Degrassi Goes Hollywood

Common Sense Media says

Brush with fame teaches teens lessons in TV movie.

Age(i)

2
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9
10
11
12
13
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17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The movie touches on serious issues like post-traumatic stress disorder, war, alcoholism, relationships, and the uncertainty of entering adulthood. Many characters wrestle with personal dilemmas, and for the most part, they’re handled in a frank, responsible manner. Characters learn important lessons about friendship and self-reliance.

Positive role models

Adults are entirely absent from the movie, so the teens/young adults are left on their own to make decisions. Not exactly realistic, but they do find that every move they make incurs consequences of some kind.

Violence

In one scene, a man punches another for flirting with his girlfriend. In another, a woman slaps her friend when he tells her she’s being selfish. An apparent suicide attempt (a girl downs a bottle of alcohol and walks into the ocean) is thwarted by a friend’s good timing.

Sex

Many couples kiss, and, in one instance, a boy kisses a girl’s neck while she talks on the phone. Terms like "I’d like to get with her" and "the chicks are really hot" are common, as are slang terms for body parts like "boobs" and "melons." A girl removes her panties under her dress in preparation for flashing the media (which never really happens). A teen’s physical relationship with her professor is mentioned.

Language

Occasional profanity includes "hell" and "damn," as well as words like "sucked," "pissed off," and multiple uses of "oh my God."

Consumerism

Yahoo and Apple computer logos are shown a number of times.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Characters’ ages are never divulged, so it’s uncertain whether the borderline teens/young adults are legal to drink by U.S. standards, but one drowns her sorrows over family issues in a bottle of hard alcohol, which apparently leads her to try to kill herself (she wades into the ocean until a friend pulls her back to safety). In another scene, a character sips a mixed drink with her meal. A guy refers to past problems with alcohol by saying he’s been sober for a year.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this TV movie set in Hollywood offers less of the frank content that teens -- and their parents -- have come to expect from the series it's based on, Degrassi: The Next Generation. Still, you can expect some kissing and making out, occasional strong
language, and intermittent alcohol use -- including one scene in which it plays a role in a young woman’s apparent (but unsuccessful) suicide attempt. Some of the movie's story details are a bit of a stretch (unaccompanied teens head across country lines in a borrowed school bus, for instance), but most of the weightier stuff is handled respectfully. Many characters face personal dilemmas (a father’s mental illness and an identity crisis, for example), and they learn difficult lessons in friendship and self-reliance.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

In DEGRASSI GOES HOLLYWOOD, an open casting call for a new movie draws old friends and rivals to Tinseltown for adventure -- and a hint of mayhem. Manny Santos (Cassie Steele) is hand-picked to be the film's leading lady, but she blows the audition -- so the spotlight falls on former Degrassi High rival Paige Michalchuck (Lauren Collins). But Paige’s newfound fame soon consumes her, and not even longtime friends Marco (Adamo Ruggiero) and Ellie (Stacey Farber) can bring her back down to earth. Meanwhile, Manny wants to reclaim the role she forfeited to Paige, and Ellie is faced with some tough choices when a chance encounter with her old flame, Craig (Jake Epstein), brings unexpected emotions to the surface.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Since it first won over fans in the ‘80s, the Degrassi franchise has been applauded for tackling serious teen issues in a responsible, realistic way. This made-for-TV movie based on Degrassi: The Next Generation certainly doesn’t push any envelopes with its fairly frivolous content, but it does touch on familiar themes like friendship, self-respect, and love, and it hints at more serious ones like mental illness and alcoholism. For the most part, the messages the movie sends to teens are as solid as those they’re used to getting from the series, so there’s little reason to worry about letting existing fans tune in.

That said, viewers new to the world of Degrassi will find themselves playing catch-up on the characters' intricate relationships and likely won’t enjoy the movie as much as established fans. And it really is best for teens and up thanks to weighty topics like war (a character’s soldier father returns from the front suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder) and a character’s apparent suicide attempt. Expect some sporadic strong language and lots of kissing, all of which occurs without any adult supervision.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about some of the issues the movie raises, including teen dating and sex, coping with family issues, friendship, and alcohol use. Do you think the movie paints an accurate picture of teen life? How would you help a friend who was struggling with these or other issues?

  • Teens: What celebrities do you admire most? What do you like about them? What messages does it send to young fans when a star does something wrong?

  • What makes something "good" entertainment? Teens: Did you like this movie? How did it compare to the Degrassi series? Do you think the media has a responsibility to produce positive TV shows and movies? Why or why not?

TV details

Cast:Cassie Steele, Lauren Collins, Stacey Farber
Network:The N
Genre:Drama
TV rating:NR
Available on:DVD

This review of Degrassi Goes Hollywood was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Kid, 12 years old June 20, 2013
AGE
11
QUALITY
 

DGH

What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 13 years old Written byMaya13 August 9, 2012
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

All episodes should be rated tv-14

Degrassi is not approriate for kids 13 and under.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Kid, 12 years old September 3, 2011
AGE
18
QUALITY
 

a big no

its for strictly teens i wouldnt allow my kids to watch this until they are 13/14 years old
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

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