The 'Degrassi' Reunion Taught Us So Much
I am a self-proclaimed diehard Degrassi fan, so naturally I wasn't going to let 24 hours pass by before watching the Degrassi: Next Class reunion special, which began streaming along with the entirety of Season 2 of the latest iteration of Degrassi on Netflix July 22. The Degrassi reunion special, which also acts as the show's 500th episode (!!!) and is titled #ThrowBackThursday, saw the current students of Degrassi attempting to celebrate the school's 60th anniversary while a protest about the potentially racist punishment of Tiny loomed large in the background. Though the intersection of the celebration of the school with the criticisms of Degrassi's potentially problematic policies was the main focus of the episode, we still had time to check in on the alumni attending the celebration. What have some our favorite Degrassi characters been doing since the last time we saw them? You might be surprised... or not.
I have no idea how Degrassi, the school, attempted to organize its likely massive alumni organization into one fairly small event, but it sure seems like a lot of people didn't bother to open their invitation to Degrassi's 60th anniversary party at all. While no one really expected Drake to make an appearance as Jimmy Brooks (though it's worth noting that Jimmy did hang around Degrassi longer than he really needed to) I was a little bummed that characters like Manny, Ellie, and Sean couldn't come back for the reunion. Oh well — schedules, both real and fictional, are likely packed, so we'll have to appreciate the people who did make time to come back. Here's what we found out about the returning characters' lives since leaving the series:
Holly J still looks as perfectly put together as she ever did, so it's not surprising that the former school president is the idol of current prez, Tristan. Unfortunately, we didn't get much information about what Holly J has been up to since graduating from Degrassi, but the blazer suggests that she's totally attending Yale. Sorry Declan and Holly J shippers, no word on whether these two are getting married in Martha's Vineyard any time soon.
Remember when Liberty had absolutely no chill? Well, 2016 Liberty is so unbelievably relaxed that she shows up to the school wearing a shruggy sweater — something that Season 1's Liberty would never, ever understand. Heck, the reunion special Liberty not only plays ultimate frisbee, but is the captain of her team at law school. I'm calling it now: Liberty was body snatched.
Sav has gotten even dreamier since his high school graduation (which ended with him hooking up with one of his teachers, just saying), but "#ThrowBackThursday" doesn't give too many details as to what Sav has been up to since leaving school. He still plays music, but doesn't seem to do so professionally, despite so many episodes in which Sav fought to pursue music. He does refuse to perform on stage with Frankie, a student ostracized for a prank people saw as racist, on the grounds that he "wants to go into politics." Guess his year as school president really changed his mind about music.
Unsurprisingly, Peter "The Worst" Stone got a job at a music studio. The dude who dated half the female cast and showed Manny's boobs to the world may have been somewhat redeemed in his later seasons on Degrassi, but it only takes one line in the reunion special for me to be reminded of what I never liked Peter. Peter's reasoning why he won't play with maybe-racist Frankie? "Sorry, I just got this job at the studio, and I work with a lot of black guys."
Marco & Paige
Marco listens to podcasts on the Zero Tolerance Policy, and essentially acts as a walking fact guide for Shay and Lola's protest. Fortunately, we got some info about what Marco's been up to only a few seasons ago, when he returned to Degrassi as a substitute teacher.
We learn virtually nothing about Paige in this episode, save for the fact that she has clearly made amends with BFF Marco, whom she had a falling out with in Degrassi Goes Hollywood. The two are able to joke about that TV movie, as Paige jokingly tells Marco, "don't make me slap you again!"
Did watching Paige and Spinner walking arm in arm give you hope that maybe these two got back together after Spinner and Emma's marriage fell apart? Sorry to disappoint fans of the OG couple, but it turns out that Spinner is still very much wed to Mrs. Nelson. A cameo that Spinner made in Season 14 reveals that he's still working at The Dot, his former high school gig. Though it's not mentioned in "#ThrowBackThursday," the sixth episode of Season 2, "#ToMyFutureSelf" reveals that him and Emma are buying a house together, despite everything going "50 over asking," just in case you needed to feel really, really old today.
Mo was one of the more random cast members to return to the series, but I've always enjoyed this guy, and I definitely enjoyed him snapping back at Tristan for not allowing him to acknowledge the protest going on outside the school. Mo only graduated from Degrassi two years ago, but he has gotten into standup comedy and, apparently "experimented with drugs" at university. TMI, dude — there are children present.
Emma got back to her protesting roots in this episode, which was a nice little throwback to the early seasons when Emma would pretty much protest over anything. She's still married to Spinner, however, which really is something that every fan should protest over.
Is still playing the same song from Degrassi Goes Hollywood... seven years later.
What I liked about this reunion special was that it was pretty realistic about where everyone who graduated from Degrassi would be in the relatively near future — no one is a huge celebrity, rock star, or tech billionaire. Of course, those people could have all skipped out on the Degrassi reunion — who knows, maybe Jimmy is palling around with Rihanna right now, just like his alter ego.
Thanks for the years, Degrassi. Don't you go changing.
Images: Netflix (10)