Why You Should Watch Degrassi: Next Class

By: Gabby Frost

Just last night I stayed up until 4:30am binge watching the newest episodes of Degrassi, which are on Netflix. I've watched Degrassi since 2010 but haven't watched most of the newer seasons from 2014 & 2015. I expected these new episodes to be disappointing like those, but I was proved wrong.  

The cast of Degrassi: Next Class, is pretty diverse and represents a lot of people. There's Goldi, a Muslim girl who chooses wears a hijab; Grace, a girl with cystic fibrosis (episode 2 touches upon this a bit); Tristan, who is gay; and Miles, who is bisexual. There are also some minor, recurring characters who represent minorities as well.

In episode 3, a majority of the episode focuses on consent. One of the characters wants to have sex with his girlfriend, but doesn't know how to talk to her about it. He believes it's okay to just try and do it without conversation, but his one friend teaches him it's not okay.  She tells him that even though they've had sex before, he still needs to ask his girlfriend and only continue if she says yes.

To add to that, there is a strong theme of feminism from episode 5 until the end of the season. The students at Degrassi get educated on what feminism really is and realize it isn't about being anti-men. Degrassi's Feminist Club tries to change one of the men's bathrooms into a women's bathroom because there is a strong track record of girls being late to class. This is due to girls taking a longer time than boys to use the restroom, and the girls who come late often miss important lessons and/or get detention.

There's also a brief discussion on how students shouldn't be forced into physical activities/sports they don't want to play and should be offered video games as well. Degrassi opens its first video game club and students are allowed to be a part of it instead since it involves teamwork. Not everyone is good at sports or likes them, so it's definitely a good thing that Degrassi recognized this and made a change to accommodate the students.

I would reveal more things that the writers did well with this season, but you should watch it for yourself. Make sure to get on your Netflix account or get a friend with Netflix to watch it with you. There are only 10 episodes at 20 minutes each, so it takes roughly 3 hours and 40 minutes to watch all of them.

Degrassi: Next Class is definitely worth watching and I'm excited to see what content will be in forthcoming episodes.