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This episode is part of the Sour 16 set of reviews.
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"Wannabe"

Season 1 Episode 12
Canadian airdate: February 3rd, 2002

Boycott the Caf name: "Manny Stars in an Episode"
Important characters: Manny, Emma, Paige, JT & Toby, Liberty, Spinner
Issue of the Week: Cheerleading, Pringles

Degrassi The Next Generation episode twelve

Paige and Hazel are working to startup a cheerleading team (called the Spirit Squad) in Degrassi. There's also a token male on the team. I'm sure he joined just to be around Paige and Hazel, but the girls don't want to tell him to leave because they need as many members as they can get. Liberty interviews the team and asks what they think about people who call cheerleading sexist. Paige and Hazel responds the same way I would: questioning who the fuck honestly has a problem with cheerleading? Where's the Goddamn controversy, for real? Cheerleading is in every single school in North America except Degrassi, and it's very popular with girls.

Degrassi The Next Generation episode twelve

Manny comes up to Paige and wants to be on the team. Paige doesn't know who this Manny girl is and says, "Who are you, hon? Aren't you that Mexican that follows Emma everywhere, hon? Are you lost, hon? Can you not find Emma, hon? I think you should try the Media Immersion room, hon." But then Manny does a cartwheel so Paige lets her on the team. What's awesome are all the comments you can hear the extras make every time Manny does a cartwheel. One kid is off camera is all like, "How does she do that?"

But Emma thinks cheerleading is sexist and wrong and doesn't want there to spirit squad. Manny points out that Emma is the only person in the whole fucking school who hates cheerleading and she is a being a bitch. Besides, boys can be on the team. Emma says that the boys won't be wearing tight sweaters and mini-skirts. Well, I wish they would, that would hot.

Wait, did I think that last sentence or did I write it down? Oh shit, I wrote it down. Fuck, I can't do anything about it now.

Degrassi The Next Generation episode twelve

JT and Toby are eating lots and lots of Pringles. Pringles gets heavy promotion in this episode. Pantene has to sponsor some proms to get this kind of exposure on the show. The nerds are trying to win contest. It seems if they find a can that has the ace of spades on the bottom and another that has an ace of clubs, you win a million dollars. They already have the ace of spades, so get the ace of clubs and they'll be set.

Degrassi The Next Generation episode twelve

Paige enjoys Manny's cartwheels so much so that she makes the little Latina do cartwheels on command. I have no complaints about that. I agree with the random kid who yelled out "Still amazing!" when Manny did her thing.

Degrassi The Next Generation episode twelve

Manny is hanging out in a bathroom stall now, just like her hero, Paige. Emma has to stand there and wait for Manny to finish pooping, like she was Hazel. Oh, how the roles are reversed this time around.

Degrassi The Next Generation episode twelve

So anyway, Liberty has a Pringles can with the ace of clubs. She and JT and Toby make a deal to split the million. That's when Spinner steps in. Spinner wants 10% of the winnings in exchange for offering his protection. They'll be protected form Spinner, who will beat them mercilessly if he does not get his 10%. Man, that's wicked cool. Spinner is a one man mafia.

I kind of wonder about this plot, because I think you have to be at least 18 to win those contests. It's like the recent Froot by the Foot commercial where the little brother has the roll that wins him $10,000 and the older brother is jealous. Too bad the parents probably bought that, so that's the mom and dad's prize money.

Degrassi The Next Generation episode twelve

Paige lets Manny hang out with her and Hazel after school. They rank boys by cuteness. Paige says Emma would think this is sexist. That's true, Emma only rates boys by their penis. Manny is so happy to hang out with the popular girls.

That's when Emma calls. She noticed Manny didn't follow her home and sit silently while Emma surfs the internet after school, so she's wondering if anything is wrong. While Manny and her are talking, Paige makes a comment about Emma. Emma hears it over the phone and gets mad. That's a powerful phone Emma has. Paige said that on the other side of the room and she didn't even raise her voice at all.

Degrassi The Next Generation episode twelve

Emma decides to fight cheerleading the only way she knows how to fight anything: write an angry editorial about why cheerleading is bad and everyone else is wrong about this except for her. Come on, Emma, stop hating on cheerleading. You're just mad that Manny made a second and third friend.

Check out Liberty's hooker boots. She's spending big in anticipation of that cool million.

