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Degrassi Junior High

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Degrassi Junior High
DJH HQ
Background Information
Genre Drama
Created by Linda Schuyler
Kit Hood
Country of Origin Canada
Language English
No. of Seasons 3
No. of episodes 42
Production
Running time 30 minutes (including commercials)
Prod. Company Playing With Time Inc.
Broadcast
Original channel CBC Television
Original run January 18, 1987 – March 6, 1989
Status Series ended, off air
Chronology
Preceded by The Kids of Degrassi Street
Followed by Degrassi High

Degrassi Junior High is a Canadian teenage TV drama series that was produced from 1986–1988, and aired in the winters of 1987, 1988 and 1989. This is the second incarnation in the Degrassi series. The show followed the lives of a group of students attending the titular fictional school. Many episodes tackled difficult issues such as drug abuse, child abuse, pedophilia, teenage pregnancy, homosexuality, body issues, and divorce, and the series was acclaimed for its sensitive and realistic portrayal of the challenges of teenage life. The cast comprised mainly non-professional actors.

Degrassi Junior High spanned 42 episodes, covering two groups of students over two years from grades 7 through 9. (In the first two seasons, half the students were in Grade 7, half were in Grade 8. In the third season, the 8s, except for one student who flunked, moved to Grade 9 but stayed at the school temporarily, while the 7s moved up to Grade 8 and, presumably, a new group of Grade 7s were added.)

The first season premiered January 18, 1987 with 13 episodes, on Sunday afternoons, and was brought up to prime time in the second season in January 1988. Some of the characters were in each of the two grades; in the second season, the characters remained in the same grades, as the second season was not their next academic school year, but instead, their second semester (the first season happened in the fall of 1988 of the 1988-1989 school year). The characters were in grades 8 and 9 in the third season of the series. The ninth-graders stayed in junior high, but attended science class at Borden High School.

It followed the series The Kids of Degrassi Street (though not as a sequel; some kid actors also performed in Junior High but as different characters), and directly preceded the series Degrassi High, which is a sequel to Junior High. In turn, some of the Junior High/High actors and their characters are also part of Degrassi: The Next Generation, as teachers, parents or others with an interest and involvement in their old alma mater.

The program also aired on PBS in the United States, the BBC in the UK and western Europe, and the ABC in Australia. A DVD containing all the show's episodes was released in October 2005. Also, as of October 2005, American cable network The N (which airs Degrassi: The Next Generation) has aired Degrassi Junior High and Degrassi High as its "Degrassi Old School" block.

Storylines

Main Article: Episode Guide

Season 1

Main article: Degrassi Junior High (Season 1)

The first season introduces the main characters and revolves around their relationships and friendships with each other.

Season 2

Main article: Degrassi: Junior High (Season 2)

The second season chronicles the ever changing lives of the students at Degrassi and trials that Spike faces because of her being pregnant.

Season 3

Main article: Degrassi: Junior High (Season 3)

The third season begins with the next school year and chronicles the students last year at junior high.

Opening Sequence

For seasons 1 and 2 the opening begins with a close up shot of four books. The top book says History 7/8. The next says Geography 7/8. The next says Math 7/8. The bottom one says English 7/8. The camera zooms out on the books and shows an animated hand on top of them. The hand picks up the books and walks away. The camera then zooms in on poms poms sitting next to the books. Next, we see a sequence of shots: Degrassi Junior High with kids walking up to it; the kids in their class room running to their seats from the episode "Kiss Me Steph"; Mr. Raditch standing at the front door watching as the kids sit; Heather and Erica both raising their hands and smiling; Tim whispering to Joey at his seat from "The Cover Up"; Lucy raising her hand from "The Big Dance"; and Yick opening his locker and a bunch of papers falling out. Then we see a still of a boy. An animated hand with a chalkboard eraser wipes across the screen revealing another still of Lucy from "What A Night".

Next, we see another sequence of shots: Stephanie smiling and rolling her eyes as she turns around and looks at Arthur from "Kiss Me Steph"; Melanie by her locker staring at Snake as he puts his guitar bag on his shoulder, Snake then turns around and sees Melanie staring at him, and she quickly turns around from "The Great Race"; Rick high fiving Tim as he walks by from the episode "Kiss Me Steph"; Joey opening his locker and smiling; a few boys including Wheels, Jason, Shane, and Wai-Lee walking towards a van, and they stop and turn around from "The Great Race"; Kathleen standing by Melanie at her locker from "The Experiment"; Yick looking into his locker smiling next to Arthur from "The Great Race"; Yick opening a door to the broom closet revealing Arthur on the other side, who smiles with relief from "Kiss Me Steph"; and Rick taking Joey's hat off his head and smiling, then tossing it back to him from "The Cover Up"; Susie and Caitlin high fiving each other smiling from "The Cover Up". Next we see a still of Heather and Erica and a couple of other people standing by the lockers. Then an animated hand with a blackboard eraser wipes across the screen and reveals a still of a girl.

Next, we see a third sequence of shots: two girls practicing cheerleading on the grass by the school while Wheels is in the background practicing soccer from "The Great Race"; Voula giving a speech from "The Big Dance"; L.D. excitedly talking to Stephanie from "The Great Race"; the grade sevens applauding at their desks from "Rumor Has It"; Rick turning around smiling after giving Ms. Avery some licorice from "Rumor Has It"; some girls cheering in the pool including Susie and Erica from "The Great Race"; and Wheels cheering and waving a poster from "Kiss Me Steph". Finally we see a still shot of Susie and Stephanie smiling holding up a trophy. Rick, Lucy, Joey, Wheels, with his arms in the air, and Yick, holding a basketball stand behind them. The camera zooms in on the trophy before the word "Degrassi" swoops in written in silver letters. The picture fades into a notebook page background. Then another "Degrassi" written in black comes down from the left corner. It combines with the silver Degrassi and appears to be its shadow. The words "Junior High" appears written in cursive blue letters below it. The silver Degrassi then turns pink.

