Degrassi Offers a Rare and Unflinching Look at the Drama of Being a Teenager

WGBH Boston Video announces the release of the popular television series

DEGRASSI JUNIOR HIGH and DEGRASSI HIGH, by offering two 3-video boxed sets

for the home video market. Each set is available for $39.95 SRP and features

six DEGRASSI episodes. DEGRASSI has broad appeal for pre-teens looking

forward to their teenage years, to teeneagers living through them, and for

adults nostalgically looking back at their youth. The DEGRASSI series was

co-produced by executive producers Kate Taylor of WGBH (producer of such hit

children’s programs as Arthur, ZOOM, and Where In the World Is Carmen San

Diego?) and Linda Schuyler and Kit Hood of Playing With Time Inc.

The DEGRASSI series took the television industry by storm using real teens

and a dramatic format to portray, for the first time, what it’s really like

to be a teenager today, from the teen perspective. DEGRASSI offers a rare

opportunity to see kids grow up on screen as they experience universal

teenage milestones like buying a first bra, attending a first dance, making

new friends, facing down bullies, dealing with parents and teachers, managing

your own money, falling in–and out of–love for the first time, discovering

sexuality, and facing such crises as divorce, drug abuse, violence, and teen

pregnancy. This series paved the way for other teen programs such as the hit

show Beverly Hills 90210.

The first episode in the DEGRASSI JUNIOR HIGH boxed set is Kiss Me, Steph.

In this episode, Stephanie decides to run for class president, trading kisses

for votes, and Arthur must deal with a school bully. Also included in the

set are The Big Dance, where a group of eighth-grade friends get drunk before

the school dance and Voula sneaks out to attend the dance against her

father’s wish; The Experiment, in which Yick tries to pass off a friends’

term paper as his own in order to test his teacher, and the kids begin to

experiment with drugs; Joey discovers that his friend Rick is being beaten by

his father in The Cover-Up; Melanie buys her first bra and the girls

challenge the boys to a swimming contest in The Great Race; and in Rumor Has

It, Caitlin confronts rumors that her favorite teacher may be gay.

The first episode of the DEGRASSI HIGH boxed set is A New Start. While most

of the kids are adjusting to high school, Erica finds herself pregnant after

a summer romance and decides to have an abortion. In Breaking Up Is Hard to

Do, Michele struggles to cope with the pain of her parents’ divorce; Dream On

finds Arthur developing a crush on Caitlin, while Caitlin juggles dates with

Joey and Claude; the school band, The Zits, make a non-sexist rock video and

malicious gossip about Erica begins to circulate among the students in

Everybody Wants Something; and in Nobody’s Perfect, a new boyfriend becomes

abusive toward Kathleen.

DEGRASSI has aired on both national television and on the cable network

Showtime, creating a large fan base for this series, which has never before

been available on home video. There are numerous fan clubs and Web sites

dedicated to DEGRASSI and the cast members. And in the February 1999 issue

of Spin Magazine, the DEGRASSI series was written up as one of the best teen

programs brought to market, rated a “10” out of “10,” and called “A


Four DEGRASSI videos–Kiss Me, Steph/The Big Dance, The Great Race/Rumor Has

It, Breaking Up Is Hard to Do/Dream On, and Everybody Wants

Something/Nobody’s Perfect, will be released as individual videos for $19.95

SRP. The remaining two videos will only be available in the boxed sets.

Since it’s launch, WGBH Boston Video has released such acclaimed titles as

Africans In America, Escape! Because Accidents Happen, Riding the Rails, and

Terror In Space. Recent new releases include two videos for kids called The

Making Of ZOOM and Party with ZOOM, special DVD editions of Everest: The

Death Zone and Miracle of Life, the travel and nature series Wild Europe, and

Space Explorers and To The Moon from the award-winning producers of NOVA.

WGBH Boston Video has the distribution rights for a number of video

collections including NOVA, This Old House, ZOOM, Antiques Roadshow, People’s

Century, and WGBH Specials. WGBH BOSTON VIDEO also has the rights to the

public television and educational markets of Mobil Masterpiece Theatre.

To order videos, please contact WGBH BOSTON VIDEO:

Call: 1-800-949-8670

Or write:


PO Box 2284

South Burlington, VT 05407-2284


End of Degrassi News—May 4th,1999




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