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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sex in Media: Books, Magazines, Films, TV & More » Degrassi

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Author Topic: Degrassi
Member # 49626

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I'm wondering if anyone else has seen the two latest episodes of Degrassi - while the show is usually pretty progressive, informative, and "go-there-y" I find one of their more recent plot lines kind of troubling. It involves the character Declan coming back to school (Degrassi) for an awards event, but also with the goal in mind of getting back together with his ex-girlfriend, Holly J. Holly J has since moved on to another relationship, but is happy to see Declan again. Declan throws a party, towards the end of the night, his twin sister (and Holly J's best friend) Fiona has had too much to drink Holly J volunteers to help Declan take care of her. Afterwards, holly J is ready to leave, Declan hasn't called a cab for her, they end up talking, then eventually kissing - she says "No. This is wrong..." he keeps going.
To me this seems to pretty obviously be rape - she said no, he didn't listen and kept going. But in part two of the episode the situation is presented as just regretting having sex. From the fan response on message boards/other internet sites I've seen a few other people that seem to see this situation as rape as well. It really even appears to fit the definition of the RAINN article cited in Teennick's blog entry about the episodes.
But most of the responses seem to be along the lines of It wasn't rape because; "she kissed him back", "she could have got up and left" etc. It's also confusing because the network/producers don't come out and say "this is rape". I, for one, really think what happened was rape, but something about calling it rape without someone with more knowledge on the subject validating that fact... makes me feel a little confused about it.
The whole thing seems like a big mess, and I was wondering if anyone else had any perspective on it?
Here are the links to the episodes: Part 1
Part 2

Posts: 2 | From: Chicago | Registered: Oct 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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You know, I have never watched ANY of these. Some of why I often miss television stuff is because I've never actually owned a TV myself, but I also Netflix TV plenty, and have watched at friends.

And I've heard over the years this usually is a very good show, and probably something I should be watching given what I do, but I have just never gotten around to it. Now I'll have to make a point of it soon.

I can't take in those episodes now, but is there an avenue for you to write the producers?

Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 49626

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I think I can find a place to write to the producers through the production company website.

I'm still a little afraid I'm the only one that's interpreting the situation like this, but I'm headed to my campus's feminist group meeting soon, so hopefully I can get some feedback there.

Degrassi usually is a pretty excellent show, they've handled other issues like sexuality, abortion, body image, and even rape very well before, which is why I found the most recent episodes so shocking.

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Member # 45445

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I've noticed a change in quality and content of the episodes of Degrassi since they were moved to the MuchMusic channel last year. The content is now more similar to that of popular music videos and movies that MuchMusic airs. In my opinion, giving off a soap opera feeling and not as informative as it once was. It worries me because Degrassi was such an non-judgemental, honest YA TV show that we need more of, not less.
Posts: 38 | From: Northwest Coast | Registered: Jan 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 51950

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I agree with you entirely, WildRice. I used to watch Degrassi all the time and even have an autograph from Paige and Marco (I can't remember their real names. Laura Collins and Adamo?). I've watched since Emma and Mandy were just ickle things. But these new episodes just seem...wrong. It's like the educational and supportive vibe they used to give out are just gone. Now it's all about 'just how out-there can we make this??' to get better reviews. This is just my opinion, but the new Degrassi's are just...horrible to me. They just pile on more and more drama to make the 'WOW! factor that much more. But its almost disturbing to me. I've stopped watching so I haven't seen the episodes that Snarkyteen mentioned, but I have to agree; that sounds an awful lot like rape to me.
Posts: 112 | From: Upperstate NY | Registered: Jan 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 48252

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Degrassi was always a bit of a toss up to me. It certainly was an interesting show and it touched very greatly and informatively on a LOT of topics, ranging from pregnancy, substance abuse, mental illness, eating disorders, manipulation, deceit, even school shootings, stalkers and consequences like jail. However, the way relationships and drama work in Degrassi and other shows on late night Teennick always disturbed me greatly. I was into it for a little while, but the writing of the relationships as the original characters got older just continued to disturb me. I found it troubling that these children (my own age no less) were having such destructive relationships. Of course now I think about it and can draw a few parallels to my friends, but still. I haven't watched any of the newer episodes since the original kids graduated, but I've seen some commercials and it's still just as all over the place as before.
Posts: 95 | From: Pennsylvania, USA | Registered: Aug 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

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