Degrassi Season 2......Enjoy!
Brett Heitkam | Lena, IL United States | 08/18/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Degrassi: The Next Generation is a school-centered soap opera aimed at both teens and adults. It is a spinoff of the 80s TV show Degrassi Junior High and features a new group of students at Degrassi Community School as well as many characters from the original series that are now grown up and facing issues and problems of their own.
There are so many things that make this show a success. The cast is picture perfect. This is not the type of series that casts 25-year-olds to play someone in 9th grade. The team behind Degrassi goes for realism all the way. Because a they have a 14-year-old actor play a 14-year-old character, it packs a more dramatic punch when we see the sometimes very troublesome situations the characters get themselves in. This isn't a hilarious teen comedy show like Saved By the Bell. The characters are all three-dimensional and you won't find any stereotypes. The cast of young actors represents a true cross-section of the sort of kids you would see in real life.
As far as the storylines go, the superb first season dealt with many issues, such as teen drinking, internet stalkers, final exam stress, and in the season finale, the show became darker as one of the main characters, Ashley, overdosed on Ecstasy at a party.
Here, in the second season, the stories get even darker. Ashley spends the majority of this season dealing with how her behavior in the season one finale ruined her social life. Paige, the snobby rich girl with a heart of gold, learns the hard way that to some guys "no" doesn't always mean "no." Marco, a new character introduced this season, must deal with his sexuality. As for the adults, Emma's mother, Christine, decides to marry her boyfriend, science teacher Archie Simpson. On the eve of her wedding, she finds out she is pregnant. Archie has specifically told her he doesn't want kids so she freaks out...what should she do? Joey Jeremiah deals with his dead wife's son Craig after it is revealed that Craig's father has been SEVERELY beating him (in one of Degrassi's most painful-to-watch scenes ever). There are many more interesting stories weaving throughout this season and it never lets up. This is definitely indicative of the even greater stories to come in the later seasons!
On to the DVDs themselves. Degrassi: The Next Generation is filmed in widescreen, but for some reason, the powers-that-be have decided to release the show on DVD in fullscreen pan and scan. This is disappointing, because Degrassi is a bigger-budgeted show and every episode has a movie-like quality to it. The cropping of the picture is obvious and to have the episodes as they were originally shot would be nice. Otherwise, the picture quality is perfect, at least as good as originally broadcast.
There are three discs of episodes and then a fourth disc with a TON of special features. SuperFans of Degrassi (you know who you are) will eat this stuff up. There are over 130 deleted scenes, audition tapes, and much more.
All in all, Degrassi: The Next Generation is a wonderful series that anyone can enjoy. Even though there's the whole annoying no-widescreen issue, this is definitely a solid DVD set. Definitely buy this and the rest of the series! You won't be disappointed!