Sunday, September 13, 2009

S01 E09 – What a Night

Lucy is strolling oh-so-casually around the world's most depressing clothes shop. La la la, walk walk walk. She stops in front of a large, portentous sign reading "Shoplifters will be prosecuted", and peruses a pile of scarves. They're her trademark kind of sparkly scarves, the ones everyone apparently found so scandalous in '80s Canada. She takes a purple one off the top of the pile, casts an incredibly unsubtle look around to make sure nobody's watching her, and stuffs it in her bag. Issue of the Week firmly established, we go straight to the opening credits.

Next day, in school, Mr Raditch is announcing an upcoming spelling test. Among the words they have to learn are "dolt", "funeral", and "salad". How stupid are these kids? Also, the words "government", "neurosurgeon", "nocturnal", "balcony", and "quiche" all somehow appear in the kids' reading assignment for the week. That sounds like fascinating, confusing reading.

In the back of the class, Steph's reading a soap magazine. When the bell rings, she leaps up out of her chair, but Raditch points and her and snaps, "Wait!", like an infinitely less perky and benign version of the woman who sings the theme song. Anyway, he's just keeping them on after the bell to exposition about how utterly, life-changingly important this spelling test is. Close-up on Lucy, looking bored, and Voula, watching her with a strange yearning. Hey, I've never seen Voula with any men! Let's start a witch-hunt!

Once Raditch finally dismisses the class, Voula runs over to tell Lucy how fabulous her scarf is. It's the one she stole earlier. "What, this old thing?" asks Lucy, who's also wearing a gigantic shirt which has tails, like a man's shirt, only no man's shirt would have such a horrible floral pattern on it, so I have no idea who this monstrosity is actually intended for. Before they can leave, Raditch calls Lucy back. "He's such a faaascist," she whispers to Voula. Yeah, calling people back after class was one of Mussolini's lesser-known crimes, but it really irritated the Italian populace after a while.

Out in the corridor, Steph's excited about some plan or other, but Heather says they have study period, and should, uh, study. Steph says someone will be keeping watch in case "Baxter" turns up, and doesn't Heather want to see "Damon King"? The girls swoon over this Damon King guy, and go into the library.

Back in the classroom, Lucy is giving Mr. Raditch a run for his money in the stinkeye department. He cuts to the chase: her marks are crap lately, and what's going on? Are there problems at home? Wow, that's original. Lucy says everything's fine, and she's probably just going through a phase. Raditch says she'd better start a new phase, or "you're going to jeopardise your entire year", which seems to be Canadian for "you might fail and get kept back", rather than "everyone in your year will die horribly if you don't learn to spell". But I could be wrong – maybe Canadian schools are really hardcore, and use decimation as a punishment? Anyway, Lucy's not interested in having this conversation, so eventually Raditch reluctantly lets her go. Faaaascist.

In the library, everyone's watching TV, which is what Steph was so excited about before. Wow, TV! Specifically, they're watching a soap called "Days of Passion", Canada's answer to "Invitation to Love". We see a brief clip of the show, and it's fantastic, seeing as it has even lower production values than Degrassi itself. Some horribly ugly mulleted guy (the Damon King the girls were squeeing over earlier), and an emotionless woman with '80s Playboy Playmate hair, are discussing their forbidden love; there is much bandying about of lines like "If only we were free to follow our hearts!" and "We can't do this to Amanda and Harvey!" and even "Hush, my sweet." "Amanda", of course, is in a coma, because broadcasting laws state that all soaps must have at least one character in a coma at all times.

Nearly all the girls in the library are completely enthralled by this, especially Steph and the twins, who make loud fangirl noises every time the hideous mulletman is on screen. Joey and Wheels, at the back of the room, are mocking the whole thing, and being pretty entertaining. Voula, who presumably isn't allowed watch TV due to her parents being ethnic, is working quietly in the corner. Lucy comes in and sits beside her, and bitches about Raditch. "I don't have to worry. I don't need spelling. I'm gonna be a dancer," she announces. Solid strategy there; can't see how that could backfire. Voula, a little starstruck by Lucy's seditious Raditch-bashing, offers to coach her in spelling anyway, and Lucy looks kind of touched.

