Kolleen: Oh my god, guys. We are getting into the REAL CRUX of the show, the meat and potatoes of Degrassi life. It’s the first day of school, and tensions are running high.
We open with Ashley (Melissa McIntyre) planning out her run for school president. Her happiness is quickly dashed when she realizes Toby– her almost step-brother– has taken over the bathroom! He is only in 7th grade as opposed to her awesome 8th grade status, so he is instantly a big pain in the ass. He won’t let her into the bathroom and is teasing her with her training bra (and training bra, really? She’s got like D-cups). Little brothers, am I right?
As Ashley and her friend Terri (Christina Schmidt) are hanging up campaign flyers in the halls suddenly a scantily dressed girl appears… PAIGE MICHALCHUK (Lauren Collins, who looks JUST LIKE my friend Crista, also named Collins). Paige is all about how she looks (“New year, new look, new Paige!”), and how everyone else looks (which to her is obviously “not as good as me”), and doesn’t care about much else. But really, maybe Canada is behind on the times, because she is dressed exactly how my friends would dress in 1995. This aired in 2001.
Emma and Manny are nervous entering the new school as girls on the bottom rung of the ladder of social awesomeness, and to make matters worse they encounter some 8th graders with bad attitudes– “Spinner” (Shane Kippel) and Jimmy (Aubrey Graham, known nowadays as DRAKE THE RAPPER FOR GOD’S SAKE), who promptly ask for their nonexistent mandatory hallpasses.
The girls enter their homeroom, headed by Snake (“Mr. Simpson” if you’re nasty), who goes over the code of conduct for the computer usage– is this a jab at Emma’s aforementioned bad decisions with the internet? Toby and JT discuss how obnoxious Ashley is, and come up with a brilliant plan to have JT run against her for class president. It will annoy her, and it will be the perfect platform for JT to practice his stand up routine (makes sense!). As all this is being hatched out, Ashley is bombarded by the OBNOXIOUS Liberty (Sarah Barrable-Tishauer), who has GREAT plans for her upcoming role as school secretary, if she is even elected, which come on– she probably will be but does she have to be so irritating? More on Liberty as she is introduced further.
JT is promising Degrassi big things: softer TP in the bathroom. Ashley is promising big things: a night dance! How much pull does a school president really have? I’m pretty sure our school presidents just went to a lot of meetings. I wouldn’t know. I tried to stay away from responsibility as much as possible.
Ashley is nervous because JT has a shot at winning, and he doesn’t even want to win! So she offers him 80 bucks to throw the election. Toby finds out and is PISSED. When he confronts her, true ~feelings~ emerge: Ashley feels overshadowed since Toby and his dad moved in with her and her mom. Does he have to take away this one thing she really wants, too?
Ashley of course wins the election, and she and Toby come out all the better for it; does this mean they’ll get along in the future? We’ll see!
Letty: Is Liberty Van Zandt the Clare Edwards of early DNG? I think so.