Leave it to Drake to make the already-extra tradition of class reunions even more maximalist than they already are. The 6ix God honoured his roots yet again by assembling fellow alumni of Degrassi Community School (the Next Generation, of course) to turn his new video for “I’m Upset” into a homecoming party involving bottle-fights, bathroom hookups, and a disturbing lack of wheelchairs (which despite the disappointment is also a stunning endorsement of our healthcare system).
The Degrassi universe is comprised of a sprawling televised cannon dating all the way back to the late seventies, but the return of our Next Gen faves in this video, directed by Karena Evans (who also helmed “Nice for What”), provides a nice update on who they’ve all blossomed into since leaving the CanCon-af doors of Degrassi.
Jimmy’s main man and perennial bad boy struts onto the scene with the same swagger he had a decade ago, but quickly lives up to his name by getting the spins himself and losing his lunch in the hallway.
Paige, Marco and Ellie
Queen Bee Paige and best friend Marco both struggled with their sexuality over the series, but they arrive with Ellie on the scene dressed like they’re ready to party hard. We already know Ellie is killer at supporting her friends, having acted as Marco’s beard before he was ready to come out, which invites the idea of this trio as a squad of wingmen to be reckoned with, like some sort of queer Wedding Crashers.
Like many students both before and after him to walk the halls of Degrassi, Craig was an aspiring musician with a tortured soul. We see him hanging outside of the school with a high-tech new whip and a floral shirt-suit jacket combo that suggests it’s more than likely that he channeled his musical talents into becoming the third Chainsmoker.
Ashley and Craig’s relationship was tumultuous, to say the least – cheating, botched proposals, getting other girls pregnant, email breakups. Although the end of the series suggested Craig had found new love with Ellie, it appears the two may be together again, hanging side by side at the reunion. Advice for Ashley: run.
One of the most-feared teachers to walk the halls of Degrassi, Ms. Kwan seems predictably unimpressed with the shenanigans the reunion has brought out in her once-students, although her arrival within the arms of Principal Simpson suggests that her heart maybe has softened enough to seek out love.
Speaking of, the Principal seems to be undergoing a bit of a midlife crisis, trying to relive the days he went by the name “Snake” by partying hard with his students, buying weed in his office from a certain mute man and his sidekick, and rapping a Jimmy-centric version of ‘The Motto’ (thus confirming that not only did Jimmy overcome the whole wheelchair thing, but also went on to become the Degrassi universe’s version of Drake, too)
Jay & Silent Bob
Though never pupils of Degrassi, the duo did on a couple of occasions leave their home of the Kevin Smith Cinematic Universe to visit the school. Their initial appearances were due to the filming of a Kevin Smith film within the school’s halls, but their presence at the reunion appears to be strictly business (that business being providing the illicit party favours).
How dare he! There’s a laundry list of reasons Rick shouldn’t be here – not just that he beat his girlfriend into a coma, or that his character is technically, uh, dead, but most importantly that he’s the guy who put Jimmy in a wheelchair. Thankfully, he’s quickly chased out.
Degrassi’s Milhouse, Toby shows up looking exactly how you’d expect a geek who traded in his Star Wars memorabilia for a craft beer obsession to look like – hell, he probably gave Spinner one too many Belgian Trippels.
Though once shy and struggling with aspergers, Conor seems to have reemerged as the kind of confident, swaggy snack that his godfather/ex-Principal is desperately trying to emulate.
Emma and Manny
Much like seemingly every student of Degrassi, Emma and Manny’s school years were comprised of a seemingly endless path of issues and obstacles to overcome – STDs, eating disorders, teen pregnancies, and starring in Kevin Smith films (the worst of all). Despite these road bumps, the two seem to have stumbled upon the level of success that lets you carelessly shoot a money gun, probably through combining their respective passions for social issues and fashion into some cleverly-named startup (Werrit? Recyclothes? You tell me).
Though she left Degrassi early to kickstart her modeling career in Europe (which may have also included a pit stop in a vampire-infested town), Mia returns eager to show off the new dance moves she’s picked up across the pond by leading alumni in a hallway shuffle that’s heavy on the jazz-hands.
Though it seems to be mostly all smiles at this reunion, Liberty seems to be in full-mom mode, looking to the antics of her classmates with disapproval. It makes sense, though – she does have a kid at home, and probably doesn’t want to have to overpay the babysitter. One could almost say… She’s upset.