Over by the TV, Steph announces that she's going to meet Damon King, and pulls out her soap magazine, which has an ad for a book signing he's doing tomorrow. The twins agree to go along with her. Even Heather!

Just then, Alexa, who's keeping guard at the door, announces that "Baxter's coming!". Erika turns off the TV, and everyone hastily pretends to be studying. In comes the mysterious Ms Baxter, who I think we've briefly glimpsed before, but who will never actually be seen to teach a class or anything, because the show's budget won't cover it. She sits down to supervise the study class. Lucy whispers to Voula that she would like help with her spelling, after all. Because Lucy is just that lonely.

Later, at Lucy's, they're going over spellings, and Lucy is not that good. She whinges that it's boring, and Voula says she just has to keep practicing. "No I don't," says Lucy. "It's my right to flunk if I want to." I like Lucy, but her whiny sense of entitlement is really irritating sometimes.

Just then, the phone rings, and Lucy goes to answer it. It's her mother, to say she'll be working late. Oh, and Dad's working late too, but that whole side of things is downplayed, because careers are normal for men. Lucy sounds suicidally depressed at this news, but I'm sure she doesn't really mind, since she previously swore to Mr. Raditch that everything was fine at home. Right? Right?

Once she hangs up, she decides that she's sick of studying, and that there's no problem in life that can't be solved with a healthy dose of denial and… a makeover! She drags Voula off to her room, and starts throwing her clothes to try on. Voula protests geekily, but is powerless in the face of Lucy's slightly manic enthusiasm, and eventually breaks into a nervous, nasal giggle.

Meanwhile, the Advanced Unwise Behaviour group are on the way home, wildly excited about tomorrow's book signing. Erika is pretending to be Damon King, telling a faux-swooning Steph that "the moment I saw you, I knew we were meant for each other. Now, I know you're only fourteen, but what does age matter?" It actually matters quite a lot, as we are soon to find out. Anyway, the point of this scene is: Steph is fourteen, and fourteen-year-old girls think relationships with men in their late thirties are totally romaaaantic.

Back at Lucy's, the makeover is in full swing. Voula's now wearing too-large leopard-print leggings, a black tank top, and a little tiger-print scarf. "It's not the usual me, that's for sure," she understates. Lucy drags her to the mirror and ties the scarf around her neck so it looks a bit like a man's tie. "That's nice!" says Voula in the high-pitched voice of a bad, bad liar. She then adds, "I wish I had more interest in clothes," which (since it implies that this whole makeover is a waste of time) seems weirdly passive-aggressive; but hey, it's Voula. Lucy offers to lend her some stuff, but Voula says that her parents won't let her be sophisticated. I really don't think parental disapproval is the only thing preventing her from being sophisticated.

"My parents are perfect," says Lucy offhandedly. "They buy me everything I want. And they're always working, so they're never around here to bug me." "Don't you get lonely?" asks Voula. Lucy looks enormously uncomfortable, then claims that she's "self-sufficient". The phrase "not just a river in Egypt" springs to mind. The girls smile awkwardly, and then Lucy tries to make Voula try on another outfit. Voula says she has to go home, and Lucy practically begs her to stay for dinner. Very self-sufficient of her. Voula just shakes her head sadly, and Lucy advances on her, frantically insisting that her mother is a gourmet cook and "takes classes and stuff", but Voula backs away and says that Papa Stalin is expecting her home. That bread won't slice itself! "Boooring," snarks Lucy, who is not at all jealous of Voula's smothering home life. Not even a little bit. Tra la la.

