You don’t have to be on EI or a housewife to know that the Soap Opera is dying.  In the age of Tivo, PVR and Reality Shows, Soap Operas seem to have lost their place.  In the past ten years we’ve seen the cancelations of Guiding Light, Another World, Passions, Port Charles and As The World Turns.  Do you know that a new Soap Opera has been created since 1999?!  Which leads me to question, what the hell are people watching on their summer breaks?

But don’t start making funeral arrangments for the Soap Opera yet, if they’ve taught us anything, anyone and anything can come back from the dead.  Case in point: Degrassi.

Since premiereing in its new daily format two weeks ago, the show has been bringing in huge ratings and even bigger drama.   Things actually progess on this new form of a tele-novela. More importantly they are bringing in the young viewers which means money, money, money for MuchMusic’s owner CTV.

The secret behind Degrassi’s success can be directly places on its writers.  Over the past ten years they have perfected how to tell a story with lots of progression at a lightening fast pace!

For example, in the past two weeks, the following as happened:

  • Fiona fell in love, then got the shit beat out of her, so they broke up. She moved back from NYC and become best friends with Holly J.
  • Sav ran for president, found out he got Anya pregnant, Anya was faking it, told Sav, he didn’t seem to mind, kept lying to win the election, won the election, then told everyone they weren’t pregnant.
  • Holly J comes back from New York and starts her long distance relationship with Declan.  She also finds out that her parents are broke and they are moving to a smaller apartment.  They’ve also spent all her tuition money and won’t be able to go to Yale unless he gets a scholarship. Since she doesn’t have any money, she decides to steal it from Fiona for an SAT prep class.  She gets caught and apologizes.  She also runs for president and loses to Sav.
  • KC made the football team, lots of girls started flirting with them, he also confessed that his mom got out of jail a while ago, but didn’t want to live with her, stole gin from her closet, got drunk and passed out in a car, keyed the coaches car and finally decided to move in with his mom.
  • Clare got laser-eye surgery but everyone thought she got a boob job. Either way, she liked the attention. ThenClare met Eli.  He is dark and brooding and drives a hurst to school.  He challenges her to stop caring what people think. They end up being writing partners and he gets her to write about how she thinks her parents are going to get a divorce.
  • Alli didn’t make the power squad, so she made her own dancing club, got it taken over by some better dancers, went and danced at the football game anyway, met new quarterback Drew and made out with him.  Mistakingly lead Dave on and apologized for it.
  • Riley kept it a secret that he had a boyfriend all summer.  In an effort to spend time with Riley, Zane joined the football team.  Riley became worried that people would figure out he was gay, which rival QB Drew did.  To make sure Drew didn’t say anything, he saran-wrapped him to a flagpole to show him who was boss.  Riley eventually confessed and lost QB to Drew.  He also almost came out to his football teams, but decided not to at the last minute.

Seriously all that happened in eight episodes.  Talk about progression.  So while the Soap Opera is definitely on deaths door, Degrassi has proven that if these shows pick up the pace a little bit, there can be hope for shows like Days of our Lives and General Hospital yet!  And if all else fails, hire Pat Mastroianni.

Check out the promo for this week’s episodes:


Mike Morrison