Gilmore Girls, and often told Zoë she slutted it up with David Sutcliffe, who played Christopher (ironically, Christopher was Rory’s absent father). Thanks to Reddit’s r/DavidSutcliffe community, she learns David is in Canada shooting a movie.

05

With New Alex, she sneaks into Sutcliffe’s trailer to look for something with his hair on it, which they need to run a DNA test. New Alex finds a pair of his underwear. Surely there will be hair in it, or other stuff with his DNA.

Just then, David Sutcliffe enters! Apparently, he is the new Dr. Who. He calls security, thinking the girls are crazed Gilmore Girls fans. Way to think highly of yourself, David Sutcliffe. When Gilmore Girls fangirls want to stalk someone, they target the guy who played Luke. He gets dead cats in the mail every day!

06

Zoë tells David she might be his daughter, because her mom got porked by him on the Gilmore Girls set. David corrects the record by telling Zoë he never did that. New Alex asks David for his blood to prove it. New Alex is a girl who wears black and has odd colored streaks in her hair, so David is not at all surprised she would ask for his blood.

“No one is getting my blood,” David tells them. “You could be vampires. And I refuse to help your kind. Go back to Romania where you belong.”

David tells the girls to leave, but then Zoë tells him that she was hoping he was her father because her mother does not accept her gayness. Now David can’t make her leave, because that would be homophobic. He is required to say something gay positive first. He tells Zoë she needs to be honest about her gay status.

“It’s your life, not hers. And only you can ever make yourself happy.”

– David Sutcliffe, thespian and devout Oprah fan.

“Do you think I could call you sometime?” asks Zoë.

“Absolutely not,” says David as he shoos her away.

That is all actual dialogue from the episode—including the vampire part. It’s better writing that all of seasons 8-14 put together. Netflix has forced the writers to up their game.

Later, Zoë gets a kiss from New Alex to cheer her up. I’ve never been clear if they were romantic partners or just friends. And now I know they are romantic. Or maybe teens kiss their friends now. I’m still confused.

C Plot: Mile’s Sister

07

Mile’s sister meets a cute boy who is into volunteering. So now she is into volunteering too. He’s Jonah, the boy I’m pretty sure is gay, but all the girls crush on. It’s Clay Aiken all over again.

Anyway, Jonah recruits her to help out at a camp for inner city youth. You don’t want these kids to grow up to act like Trayvon Martin. But she forgets and spends that time at the Dot with Zacku and that black girl, which is close enough. Miles’s sister is rich and sheltered, so thinks every black person is from the ghetto.

ANALYSIS

I am conflicted about Video Game Club versus Feminist Club. On one hand, I don’t like video games all that much. On the other hand, I don’t like feminists either. To me, this whole fight is like Nazi Germany vs. The Soviet Union, Syria vs the Islamic State, or police vs black people. I don’t want either side to win. Best case scenario is both sides destroy each other.

None of the Zoë story made any sense. But it was cool they managed to get an actual actor from Gilmore Girls. Though it’s offensive that Degrassi tried to associate itself with Gilmore Girls. Gilmore Girls was one of the sharpest written television series ever. It featured interesting and well developed characters in stories that made you care about them like they were close friends. Degrassi has never had that. Never. Also, the writers on Gilmore Girls understood continuity, a concept that completely baffles the Degrassi writers.

You know what? I have a deflated basketball in my closet, but I don’t tell people, “Yeah, me and Charles Barkley play basketball.” That’s what Degrassi is trying to do with Gilmore Girls. Fuck you, Linda Schuyler, Stephen Stohn, Stefan Brogren, and Matt Huether, you talentless hacks. Stay away from good TV. Don’t dirty it with your preachy Canadian shit.

None the less, I liked seeing David Sutcliffe. Of all the celebrity guests Degrassi has had, he and Kevin Smith are the only two I recognize.

QUESTION & ANSWER PORTION

  1. Why does Feminist Club run Degrassi?
  2. Think back to when Miles’s brother vowed revenge on the feminists. This terrible show has been on for 15 seasons, yet no one has vowed revenge until now. Why?
  3. How weird is it that Zoë’s mom lied about having sex with the guy who played Christopher on Gilmore Girls? What a random actor to claim to have hooked up with. Plus, she must have told the lie multiply times over the years for Zoë to even remember it.

ADDENDUM: THE FUTURE OF FUTURE RECAPS

It has been a long time since I posted a recap. Normally a writer would apologize to their readers for a months long delay, but I would never apologize to you losers. I owe you nothing. I had this recap close to finished in the spring, but did not feel like continuing, so left it incomplete until now. But a visit from my old friend Jim Bean helped me complete this. I have the recap for the next episode finished as well and will post it two weeks from now, but I have no plans to do further recaps. I haven’t even watched the second season, and that’s been out since July.

I hate Degrassi, but know what? Netflix hates it too. The company doesn’t do anything to promote the show. When Fuller House debuted, the cast did all sorts of press, and that series came out only a month after Next Class. Fucking new Full House is more important to the Netflix than Degrassi. Degrassi is even absent from the Netflix Originals lineup thing. Take a look. Currently, there is Luke Cage and Narcos and a teddy bear—but no Degrassi. Netflix executives watched the first season and were so ashamed they are hiding the show. If Netflix funds one more season of this shit and one more Adam Sandler movie, I swear I will cancel my Netflix subscription and turn to torrents. It is the ethical thing to do.

I know this is the fourth or fifth time I’ve said I am done with this show. But seriously, I only like to watch Degrassi when the show is fun, and I only like to write recaps when I am in a good mood. Degrassi is not fun and that does not put me in a good mood. It’s way too self-righteous with the politics. Degrassi had a bit of an anti-male vibe in the early seasons, but that was tempered because all the best characters were gents. The liberal feminist bullshit has been building for a few years and finally gotten out of hand now. All the primary female characters are always correct and righteous, while all the boys are fuck ups. I might be able to let that slide if Degrassi still have fun, campy moments like it used to, but those have been gone for awhile. I think the writers think the statements they are making are too important to soil with humor. God forbid a half-hour show attempt to be funny.

Hey, Degrassi writers, scrolling through Tumblr for stories won’t make Degrassi as popular as it was in season 4. Degrassi is shell of its former self and will remain so. What is almost as dumb is using hashtags for titles, like it will make the show popular on Twitter. Believe me, I wish Degrassi was popular, because then I would get as many readers as that guy who reviews Full House.

That was the long way of saying I’m done with Degrassi because it reminds too much of what I’ll have to endure when Hillary is president. In conclusion, if you want me to recap season 2, vote Trump.