Of course, a good mother wouldn't need to take cookery classes, because she would actually be home to cook every night, instead of gallivanting off to meetings and mergers and whatnot! Fancy-schmancy gourmet cookery is no substitute for proper dutiful housewifery.

A little later, Voula's leaving, dressed in her peasant outfit. Lucy thanks her for the help with her spelling, then gives her the stolen scarf from earlier. Voula is utterly overjoyed to wear something that wasn't previously owned by her grandmother back in the old country. "Keep it for as long as you like," says Lucy, "I've got lots." Or at least she knows where to steal more. Voula heads off into the night, and Lucy stares after her with inexpressible longing. Because she is lonely.

Just then the phone rings. Lucy goes back in to answer it, looking ridiculously excited. But she just gets her heart broken, and not for the first time, as her mother is still tied up at work – "You know what these deals are like!" she declares chirpily, because she is a callous businesswoman. She then tells Lucy that there's some sushi in the fridge, which sounds pretty good, but it's the last straw for Lucy. She shuffles sadly over to the fridge and takes out the sushi, bravely wiping away a single tear. Because she is lonely. Because her mother has a career.

Next day, Mr Raditch is giving the spelling test. Lucy and Voula exchange a smile, because Lucy is totally kicking the ass of this test, even though she quit halfway through their only study session to tart Voula up. Whatever.

When the bell goes, Raditch announces that he'll have their tests marked after lunch, and everyone gets up to leave. Lucy enthuses some more about how studying totally, like, made her know stuff, and Voula is anaemically supportive as ever.

Cut to Steph and the twins. Steph is skanked up to the max, wearing a geometric-patterned boob tube and a miniskirt that's on back to front. Heather, in accordance with her contractual obligations, is insisting that going to the book signing is a bad idea for some reason, but this is pretty much just filler dialogue while Steph gets her stuff out of her locker. Then they head out the door for an exciting afternoon in a bookshop.

The bookshop… oh dear lord. There's the most amateurish poster EVER outside; it proclaims that "TV's hottest soap star", "King of Hearts Damon King", is signing his new book, "Confessions of a Soap Star!!". Yes, the exclamation marks are part of the title. The poster's in black-and-white, including a really bad photocopy of Damon King's face, but has been lazily coloured in here and there with a marker that was running low on ink. Better yet, when the girls arrive and go into the shop, we see some copies of the book in the front window, and the cover is just a smaller version of the poster. Crappy colouring-in and everything. Best of all: the books are clearly stacked in a Random House branded display case. I feel terribly sorry for Random House, who probably never knew why their share prices tumbled so dramatically all of a sudden.

Inside, the shop is piled high with copies of Damon King's book. The man himself is at a table, being charming with a middle-aged woman who's telling him what a big fan she is. He sleazily kisses her on the hand as she tells him, "You look so adorable." Adorable is not quite the word. He is wearing a blazer made out of that heavy white material with Regency-style pastoral scenes which is usually used to make couch-covers.

The girls come in, and stop to ogle him. "He looks just like on TV!" sighs Erika. That's not really a good thing, considering what he looks like on TV. Steph goes over to the table and hits Damon King with the full power of her Flirting Grin. Apparently the man is majorly into uneven teeth, because he wiggles his eyebrows and growls, "Hi there," in what is presumably supposed to be a languid, sexy voice, but actually sounds more like he's had a few Valiums (Valia?).

Steph explains that she can't afford to buy a copy of his book, but will he sign her TV Guide? Damon looks her up and down, then up and down again, then once more just to be sure, lingering around the boob tube area, then signs the magazine. In the background, Erika eagerly wonders if he'll kiss Steph. From the way he's mentally undressing her, I'd say we can be fairly sure of the answer. Behind Erika, we can see a woman with an eye patch who I'm sure appears later (minus eye patch) as Kathleen's mother. Low-budget TV, how I love thee.

