Degrassi: The Next Generation (season 8)
|Degrassi: The Next Generation (season 8)|
Degrassi: The Next Generation Season 8 DVD
|Country of origin||Canada|
|No. of episodes||22|
|Original channel||CTV (Canada)
The N (United States)
BBC Two (U.K.)
|Original release||5 October 2008– 30 August 2009|
The eighth season of Degrassi: The Next Generation premiered in Canada on 5 October 2008, concluded on 30 August 2009, and consists of twenty-two episodes (18 episodes, and 1 movie). Degrassi: The Next Generation is a Canadian serial teen drama television series. Although only one school year passed in the story timeline since season six, season eight is set in the first semester of the year in which it aired. Writers have been able to use a semi-floating timeline, so that the issues depicted are modern for their viewers. This season depicts the lives of a group of high school freshman, juniors, seniors, and college freshman as they deal with some of the challenges and issues young adults face such as careers, sex, sexism, sexual identity, financial difficulties, drug use, mental disorders, cyberbullying, child molestation, stress, hostage situations, racism, and relationships. Thirteen actors are added to the ensemble cast, while fourteen cast members have either left the series or been dropped from the main cast to recurring roles. The season focuses heavily on the new generation of students at Degrassi Community School, although it included storylines about those who have graduated and gone on to university.
Season eight aired Sundays at 7:30 p.m. on CTV, a Canadian television network. Episodes were repeated on CTV's sister cable speciality network, MuchMusic, on Tuesdays at 7:00 p.m. In the United States, the season began on 10 October 2008 and aired in its usual timeslot on Fridays at 8:00 p.m. on The N. Unlike seasons six and seven, which premiered in the US, "Uptown Girl Part One", this season's premiere episode, was broadcast in Canada first, with "Uptown Girl Part Two" airing a week later; in the US, however, both parts aired together as an hour-long special. As well as airing on television, the season's episodes were also streamed on the websites of CTV and The N, and registered users of the Canadian and US iTunes Stores can purchase and download the season for playback on home computers and certain iPods.
Production for the season began in May 2008 at Epitome Pictures' studios in Toronto, Ontario, and were completed in late October 2008. The final episodes of the season were filmed in part in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, and were written and directed by Stefan Brogren, who plays Archie "Snake" Simpson.
The eighth season features twenty-four actors who receive star billing with eleven of them returning from the previous season. Returning cast members include:
- Dalmar Abuzeid as Danny Van Zandt (20 episodes)
- Charlotte Arnold as Holly J. Sinclair (16 episodes)
- Sarah Barrable-Tishauer as Liberty Van Zandt (6 episodes)
- Paula Brancati as Jane Vaughn (10 episodes)
- Stefan Brogren as Archie "Snake" Simpson (11 episodes)
- Nina Dobrev as Mia Jones (19 episodes)
- Marc Donato as Derek Haig (10 episodes)
- Jamie Johnston as Peter Stone (18 episodes)
- Shane Kippel as Gavin "Spinner" Mason (13 episodes)
- Miriam McDonald as Emma Nelson (10 episodes)
- Cassie Steele as Manuela "Manny" Santos (10 episodes)
To replace the outgoing actors, seven new characters were introduced to the series. Joining the main cast are Sam Earle, Jordan Hudyma, Judy Jiao, Argiris Karras, A.J. Saudin, Melinda Shankar and Evan Williams as K.C. Guthrie (9 episodes), Blue Chessex (6 episodes), Leia Chang (8 episodes), Riley Stavros (9 episodes), Connor Deslauriers (11 episodes), Alli Bhandari (15 episodes) and Kelly Ashoona (10 episodes). Raymond Ablack, Jajube Mandiela, Samantha Munro, Scott Paterson, Aislinn Paul, and Natty Zavitz as Sav Bhandari (19 episodes), Chantay Black (12 episodes), Anya MacPherson (17 episodes), Johnny DiMarco (7 episodes), Clare Edwards (12 episodes), and Bruce the Moose (12 episodes) were promoted after recurring in the previous seasons.
