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"West End Girls"

Season 4 Episode 20
Canadian airdate: January 31st, 2005

Boycott the Caf name: "The Kevin Smith Trilogy Part I"
Important characters: Kevin Smith, Caitlin, Craig, Paige, Manny
Issue of the Week: Kevin Smith

Hide your Doritos Canada, Kevin Smith is coming to the Great White North.

The reason Kevin (the lame real life Kevin, not the suave character on these episodes) wanted to be on Degrassi is because he's had a crush on Stacie Mistysyn, the woman who plays Caitlin, since the days of Degrassi Junior High. He masturbated daily to Caitlin until around 35, when he lost his virginity by marrying his wife. He's still jacking off to Caitlin these days because his wife only allows him to have sex with her on his birthday, and even then he is given ten minutes max. So he called up the Prime Minister one day and was granted permission to appear in these three episodes.

Unlike the other episode reviews, for the final episodes of this season I am not going to review much of the plot. Instead, I would prefer to discuss the commentary tracks for these episodes from the DVD Jay and Silent Bob Do Degrassi. If you don't have the DVD, these next few reviews won't make much sense to you. Not that our reviews ever make much sense.

Let's look at the DVD.

Degrassi The Next Generation episode seventy six

The disc begins with a disclaimer that Canada is not responsible for the opinions expressed in the commentary. Canada doesn't want to be associated with Jason Mewes's constantly advocating sex with minors. They are not Thailand.

We then get an intro from Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes explaining that this DVD is unrated and super sexy. Kevin also mentions that kids watch his films with their hands down their pants. I know I do with Chasing Amy, it has lesbians a-plenty. I hope you enjoy this section because you can't skip past it.

Moving onto the commentary tracks, we get commentary from Kevin, Jason, Stacie, producer/writer Aaron Martin, and associate producer Jim Jackson. Jason starts off speaking with an unusually high voice. I assume he was trying to see if he could get high stiffing helium. Aaron and Jim either don't seem all that happy about having to do these commentaries, or about working on the show, or both. Stacie seems uncomfortable about being in the same room as Kevin and Jason. Imagine if you as a teenager were some weird dude's sexual fantasy and now having to fulfill that guy's fantasy is part of your job. Normally, we call these people whores.

Degrassi The Next Generation episode seventy six

Typical for a Kevin Smith commentary track we have Kevin dominating the conversation. Also typical for a Smith commentary, we get a lot of swearing. 39 seconds in we get our first "fuck." I counted five curse words in the first minute. This is also a rare time Kevin gets to do commentary with a woman. This commentary is racy.

One of the first things they discuss is the opening credits. Aaron mentions that he changed the theme song because he hated how cheery it used to be at a time they were doing episodes about blow jobs and shootings. Now it's supposed to be edgier. Maybe it's because I'm not a musically oriented guy, but I don't understand how they really changed theme song, it always sounds about the same. If anything they made the opening credits worse because they replaced the title shot of the middle school ass with the back of Marco's denim jacket. That sucks. I miss that ass.

Degrassi The Next Generation episode seventy six

As a side note, I am miffed because the DVD doesn't have subtitles, so I can't listen to the commentary and follow the plot at the same time. Not that there is much plot, but when I listen to Simpsons commentary I follow the subtitles. Instead, when I press the subtitles button, I am taken to the thing about how to film a ninja fight scene. Ok.

This is partly why I'm not going to explain much of the storyline. I'm not going to watch the damn episodes over and over gain with and without commentary. I have something of a life.

Degrassi The Next Generation episode seventy six Degrassi The Next Generation episode seventy six

Hey, here's Kevin Smith, being interviewed by Caitlin on local TV--in Canada no less. Kevin can't really get on Entertainment Tonight or Dateline, this is the best he can do. Kevin is going to shoot another Jay and Silent Bob movie in Toronto. Jay and Silent Bob Go Canadian, Eh. He's even going to look for a local high school to film it in. Hmm...I wonder which school he will pick? Maybe the one with really wide hallways that could allow large television cameras to move through.

Craig shows up at the station because no one cares if some random kid is getting in the way of filming a news segment. What even more fucked up is that Kevin recruits Craig to make the soundtrack for his movie after knowing him for a minute. I'm sure this is how Kevin gets his movie crews together in real life.

Getting back to the commentary, the higher ups at CTV didn't want Stacie wearing ponytails. It's never said out loud, but I bet Kevin demanded that. We also learn that Kevin has a bald spot, which was a problem for the show because light bounces off it. The solution was the create fake hair using spray on ice cream topping. That's the truth.

Degrassi The Next Generation episode seventy six

Kevin talks about how his life would be such much happier to be a character on Degrassi, instead of his sad life making low quality, forgettable comedies and getting into heated arguments about what needs to be included in various comic book articles on Wikipedia.