"How old are you, Stephanie?" asks Damon. She hesitates a second, then says she's sixteen. "Sweet sixteen," he muses in a "nice and legal, eh?" voice, looking her up and down a few more times. He then adds something to the autograph, and hands back the magazine. "You know, Stephanie," he breathes, "one autograph, one kiss. That's my policy." A policy that must prove awkward during things like contract signings. He leans over and kisses her on the cheek, displaying the full mightiness of his hideous mullet in the process.

Steph looks briefly shocked, but runs over to the twins and squees that she'll "never wash this cheek again", which, ew. Heather, always on the lookout for something to disapprove of, looks at the autograph and realises that Damon King has written down his phone number. Steph looks back at him, and he nods and winks at her, and I did not know a nod and wink could be so very, very disgusting. AAAAAURGH. As the girls leave, the camera zooms in on one of the Damon King posters, and he totally has the face of a killer.

After the break, everyone's back in class, and somehow the girls made it to the book signing and back in time to get their spelling test results. Thrilling. Heather did well, but Erika did badly, and gives Raditch a look of utter loathing. Because she's the mildly cool twin. Raditch tells Joey that "I didn't realise you knew Swahili." Joey looks like he completely doesn't get the joke, but everyone laughs at him, so he gets the general idea. Seemingly, Raditch didn't really learn his lesson about publicly mocking students. And Lucy, of course, wins at literacy.

Raditch then gives some closing remarks about spelling, but while he talks, he's gathering up his stuff, looking at his watch, and pacing nearer and nearer to the door. The instant the bell rings, he yanks open the door and makes a run for it, actually doing a little air-punch on the way out. Cute.

Steph and the twins are first out the door, and Heather's already in mid-lecture about how calling Damon King would be really, really stupid. "He gave me his number, why shouldn't I call him?" says Steph, displaying the impeccable reasoning skills we've come to love her for.

Meanwhile, Lucy's totally psyched about her newfound spelling skills. "I passed and it's all thanks to you!" she tells Voula. "You helped me, now I'm going to help you. Let's go get you some new clothes!" Voula, who's still wearing Lucy's scarf, says she doesn't have any money. "Don't worry about it!" says Lucy. "You want new clothes, don't you?" Note: a line like that is never, ever a good sign. Voula protests, but Lucy's not taking no for an answer.

As ominous bass music thrums in the background, Steph and the twins walk towards a phone box. "I don't think you should do this," grumps Heather, who is no less annoying just because she's the only one with any common sense. Steph and Erika squee over the dubious hotness of Damon King; when Heather points out that he only wants Steph's body, Steph views that as a major plus.

As Steph goes into the phone box and dials (dials! on a dial!), the twins stand outside and make various in-character comments on the situation, e.g. "I don't believe this." "Neither do I." "This is so romantic." "This is so dumb." "Don't be such a prude." "I am not a prude!" Steph, meanwhile, gets through to Damon King, who clearly has nothing to do but sit by the phone waiting for bouffant-haired schoolgirls to call. When she gets out of the phone box, she announces, "A date! Tonight! He's gonna show me how a TV studio works!" Is that what they're calling it these days?

"Isn't it kind of dumb going out with some strange man?" asks Heather, the annoying voice of reason. Erika insists, "This is not a strange man – this is a TV star!" Heather points out that they don't know anything about him (should have shelled out for a copy of his autobiography!). "Sure we do!" chirps Steph. "We watch him on TV all the time! I read about him! I feel like I practically know him!" Heather continues to list very reasonable objections to this whole thing (he's too old; "showing you how a TV studio works" is the most made-up excuse for a date ever), but Erika insists she's just jealous, and Steph says she can take care of herself. I'm not sure what she's basing this on.

And from the amount of time this show just devoted to debating the pros and cons of dating a random celebrity, I have to assume the writers actually thought this was a genuine hazard that the youth of today (well, yesterday) needed to be warned about at length. What the hell? Was this a particular thing back in 1987?

