Degrassi: The Next Generation (season 4)
|Degrassi: The Next Generation (season 4)|
Degrassi: The Next Generation Season 4 DVD
|Country of origin||Canada|
|No. of episodes||22|
|Original release||7 September 2004– 14 February 2005|
The fourth season of Degrassi: The Next Generation commenced airing in Canada on 7 September 2004, concluded on 14 February 2005 and contains twenty-two 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 and juniors as they deal with some of the challenges and issues teenagers face such as bullying, dysfunctional families, school shootings, mental disorders, STDs, disabilities, gambling, homosexuality, and inappropriate student-teacher relationships.
Every episode is titled after a song from the 1980s, except for the two-part season finale "Goin' Down the Road", which took its name from the 1970 Canadian film Goin' Down the Road. Filming took place between April and October 2004.
The first six episodes of season four aired Tuesdays at 8:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. on CTV, a Canadian terrestrial television network, before settling into its regular 8:30 p.m. timeslot. When the season returned to the schedules in January 2005 following a break over the Christmas period, it aired on Mondays at 8:30 p.m. In the United States, it was broadcast 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 28 November 2006 by Alliance Atlantis Home Entertainment in Canada, and by FUNimation Entertainment in the US on 24 October 2006. The last three episodes were also sold in the US, packaged together in two different releases; one version was dubbed "unrated, uncensored and uncut" and featured an audio commentary and other bonus material, the other version was dubbed "rated", and did not feature the audio commentary. 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. This was the first season to release a soundtrack, Songs from Degrassi: The Next Generation was available as a digital download on 1 November 2005.
Season four was one of Degrassi: The Next Generation's most successful seasons for viewing figures. Two episodes were watched by nearly a million Canadian viewers and helped the season garner an average audience of 600,000, making it the most-viewed domestic drama in Canada. In the US, one episode from the season was watched by over half-a-million viewers, the highest audience figure The N had ever had. Only three awards were won for the season, from a total of nine nominations.
Season four is considered to be the darkest and most controversial season of the show, due to multiple storylines that dealt with harsh and dark issues, especially the two-part episode "Time Stands Still", which involves a school shooting. This garnered the show more international attention than originally.
The fourth season features nineteen actors who receive star billing with nineteen of them returning from the previous season. This is the only season of ‘’The Next Generation’’ that does not add any characters to the main cast (previously recurring or otherwise). Returning cast members include:
- Sarah Barrable-Tishauer as Liberty Van Zandt (12 episodes)
- Stefan Brogren as Archie "Snake" Simpson (16 episodes)
- Daniel Clark as Sean Cameron (9 episodes)
- Lauren Collins as Paige Michalchuk (16 episodes)
- Ryan Cooley as James Tiberius "J.T." Yorke (13 episodes)
- Jake Epstein as Craig Manning (21 episodes)
- Stacey Farber as Ellie Nash (13 episodes)
- Jake Goldsbie as Toby Isaacs (10 episodes)
- Aubrey Graham as Jimmy Brooks (16 episodes)
- Shane Kippel as Gavin "Spinner" Mason (16 episodes)
- Andrea Lewis as Hazel Aden (13 episodes)
- Pat Mastroianni as Joey Jeremiah (8 episodes)
- Miriam McDonald as Emma Nelson (17 episodes)
- Melissa McIntyre as Ashley Kerwin (12 episodes)
- Stacie Mistysyn as Caitlin Ryan (9 episodes)
- Adamo Ruggiero as Marco Del Rossi (17 episodes)
- Cassie Steele as Manuela "Manny" Santos (18 episodes)
- Amanda Stepto as Spike Nelson (8 episodes)
- Dan Woods as Mr. Raditch (9 episodes)
The actor from season three who did not return in any capacity this season was Christina Schmidt as Terri McGreggor.
Shenae Grimes, Dalmar Abuzeid, and Christopher Jacot are introduced in recurring roles as Darcy Edwards, Danny Van Zandt, and Matt Oleander, respectively. Returning in their recurring roles are Ephraim Ellis as Rick Murray, John Bregar as Dylan Michalchuk, Deanna Casaluce as Alex Nuñez, Mike Lobel as Jay Hogart, Daniel Morrison as Chris Sharpe, Alex Steele as Angela Jeremiah, Melissa DiMarco as Daphne Hatzilakos, Linlyn Lue as Ms. Kwan, and Jennifer Podemski as Ms. Sauve.
