I'm not what you'd call a Degrassi fan. Heck, I'm not what you'd call a Degrassi viewer. At best, I keep up to date on what's happening in the Degrassi universe: who the most popular characters are, what couples are shipped the most often (to the best of my knowledge, Eclare is currently the reigning champ), and keeping track of important events and storylines. Once in a while I will try to watch a new episode, but I can't seem to become invested in the characters. I have blogged about this and today I still stand by my statement that I feel "meh" about the series.
However, I have since wondered what it would take for the Degrassi franchise to reach a wider audience. I have brainstormed a few solutions to this issue:
Alternate Universe storiesThis one was mostly inspired by comic books and graphic novels, but it has been showcased in TV dramas (The OC), sci-fi shows (Heroes, Star Trek), thrillers (Awake), and even sitcoms (Friends). While most of these examples only use the Alternate Universe plot device through a character going into a coma and dreaming the reality up, or literally asking themselves "what if?" and imagining the results, what I would like to see is an actual, tangible universe that exists parallel to the canon Degrassi Universe. If not this, then at least a miniseries or more that delves into something that could have possibly or will possibly take place. Like, for instance, what if Vince had killed Adam at the Degrassi Prom? What if, instead of suffering from PTSD after his beating, Drew became a masked vigilante hell-bent on exacting his revenge on Vince and his gang? What if Rick Murray was miraculously resurrected shortly after his death? (okay, maybe that last one would never ever happen, but a man can dream)
Another idea would be to link the Degrassi series with another, similar series. However, as long as it's just speculation at this point, the opposite series in question would not have to be exactly the same as Degrassi. We wouldn't simply be limited to Dance Academy or whatever other dramas are on Teen Nick. There could be
adventure and sci-fi shows for teens out there in the near-future that it could cross over with (Tower Prep was my #1 choice, though it was sadly cancelled).
Though this has already been done with the Degrassi Extra Credit series of graphic novels, I would like to see it done again with better writers and artists, and on a larger scale. This will most likely be the main source of crossovers and alternate universe stories, though a live action miniseries for these events would hopefully not be ruled out.
What is important to take away from this entry is that I believe that the producers of Degrassi need to make their show more marketable and expand its horizons. I am not sure how popular the franchise is in Canada, but to the best of my knowledge, Degrassi has only appealed to teens and young adults thus far. Why not appeal to a wider audience?