Degrassi: The Next Generation (season 5)

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Degrassi: The Next Generation (season 5)
DTNG season-5.jpg
Degrassi: The Next Generation Season 5 DVD
Country of origin Canada
No. of episodes 19
Release
Original channel CTV (Canada)
ZigZap (Poland)
The N (United States)
Original release 19 September 2005 (2005-09-19) – 20 March 2006 (2006-03-20)
Season chronology
← Previous
four
Next →
six

The fifth season of Degrassi: The Next Generation commenced airing in Canada on 19 September 2005, concluded on 20 March 2006 and contains nineteen episodes. Degrassi: The Next Generation is a Canadian serial teen drama television series. This season depicts the lives of a group of high school sophomores, juniors and seniors as they deal with the some of the challenges and issues teenagers face such as body image, teenage pregnancy, drug dealing, coming out, sexual identity, religion, eating disorders and relationships.

Filming took place between May 2005 and November 2005.[1]

Season five aired Mondays at 8:30 p.m. on CTV, a Canadian terrestrial television network. In the United States, it was broadcast at 8:00 p.m. on The N, a digital cable network aimed at teenagers and young adults. The season was released on DVD as a four disc boxed set on 3 July 2007 by Alliance Atlantis Home Entertainment in Canada, and by FUNimation Entertainment in the US. Registered users of the Canadian and US iTunes Stores are also able purchase and download the season for playback on home computers and certain iPods.[2] The N Soundtrack was released on 1 August 2006, following this season.

The fifth season of Degrassi: The Next Generation was the most successful season to date, averaging 767,000 viewers in Canada, and had one episode watched by a million viewers. It received praise for its depiction of a relationship between two gay characters, but mixed reviews for highlighting the issue of anorexia and bulimia in teenage girls.

Cast[edit]

The fifth season features twenty actors who receive star billing with sixteen of them returning from the previous season. Returning cast members include:

Joining the main cast are Jamie Johnston was cast as Peter Stone (10 episodes). Mike Lobel, Deanna Casaluce, and Melissa DiMarco as Jay Hogart (7 episodes), Alex Nuñez (9 episodes), and Daphne Hatzilakos (13 episodes) were promoted after recurring in the previous seasons.

The three actors from season four who did not return this season were Daniel Clark as Sean Cameron, Melissa McIntyre as Ashley Kerwin, and Dan Woods as Mr. Raditch. All left the series, except for Melissa McIntyre, who made her return in the season finale and Daniel Clark, who made his return in season six.

Returning in their recurring roles are John Bregar as Dylan Michalchuk, Shenae Grimes as Darcy Edwards, Dalmar Abuzeid as Danny Van Zandt, Alex Steele as Angela Jeremiah, Linlyn Lue as Ms. Kwan, and Jennifer Podemski as Ms. Sauve.[3] Marc Donato is introduced as Derek Haig.[4]

Film director Kevin Smith and actor Jason Mewes returned to the show for two episodes when they guest starred as exaggerated versions of themselves (for example Kevin is portrayed as being unmarried and childless). The episodes depict the premiere of Jay and Silent Bob Go Canadian, Eh!, a fictional feature film in the View Askewniverse series that used Degrassi Community School as a filming location during season four.[5] The scenes Alanis Morissette had filmed in season four to play the film's school principal were replayed as part of the film at the premiere.[6]

Crew[edit]

The season was produced by Epitome Pictures in association with CTV. Funding was provided by The Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit and the Ontario Film and Television Tax Credit, the Canadian Television Fund and BCE-CTV Benefits, The Shaw Television Broadcast Fund, the Independent Production Fund, Mountain Cable Program, and RBC Royal Bank.[7][8]

The executive producers were Epitome Pictures' president Stephen Stohn, and CEO Linda Schuyler, the co-creator of the Degrassi franchise. James Hurst served as the creative producer, David Lowe was the line producer and Sean Reycraft served as the executive story editor. Brendon Yorke and Alexandra Zarowny served as story editors. The editor was Stephen Withrow, Stephen Stanley was the production designer, and the cinematographer was Gavin Smith.[8] The writers for the season are Avra Fein, James Hurst, Aaron Martin, Miklos Perlus, Sean Reycraft, Shelley Scarrow, Brendon Yorke and Alexandra Zarowny. Phil Earnshaw, Eleanore Lindo, Ron Oliver and Stefan Scaini directed the episodes.[8][9]

Reception[edit]

