Degrassi Next Class Review

Degrassi: Next Class Review: Netflix Injects New Life Into Canadian Classic

grade_BDon’t let the name fool you: Next Class really isn’t an entirely new show, but rather an enhanced extension of the Degrassi you thought you said goodbye to this past summer. For lack of a better (or more original) phrase, it’s The Next Generation on steroids.

Watching Next Class — which kicks off a 10-episode run tonight on Canada’s Family channel before dropping its entire first season on Netflix on Jan. 15 — feels like bumping into a friend you haven’t seen in a few months, only to discover they had a little work done during your time apart. It’s the same friend, but they have new stories to tell, and they look a whole lot better while telling them.

And it’s not just the aesthetics that have received a facelift; the drama, if at all possible, has also intensified. Maya’s musical aspirations have been (pun alert!) amplified, Miles and Tristan’s pithy ex-games have evolved into an all-out war of the roses and there’s a fun sense of recklessness with several other characters that didn’t quite reveal itself in the series’ previous incarnation.

Next Class also feels like less of an issue-of-the-week show than The Next Generation, with characters now gleaning important life lessons like “butts are the new boobs,” while others fret that brains might someday replace butts. (And don’t we all.)

Established Degrassi fans will appreciate the season’s gradual dramatic build-up, which reaches a satisfying — and impressively executed — boiling point, exactly the kind we’ve come to expect from the unstoppable Canadian institution.

THE TVLINE BOTTOM LINE: Rather than setting out to attract new converts, Degrassi‘s third coming preaches to a devoted choir, offering polished, soapy drama — and lots of it.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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28 Comments
  1. guitardawn says:

    The original run in the 80s and 90s featured Joey and Caitlyn. Still my favourite.

  2. Riana says:

    Netflix is only showing it in America. They didn’t do anything.

    • 'A' Is Alive says:

      Actually, they ARE the broadcaster along side Family. The executive producers of Next Class had to report to them with all content they want to show. Netflix and Family didn’t really leave any notes for changes (if any at all) unlike previous broadcasters. Both Netflix and Family (alongside DHX Media) are also their financial backers. So your statement is wrong. Although the show is also shown on Family, it’s a Netflix Original because they own the rights to it also. It’s a joint-ownership just like with TeenNick and CTV/MuchMusic/MTV Canada.

      • lauren says:

        I believe I speak for all of N.A. when I say that Canada has profound redheaded stepchild issues.

        • 'A' Is Alive says:

          Um….

        • David4 says:

          No you really don’t as I, and probably everyone in Canada see the USA as the redheaded stepchild.

          • Carrie says:

            Haha – nice try but no. Did you see Mike Myers’ recent routine all about how Canadians shouldn’t feel inferior to the US?

        • A fan of TV says:

          I believe I speak for most of Canada when I say, how on Earth does answering a question with a correct answer make one assume the person with the correct answer has inferiority issues? Are statements like ‘ubstoppable Canadian institution’ trigger points for your deep-seeded anger or something? Also, step off, ya hoser! :p

      • Daniel says:

        I appreciate the explanation. Thank you.

    • 'A' Is Alive says:

      Not to mention, at the end of the episode on Family, it says “Presented by Netflix”.

  3. Dan says:

    Dumb question, but is watching the previous seasons required knowledge for this season?

    • DonJuansRecklessDaughter says:

      Required, no. But because Next Class features a lot of the same cast from the last few seasons, it probably wouldn’t hurt.

    • 'A' Is Alive says:

      Well some of the issues are being carried over from season 14 of Degrassi. If you want to start watching when most of these new characters joined, try seasons 13-14. :)

  4. DonJuansRecklessDaughter says:

    Can’t wait! Any word on DVD releases for seasons 13 and 14? I know the kids these days probably ask, “what’s a DVD???” but this 29 year old fan from the beginning wants to complete his collection!

  5. Diz says:

    Does Netflix have any of the most recent seasons? I’m about 2 seasons behind I think on what’s been happening.

    • 'A' Is Alive says:

      They’re going to official be uploaded on Degrassi’s official, YoutTube eventually. But someone does have all of the seasons up and the newer seasons do have okay quality on that channel!

  6. Everton says:

    They should’ve put at least The Next Generation up on their website so people can watch some of it before the premiere of Next Class…

    • A fan of TV says:

      I think maybe they’re not getting much cooperation from CTVBellGlobemedia, which aired TNG in Canada and has a competing streaming service to Netflix…? Epitome and DHX may have their hands tied on that one and/or CTVBGM may have priced the catalogue higher than Netflix’ interest in airing them.

  7. DAVID PASS says:

    Strange I have checked Netflix and there is no mention of Degrassi next class

  8. kayleigh says:

    can anyone tell me why it’s only 10 episodes??!

  9. Rachel says:

    I hope that the drama can not be as intense. I have been a viewer since 1988 and eventually got my husband on board when we met. After watching 3 episodes of this new series, however, I looked at him and said, “Did you get the feeling that all the characters were a bit over the top?” It was as if their traits were magnified and not a natural action (as it has always been in the past). For the last 28 years, nearly after each episode I would exclaim how much I loved this show, and how great it was. For this series, I come away with wanting to tell the characters to lighten up and get over themselves. I am praying that I will fall in love with Degrassi once again.

  10. Mirisa says:

    Is there I my one season of not why isn’t the rest of the season’s of netflix????? I want to know because this has became my all time fav show and I was wondering if the other season’s are going to be on Netflix because I’m done with season one already and I want more .

  11. Leah Anne Houser says:

    Why is it not offered on Canadian Netflix?