Excellent DVD Release
Dorrie Wheeler | 05/30/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Degrassi Junior High diversified and grew during the second season. Alexa started off the school year by giving Stephanie K. a run for her popularity. When Stephanie ditched her fast girl clothes, Alexa started wearing them to gain the attention of a new cute student named Simon. Stephanie returns to wearing more conservative attire despite a brief return to the sexy clothes to gain Simon's attention.
Voula exited the show. It was explained that she moved away. Some kids from season 1 saw a big increase in screen time. Susie had more scenes and her real life little brother checked in as the pint sized student Scooter. Another new character introduced during season 2 was Michelle, also known as Mouse. Not only was she shy, she was slightly more overweight than the other girls in her grade. One of the most interesting new characters introduced during Season 2 was Liz. Liz was edgy and different. She wasn't about to let anyone push her around or change just to fit in. BLT, was seen in the episode "Eggbert," and in a few others but his storyline didn't grow much during Season 2.
Caitlin's storyline grew during season 2. Viewers couldn't help but to feel for Caitlin when she had a seizure at Susie's sleepover. It was learned during Season 2 that Lucy wasn't the only Degrassi kid raising herself for the most part. It was discovered that Kathleen was living with an alcoholic mother. Caitlin continued to fight for any cause that she believed in. She really was heated when she felt her friend Spike was being discriminated against because of her pregnancy. Wheel's storyline during Season 2 is minor compared to Season 3. During Season 2 Wheels struggles with his grades and isn't pleased about having to wear glasses. He does his best to maintain decent enough grades to remain a member of the Zit Remedy.
One huge storyline continued from season 1 was the storyline of Spike's pregnancy. Although Spike didn't give birth to Emma before the season ended, the relationship between her and her parents and Shane's parents intensified. Lucy continued to deal with her absentee parents. She struggled when a substitute teacher tried to get fresh with her. Joey Jeremiah continued to be the cad and comic relief of Degrassi. Season 2 introduced the classic Zit Remedy song, "Everybody Wants Something." Despite his popularity, Joey finds himself in an awkward situation when he becomes bullied by Dwayne.
As Season 2 came to a close, you really were left wanting to watch more episodes. Degrassi Junior High ran for three seasons in the 1980's.
All three discs include special bonus video from the Degrassi Talks series. Another cool feature on each disc is the "Pop Quiz" with Degrassi trivia. This is extra enjoyable for the die hard Degrassi fan. The discs also include Degrassi Junior High wallpaper and printable materials for educators.
Dorrie from imissthe80s"
Go back to school with your favourite teens!
Byron Kolln | the corner where Broadway meets Hollywood | 02/10/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Everyone's favourite angst-ridden teens finally come to DVD in DEGRASSI JUNIOR HIGH.
All 13 episodes of the acclaimed second season are featured in this set. The series was a bold spinoff from the short-lived afterschool series THE KIDS OF DEGRASSI STREET, and was groundbreaking in that it approached topics like peer pressure, teen violence, suicide, sex and pregnancy with well-written and intelligent storylines. This series remains, many years later, quality television for the pre-teens and teens sets (adults will appreciate the writing and amazing acting from the talented cast), and stands up well to repeat screenings.
Season Two picks up the pieces from the stories of the previous year. Taking precedence though is the plight of pregnant Spike (Amanda Stepto) and the future of her impending baby. Stephanie Kaye (Nicole Stoffman), still recovering from her disastrous first term as School President, vows to clean up her act, and the antics of the one and only Joey Jeremiah (Pat Mastroianni) almost always land him in trouble.
Includes the following episodes:
"Eggbert" - As part of a counselling experiment, Spike must carry an egg around for two weeks and treat it just like a real baby. The new boy in Grade Eight, Simon (Michael Carry) captures the attention of both Alexa (Irene Courakos) and Stephanie.
"A Helping Hand" - Substitute teacher Mr Colby begins to make unwanted advances toward Lucy (Anais Granofsky).
"Stagefright" - Caitlin (Stacie Mistysyn) returns to school, but doesn't tell her friends that she has been diagnosed as an epileptic. When she suffers a seizure during a slumber party, the story spreads around school that Caitlin is a `freak'. Meanwhile, shy Michelle (Maureen McKay) has to give a speech.
"Great Expectations" - The new girl, Liz (Cathy Keenan) becomes Joey's school partner.
"Fight!" - Joey gets into a fight with school bully Dwayne (Darrin Brown) and the Stephanie-Simon-Alexa love triangle finally comes to a conclusion.
"Bottled Up" - Kathleen's (Rebecca Haines) secret is finally blown when the school's quiz team holds a practice at her house, and everyone witnesses Katheen's alcoholic and abusive mother.
"Sealed With a Kiss" - Erica (Angela Deiseach) dates a boy who loves to French-kiss...and later proves it again by smooching Heather (Maureen Deiseach). But later, both Erica and Heather complain of horrible laryngitis....could the boy have given them mono?
"Dinner and a Show" - The future of Spike and Shane's (Bill Parrott) baby is discussed by both families.
"Dog Days" - Stephanie is plagued by dreams of suicide and depressive moods when her mother announces plans to get married again.
"Censored" - When Spike's pregnancy becomes common knowledge around town, the Parents Committee decide to exclude her from school.
"Trust Me" - A harmless sleepover turns into a nightmare of epic proportions for Joey, Wheels (Neil Hope) and Snake (Stefan Brogren).
"He's Back..." - Mr Colby is back, but this time starts taking an interest in Susie (Sarah Charlesworth). Will Lucy finally report him for abuse?
"Pass Tense!" - The Eighth Grade sit for their graduation exams, but news leaks through that the school will be incorporating the 9th Grade next year. Nevertheless, the students enjoy a well-deserved graduation dance before Spike's labour begins.
A top season which sets the scene for the third and final year of `Junior High'."
How Teen Shows Should Be Done
Kevin Caffrey | Fredericksburg, VA | 08/08/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The first season of "Degrassi Junior High" often came very close to feeling like public access, with a miniscule (at best) budget and often very wooden/weird acting. It is truly a guilty pleasure. However, the show *did* portray everyday tween/teenager problems in a realistic, if sometimes heavy-handed, way. And tho the viewer feels like they're watching something from a movie that "Mystery Science Theater 3000" would be lampooning at times, the messages of "Degrassi Junior High" resonate much, much more than nearly any other high school-set series ("Feaks and Geeks" is at the top of that list).
From a technical standpoint, Season Two is a big improvement. New topics that are tackled include depression, divorce/remarriage, and sex. The teen actors clearly developed their talents and come off more believable as they did in Season 1. The camerawork and direction have also improved. From a guilty pleasure standpoint, you STILL will love watching these episodes with dated music, clothes, and hairstyles a plenty. The DVD set comes with teaching supplements that would be helpful for any jr.high/hs teachers that are thinking of showing episodes in class. I give this series an A+ for having its heart in the right place and not talking down to its audience. Other features include the "Degressi Talks...on Depression" special, which is actually quite moving.
Like the first season collection, you can't go wrong with this DVD. You'll appreciate its honest portrayal of 12-15 year olds, but find much to laugh at in terms of the production values and overall 80s nostalgia. Glad Season 3 is just around the corner!"