Tag Archives: Clare and Eli

Oh, Eli Goldsworthy of Degrassi! – I Love You, You Sexy Psychopath!

A few years ago, Degrassi (a.k.a. The Little Canadian Show that Could) introduced us all to the remarkable talents of one, Nina Dobrev.  Nina eventually went on to star in my now – FAVORITE television show, The Vampire Diaries .  . .

You are hearing it here, first, my fellow teen television drama fans!  Munro Chambers will be Degrassi’s next Big Breakout Star. 

Week after week, this guy FLOORS me with his Mad Acting Skillz!  Munro intrigued me, when he first came on the scene, this past season, as the guyliner-wearing, sort of emo, hearse-driving, tortured artist, with a rebellious streak, and biting sense of humor, Eli Goldsworthy .  . .

He then won my heart, as the epicurean, closet romantic, whose sheer love of life, and unwillingness to take no for an answer, brought the uptight brainiac Clare Edwards out of her shell . . .

He frustrated me, when he pushed away the very some woman he so vehemently pursued, the following week.  Eli was afraid of letting Clare get too close  . . . fearing she would see beneath his cocksure facade, to the scars that lurked beneath the surface . . .

 And they were some UGLY scars!  When Eli finally admitted his true feelings for Clare, and entered into a relationship with her, she began to see his Dark Side.  But far from scaring her away, seeing Eli’s flaws, only made Clare (and us fans) love him more. 

When Eli antagonized bullies twice his size, until they kicked his ass.  And then he tricked those SAME bullies into getting ARRESTED through a very cunning bait-and-switch, involving Fake IDs, we questioned whether he had a Death Wish . . .

And when we met his parents for the first time, we wondered whether he was adopted (and kind of hoped that he was, for the sake of genetics) . . .

The Future of EClare?  Oh HELL NO!

And when we found out about Eli’s Big Secret, we were shocked and saddened.  Our hearts broke for this fictional character, who suddenly felt so very real to us, both in our minds and our  . . . ahem . . . other parts . . .

Eli became even more complex and multi-layered, when we discovered that the untimely loss of his girlfriend led to his struggles with hoarding . . .

I hate to say it, but as grossly messy as that room is, it also looks pretty cool!  Doesn’t it?

But just when us fans thought we had learned everything there was to know about Eli, he introduced us to a whole new side of himself, his PSYCHO SIDE!

This week, on Part 2 of Jesus, Etc., an old enemy of Eli’s found the Lord, and tried to use HIM to get into Clare’s pants . . .

Ummm . . . righteous?

Though this recent turn of events would be enough to piss off even the most calm and collected of boyfriends, the already volatile-natured Eli took things harder then most.  Throughout the episode, we witnessed the character slowly unravel, and gradually descend into madness. 

Watching Eli waver between agressively trying to protect his girlfriend from “The Jesus Guy” (through blustery anger and controlling manipulation), and placating her, with over-exaggerated declarations of love, and increasingly desperate demands for forgiveness, was both cringeworthy, and deliciously fascinating.  I didn’t know whether to turn away in horror, or wiggle closer to the television screen .  . .

“I feel like you are slipping away,” complains Eli, during one of his softer, more emotionally moments moments.

“Don’t leave me.  OK?  Please?”  Eli begs, during another one.

Amidst it all, were a trio of genuinely creepy moments, during which Eli would break the Fourth Wall, and stare directly at the viewers at home, with a look that was both inviting, and, at the same time, undeniably evil.

But it was not until the final scene of the episode, that things with Eli got REALLY psychotic (and, therefore, CRAZY FUN!).  Check out the “interesting” way in which Eli chooses to conclude the horror story, “Stalker Angel” that he’s been working on throughout the episode. In particular, pay attention to the the uncomfortably ironic similarities between the fictional story being described, and the Bizarre Love Triangle that is Clare / Eli / and the Born-Again (so-called “Angelic”) Fitz:

Eli:  The hero, Malcolm, realizes that he could never protect his heroine, Rachel, from Stalker Angel, so he has no choice but to . .

Clare: (interrupts)  . . . kill Stalker Angel

Eli: No, he kills Rachel.  He grabs his knife, cuts her throat, drinks her blood, and forever they are one!

Clare: That’s disturbing.

Eli: It’s brilliant.  It wouldn’t be much of a horror story, otherwise.

Clare: (with uncertainty) Of course.

Eli: It’s my masterpiece.  And I couldn’t have written it without you.  It’s all about YOU, Clare!