Meanwhile, Lucy and Voula are in the clothes shop where Lucy stole the scarf. Voula's blown away by the stuff on offer, being still new to the wonders of capitalist free markets. Lucy says that she shops there a lot, but I'm not sure it counts as shopping if you actually just steal things. As Voula peruses something which she calls a tape, but comes in a box that's nearly a foot long (anyone know what this is? because I'm genuinely stumped) Lucy ostentatiously looks around and steals a necklace, then drags Voula off to look at sweaters.

They start going through the fugly sweatshirts on the sale rack. Voula says that the first one looks like something her mother would buy, and granted it's ugly, but it still looks ten times better than Voula's peasant dresses. People in glass houses and all that. She then likes the look of another sweatshirt, but Lucy witheringly tells her that these are "clone clothes". Ouch.

Voula goes over to look at another rack, then picks out a cardigan. It's just… just awful. It's a huge lumpy-looking V-neck, with a geometric pattern in navy and suicide green, with a big black collar and button band, and randomly strewn glitter. But, because the '80s make no sense, Lucy, the "stylish" one, declares that it's nice. Voula can't afford it, so Lucy promptly takes the cardigan off the hanger and shoves it in her bag. "What are you doing?" squeaks Voula. "Sssh! Be casual," orders Lucy. Behind her, a middle-aged woman in a purple sweatshirt gives her a stinkeye worthy of Raditch.

"Put it back!" hisses Voula, but Lucy insists that no-one saw them, in which case why is the middle-aged woman looking at them like they're the spawn of Satan? As Lucy drags Voula towards the escalator, the woman pulls out a walkie-talkie, and then extends its aerial, which is nearly a metre long. It is not what you'd call subtle.

Lucy and Voula march through the shop, Voula whispering that it's wrong, wrong, wrong! I don't know why she cares so much; as her father would tell her, all property is theft anyway. Lucy insists that it doesn't matter, and shops expect to lose stuff, and she doesn't quite say that she's sticking it to the man, but it's heavily implied. As they get on the escalator, she tells Voula not to be such a wimp, and Voula snaps, "I'm not a wimp, you're a thief!" The two facts are really not mutually exclusive.

Lucy gives her the bag, and huffily tells her to take the cardigan back, since she's so big on law and order, but Voula's scared someone will see. "Come on, Voula, no-one cares!" says Lucy, just as a security guard appears at the top of the escalator, and by the look of him, I'd say he cares. The girls try to run back down the escalator, but there's a shop assistant at the bottom, glaring at them with a Face Of Doom. The girls stop running, and are promptly escalated back up to the security guard. He smarmily takes the bag, and escorts them off to wherever security guards escort shoplifters to.

Meanwhile, Steph's standing outside a record shop, dressed for her date. You can tell she's in a bad neighbourhood because there's a siren wailing in the background.Her hair is frizzed and sprayed to within an inch of its life. She's wearing the pink leggings from her ill-fated date with Wheels, some random see-through glittery piece of fabric hanging over her ass, and a bomber jacket, because otherwise this outfit would just be slutty. Some middle-aged guy comes out of the shop and stares at her lasciviously as he walks away, but she doesn't notice.

Just then, Damon King pulls up in a white two-seater, and tells her to "hop aboard". Never trust a man who uses expressions like "hop aboard". She briefly looks nervous, but gets in, first casting a shifty look around in exactly the style of a hooker ineptly trying to be discreet. He looks her up and down in an even sleazier manner than before, and pervs, "Let's you and me go have some fun." Off they go, nearly colliding with a tram that looms out of the darkness at the last minute.

Lucy and Voula are in an office, sitting in front of a security guard who looks even more depressed than they do. She pulls the ugly jumper out of Lucy's bag, and dronily moralises, "What's the matter with you kids? Don't you think shoplifting matters? The store has to pay for the things you steal, which means they have to raise their prices and people have to pay more." At the start of this speech, she sounds soulless and apathetic, but then suddenly switches moods, sounding incredibly angry and embittered by the end. It's sort of impressive to screw up a short line so comprehensively, in two completely different ways.

