When we were in Pasadena for the Netflix TCA Panels, we were able to have a private roundtable with Degrassi’s creator/executive producer Linda Schuyler and actor/director/producer Stefan Brogan about Degrassi: Next Class, now streaming on Netflix . The Degrassi franchise started in 1987, when former teacher Linda co-created the show Degrassi Junior High on Canadian television, using her real life experiences as a teacher in the Toronto schools. Degrassi has had several incarnations over the past 35 years and is now on Netflix as Degrassi: Next Class, as a drama that tackles the real-life issues of high school students.
Telling the stories of “Generation Z,” the series focuses on a group of teens as they begin their journey into adulthood. We really enjoyed listening to Linda and Stefan (who literally grew up before the world’s eyes as Archie “Snake” Sullivan).
Here’s some video from the private panel we attended at the TCA Netflix day when we were in Pasadena two weeks ago. It’s clear that Degrassi is much more than just a television show to Linda, Stefan, and the public. It’s a way to really reach kids through sensitive storytelling.
If you’ve watched Degrassi over it’s incredible 35 years on the air, you know that the series gets very real. Every issue from homosexuality to teen suicide to domestic abuse has been tackled, but not sensationalized. The show really does an excellent job in this. When my kids are age appropriate for Degrassi, I’ll be watching it next to them.
Degrassi Next Class is currently streaming on Netflix. Here’s the trailer so you can check it out for yourself.
Thank you to Netflix for arranging my trip to California. As always, all opinions are my own.