Clare:  (laughs nervously)  Great . . .just . . . try not to kill me, K?

Eli:  Don’t I owe you a driving lesson?  The HEARSE awaits.

Check out the scene in its frighteningly foreboding entirety here, IF YOU DARE!

The last shot of the episode, which features Eli loudly declaring his love for Clare, as he possessively wraps his arm around her, and glares sadistically at the camera, genuinely gave me chills!  After all, when it comes to Eli, I literally never know what he’s going to do next.  And THAT is was keeps me coming back to the show, week, after week.

Kudos to Degrassi for creating such a wonderfully relatable, and, at the same time, definitively insane, character, in Eli Goldsworthy!  And even bigger kudos to Munro Chambers, for bringing Eli to life on the small screen!  I can’t wait to see YOU in prime time, Mr. Chambers! 

Just . . . try not to kill me, K?

[www.juliekushner.com]

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Filed under Degrassi: The Next Generation

Boozin’, Cruisin’, and Cradle Robbin’ – A Recap of Degrassi’s “When Love Takes Over (Parts 1 & 2)”

FIONA:  “Oooh, Adam.  I LOVE surprises!  You can’t tell, because I’m wearing a mask, but I’m totally winking seductively at you right now.  Where are you taking me?

ADAM:  “Oh . . . well . . . it’s a really cool place.  Lot’s of celebrities have been there:  Lindsay Lohan, Charlie Sheen, Robert Downey Jr., Amy Winehouse, Britney Spears . . .

FIONA:  “Wow, it must BE a cool place, if all those famous people went there.  Is it some kind of Hollywood Party?”

ADAM: “Not exactly . . .”

Welcome back, Degrassi fans!  As you probably all know, last night was the mid-season premiere of Degrassi’s “In Too Deep” collection of episodes.  I’ve decided to try my hand at recapping it. 

Well, at least someone is excited about it . . .

So, here’s how it’s going to go.  I’m going to start with Anya’s storyline, cruise into Danny’s, and then, for the BIG FINALE, I’m going to address Fiona and Adam, which, let’s face it, is why you are all really here, anyway. 

So, without further adieu, let’s get recapping.  Shall we?

The Doctor is in (Anya’s Pants).

“Funny . . . this isn’t the way my last doctor tested me for strep throat.”

We kick off the season with Sav looking as DORKY AS POSSIBLE in his toga, and gold crown.  Honestly, I’m not really sure what the get-up has to do with Valentine’s Day (or should I say “Sweet Hearts” week).  But this Degrassi, and this is Sav.  And Sav likes to dress up . . . a lot.   (Remember that geeky cowboy outfit he wore to the Degrassi Hoe-down last season?  I do . . . but I kind of which I didn’t)  So, I’m just going to go with it . . .

“I better be getting paid extra for this.”

Sav’s here so we can all laugh at his outfit to tell everyone that, even though they can’t PDA with their loved one inside the hallowed halls of Degrassi, they CAN buy them cheap half-dead flowers, and take them out to the CHEAPEST DATE EVER, at the Romantic School Cafeteria.  YAY!

Anya’s buying some some flowers from Holly J, who’s probably concerned they will be for Anya’s EX-BEAU, and her current, sort of beau, Cheeseball Sav .  . .

“Buy my man a rose, and I will CUT YOU with its thorns.”

But Holly J. can breathe easy.  Anya just wants to buy flowers for her mom, who’s getting the results of her cancer treatment at the doctor’s office today.  Can anyone guess what those results were?  I’ll give you a hint . . .

OK . . . so Anya’s obviously thrilled.  But why does her mom look vaguely constipated?

Anya’s mom is CANCER FREE!  YAY!  This thrills Anya, put only partially so, as it means that her weekly sort-of dates with her own personal Dr. McDreamy have ended.  Before Anya leaves, she manages to get a peek at the Good Doctor’s date book, which has been conveniently left open on his desk, for her viewing pleasure.  I’ll admit that, when I read the date book at first, I thought it said, “Pizza WITH Leslie – 7 p.m.”  But, it actually said Pizza Leslie – 7 p.m., which by the way is the LAMEST NAME FOR A RESTAURANT, EVER!

The next day at school, Anya tells Holly J. that she’s TOTALLY crushing on Dr. McTooOld, and plans on stalking him that night at Pizza Leslie.  Does Holly J. want to come with?  You bet she DOES!

“Fine, I’ll go stalking with you.  But you’re buying dinner.  I’m poor now, remember?”

