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Degrassi Unscripted - Season 1

The-N can't get enough of whoreing out the Degrassi cast, whether it is making them appear all day at malls across America, surrounded by thousand of screaming teenagers who haven't realized they've reached the age where they need to use deodorant, or having to do those gay specials where they have comment on how intense various scenes were.

A few years ago we had Degrassi Unscripted, which took us into the real lives of some of our moderately favorite Degrassi stars. The first five episodes were shown before the first half of season 4 and the final three were shown before the second half. They all follow the same formula, first we see the kid's house and are told about his or her acting experiences, then we are taken to Degrassi Studios to see what life is like for a Degrassi actor, next there is a clip from the upcoming season, and finally the actor does something with some friends. If the actors doesn't have any friends, like in Cassie's case, then she just cuts and album and rides a horse. Since there's a format, I don't think you can call it Unscripted, shit is still written down and played out on TV, so it should be called Degrassi Not Entirely Scripted.

Shane Kippel (Spinner) is noticeably absent from the actors profiled. I assume The-N is saving his for sweeps, or it was just so awesome no TV can contain its magic.

Actually, I'm sure most of the stuff Shane Kippel does in a day just can't be shown on TV.

Miriam | Adam | Cassie | Jake | Lauren || Stacy | Aubrey | Melissa

101 - Miriam MacDonald (Emma)
American airdate: August 27th, 2004

Miriam takes us into her house, which looks like a nice middle class suburban house. At least I think it does. I've always lived in the sticks so I don't really know how you judge a nice house in the suburbs. I'm just going to assume that Miriam's family isn't poor, which is cool.

Anyway, Miriam's mom talks about her daughter. We learn that Miriam and her younger sister have a secret language only they understand. I don't how to speak anything other than English and no disrespect to Miriam's mom, but it sounds like Miriam is just speaking French really fast. Miriam's mom is just from the generation where they didn't spend much time teaching French in school.

Miriam also whips up drink that appears to be made from blueberries and lard. That's kick ass.

Miriam shows us her large collection of shoes and then she models some for us. Girls love shoes. She also points out her favorite pair of jeans, which is bullshit because they clearly are not the dolphin jeans that Emma used to wear. Those were the best jeans ever. I want a pair. Miriam doesn't even talk about the dolphin pants. That's a big let down.

Miriam's friend comes by and they go hat shopping. Miriam's friend tells us that she didn't know Miriam was on TV for the first few months they met. Goes to show you how popular Degrassi is.

The next day, Miriam has to go to work on the show. She is supposed to show up at 7:15am and says it means she'll have to get up at 5:30. Hell, I used to have to get up earlier than that to work at a gas station, so unless Miriam is getting paid $6 an hour and Degrassi's ice machine once somehow caught fire, she doesn't have anything to complain about.

Shane, Lauren, and Miriam enjoy some popsicles at Degrassi Studios. Miriam gives Shane a big hug. I never really fantasized about being a 16 year old girl until I saw that.

Miriam tells us about some of the cast relationships. She says Aubrey (Jimmy) and Andrea (Hazel) used to date. I'm going to avoid any black comment here, there are more than enough on this site as it is. Miriam also says that Lauren and Jake used to date years ago. It would have to be years ago. I don't know how you can work with Shane Kippel day after day and still manage to see any other man in a sexual way.

Check out the crappy dressing room.

An associate producer talks about how Miriam blossomed into womanhood over the course of the show. Yes, I noticed she grew breasts too. I'm proud of her as well.

The file cuts out 16 minutes into the episode so I don't know what happens after that. But I found it interesting that Miriam doesn't talk at all like Emma. Her natural manner of speech is very typical of a vibrant teenage girl and not at all like a dirty hippie prude. So this is the first time I have seen Miriam on TV and had no desire to punch her in the face.

Rating: B
Intensity Level: 2% Intense

102 - Adam Ruggiero (Marco)
American airdate: September 3rd, 2004

You can make a game out of this episode by trying to determine whether Adam is gay in real life. It is never say out right whether he is or not, but entire episode is peppered with some suggestive clues.

First there is his room. That's a lot of stuffed animals for someone from a gender that would normally be into chicks.

