‘Degrassi: The Next Generation’ 20th Anniversary Reunion at ATX Fest

It has been 20 years since Degrassi: the next generation premiered, reviving the beloved ’80s teen drama for a new audience.

In honor of the milestone anniversary, the cast and crew gathered on Friday for the opening night of this year’s ATX TV Festival to reflect on the groundbreaking show that gave us so much memorable moments – Emma’s encounter with an internet predator, display of Manny’s defiant thong, and Craig’s bipolar diagnosis, to name a few.

The hour-long panel included series co-creator and executive producer Linda Schuyler, executive producer Aaron Martin, executive producer Stephen Stohn, actor / producer / director Stefan Brogren (Snake) and actors including Jake Epstein (Craig), Aislinn Paul (Claire), Shane Kippel (Spinner), Luke Bilyk (Drew), Lauren Collins (Paige), Munro Chambers (Eli), Daniel Clark (Sean), Andrea Lewis (Hazel) and Christina Schmidt (Terri ).

See below for highlights from their conversation.

* Stohn is hoping there will be another Degrassi reboot to address Emma marrying Spinner in Degrassi takes Manhattan. “It was a storyline that I never quite understood,” he said, adding that he wanted to bring Emma, ​​Sean and Spinner back to revisit this story.

* Clark hoped his character hadn’t died while serving in the military. As you will recall, Sean last appeared in Season 7 when he left to serve in the military in Afghanistan. He was never seen or heard from afterwards, leaving many fans wondering if he was killed in action while abroad: “I doubt it. I don’t think he did. [I’m sure] he’s safe at home, ”Clark said.

* If you’re still wondering what happened to Spinner’s sister Kendra, who mysteriously disappeared after Season 3, you’re not the only one. “I don’t know,” Kippel joked. “We’re more like pen pals now. My mother never told me. She never came home from school one day, but she is safe.

* Aaron Martin weighed in on the possibility of Craig being bisexual after Marco kissed him. “Craig was just such a good friend of Marco, he didn’t care what Marco did,” he explained. “He wasn’t attracted to Marco, he was just there to support him.”

* Epstein doesn’t think Craig’s relationship on the show has aged well. “Thinking back to some episodes, part of the reason I have trouble watching sometimes is that there’s a lot of toxicity, you know, the way Craig treats women,” he said. -he declares. He also wondered if Craig would face more serious consequences if they had to remake this story these days.

* Brogren weighed on Degradedability to adapt with the times, such as Next course revisit a The next generation story in which Manny was ashamed to show his body. “If you look at Manny showing her breasts and Peter [posting it on the] The internet and how she was reprimanded for it, she faced the shame of bitches, ”he said.

“Ten years later we’re talking about how a high school kid deals with selfies, nudity and dk photos and how we had to look at how a generation growing up with social media has it now. We had to treat him with a sensitivity that wasn’t there when Manny got into trouble. We are dealing with a whole generation that has probably done this. I think this shows how Degraded changes over time while remaining true to its center.

* Paul said she was proud of the way the show handled sensitive stories for its young audience: “It’s a huge responsibility on our shoulders to make the show and make it honest but not dangerous either. I was very vocal when 13 reasons why came out because I felt like they didn’t bear this responsibility in the way Degraded did, and it’s something I’ve always been very proud of, the way the show took its time and was very thoughtful with our stories.

* Collins wants to see the show restarted for his son to enjoy. “Hopefully the series has another reboot to watch,” she shared. “So many shows for teenagers feel so aggressive and Degraded doesn’t feel like that.

You want to see Degraded restarted? Which storylines would you like to revisit? (And yes, there’s a correct answer here: Paige and Marco never solve their big fight.) Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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