Honestly, I’m not sure WHY Anya would assume that Dr. McTooOld would make dinner reservations for JUST HIMSELF (Who does that?).   But, assume she did.  And that night, when she spied Dr. McTooOld alone, by the entrance to the restaurant, she nearly had an “O” right at the dinner table . . .

*sigh*  “Doctor and Mrs McTooOld.  It has a nice ring to it.  Don’t you think?”

But, so far, Dr. McTooOld hasn’t noticed Anya yet.  So, she has this plan for Holly J. to choke on something, so that he can give her the Heimlich, and, in doing so, lock eyes with his Lady Love.  (Way to put your friend’s life in DANGER, so you can get laid, ANYA!)  “I faked a pregnancy for you,” Anya helpfully reminds Holly J., as the latter reluctantly chokes on an olive. 

I think my favorite part of the whole scene, was when Anya called for a doctor, and that Old Guy sitting next to them got up from his chair.  So,  Anya snarled at him to sit down.  “I meant the HOT doctor, dammit!”  (AGAIN!  Way to risk your friend’s life, so that you can pork the Stud with the Stethoscope, ANYA!)  Then this happens . . .

ANYA:  “Get your hands off my friend, Dr. McTooOld.  You are MY MAN!”

DR. MCTOOOLD:  “But Anya, she’s choking!”

ANYA:   “Oh . . . yeah . . . right.  I forgot.”

HOLLY J.:  “Umm . . . there’s something poking my ass.   Do you have a medical tool in your pants, or something?”

So, Holly J. was “saved” by Dr.  McTooOld, who wisely reminds her to be more careful about her olive chewing.  Then some chicky, who’s way more age-appropriate looking for Dr. Too Old than Anya, arrives on the scene.  Dr. McTooOld gives Random Chicky a big old hug, and the two sit down to dinner together.  Oh well!

But Anya is not giving up!  At school, the next day, she calls what I thought was Dr. McTooOld’s cell phone at school to ask him out on a date.  But then loses her nerve, and hangs up.  So, when she gets a call back from “THE HOSPITAL” I was a bit confused.   Since when do First Year Medical Residents have their own line extensions at MAJOR state facilities?

  Maybe, he saw Anya’s number on his cell phone, but called her back on the hospital phone.  Or, maybe, it was just a coincidence.  And he was planning to call her anyway.  Maybe I’m spending way too much time thinking about on a two-second clip for this show .  . .

Anywayyyyyy . . .

Dr.McTooOld wants Anya to go out on a date with him.  And she is THRILLED.  As the site for their first date, she chooses Little Miss Steaks, where Holly J. works.  (And because the name sounds like Little Mistakes .  . . and that’s what this date is . . . a mistake . . . for Dr. McTooOld at least . . . I let out a little giggle here.) 

Because Dr. McTooOld thinks Anya is in college, she tells him she will meet him after her “college seminar . . . at college.”  And it sounded so lame, and was such an obvious lie, that I don’t know how a “smart” doctor like Dr. McTooOld, didn’t put two and two together.  But he didn’t . . .

And so, Anya and Dr. McTooOld went on their little mistake date.  Anya arrives at the restaurant, dressed like a middle-aged woman attending her 40th high school reunion.  The up-do hairstyle, and over large FLOWER necklace, were a bit much for a date at a steak house, where the waitresses dress like cowgirls, don’t you think?  I suspect Anya dressed like this, so she would look older.  But it just sort of made her look like a high schooler attending a 50’s theme dance . . .

At dinner, Anya immediately spills the beans about her LARP-ing obsession.  (Note to the ladies:  This is NOT first date material.  Please save this type of Deep Dark Secret, until AFTER date 3.  K?)  But, guess what?  Dr. McTooOld LOVES that Anya LARPS.  As it turns out, he’s a BIG Dungeons and Dragons fan!  OMG!  It’s a Match Made in Dork-dom! 

(All kidding aside, these two are actually pretty cute together.  And I’m willing to bet, that in real life, their ages are not nearly as far apart, as they are on the show.)

After dinner, Anya wants dessert (Hint, Hint, Wink, Wink).  But Buzzkill Holly J. arrives to tell her she can’t have any.

“Oh . . . that’s right . . . I have CURFEW,” says Anya.  *facepalm*

Now, Anya COULD have said that her SORORITY institutes curfew.  THAT would been a decent excuse for her verbal flub.  But, instead, Holly J. insists that Anya’s curfew is self-imposed, because she is so “conscientious.”  It was a nice try, but it made Anya sound kind of lame.  Not that her LARPing confession didn’t.