His fantasy would be that after Jersey Girl tanked he was kicked out of Hollywood (should have happened after Dogma) and the only place he could find work was as a film teacher in Degrassi. That makes sense since Degrassi Community School is always looking to add more media requirements and drop a math course or two. He would also be a mentor to the children, ala Mr. Belding, giving them advice about their problems

Jason doesn't understand the plot so far. That tends to happen during a Kevin Smith commentary so I'm glad things are still consistent. Stay away from pot kids, it'll fuck up your brain.

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Meanwhile, back at the plot, the cheerleaders have been angry at Paige. So Manny, Darcy and Chante sabotage a cheerleading routine and break Paige's leg. That's not very Christian of you, Darcy. This is NOT what Jesus would do.

Degrassi The Next Generation episode seventy six

Craig and Ashley show their song they made for the movie to Kevin's music guy. Music guy says what I have been saying for years: Craig sucks at music. Damn, that needed to stated by somebody. Way to not even know who the Meat Puppets are. I guess somebody has never seen "Nirvana MTV Unplugged." Like every other hipster wannabe guitar player, Craig has never heard of any band that came out before 2001 that's not the Clash.

In the commentary they discuss how it makes no sense from Caitlin to go from having a popular national TV show to working for a local station. It's interesting that the Degrassi people seem to be aware of all the ridiculous plot holes in the series, but just don't care all that much fixing them.

Degrassi The Next Generation episode seventy six

Now it is time for the prom, brought to you by Pantene. Check out how scared Manny is to be dancing with Toby. Instead of giving Toby plotlines or dialogue, they are just turning him into the random creep. In season six, we'll see him sneak into Ashley's room to sniff her panties and eat her tampons.

Degrassi The Next Generation episode seventy six

Craig and Ashley are providing the music. I think Pantene could spring for something better.

Coming back to the commentary, Kevin mentions that he wanted to direct some Degrassi episodes but was told no because Degrassi is funded by the Canadian government and so Canadian citizens needed to be put in key positions on the show. Kevin could not direct because he is not Canadian. He also says his wife didn't let him fuck her up the ass because he is not Canadian. Everyone has a hearty laugh.

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Jimmy wins prom king on the sympathy vote and Manny wins queen because Paige rigged the election. Paige and Manny showed up in the same dress which means war between two girls because girls are stupid. Kevin will agree. He doesn't waste much time around woman. Paige is all high on pain pills when she goes up on stage and yanks Manny's dress off. Now Manny is embarrassed to be seen by everyone in just her slip. Too bad Manny wears less than that during the day. She's not even exposing her midriff here.

Degrassi The Next Generation episode seventy six Degrassi The Next Generation episode seventy six

Manny falls of stage and into Kevin's arms. Kevin is not really sure what to do with one of these. Manny reacts like any girl up close to Kevin by running away crying. But seeing Manny's legs has convinced Kevin to shoot his movie at Degrassi.

Paige comes down from her high suddenly and talks to Manny. The girls argue with each other over who ruined the other's life more. The problem with this is that Paige brings up how Manny got Mr. O fired and broke her leg and all Manny has in her court is the prom incident from ten minutes ago.

Degrassi The Next Generation episode seventy six

Ashley is going to spend the summer in England, which makes Craig sad. Kevin comes by and tells him to not be so sad. Kevin also still lets Craig do the music for his movie, because hell if Kevin cares about quality in his films. Also, he probably doesn't need to pay Craig all that much.

In the commentary, the gang discusses how messed up the situation with Craig and Joey is, where Joey's late wife left her husband and Craig to live with Joey and now Joey has to raise him. But they say it works because Jake Epstein is such a good actor. No, the doesn't make it work. That whole thing still doesn't make any sense just because someone can act well. Acting ability doesn't change stupid plots.

There is a second commentary track on this episode because the gang found out they still had plenty of studio time. The second commentary track isn't as interesting, they mainly talk about the fascinating field of how Canadian television is organized and funded. TV in Canada is funded by the government. Mewes points out that movies and TVs are the welfare cases of Canada. Excellent point professor. They also praise Kevin for bringing attention to the show. Apparently no one in Canada knew about Degrassi until Kevin appeared. Kevin also mentions he bought the entire original series on VHS as soon as he got his big Clerks money. Also they talk about going to someone's house on Lake Ontario and how drunk they all got. Kevin and the Degrassi adults know how to party.

Remember to wash your hair with Pantene. PANTENE!

Rating: C+
An average episode, other than Kevin Smith hanging around the school, nothing terribly notable happened. Pretty bland. I'm come to expect more blowjobs now. They should have a couple every few episodes.

Intensity Level: 4% Intense
As far as things go at Degrassi school, this was one of the most normal days they have ever had.

"West End Girls" Drinking Game:
Listen to the commentary. Take a shot every time Kevin cuts Aaron off from saying something.

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