Categories aaron martin aislinn paul ATX Festival christina schmidt discussion jake epstein lauren collins munro chambers panel stefan brogren

My favourite moments from the Degrassi: TNG 20th Anniversary Panel

Yesterday I shared a recap of the main topics discussed at the ATX Television Festival’s Degrassi panel. But I also wanted to talk about my personal favourite moments from the event. I’ve selected 6 moments, for which you can read the direct quotes below. These are my favourite moments because they really get to the heart of Degrassi and I think they show how beautiful Degrassi is as a piece of Canadian culture.

1. Lauren and Stefan continuing the never-ending debate on the believability of Degrassi Goes Hollywood and Degrassi Takes Manhattan
Lauren: If it happened in “Degrassi Takes Manhattan” or “Degrassi Goes Hollywood,” it’s not canon. That’s what I said, right?
Stefan: Says you, says you. Those stories are full on Degrassi. They are moments in lives, they go crazy. I’m not saying that because I directed them. I’m just saying that people have moments like that, right. And they go crazy and come back, etc.

2. Munro revealing how the Adam storyline impacted his life by educating him
Munro: Something that entered my personal life that I had no reference for … was the Adam storyline. And to be a part of that with Aislinn and to really dive deep in our research and understand something that was completely foreign to me, and now to have a family member who is transgender. It really educated me. And I really hope that, from my personal experience of learning to get into the character and just acceptance … I hope the audience really understood that as well. So for me, it was huge for what I didn’t realise was gonna happen later on in my life … And I think that’s one of the great things about all of us being part of the show is that we’re learning different things at such a young age. And I think it should be like that. You’re learning about things that aren’t being talked about. And especially at that time, I had no idea. And then when we got to meet Chaz Bono and we got to sit into that support group in Los Angeles I believe it was, that was absolutely massive. And so to be a part of that, and to be a part of Jordy’s incredible storyline and her amazing work portraying that community, it was really special.

3. Christina pitching what she would like to see Terri do if a Degrassi reboot were to happen one day
Christina: I would love to come back and have one scene with Ali [Mukaddam], that ice cream boy scene. And because … I followed Terri’s footsteps and literally since Degrassi I’ve been modeling full time since. And I just want to come back, and for everyone who has gone through that to know that what ice cream boy said followed through … So I want to come back and tell him “listen ice cream boy, I’m still doing it”

4. Aaron and Jake talking about the Craig and Marco kiss and the importance of their friendship
Aaron: I think that was just, Craig was such a good friend to Marco that he was there. He wouldn’t care what Marco did. I don’t think he was attracted to Marco, but I think he was there to support him. I mean, I was basically Marco and Emma in high school. So those two characters were channeled into that, and I would have loved to have had a friend like Craig.
Jake: At the time when we were shooting those episodes, the story of someone coming out and finding themselves was ahead of its time. There wasn’t a lot of that on television. And what I loved is feeling like … it didn’t matter that Craig was straight or whatever, but he was Marco’s best friend … I felt like an ally. I felt like it was such a positive friendship, especially at that time on television [to show] that the gay character wasn’t isolated … Those are some of my favourite scenes actually with Craig and Marco.

5. Aaron speaking about how everything comes back to those core decisions that Linda and her team made in the late 70s/early 80s for what Degrassi would be
Aislinn: We have so much interconnectivity between all of those characters, and that’s really essential for so many of the storylines, and the way that we get to like have our moments in the sun, and then we also get to be a supporting character for someone else.
Aaron: And that all goes back to the world that Linda created. I mean, this is the template that Linda started 40 years ago and let us come in and run with. So this balance between soap and issues and learning and fun, that’s entirely because of Linda.

6. Lauren reflecting on Degrassi now she is a parent
Lauren: I’ve been reflecting on the show now as a parent myself, because I have a child now … God, I hope the show does get another reboot for him to watch, because it’s something that I feel comfortable with him seeing. I want him to have that … So many teen shows now feel so aggressive, and Degrassi didn’t feel [like] that. So I hope he has something like that to watch. I feel okay knowing that he’ll go back, and he might be mortified of his mother one day going back and watching it, but I feel okay with him watching the show. I think he will actually learn something from the show.

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