Earlier this year I reviewed the first season of Degrassi: Next Class, which is the Netflix-hosted latest installment in the never-ending Degrassi mega-franchise. If you don’t know what Degrassi is, we probably don’t share the same affinity for all things Canadian. You also might not know who Drake is. You might also live under a rock. Regardless, go back and read that review and you might be able to navigate this one a little easier. Either way, YOU HAVE BEEN MISSING OUT YOUR WHOLE LIFE!
For those of you who DO kind of know what I’m talking about, let’s just dive in here, shall we? The second season of Degrassi: Next Class premiered on Netflix this past Friday, and, being the summer-hating adult that I am, I felt perfectly okay about spending my entire weekend indoors to find out what new STDs ‘n slang are plaguing Canada’s youth population. (As it turns out, the binge-watch was more than manageable considering there were just ten episodes that clock in at about a half hour each, and I was able to spend the REST of the weekend watching a Hunger Games marathon on whatever the fuck ABC Family is called in 2016. I cried a lot!)
So this season we pick back up with the mentally unstable white rich kid (or “MUWRK” as he shall now be called) who nearly shot up the school dance at the end of last season. Since no harm was actually done that time, his older brother Miles (one of the only people who knows about the episode) decides not to rat him out. This quickly backfires after MUWRK crashes Miles’ car on purpose in a fit of blind, mostly unprovoked rage. So the family tricks MUWRK into getting help in a facility, and he eventually comes to terms with his illness and agrees to straighten up and fly right. And then everything is fine overnight. (That’s how it goes in Canada, right?)
In terms of everybody else, the problems are more or less as follows: we’ve got closeted gay sadness-induced self-harm, racism (kind of impeccable timing, all things considered, but watered down and unbelievably easy resolution in the show), self-image insecurities, plenty o’ unrequited and/or complicated crushes, and eventually a big ol’ cliffhanger of a bus crash involving like, fifty percent of the main characters at Degrassi.
There’s also an incredibly brief yet mildly thrilling cameo from Degrassians of the past, including Emma, Spinner, Paige, Liberty, Holly J. and Marco (Drake probably sent his regards), but other than that, there’s not a whole lot of stuff going on. I was even able to get some work done while watching and still not miss a beat. Do I regret watching? No, but it’s definitely not a seat-gripper of a season until the final episode, when you’re like OH SHIT WHO DIED?! But I guess we’ll just have to wait around to find out.
For a mindless binge watch, I’d definitely say GO FOR IT! But don’t expect teen drama in excess. (I repeat: I am a grown-up.)