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Degrassi TNG: Soap Opera Summer 2010 - Week 5

"Still Fighting It" part 2

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Being called HOMO has caused Riley to go into one of his patented "I'm not gay" rages where he tries to beat somebody up, although in this case he doesn't know who to beat up.

Turns out it was Owen, the guy who really hates gays, who also wrote that Riley is a fag on the bus. So Riley punches him. Owen does the straightest thing he can in this situation and runs away, saying he won't hit Riley on school property.

Score one for gays.

Clare has changed their video so there is a voice over saying that Juliet didn't choose to kill herself because Romeo isn't worth it and instead returned to her home planet. English teacher doesn't accept this because it is not accurate. Adam wishes he had joined a different group.

Later, the English teacher confesses to Clare that she liked the ending of her video even though it broke away from the source. English teacher is also middle aged, never married, and has five cats but that's all a coincidence.

Clare comes out and reveals that the reason she changed the film is because Eli changed after they kissed. The teacher whose had experience with this sort of thing tells Clare she needs to find out from Eli what is going on but not pressure him because sometimes one person in a relationship wants it more than the other. Sometimes one person in a relationship gives up everything she has and moves to Toronto and gives up a blossoming career in poetry to teach at a school only to have the other person decide they love her but aren't in love with her and leave her too old and bitter to ever find love again. You know?

Zane is mad that Riley lost his temper and punched a fool. Riley however did not lose his temper. He says it was a conscience decision to punch Owen. Zane is still mad though because punching homophobes won't stop them, even though people tend to stop doing stupid things if you punch them long enough and hard enough. That's how the American Revolution was won. We punched the British with bullets.

As it turns out, punching people doesn't change their opinions. Owen still hates homos and now he is also confused about why Riley punched him. Owen isn't smart enough to figure out cause and effect.

Drew passed his test so now he has to help Wesley get a babe at the auction, and his advice doesn't involve bow ties. Rather it involves self confidence. Something Wesley will never have or deserve.

Wesley tries to impress Anya by acting weird and interrupting her when she's on the phone. Also he has kind of a Brooklyn accent going on. He asks her what's so important that she was ignoring him for. Anya says it was her mom who needs a ride from the cancer hospital. Awkward.

Adam and Eli are talking graphic novels, or maybe magma. Definitely not comic books, these two would definitely scoff at you if you said you like comic books because they are so childish and silly. Not like graphic novels or maybe magna. Adam tells Eli he should tell Clare what's going on and Eli tells Adam to fuck off because Clare doesn't need to know, it would only hurt her. Ooh mysteries upon mysteries this season.

Owen and some other guy threw Zane in a dumpster as revenge for Riley punching him. Zane didn't agree with the punching but Owen can't beat up Riley. Zane gets pissy at Riley and goes home. He should call the police, that's sort of a hate crime.

"Zane is like the best person ever and I got him thrown into a dumpster." Hemmingway can't even beat dialogue like that.

In a combination of plots Wesley comes by during Riley's conversation with Anya to tell her he is dropping out of the auction. Riley agrees with this choice. Anya convinces him to stay in the contest by complimenting him. She needs somebody the poor girls can afford.

Clare shows up at Eli's house and that is sort of creepy because Eli never told her where he lives, she just threatened Adam until he gave her the address. Clare demands to know why Eli won't date her but he refuses. When she tries to leave he tells her to come for a drive with him. Oh no, Eli is going to murder Clare!

Riley's mom tells him he needs to be himself and he will get girls. Riley is about to tell her the truth but she interrupts him by saying she doesn't care if the girl isn't Greek as long as she it fertile. Why is it every parent of a gay on TV obsess about grandkids right when their child is about to come out to them?

To prove to Clare they shouldn't be together Eli takes her to the place where he killed his last girlfriend.

Wait, what?

Well he didn't really kill her. They got in an argument and then she got hit by a car. Eli can blame himself all he wants but that's what happens when you get into arguments outside during the annual Death Race. Frankenstein needed some quick points.

In the end, the members of the B plot turn in their original movie and I presume get a good grade. Clare says she wishes they could have changed the ending so Juliet gives Romeo some more time. It's an allegory, get it? Eli tells Clare he likes her ending, so they may become a couple in the future.

At the auction, Wesley fails to garner interest. I don't know why, boy is dressed sharp. Anya tries to get some action going by bidding on him but nobody takes the bait. This is what Wesley wanted so I guess his plan worked.

Riley shows his love for Zane by bidding 50 dollars for him at the auction. He could have had 25 Wesleys for that price. Everybody applauds the action because they all know Riley is gay and are glad he is finally coming clean with himself so he will stop punching them.

Drew comes by and asks Riley if he is out of the closet but Zane covers for him saying that Riley was just helping out a teammate. Drew is like, "Jesus Christ, just come out already" and walks away. Zane says he doesn't like the idea that people think they need to ask somebody if they are gay. Then Zane touches Riley's hand. They are getting along now and no longer are still fighting.

Grade: D

The Summer Degrassi Cluster Fuck started with gusto and died out quickly. We have like six plots this week and they are all shit. It's nice they are trying to do Riley's conversion to gay person slowly and give it time but it is getting old. It's weird because I often criticize Degrassi for moving too quickly, but in this case they need to move on. Maybe if Riley had a character trait other than angry and gay it would work better, but can you name one thing he has done on camera that doesn't relate to him being gay? At least Marco gave advice to other people and break danced every now and then.

It's not helping that Degrassi's idea of making a two-parter these days is to take a story that has one episode's worth of plot and then adding a bunch of sub plots to kill time. A strong subplot can save an episode, remember Spinner Boycotting the Caf and getting a boner were subplots, but here we have Connor getting stalked, Clare and Eli not dating, Wesley bringing shame to his family, and probably like five other ones I'm forgetting. None of these are entertaining.

And just in case you thought the continuing saga of Riley's search for self acceptance wasn't reparative enough, we have yet another girl getting pregnant. I'm guessing Spike having a bastard must have been considered a huge moment on the original Degrassi, just like Manny's abortion episodes rocked Next Generation's face, but here is a tip to the writers: the more something is done the less of an impact it has. If Ozzy Osbourne bit the head off of small animals every concert it wouldn't be considered a shocking moment every time or if Edith Bunker's rapist came back every season it wouldn't have the same emotional resignation. Having a girl get pregnant worked twice, if that. Now stop it. Fine something new to shock us with.

Final Thoughts

Because these episodes have so many damn subplots each scene is like five seconds long. When I watch the episodes I write down what is happening and jokes while I watch it. To save the reader from having to jump from scene to scene and myself from having to come up with a million transitions I've been putting the descriptions of several short scenes together. The trouble with this is that it may at times seem disjointed and I don't do much editing to make sure things make sense. If you notice the reviews are hard to understand then I apologize, but please realize that Degrassi is putting a real strain on us. They likely only did this four episodes a week thing in attempt to kill Billie and I or at least make us stop making fun of them. Don't worry, we will never stop. Not until Degrassi does.

Power to the people!

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