So, the date ends early, but it ends well, with a sweet kiss shared by two very attractive, but very nerdy, people . . .

After talking with Holly J., Anya is convinced she should come clean with Dr. McTooOld about her age.  So, she calls him and makes an impromptu office lunch date.  But before she can confess to him, he springs THESE on her . . .

They are tickets to a Renaissance Fair!  *facepalm*  The invitation comes with a fun-filled romantic evening, spent at a bed-in-breakfast nearby.  “I booked two rooms.  So, there’s no pressure,” says Dr. McTooOld quickly.  (Riiight, and you just know that when they arrive at their destination, one of those two rooms will magically disappear . . .)

Anya’s over the moon about the concept of sharing her love for all things Medieval with Dr. McTooOld!  But then, just when she’s ready to leave for her extended date.  This happens . . .

BUSTED!

Anya’s mom is not pleased about the prospect of her daughter getting down, dirty and Medieval, on her overnight with Dr. McTooOld.  And so, she marches her daughter right to the hospital, so that Anya can make her age confession, while her mom watches . . .

AWKWARD!

But, just when all hope seems lost for a long lasting relationship between Anya and Dr. TooOld, she pulls a Hail Mary, by inviting him out to lunch . . .

On their not-so-date, Anya tells Dr. McTooOld that she will be 18 in two months.  And then, they can hook up, without him having to worry about those pesky Statutory Rape charges.  YIPPEE!  Dr. McTooOld agrees to the plan, after all, not many women his age (which is 25, since I realize I haven’t mentioned it before) are big fans of Dungeons and Dragons, and LARPing . . .

“I Wish I Was a Little Bit Taller . . .”

It’s your typical love story, really.  Boy meets Girl.  Boy likes Girl.   Boy asks Girl out on a date.  Boy finds out Girl is WAY taller than boy, which makes boy feel inadequate and effeminate.  Girl overhears Boy calling Girl a Giraffe to his friends.  Girl dumps Boy.  Boy gets Girl back, using his limited social skills and shoddy basketball-playing abilities.

Was it a cliched C-plotline?  TOTALLY.  And yet, here’s what I liked about it . . .

Dave’s been such an unlikeable tool of late, that it was nice to finally be able to root for him again.  The way he managed to segway from snarking with a girl about the pair’s shared supposed hate for Valentine’s Day Sweet Hearts week, to scoring a date, should be written up in some Girl-Macking Handbook, or something.  (By the way, what was with the couple making out in front of his locker?  Don’t they know PDA’s aren’t allowed at Degrassi?  What would SAV SAY if he found out? :))

Sadie.  I like her.   Usually, it takes me a while to warm up to new Degrassi characters, because they don’t always initially mesh well with the rest of the cast, and their acting inexperience shows.  But the actress who plays Sadie, actually seems pretty talented right off the bat.   And the character is cute, smart, and spunky.  Plus, her chemistry with Dave seemed natural, and not too forced.

Ahh, the Three Tenners.  Sometimes Connor and Wesley bug me a bit.   But they were ON FIRE this week with their Short Jokes!  And yet, even funnier for me, was how, after Dave and Sadie “broke up,” Wesley switched sides, and tried to list the many benefits of dating a tall girl.  “She looks older.  And can help you reach things in high places.” 

Oh, Wesley . . .

As for Dave’s and Sadie’s newfound relationship, methinks it’s about to verge into the Dreaded Love Triangle territory very soon because we haven’t seen THAT on Degrassi in about two episodes.  How about you?

And now . . . the moment you’ve all been waiting for . . .

They Tried to Make Me Go to Rehab, But I Said, NO, NO, NO (and then Yes)

Remember a few seasons back when Declan was the school’s resident Drama Maven / Play Producer?  Well, it seems as though Eli has taken the reigns from him.  When we first see Adam, he is talking to Eli, about the upcoming school play, which Eli is producing, and in which Adam is playing the romantic lead.  Apparently, at some point, the female lead “Marisol” (whoever THAT is) backed out of the play, because she didn’t want to make out with a transgender person like Adam.

Other girls have read for the role.  But none are as good as “Marisol,” at least in Adam’s estimation.  Adam offers to resign from the play, to make things easier on Eli.  But Eli refuses the offer, because he is AWESOME. 

Eli then suggests that Adam ask FIONA to take the role.  (By the way, am I wrong in thinking that it was established that Fiona was a CRAP actress, back when Declan was directing things a few seasons back?  In fact, didn’t someone FORCE him to fire her from the play, and relegate her to Costume Design instead?  Am I completely making this up?)