Film director Kevin Smith and actor Jason Mewes guest star as exaggerated versions of themselves (for example Kevin is portrayed as being unmarried and childless), who are at Degrassi Community School in the final three episodes of the season to work on Jay and Silent Bob Go Canadian, Eh!, a fictional feature film in the View Askewniverse series that is using Degrassi Community School as a filming location. Singer Alanis Morissette, who had previously played God in two other Jay and Silent Bob movies, guest star in "Goin' Down the Road Part One" as herself, playing the school principal in Jay and Silent Bob Go Canadian, Eh!
The season was produced by Epitome Pictures in association 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.
The season's executive producers are Epitome Pictures' president Stephen Stohn, and CEO Linda Schuyler, the co-creator of the Degrassi franchise. Aaron Martin was promoted from executive story editor during the third season to executive producer. Degrassi: The Next Generation co-creator Yan Moore served as the creative consultant and David Lowe was the line producer. Sean Reycraft and Shelley Scarrow served as co-executive story editors. Brendon Yorke was the story editor, and Miklos Perlus the junior story editor. The editor was Stephen Withrow, Stephen Stanley was the production designer, and the cinematographer was Gavin Smith.
The writers for the season are Sean Carley, Richard Clark, R. Scott Cooper, James Hurst, Aaron Martin, Miklos Perlus, Sean Reycraft, Shelley Scarrow, Brandon Yorke. Kevin Smith was allowed to rewrite his dialogue for the episodes which he appeared in. Graeme Campbell, Philip Earnshaw, Eleanore Lindo, Ron Murphy, Sudz Sutherland, and Stefan Scaini directed the episodes.
An episode featuring a storyline about a school shooting garnered the series an all-time high audience of 930,000 Canadian viewers. A second episode with a storyline about oral sex also earned just under 1,000,000 viewers. Overall, the season averaged an audience of 600,000 and was the top domestic drama for Canadian teenagers aged 12 to 17, and adults in three age brackets; ages 18 to 34, ages 18 to 49, and ages 25 to 54. In the US, the season received an 80% larger audience compared to season three, and one episode received 540,000 viewers and drew a Nielsen rating of 2.7 for teenagers and 4.7 for female teenagers, meaning that on average 2.7% of the nation's teenagers, and 4.7% of the nation's female teenagers were tuned in at any given moment.
The season was well received amongst critics, especially in regards to the episodes with Kevin Smith and the storylines on oral sex and the school shooting. The Palm Beach Post said the series "is told from a teenager's point of view since the writers have no interest in appealing to a broad-based demographic like the writers on, say, Fox's The O.C. ... it connects with teens on their level", though it was still "surprised Jay used the graphic oral sex term you'd hear in just about every high school hallway in America", that word being "blow-job". The Boston Herald said "it is important for teens to learn about sexually transmitted diseases and the cost of unprotected sex ... and should help parents begin conversations with their own children". PopMatters's Jodie Janella Horn described Degrassi: The Next Generation as "the most unnervingly accurate series ever of the high school genre". Another comparison was made between Degrassi: The Next Generation and The O.C., saying "The O.C. will never remind me of anything in my life", while the events in the two-part episode "Voices Carry" with "hotel room trashing, projectile launching, fist fighting at weddings bi-polar loon Craig [and girlfriend Ashley], was like an actual scene from my actual teenage life and just like me, Ashley thinks they're going to pull through it together". AfterElton.com, a website that focuses on the portrayal of gay and bisexual men in the media praised the series for "not only focusing on gay teens, but it showcases gay sex, and relationships. By not stereotyping [the gay characters] they are helping thousands of confused and shameful teenagers feel accepted, in Canada and America alike." Ben Neihart called Degrassi: The Next Generation "tha Best Teen TV N da WRLD!" (the best teen TV in the world) in a six-page article in The New York Times. Commenting that "the explosive-issue-per-capita ratio is seriously out of whack", he admitted that "the teen-diary attention to microissues (zits, periods, parents' night) gives the episodes a peculiar authenticity no matter how outrageous their story lines".
Two episodes were nominated for "Best Youth Script" at the Canadian Screenwriting Awards, which are administered by the Writers Guild of Canada. Shelley Scarrow's "Secrets Part One" lost out to "Mercy Street", written by James Hurst and Miklos Perlus. At the Directors Guild of Canada Awards, Stefan Sciani won the award for "Outstanding Achievement in a Television Series - Family" for the episode "Time Stands Still Part Two", and Stephen Stanley was nominated for the "Outstanding Achievement in Production Design - Television Series" category for the episode "Goin' Down the Road". The series won its first Teen Choice Award in the US for "Choice Summer Series" At the Young Artist Awards, Degrassi: The Next Generation failed to win any of the awards its actors were nominated for. Adamo Ruggiero was nominated in the "Best Performance in a TV Comedy Series Leading Young Actor" category, Aubrey Graham was nominated in the "Best Performance in a TV Comedy Series Supporting Young Actor" category, and Alex Steele was nominated in the "Best Performance in a TV Comedy Series Recurring Young Actress" category. The entire cast was nominated in the "Outstanding Young Performers in a TV Series" category".