He also has a very large shoe collection. He has more shoes than Miriam. A man should own no more than five pairs of shoes, one or two pairs of sneakers for everyday use, dress shoes for fancy dinner parties, regular boots for snow or outdoor work, and steal-toed boots for street fights. That's the limit. He also is excited to show off his shoes for us.

His mother tells us that Adam enjoyed singing as a child.

Pretty early on, you notice that Adam's speech and mannerisms are a lot like Marco's. Unlike Miriam, there's little difference between the actor and the character. The way Marco acts on TV is the way Adam acts in real life. Turns out Adam auditioned as Craig but didn't get the part. He wasn't right for a character that has many relationships with women. But the producers liked Adam so much that they decided to create a role that would be perfect for him. And what a coincidence, just like Marco, Adam is Italian too!

Then there is Adam's friends. He has a friend with a lisp, but that doesn't prove anything because Adam doesn't have a lisp. Adam also has some gal pals and one of them is pretty hot. If she likes the company of effeminate men, she should give me a call. I'd help her buy bras and shit.

As my final evidence, that chin hair is pretty gay.

On another note, Adam's older brother is awesome. Someone give him a show.

Finally, I want to give Adam props because there are 17 million ethnic Italians in North America and Adam is the only one who could go 30 minutes talking about himself and his family and not include a vale threat implying his family is connected to the Mafia.

Rating: C
Intensity Level: 66% Intense

103 - Cassie Steele (Manny)
American airdate: September 10th, 2004

We get some home movie footage of a very young Cassie playing the guitar. I'll say this about baby Cassie: her music is better than anything on that Nirvana box set, With the Lights Out, or anything Jake Epstein has ever done.

Cassie talks a little about a time the cast went go-karting. It sounded like it was a 100% INTENSE day. It was raining and they kept on banging into walls. Some people were tragically killed, but in the end, the whole cast learned a valuable lesson about teamwork and why real estate agents need to be licensed.

Here is Cassie's mom, talking about Cassie by pool. I wonder about that. Is Cassie's mom a housekeeper and she is doing this interview at work?

Turns out Cassie's father's side is British and her mom's side is Filipino. That explains it how Cassie can live in a big house with a pool. Cassie says from her Filipino side, she enjoys warm weather and the sun. Good thing she lives in Canada then.

Cassie got her acting start on the show Relic Hunter. Man, Relic Hunter was a horrible show. It was a syndicated series about a female archeologist/adventurer and it was a poor rip-off of Tomb Raider, which was already a poor rip-off of Indiana Jones.

The director comments about Cassie's maturity, saying "When she's acting, you think she's older...[but then] you realize she's not 21 she's 14." The director has to often remind himself Cassie's not 21. Thoughts creep into his head and whatnot. Cassie auditioned when she was 11, which means she was 13 in season 3 when Manny became a whore. Whoa!

Cassie goes into wardrobe and shows us Manny's booty shorts. I bet Adam owns a pair of those.

In addition to portraying Manny Santos on Canada's #1 show, Cassie also has a budding pop music career. We see Manny record her album. Mainly we see her mess up takes. Cassie explains how her songs are about the trials of love and whatnot, which is good because when I want deep relationship insight, I get it from a 14 year old girl.

Cassie is being assisted by a crazy fucking Asian producer. Crazy producer says Cassie's got the look for music. Um...here's a game for out readers. Try to point out error in what he said.

Cassie also goes horseback riding. She hopes to include horseback riding on her resume.

Rating: B
Intensity Level: 14% Intense

104 - Jake Epstein (Craig)
American airdate: September 17th, 2004

We begin with Jake outside, apparently playing guitar, I guess.

Check out the sweet Doug magnet. This is the coolest part of the entire Unscripted series.

He's very proud of his classics of rock poster hanging on his bedroom door, which is one of those posters you can get for three bucks at Wal-mart. We also see Jake's CD collection. I like it whenever my CD collection looks larger than a guy who is supposed to be into playing music. I don't play instruments, the only thing I ever strum is my dick. LOL!

Jake shows us a CD by a band called the Headstones, which includes the guy who played his dad on the show. So the Headstones is a Rivers Cuomo solo album.

How about the family resemblance?