The problem, of course, is that Adam is still REALLY PISSED at Fiona for bailing on the party he MADE JUST FOR HER, during the mid-season finale.  So, when Fiona first tries to talk to him at school, he’s kind of cold to her . . .

Fiona apologizes to Adam for skipping the party, by making some lame excuse about her Great Aunt dying.  And Adam doesn’t believe a word of it.  But he loves Fiona so much and wants to get into her pants so baldy, that he lets it slide.  So, Adam asks Fiona if she’d be willing to star in a play where she has to kiss him.  And when she AGREES, he makes this face . . .

“Awwwwww yeahhh, I’m the Pimp Daddy!”

We are then treated to a little clip of Fiona “auditioning” (Casting Couch Much?), and I’m surprised by how NOT SUCKY she is, especially considering what she was like the last time we saw her audition for a play . . .

“Why is ‘She takes her top off’ added in pencil here?  I don’t remember that from the original script.”

I’ll admit, I was cracking up laughing, when Eli starting baiting Adam, as he drooled over Fiona’s audition.  “You liiiiiike her.  You luuuuuuuve her,” crooned Eli, adorably. 

(By the way, if anyone out there has ever seen the movie Miss Congeniality, I’m pretty sure that this scene is a sendup to the classic one from that movie, where Sandra Bullock’s character has just been made over, and she starts singing to her prospective love match, “You really liiiiiike me.  You think I’m sexxxxxy.  You want to daaaaate me.”  Just sayin’.)

Oh, and as for those Degrassi Drama shirts Eli and Clare are wearing in this scene:  I WANT ONE!

No one should be surprised to hear that Fiona got the part, or that Adam “generously” offered to come over to her condo that night to help her get naked “rehearse.”

When Adam arrives at Fiona’s house, she acting flighty, and (SURPRISE, SURPRISE!) drinking like a fish . . .

Adam, of course, wants to practice the kissing scene first.  However, before Adam can tongue Fiona, he has a confession to make (insert dramatic music here).  He’s transgender. 

“Well . . . duh!”

Fiona claims that she immediately knew Adam was transgender, because she grew up IN NEW YORK, where EVERYONE IS TRANSGENDER.  (Yes, I’m from around there . . . and yes, I’m being sarcastic here.  I just find it funny how the media likes to portray New York City, as way more exotic than it actually is.)  Adam is pleasantly surprised that Fiona STILL wants to kiss him, even though she knows his backstory.  “”I’d rather kiss you than any other guy at this school BECAUSE I AM CLEARLY A LESBIAN,” says Fiona.

And then she spills champagne all over Adam’s crotch . . .

“Awwww yeah!  She wants me to take off my pants.  I’m a TOTAL PIMP!”

Fiona then rushes to get Adam some of Declan’s clothes, which were conveniently lying around the apartment for this exact circumstance.

YAY!  A Declan reference!

Fiona and Adam then share a sweet moment, while Fiona is fixing Adam’s tie.  (Ummmm . . . if they are just hanging out around the house “rehearsing,” WHY is he wearing Declan’s TIE?)  Adam wants to play Truth or Dare with Fiona.  She choose “truth.”  He wants to know why she ditched his party.  “You look at me, like I’m this perfect princess,” she admits.  “I’m scared that once you realize that I am not, you will get sick of me.”

Now it’s Adam’s turn.  He chooses “dare.”  Then THIS happens . . .

So, Adam is understandably crushed, when, the next day, Fiona tells him that their hook-up was just a “One Time Thing.”  Needing some manly advice, Adam regales Eli with the gory details of his Hot Night with Fiona.  He wonders whether Fiona only made out with him, because she was drunk, as Clare had more or less suggested, when he told HER.

  Eli thinks the opposite is true, “In vino veritas,” Eli explains, looking Super Sexy and Not-at-all-Effeminate in his Man Scarf.

I used this picture before, but it bears repeating . . .

Adam doesn’t know what the heck his friend is talking about.  So, Eli elaborates.  “When people are wasted, they do things they REALLY want to do, but wouldn’t have the guts to do, if they were sober,” Eli explains, more or less.  (I ad-libbed a bit here.)

That night, Adam arrives at Fiona’s place to return Declan’s clothes . . .

Declan Reference #2

He also tells Fiona that he is going to resign from the play, because he can’t bear porking Fiona’s character on stage, if he can’t pork her in real life too.  But wonder of wonders!  Fiona DOES WANT TO PORK ADAM!  Yippee!