The season premiere was an hour-long television special. CTV broadcast episodes two and three, four and five, and twenty and twenty-one on the same nights, though not as hour-long specials. In the US, The N aired the season in two blocks, the first block began 1 October 2004 and ran until 11 March 2005. The second block, advertised as the "Summer '05" season, was screened between 1 July 2005 and 26 August 2005. The season premiere and episodes thirteen and fourteen aired as hour-long specials.
|Title||Original airdate||Production code|
|1–2||60–61||"Ghost in the Machine"||7 September 2004||401 & 402|
With the new school year on the horizon, Paige receives a summons to testify against Dean when the rape case finally comes to trial after two years. She soon learns that the legal system is not perfect when Dean is unfortunately acquitted of all charges. Angered by the outcome, she seeks a destructive revenge against him which could also affect Spinner. Meanwhile, Craig celebrates his 16th birthday, receives $10,000 from his father's will, and spends it on an extravagant guitar, much to Joey's disapproval.
Note: Stephen Amell plays the doorman.
|3||62||"King of Pain"||21 September 2004||403|
|Marco comes out to his mother and runs for Student Council President, but he could lose more than just the presidency when his opponent, Alex, threatens to reveal his secret to his homophobic father. Meanwhile, Chris wants to get back with Emma, but she's not interested until she notices sparks flying between him and Liberty.|
|4||63||"Mercy Street"||21 September 2004||404|
|Rick returns to school, and Emma's popularity increases when she leads the eleventh graders into running Rick out of Degrassi for good. Meanwhile, after seeing Manny's ex-boyfriend Craig naked in the locker room, J.T. is worried she will compare them both and starts using a penis pump.|
|5||64||"Anywhere I Lay My Head"||28 September 2004||405|
|When her mother's drinking grows worse, Ellie has to choose between staying at home or moving in with Sean. Meanwhile, with Paige sick, Manny is put in charge of the school's car wash and grows closer to Paige's boyfriend, Spinner.|
|6||65||"Islands in the Stream"||28 September 2004||406|
|Paige gets a job working alongside her nemesis Alex at the movie theater concession stand to pay off the damages to Spinner's car. Meanwhile, Rick and Toby are partnered up in class, leading to a bet to see who can get more kisses from the girls at school.|
|7||66||"Time Stands Still" Part One||5 October 2004||407|
|Rick is finally standing up for himself and gains respect from people including Jimmy, who is forced to be on the quiz team with him. Unbeknownst to him, Spinner, Jay, and Alex plan to teach him a lesson. Meanwhile, Joey has to sell his house and enlists his ex-girlfriend and realtor, Sydney, to help.|
|8||67||"Time Stands Still" Part Two||12 October 2004||408|
|Rick's public humiliation sends him over the edge, which causes him to come back to school armed with a gun and looking for revenge. As innocent people are caught in his destructive path, the unthinkable happens and nothing in Degrassi will ever be the same again.|
|9||68||"Back in Black"||19 October 2004||409|
|In the aftermath of the school shooting, Sean has become a hero. When his mother is interviewed on TV, he, Emma, Ellie, and Jay go to Wasaga Beach so he can confront his past. Meanwhile, Toby wants to go to Rick's funeral but finds himself shunned by J.T. and Danny.|
|10||69||"Neutron Dance"||26 October 2004||410|
|The recording deal Downtown Sasquatch won is about to expire, but the band is nowhere near good enough. When Craig asks Ashley to join the band, it angers the other members. Meanwhile, Paige develops a crush on Matt Oleander, the teaching assistant.|
|11||70||"Voices Carry" Part One||2 November 2004||411|
|Ashley's dad's wedding has arrived, and she reconciles her relationship with Craig by losing her virginity to him. Afterward, Ashley is rubbed the wrong way when Craig exhibits less than normal behavior. Meanwhile, J.T. and Liberty work together to put on a play in order to raise school spirits.|
|12||71||"Voices Carry" Part Two||9 November 2004||412|
|Ashley realizes that Craig's mood swings are more than what she thought they would be as he spirals into a deep depression and starts to display destructive behavior. Meanwhile, after landing themselves in detention, Liberty and J.T. share a moment that brings them closer together.|
|13||72||"Bark at the Moon"||23 November 2004||413|