Lucy rolls her eyes, and Voula looks like she might vomit. The security guard, back to a soulless monotone, speculates that they'll "be singing a different tune when the police arrive". Ooh, badass. Voula freaks out even more at the mention of the police, but Lucy tells her that if they pretend to be sorry, they won't get charged and won't have to go down to the station. Voula realises that Lucy's suspiciously familiar with police procedure, and asks if she's been caught before, at which Lucy gets pretty offended. She's not usually nearly this bad at stealing!

Just then, a policeman (who looks about 17; bad casting, or am I just getting old?) comes in. "Well well," he says to Lucy, "you again! And I see you've brought a friend with you this time." Voula realises she's been hanging with a hardened, hamfisted criminal, and gives Lucy her best guilt-trip stare, last seen during the school's presidential election.

Stephanie and Damon are driving past a bunch of motels. Not the family-friendly, 1950s kind of motels; the kind with hookers outside. There are, in fact, some hookers standing on the footpath. This show is aimed at what age group again?

Damon pulls in outside one of the motels. Steph looks around blankly. Her expression might be supposed to show slowly dawning horror, or complete incomprehension. It's Stephanie; it's hard to tell. Anyway, she eventually realises that this probably isn't a TV studio. Damon's non-explanation: "Why don't we stop for a bit? And talk?" Steph looks appropriately horrified, but insists she's not afraid, she just isn't that fond of Toronto's grimy motel disrict. Damon tries to persuade her that "this is a nice place"; I think he just underestimated Stephanie Kaye's intelligence and good taste. That takes some doing. And just in case you thought his "moves" couldn't get any more dodgy, he actually sprays his mouth with mouth spray – the international symbol for creepiness.

Leaning vampirically towards her, he repeats an earlier line from his TV show: "I think you and I have a lot in common… I really do." His sincerity is somewhat undermined by the fact that he's just put one hand around her, and the other on her thigh. Steph decides that enough is enough, and demands to be taken home NOW, but he just growls, "Come on, Stephanie. You know what this is all about." EW.

Steph leaps out of the car and starts to run, with impressive agility for someone in three-inch heels. Damon tries to follow, but she yells at him to stay away. He literally tries to shush her, but when he gets closer and puts his hands on her shoulders, she tells him the truth: "I'm not really sixteen. I'm fourteen years old." Hilariously, he literally backs away, looking around to make sure there are no paparazzi lurking, then turns and runs, dives into his car and drives off, tyres screeching. "You'd better not touch me!" Steph yells redundantly at his departing form.

Um… something tells me that real-world perverts are not quite so easily deterred.

At the shop, Lucy's explaining to the policeman that it was all her fault. Neither Voula nor the policeman really give a crap, though. And off they all go to the police station.

Steph's in the motel lobby, calling her mother. "I've done something really stupid," she says. To which the natural response is: what's new? "Can you come and pick me up?" she asks. "I'm at a motel." She's been crying, and her mascara is all Gothy and smudged. So you know this is a serious, gritty scene.

Voula and Lucy are on a bench at the police station. Some guy goes by in handcuffs, and they both look at him nervously. I believe we're getting some kind of message about how crime is a generally bad idea.

Voula snaps, and rants about how it's all Lucy's fault, but when Lucy tries to apologise, Voula tells her, "Don't talk to me," in a magnificently pissy tone. Just then, Papa Stalin arrives at the front desk, with some plump woman who is presumably Mama Stalin. Papa Stalin tells the teenage cop that he's here for Voula, and both Stalins give the girls filthy glares while they wait.