Fiona invites Adam for dinner, and proceeds to chug down a glass of champage, like it’s going out of style . . .

“Thirsty?” Adam asks, with a bit of concern.

Fiona carelessly explains that in France EVERYONE drinks before a meal.  Remembering Eli’s whole “in vino veritas” speech, Adam suggests that Fiona DRINK MORE!  And his evil plan works!  Because THIS happens . . .

WOWSA!

Things seem to be going great for Adam, until Cock Block Holly J. comes along, and messes everything up, by point out how TOTALLY WASTED Fiona is!  Fiona insists she’s not drunk, however, and blows Holly J. off.  So, Holly J. reluctantly leaves with some concerned advice to Adam on how to take care of Fiona if she “goes off the rails,” and her personal cell phone number, if he needs her.

Adam shows up late for rehearsal the next day, and again, “kisses and tells” Eli and Clare about his Hot Night with Fiona, The Sequel.  But Clare’s concerned that EVERY Hot Night with Fiona seems to involve LOTS OF ALCOHOL.  So, she invites Adam and Fiona to double date with her and Eli at the Romantic School Cafeteria . . .

But when lunch rolls around, Fiona arrives to the double date late, and (SURPRISE) wasted!  (How do none of Fiona’s teachers realize that she’s drunk all the time?)

I had to laugh, when a slurring Fiona plopped down at the table and proceeded to HIT ON CLARE. “You have really beautiful eyes.  That top you’re wearing just doesn’t do them justice . . . Call me!”

ELI:  “You will NOT call her!  I saw the promos for the upcoming episode, and know all about Fiona and her . . . preferences.  I’m the only one allowed to tell you that you have nice eyes.”

CLARE: “I saw the promos too.  And you’re lucky I’m even talking to you right now, considering what they say about YOU!”

Afraid that a teacher will catch on to how drunk Fiona is (like I said . . . how have they NOT yet?), Adam pulls Fiona outside.  “Drinking makes it easier . . . being with you,” Fiona drunkenly explains to Adam, while the two are huddled together on a bench in the school hallway

“You are drinking because of ME?”  Adam asks.

“See?  You DO understand,” Fiona coos.

“No, I don’t,” scowls Adam, as he storms off.

The next day at play rehearsal, Fiona is late AGAIN, and Adam is heartbroken.  “I want what YOU two have,” he whines to a PDA-ing Eli and Clare.  (DOES NO ONE LISTEN TO SAV?  NO PDA!)

Then Fiona comes and conveniently tells Adam that she’s in LOVE with him (Where the hell did that come from?)  So, he forgives her for the 80th time this hour. 

Later on in the day, Holly J. tells Adam that Fiona is an alcoholic, and her family wants to ship her off to rehab ASAP.  They will be holding an intervention for her after school, and think Adam should come.  But Adam doesn’t want to lose Fiona, so he tells her that they’ve got to GO AWAY together NOW.  (Way to be an ENABLER, Adam!)

Adam and Fiona rush home after school to pack their bags.  But Fiona doesn’t get very far with hers . . .

Did I mention that RALPHED all over herself and the carpet!  (Ewwww!)  Realizing that he can’t deny Fiona’s drinking problem any longer, Adam sneaks off to call Holly J.  He has agreed to take Fiona to the intervention.   (Hopefully, he cleans her up first!)

“Hi.  I was wondering if you could tell me how you get vomit stains out of cashmere?”

After telling Fiona that he is taking her on an Exotic Vacation Getaway, Adam blindfolds Fiona, and drives her to the Intervention.  He doesn’t even let her change out of her pukey clothes, first!  Now, that’s just rude!

FIONA:  “Something smells funny.  What is that?”

ADAM:  “It’s YOU!”

To be honest, I was kind of excited for the intervention.  Because I thought, for sure, that Declan would be there.

DECLAN!

After all, his MOM came in for New York for the event, so why the heck didn’t HE?  Actually, Fiona’s Intervention was the lamest one EVER.  In fact, the only people in attendance, aside from Fiona herself, and Adam, were Holly J., Fiona’s mom, and Fiona’s . . .  maid?

“Where is my brother?  And why don’t I have any friends at my intervention?  And why is there vomit in my hair?”

Fiona is understandably pissed at Adam for betraying her.  So, she kicks him out of the “party.”  He’s understandably crushed.  And my heart goes out to the guy . . . really.