The nine actors who did not return this season were Lauren Collins as Paige Michalchuk, Melissa DiMarco as Daphne Hatzilakos, Mazin Elsadig as Damian Hayes, Stacey Farber as Ellie Nash, Aubrey Graham as Jimmy Brooks, Shenae Grimes as Darcy Edwards, Mike Lobel as Jay Hogart, Adamo Ruggiero as Marco Del Rossi, and Amanda Stepto as Christine "Spike" Nelson. Mazin Elsadig, who portrayed Damian Hayes, was the only actor who did not reprise his role this season after receiving a star billing in Season 7. The rest of the actors who received star billings, who left the series after season 7 returned this season in a recurring role.
Jake Goldsbie and Aubrey Graham who have played Toby Isaacs and Jimmy Brooks since the first season reprised their roles in a guest appearance in "Lost in Love: Part 1". Kevin Jubinville plays the new Degrassi principal, Mr. Shepherd ("The Shep"), previously the principal of Lakehurst before the merger of the two schools. Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes, who both made guest appearances in seasons four and five, and former cast members Jake Epstein (Craig Manning), Stacey Farber (Ellie Nash), Adamo Ruggiero (Marco Del Rossi) and Lauren Collins (Paige Michalchuk) returned with "many other guest stars" for a four-part season finale, which is set and filmed in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California.
Season eight 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.
Linda Schuyler, co-creator of the Degrassi franchise and CEO of Epitome Pictures, served as an executive producer with her husband, and President of Epitome Pictures, Stephen Stohn. Sara Snow is also credited as an executive producer. David Lowe was the producer, and Stephanie Cohen the supervising producer. As well as playing Snake Simpson, Stephen Brogren also served as the creative producer, and, for the first time, directed episodes, after previously writing, producing, and directing the exclusive online series Degrassi Minis. The casting director was Stephanie Gorin, and the editor was D. Gillian Truster.
The executive story editor was Sarah Glinski, and Matt Heuther the story editor. The script supervisor was Nancy Markle. Episode writers for the season are Duana Taha and Brendon Yorke. The director of photography was Jim Westenbrink, and the director was Phil Earnshaw.
Also this season is another "Halloween special", titled The Curse of Degrassi, which CTV aired on 26 October 2008 and The N aired it 28 October 2008. This time it deals with the anniversary of Rick Murray's death and his haunting former classmates.
The season premiere was watched by 398,000 Canadian viewers, a figure almost 200,000 fewer than season seven's premiere of 585,000 viewers. When reporting on the figures in his blog, Bill Brioux, the television columnist for The Canadian Press, was surprised that Degrassi: The Next Generation had reached its eighth season with such poor ratings, asking "What other show in the history of Canadian or American television has so consistently drawn so few viewers yet gets renewed year after year?" Viewing figures continued to drop when an average of 220,000 viewers watched the second and sixth episodes; the lowest figures Degrassi: The Next Generation has ever received. That number was even lower for episode eleven, when overnight ratings showed it received 139,000 viewers. The overall number of viewers rose slightly for the thirteenth episode, the first of a two-parter, when it was watched by 157,000 people, but the viewing figures for the key 18–34 demographics was at a low of 81,000. The following week, the episode that concluded the two-parter picked up viewers, reaching an estimated total of 206,000. Brioux commented again about Degrassi: The Next Generation still being on the schedules, wondering when CTV was going to announce its cancellation and noting that The Amazing Race, which follows it in the scheduling, was watched by ten times the number of Degrassi 's viewers. That pattern was repeated the following week, when Degrassi: The Next Generation was watched by 222,000 viewers, compared to 1,834,000 viewers for The Amazing Race, 1,579,000 viewers for Desperate Housewives and 1,106,000 viewers for The Mentalist, which were broadcast later in the evening.
