The cast of Degrassi: Next Class. Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

We all have that one TV show that means the world to us. Whether you’re a diehard Sherlock fan or a nihilistic BoJack Horseman hipster, it seems like everyone nowadays has that one show that’s been there for them time after time. It’s the kind of show that you watch when you need to decompress after a long day or if you need something to distract yourself from the gigantic pile of work you’ve been putting off. It’s the go-to source of entertainment that if you didn’t have in your life, you’d have a lot more free time on your hands and no idea what to do with it. For me, that show was Degrassi.

At some point in everyone’s life, they’ve heard about Degrassi from a friend or have even seen an episode or two just out of curiosity. For me, I was bit by the Degrassi bug in my senior year of high school and my obsession has only grown larger and larger since then. Instead of actively applying to colleges and getting my life together when I was 17, I spent every free moment I had consistently worrying over the fictional lives of teenagers in Toronto. While friends around me were dealing with relationships, drug use, and generally where they stood in the world, I decided to ignore all of that and live vicariously through the best that Canadian YA melodrama had to offer. I have been with Degrassi for approximately 18 seasons worth of programming. I was there for the death of JT Yorke, Riley Stavros coming out of the closet, and the wedding between Spinner Mason and Emma Nelson. When I say that I’m a “fan” of Degrassi, it’s an understatement unlike any other. With that being said, what do I do now that the show has been cancelled?

I was bit by the Degrassi bug in my senior year of high school and my obsession has only grown larger and larger since then.

On Mar. 7 of this year, longtime cast member and producer Stefan Brogren confirmed that the latest incarnation of the Degrassi franchise, Next Class, had been cancelled after four seasons on Netflix and the Family Channel in Canada. This decision came as a huge shock to Degrassi fans all over, but what’s even more nerve-racking are the possible outcomes of this upsetting cancellation. The first possibility is one that a super fan like me is hoping for: a reboot of the series, which isn’t really out-of-the-ordinary for a show like this. After Degrassi High left the air back in 1991, and the 1992 made-for-TV movie School’s Out , it took over nine years for the franchise to come back as Degrassi: The Next Generation. With this move, the franchise captured the hearts of a new audience of young viewers like myself who were growing up in the early days of the Internet and witnessing firsthand the rise of smartphone technology in everyday life. Suddenly, the kids that were beloved back in the glory days of the 80s were now parents and teachers whose own kids were taking the lead and teaching us to fall in love with the complicated nature of adolescence all over again. The possibility of a reboot is exciting and brings fans the hope of a bigger and better series on the horizon. However, that is only one possible road that the Degrassi makers can go down.

On the grimmer side of the cancellation, the end to Next Class might be the ultimate end to Degrassi as we know it. This incarnation of the franchise was only on for four seasons and most of the main characters that we grew to love were not only introduced in the later days of Next Gen, but had also “graduated” in the season four finale of Next Class. This meant that the writers either had to immediately develop new characters to keep the show running or hold onto the graduates’ popularity until they could come up with worthy successors. Choosing to end the series is a scary proposition because it suggests that the Degrassi showrunners are tapped out when it comes to ideas. If that’s the case and the chances of seeing a Degrassi reboot are non-existent, what will the Degrassi superfans do with their favorite show off the air? Sure, we can rewatch all the episodes that made us fall in love with Canadian TV, but how long can a whole generation of viewers live in the past before they go crazy? There’s no other show out there that has the light-hearted drama and continuity that Degrassi had. It seems almost unfeasible to recreate such a uniquely structured franchise.

It’s sad to say, but pop culture could now be witness to the mass displacement of fans spread from the shores of Newfoundland all the way down to the beaches of Florida.


  1. I grew up with this back in the day, starting when I was a “Grade 7” along with Caitlin Ryan. When it came back, I started watching for the original cast, but fell in love with the show in its own right. I’ve been watching through every incarnation and graduating class and am not ready to say goodbye. I hope that it does come back somehow. Thank you so much for writing this. <3 <3 <3

    • I’ve always wondered about how many original fans stuck with TNG after they phased out all but Snake and Spike after seaason 3. Personally, though I’d heard of Degrassi Jr high and Degrassi high, I’d never watched an episode until TNG. I’ve now seen about all the episodes (I skipped 3 through 7 originally, but have watched them all now) and truly fell for the show. I am far from being a teen, but can tell you who is going with who and who’s mad at who etc even on Next Class,

      I think sometimes we all just need an escape from our adult lives to return to those days when everything seemed so important, but little truly mattered.

      I’m really sorry to see the show go. It was kinda nice to know it was there all these years.

  2. The kids today need a show like degrassi or sweet valley high to show them what high school was like these shows came before there time.

  3. Netflix suggested Next Class to me after I watched Elite and Sex Education. I was so floored by this show and its frankness about the teen/high school experience. Binged all 4 seasons and then went back to watch Next Generation. Such a loss if Degrassi is gone for good. Although, in this day and age…nothing is truly canceled anymore.

  4. I got hooked on Degrassi when I was in my 40s and have just come off binging all the seasons—nearly 20 years later. I loved the show. The actors were great and I would actually moan or complain aloud when a fav or not so fav character moved me. Liked the show’s frankness about teen and social issues (sadly, I just viewed an episode where Dallas and Connor were stopped for “driving while black”.This was about 5 years ago and we are now in the George Floyd era) It is relevant, intelligent and well produced. I wish a reboot WOULD be considered. It offers intelligent viewing for teens—and oldsters alike. I loved Manny, Eli and the can’t catch a break Drew Torres.

  5. I would like to say I’m surprised that Degrassi is finally coming to an end, but I already felt that they had smothered the point of Degrassi when it reached Netflix, as the seasons became terms in the school year versus the seasons depicting school years. To clarify what I mean to say with an example, Maya Matlin started at Degrassi in 2012, is apart of the graduation class of 2016, but wasn’t aired until apparently 2017 (though I only saw it in 2019, and to my knowledge, this was the ending of Degrassi, which would have aired in 2019?). By that math, the freshmen of that year should have been sophomores by the time the characters they related to strongest had finished their first year.
    I found that the reason Degrassi had worked for decades was that it did keep up with the time so that thew audience could relate to the current day’s struggles.

  6. I hope that in later years they come back out with a new generation for Degrassi. Maybe have Spinner and Emma’s future kid start at Degrassi and then boom add in some more next-generation kids and continue on. I was devastated when Claire and Eli lost their baby because that would have been a perfect way to continue the show someday. But other characters did have babies if they did want to do it that way. I just hope that they do return to it someday I absolutely loved Degrassi.

  7. I really liked the show but, for it to continue, they would have had to find some new topics to discuss. Not an easy task I know.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here