The next day, Adam is back to third-wheeling it with Eli and Clare, when Holly J. stops by to assure Adam he did the right thing.

Check out how Clare is in the background, pretending not to be listening in on Holly J.’s and Adam’s conversation,  even though she TOTAL is!

Holly J. informs Adam that Fiona has been shipped off to rehab.  Adam worries that the love of his life will never forgive him.  But Holly J. doesn’t seem particularly concerned.  To prove it, Holly J. TOTALLY violates every friend code in the BOOK, by giving Adam a page from Fiona’s JOURNAL . . .

The “journal” entry is a love letter Fiona wrote to an unnamed person, who “just left [her house]” and who she “can’t stop thinking about.”  “There are a million reasons why we shouldn’t work.  But, despite all that, I really, really hope that we will,” the letter concludes.

Adam, of course, is thrilled, because he assumes that the letter is about him.  However, those of us who saw the promos for upcoming episodes, are hesitant to rejoice with him.  After all, isn’t it possible, given what we know, that the letter is about Holly J.?

Watch this promo, and you’ll see what I mean . . .

And that was “When Loves Takes Over (Parts 1 and 2)” in a nutshell.  Now, that I’ve said my part, what did YOU think of the episode?

[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

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All About Adam: Degrassi’s The Boiling Point Tackles Transgender Identity

A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog post about the popular Canadian teen show, Degrassi: The Next Generation.  Specifically, I previewed its Summer 2010 soap opera-styled block of episodes, collectively entitled Degrassi: The Boiling Point. 

In the post, I poked some fun at the show’s recent run of lackluster plotlines, and expressed concern over whether the series I had once loved had forever lost its Mojo . . .

Well, this is the blog post where I eat my words . . .

Why the change of heart, you ask?  Well, it has a lot to do with THIS GUY . . .

Meet Adam Torres, a sophomore, and recent transfer to Degrassi Community School.  As far as personalities go, Adam’s got a pretty good one.  He’s smart, funny, a little bit snarky, and a loyal friend.  He’s also biologically female.

Up until this year, Adam was known to the world as Gracie Torres.  And he looked like this . . .

By the way, special kudos to the Degrassi writers for not making the character’s birth name, Eve . . .

That would have been SO uncool!

From the time Adam was a little kid, he always knew he was different.  Adam never felt truly female, thus making the person who stared back at him in the mirror each day a complete and utter stranger.  In short, Adam felt as though he was trapped in a body that was not his own. 

After much discussion and hand-wringing, Adam’s parents reluctantly agreed to let him start over at a new school, as a male.  But in order to truly live the life he wanted, without judgment or prejudice, Adam had to keep his FTM (female-to-male) transgender identity a secret, while at Degrassi.  And, for a little while, he did.  But secrets have a way of coming out at the most inopportune moments.  And Adam’s secret was no exception . . .

This week, Degrassi aired an hour-long episode, over a span of two days, entitled “My Body is a Cage.” During this hour, we watch Adam cope with the realities of living life as a transgender.  In the first part of the episode, Adam’s secret is exposed to his classmates.  The first to find out about Adam’s “origins” are his two friends, Clare and Eli.

Clare becomes suspicious that Adam is hiding “something,” when she bumps into him near the lockers, causing an entire box of tampons to explode on the floor.  

(OK.   Now, don’t get me wrong, I LOVED this episode.  But come on!  What high schooler carries around an entire box of tampons?  Isn’t “discretion” one of the main benefits that tampons have over pads? Can’t you just stick one or two in the front pocket of your bookbag, and have them go virtually unnoticed?  Wouldn’t you think, of all people, that someone who was trying to HIDE their female parts would be sensitive to this?)

Beware of the Telltale Tampon!

Contrivance aside, Clare handles the situation with class.  When a group of guys pass by, and ogle the tampons on the floor, taking note of Adam’s proximity to them, Clare quickly improvises.  “Silly me, always dropping my feminine hygiene products!”  She sing-songs.  (I love that she calls them “feminine hygiene products” – good ole’ Nerdy Clare!)

Later, Adam sits Clare and Eli down at lunch and reveals his secret to them, permitting them to ask him any questions they might have.  “How do you know you aren’t just a tomboy or a lesbian?”  Clare inquires.  (A good question.)

“I just know,” replies Adam.  (A highly unsatisfactory answer.  But this is an hour-long teen show, where each story only gets 1/3 of the episode’s screentime.  So, I’m not sure what exactly I was expecting here. . . )

Things don’t go nearly as well, later on in the day, when Adam unwisely makes a play for the school’s “Bad Girl,” Bianca, during a Ballroom Dancing class.