Despite the low viewing figures, the season was still a critical hit. The influx of new actors and characters was described as being "fresh", a "chance to bring new energy into the show", and "stir up the school right from its very heart", although original cast member Aubrey Graham criticised the producers and the way it happened. "One day we came in and all the names were just changed on the dressing rooms. Everyone got cut. We go upstairs and it’s like, 'Who are all these people auditioning in the front?' They owe us a lot of money. The amount of loyalty, the years we put in with these people... they did us foul. As far as the producers go, I don’t talk to anybody over there." Writing about specific new actors, Dani Ng-See-Quan of andPop praised Charlotte Arnold for being able to study a full-time journalism course at Ryerson University and to act full-time in a television series at the same time. Ryerson University's on-campus newspaper, The Eyeopener also praised Arnold for this achievement, as well as fellow cast members and students Raymond Ablack, Nina Dobrev and Evan Williams. Calgary Herald and National Post writer Michael Morrison said Paula Brancati "has become my favorite Canadian actress", admiring her ability to play two different characters on two different series – Jane Vaugn on Degrassi: The Next Generation and Jenny on Being Erica – with an age difference of about thirteen years, and in playing Jane, a character who is the victim of child molestation "[it] is never an easy thing for an actor to portray, but Brancati does it convincingly." This season also promoted awareness in Asperger syndrome; A.J. Saudin's character Connor is a sufferer. Melinda Shankar's portrayal of a first-generation Canadian whose family comes from India was acknowledged, as her character struggles to deal with the culture clash of acting, dressing and dating who she likes, against her conservative parents' wishes. At AfterElton.com, a magazine a website that focuses on the portrayal of bisexual and homosexual men in the media, was critical that the sexuality of new character Riley, played by Argiris Karras, has so far been through the eyes of Peter Stone, Riley's unrequited love interest, and that the storyline served only to advance Peter's character. There was praise, however, that Riley is a departure from previous gay characters Marco Del Rossi, Alex Nuñez, and Dylan and Paige Michalchuck, in that he is confused about his sexuality, and unlike sweet and sensitive Marco, Riley is an alpha male jock who is very much in denial about himself. Jamaican-Canadian screenwriter Annmarie Morais said of the Canadian television industry that Degrassi: The Next Generation is a prime example of a Canadian television series that has garnered international acclaim while maintaining a strong and realistic portrayal of life in Canada. "While in the States, I work with a lot of teenagers and pre-teens, and every one of them knows about Degrassi. Now, that show doesn't have an O.C. formula or Beverly Hills 90210 formula; it's unique and it has a Canadian voice. Shows like Degrassi prove that we can develop shows that have strength across the border."
Linda Schuyler was honoured with the Female Eye Maverick Award at the annual Female Eye Film Festival held in Toronto in March 2009. Leslie Ann Coles, director of the festival, said Schuyler is "one of the most successful, innovative and progressive women" in the TV industry. At the 2009 Young Artist Awards, Jamie Johnson was nominated as a Leading Young Actor in the Best Performance in a TV Comedy or Drama Series.
The Degrassi Goes Hollywood Movie premiered in the US on The N 14 August 2009, before it premiered in Canada on 30 August 2009. The show garnered the highest rating in The N network history, attracting nearly one million viewers.
This season had no hour long specials. However a two-hour movie aired as the season finale, which was four episodes combined, called Paradise City: Degrassi Goes Hollywood. The TV movie follows the students during the winter break of the school year.
This list is by order of production, as they appear on the DVD, which is also the order they originally aired.