In Season 3, the opening begins with an animated alarm clock. It zooms out onto a desk, creating outlines in its path. The outlines then disappear and the rest of things on the desk fades in including a stack of books. An animated person grabs the books and walks off screen. It then fades to gray and fades back in on a sequence of shots: Degrassi Junior High with kids walking up to it; Mr. Raditch standing at the door to his classroom from "Kiss Me Steph"; Snake and Wheels running to the door of their classroom from "Can't Live With 'Em"; Ms. Avery shutting her classroom door from "Revolution"; Wheels rubbing his head stressed while taking a test from "Pass Tense"; Ms. Avery looking at her watch as the students flip their tests over from "Pass Tense"; Yick opening his locker and a bunch of papers falling out; and Mr. Raditch putting his hand on Joey's shoulder from "Pass Tense". Then we see a still of Michelle from "Stage Fright". An animated hand with a chalkboard eraser wipes across the screen revealing another still of Tim biting his pencil.

We then see another sequence of shots: Melanie by her locker staring at Snake as he puts his guitar bag on his shoulder, Snake then turns around and sees Melanie staring at him, and she quickly turns around from "The Great Race"; Scooter turning around looking at Bartholomew noticing they're reading the same comic book from "Can't Live With Them"; Lucy smiling from "A Helping Hand"; Caitlin smiling from "Loves Me, Loves Me Not"; Heather putting Spike's egg in front of Spike as Spike smiles from "Eggbert"; Melanie and Kathleen turn around and stop from "Dinner and a Show"; Simon with his arm around Alexa smiling as they talk from "Dog Days". Yick opening the door to the broom closet revealing Arthur on the other side, who smiles with relief from "Kiss Me Steph"; L.D. smiling giving the "a-ok" sign from "Censored"; BLT smiling while throwing a baseball from "Great Expectations"; Heather and Erica both turn around smiling from "Sealed with A Kiss"; and Alexa smiling walking off-screen from "Sealed with a Kiss".

A still of a girl then pops up. Then an animated hand with a blackboard eraser wipes across the screen and reveals a still of Shane smiling. Then we see a third sequence of shots: Kathleen raising her hand from "Bottled Up"; Yick looking surprised as he reads a book on anatomy from "Great Expectations"; Joey and Snake playing in their band from "Pass Tense"; Heather, Erica, Spike, Liz, and a boy clapping their hands from "Can't Live With Them"; some girls cheering in the pool including Susie and Erica from "The Great Race"; and Wheels cheering and waving a poster from "Kiss Me Steph".

Finally, we see a still shot of Susie and Stephanie smiling holding up a trophy. Rick, Lucy, Joey, Wheels, with his arms in the air, and Yick, holding a basketball stand behind them. The camera zooms in on the trophy before the words "Degrassi" swoops in written in silver letters. The picture fades into a notebook page background. Then another "Degrassi" written in black comes down from the left corner. It combines with the silver Degrassi and appears to be its shadow. The words "Junior High" appears written in cursive blue letters below it. The silver Degrassi then turns pink.

Theme Song Lyrics

Wake up in the morning

Feeling shy and lonely.

Gee I gotta go to school

I don't think I can make it,

Don't think I can take it

Wondering what I'm gonna do.

But when I look around I see

That someone is smiling right at me.

Wait!

That someone's talking to me,

Hey!

I've got a new friend.

Everybody can succeed,

All you need is to believe,

Be honest with yourself

Forget your fears and doubts.

Come on, give us a try,

At Degrassi Junior High."

Cast

The series was a realistic portrayal of junior high (and later high school) life; for this reason, hundreds of actors appeared on the series throughout its run, and no complete cast list can be made. This list shows the main and recurring characters.

Degrassi Junior High ran for three seasons and was followed by Degrassi High, which also for two seasons. Seasons 4 & 5 refer to Degrassi High.

External links

The Degrassi Universe
The Degrassi TV series: The Kids of Degrassi Street - Degrassi Junior High - Degrassi High - Degrassi: The Next Generation
Out of Continuity
Degrassi series:
Degrassi Talks - Degrassi Crash Course: The 100 Most Intense Moments - Degrassi Unscripted - Degrassi's 40 Most Go There-est Moments - Degrassi Minis - Degrassi on the Set - Degrassi Mangasodes
Degrassi Junior High + Degrassi High Characters - Episodes - VHS and DVD releases - School's Out (Degrassi High film)
Degrassi: The Next Generation Main characters - Minor characters - Cast & crew - Episodes - Issues addressed - DVD releases - Books - Quotes
People Degrassi Junior High & High:

Stephanie | Joey | Snake | Wheels | Mr. Raditch | Lucy | Caitlin | Spike


Degrassi: The Next Generation:
Emma | Jimmy | Terri | Ashley | Liberty | Manny | Mr. Simpson | Toby | Spinner | J.T. | Paige | Sean | Mr. Raditch | Joey | Craig | Ellie | Hazel | Christine | Caitlin | Marco | Jay | Alex | Peter | Ms. Hatzilakos | Darcy

Places List | Toronto | De Grassi Street | Degrassi Community School | Jeremiah Motors | The Dot
Music Tracklist | Themes & intros | Bands | Songs from Degrassi: The Next Generation | The N Soundtrack
Miscellaneous Canon & continuity | Index | Chronology | Family trees | Awards & nominations

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