The fifth season of Degrassi: The Next Generation had an audience average of 767,000 viewers,[10] had an increase of twenty-four per cent over the previous season, and was Canada's most watched Canadian drama series.[11] The second episode of the season was watched by over one million Canadian viewers; it was the first time the series had reached that figure.[11]

A two-part episode, aired to coincide with the Canadian National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, earned mixed reviews.[12] Laura Betker of the Winnipeg Sun said "Thankfully, the show moves far away from the health-class ideal that anorexia and bulimia simply stem from self-conscious teens. Rather, it displays it as the ugly disease that it truly is... All aspects of the story were done well. The plot was realistic. The display of the disease was truthful and progressive, while the acting was at an all time high... Miriam McDonald's performance was phenomenal. [She] performs with strength and credibility."[13] Bill Harris of the Toronto Sun criticized the episodes' "ham-fisted handling of anorexia" and wrote: "It’s just that, well, the Degrassi foray, while well-intentioned, leaves you hungry for a fresh insight, some relevant information, a compelling storyline, good writing, believable dialogue, anything." Harris even went as far as saying, "That Degrassi episode was so bad it made me want to throw up."[14]

The show's treatment of the gay characters avoids being heavy handed or reducing their characters to little more than clichéd archetypes, such as the ‘tragic' one, or the ‘funny side kick', or the ‘bitchy' one. Nor are these characters just the colourful friends and unpaid therapists of the straight girl. As much as we all love the antics of Jack on Will and Grace, Degrassi has a broader vision, less about the stereotype and more about the realities of growing up gay. This depiction is certainly pink, but without being rose colored.

— Jake Surette, AfterElton.com, April 24, 2006.[15]

Other storylines were well received, however. AfterElton.com, a website which focuses on the portrayal of homosexual and bisexual men in the media, and owned by MTV Networks' Logo cable television network, reported on the portrayal of two Degrassi: The Next Generation gay characters. "Degrassi features ongoing stories of real-life teen dilemmas—including intense gay and lesbian storylines—and does it without the righteous, 'On a Very Special Blossom' endings that many teen dramas and sitcoms thrive on."[15] The Gonzaga Bulletin, the student newspaper for Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington, reported on the show's popularity amongst its students.[16]

Despite being well received by audiences and the generally good reviews, season five received only two nominations for awards. At the Gemini Awards, Jim McGrath won the category for "Best Original Music Score for a Dramatic Series".[17] The younger members of the cast were nominated for a Young Artist Award in the "Best Young Ensemble Performance in a TV Series (Comedy or Drama)" category.[18]

Episodes[edit]

In a change to previous seasons, CTV broadcast episodes one and two over two weeks, as opposed to an hour-long special.[19] In the US, The N did broadcast the episodes as an hour-long special, on 7 October 2005.[20] The N proceeded to broadcast the next ten episodes, and then put the season on hiatus until 7 April 2006, when it returned with another hour-long special.

No. in
season
No. in
series
Title Canadian airdate US airdate Production code
1 82 "Venus" Part One 19 September 2005 7 October 2005 501
In her pursuit to become a Hollywood actress, Manny contemplates getting plastic surgery after a casting agent criticizes her weight, and it doesn't sit well with her parents. Meanwhile, it's Craig's birthday, and Ellie decides to hide that fact that Ashley has a new boyfriend and is staying in London.
2 83 "Venus" Part Two 26 September 2005 7 October 2005 502
When Manny rejects him, Peter releases the video of Manny flashing her breasts to the entire student body, which causes her whole life to fall apart. Meanwhile, Ellie and Craig are still mad at each other but later form a connection when she becomes Downtown Sasquatch's new drummer.
3 84 "Death of a Disco Dancer" 3 October 2005 14 October 2005 503
Paige has her whole future planned out: She is going to the best Canadian university, Banting, she will live with Matt, and everything will be perfect. That is, until Matt comes back a changed man. Meanwhile, Jimmy is proud to be the new basketball coach, but a new member, Derek, causes trouble.
4 85 "Foolin'" 10 October 2005 21 October 2005 504
J.T. is happily in love with Liberty until she reveals that she is four months pregnant. The couple experiences problems as reality begins to set in. Meanwhile, when they begin dating, Spinner grows worried that Darcy will find out about his involvement in the school shooting.
5 86 "Weddings, Parties, Anything" 17 October 2005 4 November 2005 505
Downtown Sasquatch has a wedding gig, and Craig decides to put all of his focus on the music, but things get complicated when Manny and Ellie vie for Craig's attention. Meanwhile, Joey has a date with the bride's sister but wonders if he's too old for her when he overhears her friends gossiping about him.
6 87 "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" 24 October 2005 11 November 2005 506
At his father's urging, Jimmy tries out for the National Wheelchair Sports Association's Junior Basketball Team, even though he wants to concentrate on his art. Meanwhile, Liberty and J.T. attempt to keep Danny from telling their parents about the baby.
7 88 "Turned Out" Part One 31 October 2005 18 November 2005 507
Liberty and J.T. are back together and looking to buy an apartment, but with no income, J.T. resorts to stealing and selling drugs to a dealer. Meanwhile, Emma, tired of being a "third wheel" to Manny and Craig, decides to go on a date with Derek, but she really wants to be with Peter.
8 89 "Turned Out" Part Two 7 November 2005 2 December 2005 508
J.T. learns that getting out of the drug-dealing business is dangerous as he travels down a path of self-destruction that could cause him to lose the people about whom he cares the most. Meanwhile, Snake faces similar obstacles when he looks back onto his life and realizes that he isn't happy.
9 90 "Tell It to My Heart" 14 November 2005 9 December 2005 509
While helping his new friend Tim, Marco faces his own reality and contemplates coming out to his father. Meanwhile, Emma likes the attention Peter gives her, even though she knows it would hurt Manny.
10 91 "Redemption Song" 21 November 2005 16 December 2005 510
The one-year anniversary of the school shooting opens up old wounds for everyone involved. Spinner goes with Darcy to the Friendship Club's annual retreat, where he has to deal with his demons. Jimmy has to choose what direction he wants to take when it comes to Hazel and Ellie.
11 92 "The Lexicon of Love" Part One 28 November 2005 7 April 2006 511