|Title||Canadian airdate||US airdate||Production code|
|1||144||"Uptown Girl" Part One||5 October 2008||10 October 2008||801|
|Degrassi welcomes a new group of students as they adjust to high school life. Mia believes that her junior year will begin on a positive note when she is scouted by a top model agency and befriends a new student. But trouble is in paradise when Mia learns the dark side of the modeling world. Meanwhile, Emma has trouble adjusting from high school to college when Manny and Liberty seem to be moving on without her. Also the girls get a surprising roommate.|
|2||145||"Uptown Girl" Part Two||12 October 2008||10 October 2008||802|
|Mia's life begins to spiral out of control when her growing modeling career comes in the way of her schoolwork, her friends, and a potential relationship with Danny. Meanwhile, Darcy's little sister, Clare, doesn't care about what anyone thinks of her. That is until she meets K.C. in their gifted class and forms an unexpected friendship with him.|
|3||146||"Fight the Power"||19 October 2008||17 October 2008||803|
|Jane's love for football gives her the courage to try out for the team, despite only boys being on it. Jane is still determined to play but being the sole female teammate causes heated conflicts both on and off the field. Meanwhile, Darcy is moving to Kenya and tells Peter the day before she goes. He is upset and can't stand to see her go, but when he meets Mia at his back-to-school party, they bond over their differences.|
|4||147||"Didn't We Almost Have It All"||2 November 2008||24 October 2008||804|
|At Smithdale, Liberty decides to pledge for the school's popular sorority, though her determination to join the Greek system ultimately tests her friendship with Emma and Manny. As student council president, Holly J revels in being the queen bee, but after finding out she is the only virgin on the power squad, she attempts to keep her position by going after her crush.|
|5||148||"Man with Two Hearts"||9 November 2008||7 November 2008||805|
|Peter begins a relationship with Mia and a friendship with Riley. However, he finds out how difficult it can be to balance them both. Meanwhile, Clare and Alli find a surprise at Mr. Simpson's house and decide to take it to school.|
|6||149||"With or Without You"||16 November 2008||14 November 2008||806|
|Sav and Anya plan to celebrate their six-month anniversary on the school's overnight trip. Sav's sister Alli tags along, and he becomes furious when he hears the rumors about what she did on the trip with the school's bad boy Johnny DiMarco. Meanwhile, at Smithdale, Manny and Emma both have a crush on their roommate, Kelly.|
|7||150||"Money for Nothing"||23 November 2008||21 November 2008||807|
|Holly J. is desperate to keep up her Queen Bee status after learning her parents are having financial difficulties. Meanwhile, Peter's mom, Ms. Hatzilakos, unexpectedly drops in for a visit. She stays at his pad while she's in town, and Peter quickly discovers that his life isn't so rad with mom around.|
|8||151||"Lost in Love" Part One||30 November 2008||13 February 2009||808|
|At Degrassi, the students are getting ready for the Sweetheart Dance. Spinner's life plans begin to fall apart when he doesn't get into police college, until he gets an unexpected visit from an old friend. Clare has to decide between K.C. and Conner when both guys ask her to the school dance. Meanwhile, Kelly and Emma reveal their feelings for each other and go on a date.|
|9||152||"Lost in Love" Part Two||18 January 2009||13 February 2009||809|
|Spinner is willing to try anything to win Jane back after disappointing her. Clare agrees to go to the dance but not with the guy she really wants to go with. Kelly nearly loses his opportunity with Emma and has to figure out a way to win her back.|
|10||153||"Bad Medicine"||25 January 2009||20 February 2009||810|
|Degrassi has won their first football game thanks to Riley, making him the most popular guy at school. But his steroid abuse and a deep secret may ruin that when he begins lashing out at people. Ex-best-friends Danny and Derek compete for Leia's affection.|
|11||154||"Causing a Commotion"||8 February 2009||27 February 2009||811|
|Clare stands up for Conner when he receives unfair treatment from the Shep. Sav and Anya have started hanging out again but as friends. But when Sav thinks he's winning her back, she explains that they didn't break up because she doesn't love him--they broke up because he couldn't balance their relationship with the demands of his family.|
|12||155||"Heat of the Moment"||15 February 2009||6 March 2009||812|
