Degrassi High: School’s Out

(Kit Hood, Canada, 1992)


As a dedicated fan of Degrassi High when it first unfolded on television, I found this telemovie conclusion to the series a little disappointing.

We follow some of the Degrassi characters (including Joey [Pat Mastroianni], Caitlin [Stacie Mistysyn], Snake [Stefan Brogren] and Wheels [Neil Hope]) during that time of cataclysmic change and reflection familiar from so many teen movies – the summer rage-up between the end of high school and the start of adult life.

There is more melodrama here than in an average Degrassi episode, with an emphasis on promiscuity, abortion, drugs, fast cars and tragic injuries.

It is a far cry from the daggy everydayness that makes the series so endearing. There is also a more punishing sense of morality at play, as the future paths of the characters are mapped with grim fatalism.

My dreams are still filled with imaginings of The Degrassi Twentysomethings.

© Adrian Martin June 1993

Film Critic: Adrian Martin
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