At the premiere of Jay and Silent Bob Go Canadian, Eh! Paige and Alex discover they enjoy each others' company a lot more than they probably should. Meanwhile, Emma, on a date with her new secret boyfriend Peter, discovers another secret couple at the premiere--Snake and Ms. Hatzilakos.


Special Guest Stars: Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes.
12 93 "The Lexicon of Love" Part Two 5 December 2005 7 April 2006 512

Alex and Paige are still confused over what happened the night before, and Kevin Smith helps Paige deal with her sexuality. Meanwhile, Emma feels compelled to tell her mother about what she saw, but when Snake asks her to keep it a secret, she has to make a difficult choice.


Special Guest Stars: Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes.
13 94 "Together Forever" 12 December 2005 14 April 2006 513
Downtown Sasquatch have a shot at a record deal when a music producer shows interest in them, but they later find out he is only interested in Craig, who has to make a difficult choice. Meanwhile, Liberty prepares to give birth while dealing with the stresses of school.
14 95 "I Against I" 30 January 2006 21 April 2006 514
The Friendship Club's opinions on sex and homosexuality threaten Spinner's newly repaired friendship with Marco. Meanwhile, Spike's friends visit her in order to cheer her up on her and Snake's third anniversary.
15 96 "Our Lips Are Sealed" Part One 20 February 2006 5 May 2006 515
Emma's life is in complete chaos as she feels she is losing all control. She soon finds her solution when she and Manny go on a strict diet regime, which includes cutting off junk food, exercising, and purging. Meanwhile, tired of living with Joey, Snake makes an attempt to reconcile with Spike.
16 97 "Our Lips Are Sealed" Part Two 27 February 2006 12 May 2006 516
Emma's downward spiral continues as her dangerous diet turns into a full-blown eating disorder, and it could have dire consequences for her as her loved ones come together to help her. Meanwhile Alex and Hazel try playing nice for Paige, who is tired them being at each other's throats.
17 98 "Total Eclipse of the Heart" 6 March 2006 19 May 2006 517
Marco is interested in the prospect of a new romance with Tim, but when Dylan comes back into his life, he realizes their relationship might not be over. Liberty is overcome with guilt over giving up her baby for adoption after finding out the family is moving away.
18 99 "High FidelityPart One 13 March 2006 2 June 2006 518
Spinner lies to Darcy about being a virgin, but when she finds out that he slept with Manny, her jealousy and anger over being deceived leads to their break up. Paige and Alex's relationship comes to an end when Paige becomes too controlling about Alex's future after graduation.
19 100 "High FidelityPart Two 20 March 2006 9 June 2006 519

It's a time to move on as the Class of 2006 graduate. After his night with Paige, Spinner is torn after Darcy tells him that she wants to get back together. Jimmy has to repeat his senior year after missing too much school while recovering from being shot and wonders if his feelings for Ellie are requited.