|After Alli is continuously taunted by Holly J., Alli starts a hate group about her and posts hurtful things about her on Degrassi's popular Internet social networking site Facerange. Meanwhile, Peter is pressured into helping his father with his half-sister Angel.|
|13||156||"Jane Says" Part One||1 March 2009||3 July 2009||813|
|Jane's mom wants her father back in her and Lucas' lives, but Jane doesn't want anything to do with him, and she can't remember why. Meanwhile, Danny's new girlfriend Leia doesn't fit in with any of Danny's friends and lies compulsively to avoid them.|
|14||157||"Jane Says" Part Two||8 March 2009||3 July 2009||814|
|After digging into the past, Jane admits to herself that her issues with her dad run far deeper than her parents' divorce, leaving her feeling confused and alone. Meanwhile, Alli encourages Clare to get a new wardrobe, but with it, she gets some attention from boys, which makes Alli jealous.|
|15||158||"Touch of Grey"||15 March 2009||10 July 2009||815|
|Emma is tired of being referred to as "Kelly's girlfriend" and "Blonde Emma" especially when she's not even blonde anymore. In order to shed her plain-girl image, she begins smoking pot. Meanwhile, K.C.'s bad boy past is revealed.|
|16||159||"Heart of Glass"||22 March 2009||17 July 2009||816|
|Alli will do anything in order to keep Johnny from looking elsewhere when she worries that she is going to lose him to a more experienced girl. Meanwhile, Peter's been talking to Darcy and planning to visit her, which makes Mia question whether Peter is fully committed to their relationship or if he still has feelings for his ex.|
|17||160||"Up Where We Belong"||5 April 2009||24 July 2009||817|
|Stress is at an all-time high at Degrassi with exams approaching, and course selections due for next term. Meanwhile, Mia has to make a difficult choice: her education or her modeling career. Also, Sav's parents want him to study engineering in college; however, Sav is more interested in pursuing a music career but isn't sure how to get his parents to support him. And Holly J.'s art teacher thinks she doesn't have what it takes to make the grade.|
|18||161||"Danger Zone"||12 April 2009||31 July 2009||818|
|Blue asks Holly J. to the winter dance in a very romantic way. The problem is Holly J. has a thing for her co-worker, Spinner. Meanwhile, K.C. and Clare are still tense with each other, following Clare's discovery of K.C.'s secret, dark past. Mia begins to wonder what would've happened if Darcy had stayed at Degrassi and suspects she is only Peter's rebound girl.|
|19–22||162–165||"Degrassi Goes Hollywood"||30 August 2009||14 August 2009||819–822|
Paige is now an assistant to an A-list reality TV star and invites Marco and Ellie to visit her in Los Angeles. After bombing her audition for a movie, Manny hitches a ride with Jay, Peter, Danny, Sav, and Mia in a school bus to L.A. to get a second chance at an audition. Paige, who accidentally got the role, lets her good fortune go to her head and transforms into a demanding, obnoxious diva, insulting and belittling everyone in her mini-entourage, particularly Marco, which causes a rift in their friendship. Ellie then reunites with Craig, causing them to reconnect, but bad timing and Ellie's guilt over avoiding her shell-shocked father take their toll.
Special Guest Stars: Jason Mewes, Kevin Smith, Perez Hilton, Vivica A. Fox, Kelly Carlson, Pete Wentz, and Cassadee Pope.Note: Aired as a two-hour film, and airs as "Paradise City" in half-hour syndication.
The DVD release of season eight was released online and in select stores by Echo Bridge Home Entertainment in the US on 1 September 2009, this is the second season not to be released by Alliance Atlantis Home Entertainment in Canada, or by FUNimation Entertainment in the US. As well as every episode from the season, the DVD release features the Degrassi Goes Hollywood movie and is packed with bonus material including deleted scenes, bloopers and behind-the-scenes featurettes.
|The Complete Eight Season|
|Set details||Special features|
|1 September 2009|
- "Premiere episode". CTV.ca. 2008-09-18. Retrieved 2008-09-25.
- Demara, Bruce (2008-10-05). "DeGrassi enrols a new class". Toronto Star (Toronto, Ontario: Torstar). Retrieved 2008-10-14.
- Dowling, Amber (2008-08-18). "'Degrassi: The Next Generation' returns". TVGuide.ca. Retrieved 2008-09-25.[dead link]
- "Degrassi". The N. Retrieved 2008-09-25.
- "New season begins October 5 on CTV". CTV Television Network. 2008-09-29. Retrieved 2008-09-30.
- Epitome Pictures. "Degrassi: The Next Generation" (Note: Requires iTunes software). The N. iTunes Store. Retrieved 2008-02-06.
