Road trip. The return of hottie Craig Manning. Jay Hogart screwing up, as usual. I need popcorn fast. I grew up on Degrassi, a Canadian drama which loves to bring all of the old skeletons out of the closet — abortion, rape, sexuality, everything. On April 4, one of the best (hands down the best) episodes of the season will premiere.
It is all centered around bad boy Jay Hogart (Mike Lobel). Jay joined the show in season three. To be perfectly honest, I absolutely hated the guy. He was just this horrible person: stealing laptop computers, bullying guys who would eventually become school shooters, and cheating on his girlfriends. He's not someone I'd get along with. However, four seasons later, he just grew on me. He's not a complete failure — he stopped Spinner (Shane Kippel) from torching the school.
Jay's dating Manny (Cassie Steele). Manny wants to keep it casual, but Jay is ready to get serious. He actually wants to marry her, but any time Jay suggests it, Manny freaks out. Manny's a struggling actress and will do anything for personal freedom and a spot at Smithdale University. Her parents are in love with Jay, so she comes up with a plan to gain more freedom by getting "engaged" to Jay. Manny wants a spot in the Smithdale theater, but in order to get it she needs two things: an audition and a demo tape. Jay helps Manny make an audition tape; it's perfect. She's sure to get the part.
Manny plans a road trip to Smithdale for her audition. Jay's coming, of course, along with gal pals Emma (Miriam McDonald), Liberty (Sarah Barrable-Tishauer, interviewed by BC Magazine) and Ashley (Melissa McIntyre). But after a fight about their future, Jay is kicked out of the car. Jay, on the spur of the moment, tries to sabotage Manny by replacing her audition tape with a tape of them making out. Jay has a change of heart though, and hitches a ride to Smithdale with Jimmy (Aubrey Graham) and Spinner (Shane Kippel), who are trying to get to a Purple Dragon concert.
The subplot is interesting. It addresses Darcy's (Shenae Grimes) rape in the season opener. Darcy, a pledged virgin until marriage, is still dealing with the emotional trauma of the rape, so her parents send her to some camp to "fix her." Her boyfriend, Peter (Jamie Johnston) is also attending. Darcy wants everything to be back to normal and she thinks that having sex with Peter is the way to fix it. Not entirely sure about that logic…
I love to criticize acting, but there was one scene that was absolutely perfect. It was between Manny and Jay, and I absolutely believe that it was one of the best scenes in Degrassi history. Manny totally blew her audition, and blamed Jay for ruining her future. She had a right to, I guess. I was shocked at how good the acting was. I've always been a big fan of Cassie and Mike, but this makes me think they are some of the best actors on the show.
When I found out Jake Epstein was returning for the show, I screamed. I love Jake, and I have since he joined the cast in season two. He's an absolutely amazing actor and singer (not to mention he's incredibly hot). Jake returns near the end of the episode and sings an amazing song. There's also hinting that his character will get back together with a certain character. Sadly, it's a pairing that I absolutely loathe.
In a lot of television shows, a lot of great actors are surrounded by horrible actors. That's not true with Degrassi. To be perfectly honest, I can't think of one bad actor on the show. Whoever casts Degrassi is absolutely brilliant. I think they have some of the best actors, such as Jake Epstein and Lauren Collins. This is Mike Lobel's first big storyline, and I think he did a very good job. I'm really falling in love with his acting, and I hope they give Bad Boy Jay more stories.
Overall, it was another great Degrassi movie. Degrassi never seems to disappoint me.