|Manny is attracted to Chester, a new guy at school, and soon wonders if Spinner is the right guy for her. Meanwhile, Paige tries to get partnered up with Mr. Oleander, and it seems he's also interested in her.|
|14||73||"Secret" Part One||30 November 2004||414|
|Emma has not come to terms with the school shooting but assures everyone that she is ok. But when Jay begins to arouse her interests, she soon finds herself giving into them. Meanwhile, with the discovery of Craig's bipolar disorder, Ashley tries to get him help from a support group where he runs into Ellie.|
|15||74||"Secret" Part Two||7 December 2004||415|
|After having oral sex with Jay, Emma finally feels alive, but when many students get infected with gonorrhea, including Jay's girlfriend Alex, she worries that she may also have it. Meanwhile, Jimmy enlists the help of Craig and Marco to break out of the hospital and see his favorite band.|
|16||75||"Eye of the Tiger"||14 December 2004||416|
|When Jimmy is finally released from the hospital, everyone is happy except Spinner, who is forced to decide whether to lose a friend by confessing his role in the shooting or to stay quiet and feel guilty. Meanwhile, Danny has a hard time accepting J.T. and Liberty's relationship.|
|17||76||"Queen of Hearts"||17 January 2005||417|
|Struggling to pay the rent, Ellie discovers she can earn money playing euchre. When Alex wants to play for more money, Ellie has to make a difficult choice. Meanwhile, Paige and Matt's secret affair blossoms, but Paige wonders whether he's still seeing his ex-girlfriend behind her back.|
|18||77||"Modern Love"||24 January 2005||418|
|When their secret relationship is revealed to everyone, Paige begins to wonder if Mr. Oleander cares about his career more than he cares about her. Meanwhile, Emma has a girls' night with Manny, Darcy, and Chantay and gets into a prank war with Chester and his brothers.|
|19||78||"Moonlight Desires"||31 January 2005||419|
|Marco is upset when he discovers he is unable to donate blood at the blood drive because he is gay and then catches Dylan in bed with another guy. Meanwhile, since being expelled, Spinner and Jay decide to break into Degrassi to vandalize it.|
|20||79||"West End Girls"||31 January 2005||420|
The end of the school year has arrived, and the rivalry between Manny and Paige heats up as they go to extreme lengths to one-up each other. Caitlin interviews Kevin Smith, who tours Degrassi Community School as a possible location for his latest movie, Jay and Silent Bob Go Canadian, Eh!.
Special guest star: Kevin Smith.
|21||80||"Goin' Down the Road" Part One||7 February 2005||421|
Degrassi goes into chaos as Kevin Smith prepares to film the new Jay and Silent Bob movie there: Craig grows upset when Ashley prepares to go to London for the summer, and Caitlin begins spending a lot of time with Kevin and doubting her relationship with Joey.
Special guest stars: Kevin Smith, Jason Mewes, and Alanis Morissette.
|22||81||"Goin' Down the Road" Part Two||14 February 2005||422|
Off his bipolar medication and getting out of control, Craig disappears into the streets where he finds himself in trouble, and it's up to Joey to save him. Meanwhile, Joey attempts to save his relationship when Caitlin begins spending more time with Kevin.
Special guest stars: Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes.
The DVD release of season four was released by Alliance Atlantis Home Entertainment in Canada on 28 November 2006, and by FUNimation Entertainment in the US on 24 October 2006 after it had completed broadcast on television. It was released in Australia by Shock Records on 13 April 2011. As well as every episode from the season, the DVD release features bonus material including deleted scenes, bloopers and behind-the-scenes featurettes.
The final three episodes of the season were also released separately from the complete season release on 8 November 2005. They were packaged together in two different versions; one was dubbed "unrated, uncensored and uncut" and featured an audio commentary and other bonus material, the other was dubbed "rated", and did not feature the audio commentary.
|The Complete Fourth Season|
|Set details||Special features|
|Canada||United States||Region 4|
|28 November 2006||24 October 2006||13 April 2011|
|Jay and Silent Bob Do Degrassi: The Next Generation (Director's Cut: Uncut, Uncensored and Unrated)|
|Set details||Special features|
|8 November 2005|
|Jay and Silent Bob Do Degrassi: The Next Generation (Director's Cut: Rated)|
|Set details||Special features|
|8 November 2005|
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