- "In Production". Ontario, Canada: Ontario Media Development Corporation. 2008-09-12. Archived from the original on 2008-06-02. Retrieved 2008-09-25.
- "Kevin Smith lives out his Degrassi fantasy" (Press release). CTV. 2005-02-07. Retrieved 2008-02-16.
- "Get Ready As A New Class Of Degrassi Students Enroll On The New Season Of The N's Hit Teen Drama, Degrassi: The Next Generation, Friday, October 10, At 8:00 P.M. (ET)" (Press release). PR Newswire. 2008-09-25. Retrieved 2008-09-25.
- [dead link]
- Brioux, Bill (6 October 2008). "Degrassi: The Lost Generation". TV Feeds My Family. Retrieved 14 October 2008.
- Brioux, Bill (January 2008). "The Degrassi Myth". TV Feeds My Family. Retrieved 28 March 2009.
- Brioux, Bill (14 October 2008). "Wheels Fall off Degrassi". TV Feeds My Family. Retrieved 28 March 2009.
- Brioux, Bill (19 November 2008). "Grace Park Behind Border Jump". TV Feeds My Family. Retrieved 28 March 2009.
- Brioux, Bill (9 February 2009). "Global's Grammy no Whammy". TV Feeds My Family. Retrieved 28 March 2009.
- Brioux, Bill (2 March 2009). "Trump Fires Up Canadian Numbers Game". TV Feeds My Family. Retrieved 28 March 2009.
- Brioux, Bill (10 March 2009). "CBC Throws in Designer Towel on Steven and Chris". TV Feeds My Family. Retrieved 28 March 2009.
- Brioux, Bill (17 March 2009). "Single Female Voter Wins in a Landslide". TV Feeds My Family. Retrieved 28 March 2009.
- Angus, Kat (3 October 2008). "Miriam McDonald on Growing Up Degrassi". Dose. Canwest. Retrieved 28 March 2009.
- Ng-See-Quan, Dani (9 November 2008). "Charlotte Arnold: From Degrassi’s Queen Bee to Confronting the Face of Poverty". andPOP. Retrieved 28 March 2009.
- Demara, Bruce (5 October 2008). "DeGrassi enrols a new class". Toronto Star (Torstar). Retrieved 28 March 2009.
- Garraud, Tracy (25 February 2008). "Drake Day". Vibe. Retrieved 28 March 2009.
- Lewis, Jessica (4 November 2008). "Degrassi Gets Schooled". The Eyeopener (Toronto, Ontario: Ryerson University). Retrieved 28 March 2009.[dead link]
- Morrison, Michael (2 March 2009). "A Real Canadian Talent!". Mike's Bloggity Blog. Retrieved 30 July 2010.
- Zeidman, Matthew B. (28 February 2009). "'Degrassi' Tackles Asperger Syndrome". Hollywood Today. Retrieved 28 March 2009.
- Gorman, Brian (November 2008). "Clashing cultures a novelty for 'Degrassi' newcomer". Brantford Expositor (Brantford, Ontario: Sun Media Corporation). Zap2it. Retrieved 29 March 2009.
- Masaki, Lyle (11 November 2008). "IMHO: "Degrassi" episode 8.05, "The Man with Two Hearts"". AfterElton (Logo). Retrieved 28 March 2009.
- Sarpong, Jon (13 November 2008). "Canadian television must increase diversity". Toronto Community News. Retrieved 28 March 2009.
- Knight, Chris (14 March 2009). "Degrassi co-creator Linda Schuyler to be honoured at Female Eye Film Festival". National Post (Don Mills, Ontario: Canwest). Retrieved 28 March 2009.[dead link]
- "'Degrassi' co-creator honoured with award". CTVglobemedia. The Canadian Press. 24 February 2009. Retrieved 28 March 2009.
- "30th Annual Young Artist Awards Nominations". Young Artist Awards. 2009. Retrieved 28 March 2009.
- "Degrassi Goes Hollywood Brings In The Ratings!". Perez Hilton. 2009-08-18. Retrieved 2013-12-06.