Note: This is the 100th episode in "The Next Generation" series.

DVD release[edit]

The DVD release of season five was released by Alliance Atlantis Home Entertainment in Canada, and by FUNimation Entertainment in the US on 3 July 2007 after it had completed broadcast on television. As well as every episode from the season, the DVD release features bonus material including deleted scenes, bloopers and behind-the-scenes featurettes.

The Complete Fifth Season
Degrassi: The Next Generation season 5 DVD digipak Set details[21] Special features[21]
  • Deleted scenes
  • Blooper reel
  • Original cast auditions
  • Interview with Cassie Steele
  • Character and cast biographies
  • Degrassi yearbook
  • Simple Plan music video and interview
  • Trailers
Release dates[21]
CanadaUnited States Region 1
3 July 2007

References[edit]

  1. ^ City of Toronto Film and Television Office (2006-01-16). "2005 Production List" (PDF). City of Toronto. p. 18. Retrieved 2008-03-24. 
  2. ^ Epitome Pictures. "Degrassi: The Next Generation" (NOTE: REQUIRES ITUNES SOFTWARE). The N. iTunes Store. Retrieved 2008-02-06. 
  3. ^ Ellis, pp. 86–87, 89–90
  4. ^ Sean Reycraft (writer); Stefan Sciani (director) (2005-10-03). "Death of a Disco Dancer". Degrassi: The Next Generation. Season 5. Episode 3. CTV. 
  5. ^ "Actor/Writer/Director Kevin Smith guests stars on three-part season finale of The N’s Degrassi: The Next Generation" (Press release). View Askew Productions. 2005-07-12. Retrieved 2008-02-16. 
  6. ^ Sean Reycraft (story, teleplay); Kate Miles Melville (story); Phil Earnshaw (director) (2005-11-28). "The Lexicon of Love Part One". Degrassi: The Next Generation. Season 5. Episode 11. CTV. 
  7. ^ "Rocket Fuelled Projects 2005". Shaw Rocket Fund. 2005. Archived from the original on 2007-12-01. Retrieved 2007-10-21. 
  8. ^ a b c Linda Schuyler (co-creator, co-executive producer); Yan Moore (co-creator); Stephen Stohn (co-executive producer) (2007-07-03). Degrassi: The Next Generation - Season 5 DVD Boxset (DVD). Alliance Atlantis Home Entertainment. 
  9. ^ Ellis, p. 96
  10. ^ Bailey, Patricia (2007-03-27). "CTV ups its order for Degrassi". Playback (Toronto, Ontario: Brunico Communications). Retrieved 2008-03-30. 
  11. ^ a b "Degrassi: The Next Generation 100th episode" (Press release). CTV. 2006-03-16. Retrieved 2008-03-29. 
  12. ^ "Eating Disorder Awareness Week: February 5 - 11, 2006". National Eating Disorder Information Centre. Archived from the original on 2006-02-19. Retrieved 2008-03-29. 
  13. ^ Betker, Laura (2006-02-21). "Degrassi: Our lips are sealed" (NOTE: FEE REQUIRED). Winnipeg Sun. Sun Media Corporation. Retrieved 2008-03-29. [dead link]
  14. ^ Harris, Bill (2006-02-19). "'Degrassi' tackles the issue of anorexia". Canoe.ca. Quebecor Media. Retrieved 2008-03-29. 
  15. ^ a b Surette, Jake (2006-04-24). "Degrassi: The Next Generation: Television's Best Portrayal of Gay Teens". AfterElton.com. Retrieved 2008-03-29. 
  16. ^ Shea, Nick (2006-02-17). "TV's 'Degrassi' finds adult following". Gonzaga Bulletin (Spokane, Washington: Gonzaga University). Retrieved 2008-03-29. 
  17. ^ "ACCT Canadian Awards Database History Search for "Degrassi, 2006"". Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television. Retrieved 2008-03-29. 
  18. ^ "27th Annual Young Artist Awards". Young Artist Awards. Retrieved 2008-03-28. 
  19. ^ "Award-winning franchise celebrates 25th Anniversary as original CTV documentary The Degrassi Story is set to air Sept. 17" (Press release). CTV.ca. 2005-09-01. Retrieved 2008-02-08. 
  20. ^ "The N Celebrates the 25th Anniversary Of Degrassi" (Press release). PR Newswire. 2005-09-13. Retrieved 2008-02-08. 
  21. ^ a b c "Degrassi: The Next Generation - Season 5". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Retrieved 2008-03-29. 

External links[edit]