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Degrassi: Next Class — TV Review

By Caroline Latson

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It’s no secret Netflix is home to many great TV shows—Daredevil, Sense8, Narcos—the list goes on. So when I stumbled upon Degrassi: Next Class, it didn’t come as a great surprise to me that I enjoyed it immensely, finishing every season within a week.

This Canadian drama is known for finding ways to talk about sensitive issues like depression, self harm, anxiety, and struggling with sexuality into its episodes, long before it was common to talk about on television.

The show’s most recent season incorporates hot issues discussed in daily social and political life, such as the Syrian refugee crisis and abortion, which I think are some of the most important topics to cover, and not everyone can handle them well. Next Class, however, handled these issues exceptionally well.

I suppose it really depends on where your views on those issues stand. I’m aware that many people in our community are conservative and most likely aren’t too keen on these subjects, so if that applies to you, read at your own risk.

The students this season have decided to raise money to help a good handful of refugees have a safe and well provided life, which I don’t see happening here in the next four to eight years. It was nice to see so much compassion expressed from stranger to stranger, no judgment present anywhere at any time.

Getting to more specific and independent plotlines, one of the students, who we’ll call Jane (no spoilers here), has to figure out whether she should get an abortion or not. The way the show handled how Jane dealt with it was quite realistic and seemed to avoid the average abortion stereotypes—remorse after it happens, chickening out at the last second, the baby dying before the girl can even abort it, etc.

This season also hits hard on depression and PTSD. Following up a bus crash from the season two finale, all the students survive, but one has a growing fascination with death and slowly starts to realize she’s becoming depressed. This storyline made me tear up multiple times, and I think anyone who’s struggling with this disorder should definitely watch and know that they’re not the only ones enduring that time of hardship.

It is a bit hard to watch, so if you have struggled with depression, viewer discretion is advised.

All controversial issues aside, the show writes beautifully developed characters that the audience can relate to at some point in the series, which I think is the common ground in all this disputable madness.

So despite anyone’s views on political or social issues, Degrassi: Next Class has a place for everyone and welcomes teens of all ages, shapes, sizes, color, race, and orientation with open arms. It doesn’t take much time to finish a season, which is a blessing and a curse, so I encourage all the readers out there to add it to their lists. Definitely a must-watch!

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Degrassi: Next Class — TV Review