Voula's oblivious to this, being in full-on rant mode: "I'm sorry I ever helped you! I used to think you were sophisticated, but you're just dumb!" There's a long, awkward pause while both girls realise Voula's run out of dialogue, then try to look like their silence is intentional and hastily put on sulky faces. FINALLY the teenage cop turns up, and tells Voula that her glowering parents are here. Lucy wishes her luck, but just gets glared at in response. As the family is reunited, we can just hear the Stalins laying a standard-issue ethnic guilt-trip on Voula: "You see what we have here? What have you done to us? Why you do this? Is it my fault? No more Lucy! No more Lucy for you! I told you Lucy is no good!" Ah, immigants.

Meanwhile, the teenage cop returns to Lucy and tells her he's having some trouble contacting her parents. "They're very busy," she says, full of poorly concealed bitterness. The policeman says he's going to have to charge her this time, and they go off to wherever policemen take you to be charged. As she leaves, Lucy casts a wistful look at the epic scolding Voula's getting. I bet Mama Stalin doesn't have a career! On the plus side, at least Lucy's high-powered parents should at least have ample money for bail, if and when they actually turn up.

Oh hey, happy music! We're back at school the next morning. That was… abrupt. Steph's telling the twins about her date, and just in case we hadn't got the message already, she informs them that "what looks good on TV can be pretty gross in real life". Okay, I GET it. Jeez. I won't go on any dates with minor TV stars. Are you satisfied now, Degrassi writers?

No, they're not satisfied, apparently: we're subjected to some rambling about "not getting into risky situations" and how Steph was "reeeeally lucky" that Damon King was an unusually law-abiding pervert. Her mother, by the way, was not all that angry after all, only backing up my theory that her alleged strictness is just invented by Steph so she can feel put-upon.

Voula is bustling resentfully down the corridor when Lucy calls out to her. Lucy is wearing a man's blue shirt, a denim sleeveless shirt over that, and a waistcoat made out of carpet. Which is reason enough to avoid her, as Voula promptly does; also, she's not allowed talk to Lucy any more (or, as it's said in ethnic-speak, "No more Lucy for you!"). Lucy just follows her and waffles at the back of her head about how it really was all her own fault, and she was dumb, and she has to go to court: "I guess I'm in a lot of trouble." This finally gets Voula's attention, and she asks how Lucy's oh-so-loose parents felt about the whole clusterfuck. I'm paraphrasing slightly.

"They said I was a spoiled brat after all they'd done for me. Maybe they're right," Lucy admits. Ok, Lucy's shoplifting is stupid and unnecessary and admittedly illegal, but seriously: why are all the parents on this show so unsympathetic? Their reactions to standard teenage mischief range from accusations of brattism, unpatriotic Westernisation, unpardonable tomboyism and/or skankitude to administering savage beatings (or, best-case scenario, admitting to social workers that they wished they could administer savage beatings). Lucy shrugs and walks morosely into Mr. Raditch's class, and when Voula follows her, she continues, "They said we have to take family counselling. My parents probably won't be able to find the time." Yeah, that's fair.

Her anger rapidly dissipating, Voula is looking at Lucy with the same look of yearning as before, and finally blurts out: "Listen, do you want any more help? Like in spelling or math or anything?" Not so much in shoplifting. "But I thought your parents said," begins Lucy in befuddlement. "I'll talk to them," says Voula brightly. "They'll understand when they stop being so mad." On past form, this is wildly unlikely, but clearly the writers needed some way to wrap up this episode.

"So… do you want any help?" asks Voula again. Lucy pauses, then breaks into a broad, ill-judged grin. In true Degrassi style, as the closing music starts, we freeze on a very unflattering shot of her braces.

Dubious lessons of the week: Children of high-powered parents will inevitably become illiterate, erratically-dressed delinquents. Tutoring a new friend in spelling is a sure-fire way to end up in trouble with the law. Celebrities are perverts.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I checked it is a cassette tape. They put them in long boxes as an anti-theft device, as it'd be too easy to pocket the tape.

Ms Avery said...

Makes sense. Especially with Lucy around.