Jake talks about auditioning for Degrassi. He talks about going to Degrassi Studios and being intimidated by the cast photos on the wall, calling it the most nerve racking thing in the world. I can see why. Look at Sean's photo.

The highlight of Jake's tour of Degrassi Studios was showing us the bed where Craig fucked Manny in "Against All Odds."

We see some footage of the cast discussing American politics, such as Ralph Nader and Fahrenheit 9/11. Canadian politics are just boring.

The executive story editor explains that Craig was modeled after a boy who broke her heart in grade 10. She really hasn't let that grudge go.

We learn that Jake has jammed with Shane, who plays drums for Rush and The Who. Jake also actually hangs out with the kid who plays Toby. That's nice of him.

Jake and another producer write a lot of the music for the show. That's not impressive unless Jake wrote "Spinner's Rap" or "Poor Thing" or "Fuck You Craig" because every Downtown Sasquatch song has licked ass. And that's as nice as I can be about that.

We learn that Jake does not just play the guitar poorly. He also plays many other instruments poorly.

Jake is also guest starring on Radio Free Roscoe. The character he portrays is "all about the music." Big character stretch there.

Jake's basement is set up with musical equipment, because his fiends come by a lot to jam. I'm just going to say what everyone else who watches this is thinking: his friends are real pills.

Did I mention that Jake likes the music? I'm not sure if that message came through in this episode.

Rating: C
Intensity Level: 1% Intense

105 - Lauren Collins (Paige)
American airdate: September 24th, 2004

Lauren's Unscripted begins like the other Unscripteds, by having her take us into her house. This is great because I now what her house looks like. I just need to look up her address and head to Toronto. Then Lauren will come home one day and be like, "What the hell? Where did all my panties go?"

Oh, Lauren, my love, how about you look adorable all the time? She could be on the toilet and I would still say she is hot. But that is because I am turned on by girls pooping.

Lauren says she loves clothes. Really? I never would have guessed looking at her gender.

Her bedroom is peppered with pictures of her and other Degrassi cast members posing with celebrities like Justin Timberlake, Cameron Diaz, and Ashton Kutcher. I have to wonder if these celebrities knew about Degrassi or even knew the actors were also in show business or just thought they were taking a picture with some random teenage fans?

Lauren takes us to her kitchen and mentions that she allergic to peanuts. Now that is a major turn off, eww. I eat peanuts with every meal. For breakfast I have Peanut Butter Crunch, for lunch I have a peanut butter sandwich, for brunch I enjoy Ritz with peanut butter and Nutter Butters, and for dinner I enjoy a roast sirloin peanuts. Those peanuts are raised free range, not stuck growing up in a barn.

It's time to escort Lauren to Degrassi Studios. Jake Goldsbie (Toby) is watching her in the makeup room. This must be what Jake does all day, because it's not like they put him on air anymore. Do they really need to call him down to the studio with the other actors when he just has a line of dialogue every third episode? That's a waste of the Canadian taxpayer's money.

Lauren has to fill out a questionnaire for the Degrassi website. She answers one question on air: which five people she would want to eat dinner with. Mine would be Shane Kippel, Lauren Collins, Adolf Hitler, Adolf Eichmann, and Joseph Goebbels. Yup, two Degrassi stars and three Nazis. That's my ideal dinner party.

Lauren shows us around the set. It is revealed that the crew eat lunch in mall set. They set up lunch tables, which seems like a hassle to put up and take down every day. They should just build a food court set and eat there. It would mean everyone would eat lots of pizza and Chinese and McDonalds. Everyday.

Lauren enjoys driving her SUV around Canada. I've noticed that in every Unscripted, the kids drive around in SUVs. It's a good thing Americans are the only ones who get shit for hurting the environment and driving wasteful gas guzzlers. Canadians are so much more concerned with environmental protection, as we can see.

Lauren goes clothes shopping with her hot friends. Hot girls like to travel together to make ugly girls feel bad. The girls are hit on by George Clinton. The shopping day ends with the girls showing off the beads they bought. I don't think they really bought them, if you get my drift. I think they ran into Shane Kippel and had a bunch of beads on him.

One thing I have learned from this is that Lauren looked beautiful at any age. She was even bangable as an infant.

Rating: A+
Intensity Level: 100% INTENSE