This Friday, 11/27 at 8 pm (EST), Teen Nick will broadcast a new holiday episode of the teen drama Degrassi: The Next Generation. I've only seen the commercials so far but the episode entitled "Ghost of Degrassi Past" seems to promise a plot taken from Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol and includes a vision of a character, J.T., from seasons past. Several years ago, J.T. was tragically killed in a scuffle by students of the rival high school after a school sporting event in a storyline with longlasting impact. Could J.T. be returning to warn another student of the consequences of his/her behavior--much like the ghost of Jacob Marley?
Most teen dramas come and go but this Canadian-made classic has legs. I'm a long time fan, discovering the show when I was in college in the late 1980s airing on my local PBS station on Sunday mornings. Back then it was called Degrassi Junior High but the series eventually evolved into Degrassi High and later as Degrassi: TNG. There are characters (and actors) on the latest incarnation that were on the original series from twenty years ago but there's more to enjoy here than nostalgia. This unique teen drama focuses more on teen decision-making and living with the consequences. It shares more in common with the much loved ABC Afterschool Specials of my youth than it does with more contemporary dramas such as The OC or Gossip Girl. Anyway, there are two previous holiday episodes from this series: Degrassi Junior High's "Season's Greetings" in 1988 and TNG's "Holiday" from 2003--a two--part, hour long special.