As the N begins airing the latest installment of season six of Degrassi: The Next Generation, I racked my brain to decide if any other teen drama has seamlessly made the transition from high school to college. Season six features part of the cast in college and part of them still in high school. Largely, I believe, due to the format of the program not following the same characters in each episode, the show is able to change settings. There are a few students who are at the local college, of course, so they're free to drop by the high school still, but there are still many once tried-and-true main characters who are more recurring guest stars. It takes powerful writing and an amazing ensemble cast to make these transitions possible. The writers are astute; even when characters aren't seen for weeks at a time, their names are mentioned. They maintain off-camera contact through email and the phone.
It's no secret that I think Degrassi: The Next Generation, in fact all shows Degrassi, are among the best ever produced for television. I think the continued success of season six provides a beautiful showcase for this point. It's not a show driven by a handful of actors or characters. The cast has grown and morphed over the past six seasons as the actors themselves have grown up. I am eagerly anticipating the summer release of The Kids of Degrassi Street on dvd and the fall release of Degrassi High. With all four series soon to be available on dvd, I hope more people will take a look at the amazing body of work created over the past thirty years. It's beyond unprecedented; it's inspired storytelling that only improves with time as it builds on its rich history and brings more characters and fans into its world.
For those of you who are too impatient to wait for The N to air the newest episodes in this country, CTV offers Degrassi on demand viewing online.
As an added bonus, you may rest assured CTV won't edit out objectionable subject matter, so you know you're seeing the entire episode, as it was intended.