An Insight Into HBO Max’s Revival of Degrassi

After+5+long+years%2C+there+is+finally+good+news+for+Degrassi+fans.+On+December+13%2C+the+HBO+Max+Twitter+account+announced+that%2C+in+2023%2C+a+new+series+of+Degrassi+would+be+coming+to+the+platform.+

The Verge

After 5 long years, there is finally good news for Degrassi fans. On December 13, the HBO Max Twitter account announced that, in 2023, a new series of Degrassi would be coming to the platform.

Liam Mickulas-Mesco, Freelancer

After 5 long years, there is finally good news for Degrassi fans. On December 13, the HBO Max Twitter account announced that, in 2023, a new series of Degrassi would be coming to the platform. The Degrassi series has been breaking ground since the 1980s, and fans are overjoyed to finally get more news on the show, which last aired in 2017 with the series Degrassi: Next Class.

The Degrassi franchise is split up into five series, each one breaking ground and defining their respective eras. 

“Kids of Degrassi Street” aired in 1979 and ended in 1986, with 26 episodes. The show is not too well remembered, even by Degrassi fans, but it is notable for the creation of the future seasons as well as for its realistic portrayal of children’s lives. That’s not to say the show was bad, or that it was forgettable, but, in my experience, within the Degrassi community, it’s not a show that’s brought up during Degrassi discourse.

“Degrassi Junior High” ran from 1987-1989, and, like the previous series and future shows, the show centered around an ensemble cast of characters going through their high school years. It was succeeded by “Degrassi High,” which was then re-booted into “Degrassi: The Next Generation,” and finally that series was followed by “Degrassi: Next Class.”

One of the reasons the franchise is so popular is because it often covers taboo topics. For example, in the first episode of “Degrassi TNG,” a main character, Emma, was groomed and almost assaulted at only 12 years old. Or, later on in the series, the shooting of a school or the death of a main character. 

Moments like these showed viewers what they would not see on other shows and opened up dialogue with family at home and people at school. Degrassi introduced its first gay character all the way back in 1988, and since then, its track record for LGBTQ issues and representation has been phenomenal. The show also focuses on the de-stigmatization of a lot of subjects; from abortion to sexual assault, Degrassi makes sure to portray each issue in a way that audiences can relate to and understand the portrayed experiences.

As it was the platform HBO Max that announced the new series, Degrassi fans are worried about the future of the franchise. They don’t want the show to turn into something like Euphoria, which is the most popular show on the platform. One of the primary concerns is that the show would lose those important “it goes there” moments Degrassi is known for, and instead get lost in explicit and violent scenes Euphoria has become infamous for. 

While there are concerns, fans are nevertheless ecstatic about the news. This is also going to introduce a new generation of teenagers to the Degrassi universe and, perhaps, give insight into issues they are facing in their own lives.”

— Liam Mickulas-Mesco

Another worry is that the new series of Degrassi is going to have ten hour-long episodes, which is very different from the traditional twenty-or-so-minutes we are used to. Fans are concerned that with one hour, the show may become plodding and drawn out, as Degrassi has always used the number of episodes to its advantage.

In addition to those concerns, Degrassi fans are also wondering how the series will begin. The new Degrassi series can’t be a continuation of the last, as the main characters graduated in 2016, and the actors playing them are in their mid-twenties by now. HBO is going to have to introduce new characters with no links to previous ones, which has never been done for an entire new cast.

Degrassi has always been connected to its previous history, so it will be interesting to see what will happen. While they can’t bring back old students to learn in the school, maybe they can do some cameos. Marco Del Rossi is a character a lot of fans have been theorizing may play a role in the series. I mean, after all, he was a student-teacher in season nine and perhaps he could be coming back to his old school to teach the new class some life lessons. 

While there are concerns, fans are nevertheless ecstatic about the news. This is also going to introduce a new generation of teenagers to the Degrassi universe and, perhaps, give insight into issues they are facing in their own lives. With that being said, in a year, this new series will arrive, and I just can’t wait for it.