Bianca shows interest initially, placing her hand flirtatiously on Adam’s chest, as the two banter back and forth.  But that’s when the problems arise.  “What’s going on there?”  Bianca inquires.  “You’re too skinny to have man boobs.” 

 (Sorry, I’m not buying this scene either.   The actress’ boobs weren’t all that big BEFORE they were taped to her body, and covered with three layers of clothing.  I sincerely doubt this chicky would be able to detect them that easily under these circumstances . . .)

In one swift move, Bianca dramatically rips open Adam’s shirt. (Clearly, she’s got . . .  um . . . experience taking off others’ clothes.)

This is what Adam SHOULD have been wearing under his flannel.

Upon doing this, Bianca spies the “hide the boobies” gauze wrap Adam’s got around his midsection.  (Here’s where the “old sports injury” argument, might have come in handy.  Just sayin . . .). 

Bianca flips out.  “I’ve seen freaks like you on Oprah!”  She yelps, before stomping off . . .

Oh no, you didn’t, Bianca!  You  did NOT just evoke the Wrath of Oprah.  Be afraid, be very afraid . . .

Bianca’s reaction to Adam, though definitely mean-spirited and b*tchy, was, to some extent, understandable.  Unlike Clare and Eli, who were let in on Adam’s secret gently, and heard it “straight from the horse’s mouth,” Bianca was completely blindsided.  She felt attraction for Adam, and then learned he wasn’t AT ALL who she thought he was.  

Bianca must have felt betrayed, tricked, and manipulated.  Her sexuality was challenged, and she felt threatened by it.  So, she lashed out.  And if things ended right there, I would actually have some sympathy for Bianca . . .

I know, crazy right?  But, it DIDN’T end there.  Instead, Bianca told the ENTIRE school, which led to THIS highly uncomfortable to watch scene . . .

Now, while I could slightly commiserate with Bianca’s initial reaction to Adam, the above-illustrated reaction by bullies, Owen and Fitz, absolutely floored me.  After all, however you slice it, these guys joyfully beat up someone they believed to be a GIRL!  (Isn’t that against Bro Code or something?)    And yet, as awful as it was, I can certainly see something like this happening at a real high school.

Fortunately, for Adam, he isn’t without support.  And I love how his relationship with his stepbrother, Drew, is portrayed in this episode. 

Drew is the quintessential school Golden Boy, a popular “dumb jock,” in every sense of the word.  He is even friends with the bullies who beat up Adam.  And yet, Drew stands by his brother, without question.  He is even willing to fight physically with his (former?) friends to defend Adam’s honor.  (He gets his ass kicked doing it, but STILL . . .)

The second part of the episode, deals with Adam grappling with his parents’ inability to come to terms with his decision to live life as a male.  They call him by female pronouns, and force him to dress up as “Gracie,” when Grandma comes to town.  But things really come to a head, when Adam tries to deny his identity, by coming to school dressed as Gracie.  Adam soon becomes so depressed and overwhelmed as a result,  that he turns to self-mutilation, as an outlet for his emotions. 

Despite the aforementioned doom and gloom, the episode actually ends on a relatively positive note, with Adam’s parents coming to terms with the “loss of their daughter.”   They even going as far as to hold a bonfire, where all the material things that represent “Gracie” are burned.

A few unbelievable scenes, and a smidge of cheese aside, I thought this episode was pretty brilliant.  It handled the issue of transgender identity believeably, without being heavy-handed or overly  maudlin.  The actress who plays Adam, was also relatable, and sufficiently understated.  Watching the episode, I could definitely see how a lesser actress could have really “butched it up,” just to prove a point.  Fortunately, that did not happen here.

You may recognize Jordan Todosey, the actress who plays Adam Torres, as little Lizzie, from Life with Derek, a Canadian sitcom about a Brady Bunch-esque blended family with a modern twist.  (It still airs on the Disney Channel, every once in a while, in case you’re curious . . .)

She’s obviously very talented.  I suspect this is not the last we will hear about her . . .

So, there, I’ve said it.  With nearly ten years of episodes behind its belt, Degrassi still manages to surprise me, every once in a while.  O’ Canada, I will never doubt you again.

That’s the crow I just had to eat . . .

Degrassi: The Boiling Point airs weeknights at 9 p.m. on Teen Nick.  Have you been watching? 

[www.juliekushner.com]

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