1 9 8 9 – 1 9 9 1(Canada)
28 x 30 minute episodes
This third series in the Degrassi franchise followed on from The Kids of Degrassi Street and Degrassi Junior High and featured the same characters (with some new ones added), who had now moved up to high school.
As with the previous shows, Degrassi High looked at problems affecting teenagers, though as the students got older, the issues they faced naturally became more complex and the programme developed a slightly harder edge.
Stories now covered topics such as racism, divorce, bulimia, youth gangs, deaths in the family, suicide, AIDS, clinical depression, homosexuality, drug abuse, sexual abuse, peer pressure and grades at school.
In the first episode of the new series, Erica (Angela Deiseach) discovered she was pregnant after a summer fling with a camp counsellor. She confided only in her twin sister, Heather (Maureen Dieseach) and after a lot of teen angst, considered an abortion. But Heather was strongly opposed and their difference of opinion opened up a rift between them.
Erica eventually did choose to have an abortion and Heather’s support was a lifesaver in getting through the ordeal. The two-part episode was truncated by PBS for American audiences. This was not the case, however, with the CBC, which ran the complete version.
The second season of Degrassi High featured a two-part story in which one of the main characters, Dwayne (Darrin Brown) tested HIV positive. The school was papered with AIDS education posters, experts on AIDS visited to speak, and a condom machine was installed in the toilets.
Adults were rarely seen in Degrassi High with the series preferring to let its young characters sort out things for themselves in their murky moral universe.
The series was filmed in downtown Toronto and at Centennial College.
Degrassi High was followed by a two-hour TV movie called School’s Out in which the whole gang finally split up and went their individual ways, and a documentary series called Degrassi Talks.
Derek ‘Wheels’ Wheeler
Archie ‘Snake’ Simpson
BLT (Bryant Thomas)
Christine ‘Spike’ Nelson
Basil ‘Bronco’ Davis
L. Dean Ifill
A New Start: Part 1 | A New Start: Part 2 | Breaking Up Is Hard to Do | Dream On | Everybody Wants Something | Nobody’s Perfect | Just Friends | Little White Lies | Sixteen: Part 1 | Sixteen: Part 2 | All in a Good Cause | Natural Attraction | Testing One, Two, Three | It Creeps!! | Stressed Out || Bad Blood: Part 1 | Bad Blood: Part 2 | Loyalties | A Tangled Web | Body Politics | Crossed Wires | The All Nighter | Home, Sweet Home | Extracurricular Activities | Showtime: Part 1 | Showtime: Part 2 | Three’s a Crowd | One Last Dance