Degrassi The Next Generation episode twelve

Paige and Emma have a confrontation. Emma calls Paige Little Miss Plastic. Come on now, Paige is all natural. She was born with that hotness. Goddamn Emma isn't against cheerleading because it's sexiest, she's against it because only the good looking girls are cheerleaders and Emma is jealous. Emma, just because you are flat as a board and look like a scarecrow doesn't mean you have to spoil the fun for the pretty girls. You'll blossom in a few years.

This is about when we learn that Degrassi will be having Mongolian chicken stir-fry for lunch. That sounds delicious. How come my high school caf never had food as good as that? We just got plenty of burnt calzones and chicken sandwiches.

Anyway, Emma's anti-cheerleading editorial has hit the newsstands. Or newsstand, there appears to be only one. Paige and Hazel grab all the copies of the newspaper. They proceed to tear out the editorial, because they are worried that it will convince people not to join and turn the tides of the school against having a cheerleading team. No it won't. First off, no one listens to Emma. Secondly, any school in the US or Canada is going to have more than enough girls out there who want to be cheerleaders. They consider it lots of fun and they like dressing up in those outfits. There's no such thing as a cheerleading controversy. I don't know why Degrassi is the only single school on this continent that is having trouble getting people to join. Maybe it's because Paige is a bitch and is mean to anyone who can't do a perfect cartwheel.

Manny sees Paige and Hazel swipe the papers. She joins them, and Paige pressures her to rip out an editorial. Now Manny is implicated in the crime and Paige has an extra set of her fingerprints.

Degrassi The Next Generation episode twelve

Back to the B plot, JT can't find the other Pringles can. This means their shot at the million is in trouble. Liberty and Spinner are explicit that Spinner will kill JT if he does not find that can. Man, the only way you would have Spinner willing to team up with Liberty is when there is a lot of money on the line.

Degrassi The Next Generation episode twelve Degrassi The Next Generation episode twelve

JT thinks the can may be in his locker. JT's locker is a bloody mess and we see all the shit he has in there, pizza and balls and whatnot. The best part was when he whipped the shoe right at Toby's head. Take that Toby. JT finds the can, but, unfortunately, it is not an ace of spades. Both cans have an ace of clubs, they win no money.

Degrassi The Next Generation episode twelve Degrassi The Next Generation episode twelve

Now everyone is pissed at JT. JT tries to explain himself but Spinner says, "Sorry, I don't speak dork." He then throws JT over the roof the school. Liberty and Toby then stuff JT in his locker and leave him there over the weekend. JT survives by eating the week old hamburgers he left in his math book.

How about JT's photo of Chyna. Man, that's weak. I saw that one season of Surreal Life and I saw how steroids really fucked Chyna up. She is basically a muscular man with breasts, which is not as hot as I always fantasized it would be.

Wait, did I think that last sentence or did I--fuck not again.

Degrassi The Next Generation episode twelve

Mr. Simpson sees that the editorials had been ripped out and suspects Paige. But since he has no direct proof and Paige isn't confessing, he can't finger her. Manny is about to confess, but Paige interrupts her and puts the blame on Hazel. That's a good person to pin this on, because Hazel is sure not going to say anything.

I don't understand why no one would have seen Paige and Hazel swipe the papers. they kind of did it out in the open. Hell, Manny saw them.

Manny is mad that Paige is such a villain. Now there is cracks in the Spirit Squad. Paige and Manny have a stare down. Manny wins because you can't out state down the glare of an angry Latina.

Manny is no longer a wannabe.

Rating: B+
I love Paige, and I don't care how mean she is to anybody, or whose life she tries to destroy--no one who exposes that much belly can be a bad person. This is all Emma's fault. Emma's the bad guy. Come on people, you agree with me.

This was a good episode because it had Manny do something other than follow Emma around all the time. She actually gets treated like a main character here and it's Degrassi gold. A fun episode that includes a nice Spinner B plot.

There'll be plenty of good Manny episodes after this too. Season 2 will have a good deal of them and she'll become a central character soon enough. Considering that it took Hazel another year to get an episode and that's her only one ever...man that's pathetic. Hell, I think by the end of season 5, Many ends up with more episodes than Toby gets.

Intensity Level: 11% Intense
Those cartwheels are intense. I bet Manny goes on to do a lot of cartwheels in bed with Craig.

Final Thoughts:
I don't know about you, but Paige is fucking hot. And who can argue with Hazels titties? Ashley is really attractive, too. I don't care what anyone thinks. If masturbating to 14 year old girls is wrong, I don't want to be right.

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