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Featured TV on DVD Review: Degrassi: Season 11, Part 2

October 15th, 2012

Degrassi: Season 11, Part 2 - Buy from Amazon

The second half of Degrassi hits the home market this week... not next week that like I thought it was. (Also, Madagascar 3 and Christmas Miracle just arrived. It's going to be a long night.) Fortunately, there are only eight or sixteen episodes on this DVD (it depends on if you consider them hour-long episodes or not). I've been a fan of this franchise since it was called The Kids of Degrassi Street. I've been watching this show since before most of the cast were alive. I suddenly feel the need to yell at kids to get off my lawn.

The Show

The second half of the season begins with Nowhere to Run, which is a horror themed show. The horror begins with a wedding between Clare's mother and Jake's father (Jake is one of the new students to Degrassi). It should be a happy day for both families, except Clare and Jake used to date and they kind of still have feelings for each other. Meanwhile, in the aftermath of Part One finale, which involved a shooting at the prom, Bianca is forced to work with Torres's father as part of her plea agreement. This means she's spending a lot of time with Drew, much to the horror of Drew's girlfriend, Katie. Alli then finds out her boyfriend, Dave, cheated on her during summer break. With all of this drama, Jake thinks it would be a perfect time for an end of summer party at his cabin in the woods, mainly to get away from Clare. When they get there, some truly scary things happen, mostly involving relationship issues.

When the school year begins with Underneath It All, in which Fiona decides to throw a start of the school year party, in order to make some new friends. She invites Katie and Marisol, two of the most popular girls in school, but she also gets roped into inviting Imogen, who is considered to be a freak by Katie and Marisol. At the party, a game of Truth or Dare results in a massive prank at the school and Imogen is the only one to get caught. Katie and Marisol are perfectly happy with that, but Fiona feels guilty. Meanwhile, we are introduced to Maya, Katie's little sister, who in the freshman class in Degrassi. Through her, we meet Zig, a guy with a bad reputation for being a player, Tori, one of Zig's ex-girlfriends, and Tristan, her openly gay friend. Because Tori still likes Zig and Zig seems to like Maya, Tori and Maya don't start off as the best of friends. In fact, they get into a fight and are sent to the principal's office. (Like most episodes, there are three main storylines, but the third one here is a minor spoiler. In short, Clare and Jake decide to start a secret relationship. It doesn't last.)

Can't Tell Me Nothing has Katie trying to make the national soccer team, but she accidentally breaks another girl's nose during the first day of tryouts. During the second day, the girl trips her, which causes Katie to injure her knee. She uses some of her mother's codeine to help deal with the pain. A major part of this episode deals with the Jenna / K.C. relationship, which ended but neither party is 100% over it. I wasn't into that storyline before, and I couldn't really get into it this time around. (Again, the third storyline deals with spoilers. At the end of the last episode, Zig and Tori got back together, but now Tristan is worried Zig is stealing away his best friend.)

In Not Ready to Make Nice, Conner decides to try and make the football team. He has Asperger's Syndrome, which makes it hard for him to to get along with his new teammates, especially Mo Mashkour, a senior. The two get into a bit of a prank war. The other two storylines are spoilers. In the first one, Jenna and Jake start dating, much to the horror of Clare. Also, this isn't the first time Jenna has "stolen" an ex-boyfriend. On a side note, how do you steal an ex-boyfriend? Once they are an ex-boyfriend, they don't belong to anyone. You can't steal what doesn't belong to anyone. Secondly, Fiona and Imogen wanted to get revenge on Katie and Marisol for letting them take the fall for the prank, but they wimp out. However, while they spend more time together, Fiona realizes she has feelings for Imogen. Unfortunately, she doesn't want to act first, but she decides to set up Imogen and Eli instead.

Need You Now starts with major spoilers involving Imogen and Eli's relationship, specifically Eli's bi-polar disorder. This is a continually evolving storyline and it is one of the best. The second storyline is a minor spoiler, but it involves Jenna and K.C., and these two still irritate me. Finally, Tori decides to join the cheerleaders, but it might interfere with her relationship with Zig.

Smash Into You has major spoilers with Dave and Alli. There's also a potential romance in the future for Adam. Thank goodness. I really like that character and he's hardly been in the series this half of the season. Mo also has a potential relationship in his future as well.

Hollaback Girl is nothing but major spoilers, as is a lot of In the Cold, Cold Night.

The Extras

First of all, I hate flipper-discs. I would much rather pay the extras $2 or $3 for two discs. Extras on side A start with a two-minute behind-the-scenes look at the making of Nowhere to Run. Next up are five minutes of outtakes. Frostival is a 90-second behind-the-scenes look at the shooting of the festival scenes. Jamil vs. Melinda is a five-minute look at the actors who play Dave and Alli. On Location with AJ is a 90-second behind-the-scenes featurette with the actor who plays Conner. Finally, there's The Niners, which is an introduction to the new grade nine students. On side B, there are three deleted scenes. There is also a four-minute behind-the-scenes featurette on the webisodes, plus the four webisodes.

The Verdict

Degrassi continues to be one of the best shows aimed at teenagers, if not the best show aimed at teenagers. Season 11, Part 2 has a lot of little extras and that adds enough value that is it a contender for Pick of the Week.

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