Wednesday, August 21, 2019

EUPHORIA & DEGRASSI: Teens in Thongs

Ilana Kaplan shared in the Vulture piece "What Euphoria Owes to Degrassi, the Godfather of Taboo Teen Dramas" :

In Euphoria’s fourth episode, Maddy Perez (Alexa Demie) shows up to a carnival in a racy two-piece outfit that looks more like it belongs at a club in Atlantic City than it does at a high-school event.

That’s when I remembered another major moment in teen TV history: the iconic thong episode of Degrassi: The Next Generation. The 2003 episode, titled “U Got the Look,” centered its plot on Manny Santos’s (Cassie Steele) desire to go from “adorable” to “hot.” So, naturally, she does what any teen would do: She shows up to school clad in a crop top, a pair of low-rise jeans, and a blue-studded thong (more than) peeking out of her jeans.

Years before Euphoria, Degrassi was the boundary-pushing teen drama of its era. The Canadian franchise [...] became famous for its realistic, and often scandalous, plotlines featuring sexuality, drugs, abortion, abuse, and school shootings. 

Euphoria, which features provocative narratives ranging from a trans girl being raped by her classmate’s dad to a character finding confidence by being a cam girl, owes its ability to tackle such taboo teen story arcs to Degrassi. Manny’s thong, alongside countless other Degrassi moments, paved the way for teen dramas to get bolder, racier, and more complex.

Interestingly, Kaplan describes the Degrassi thong episode as being "iconic". And Kaplan wrote that the teen show had "realistic, and often scandalous, plotlines featuring sexuality". and that the show "[...] created story lines that teens actually encountered in reality."

Futhermore, Kaplan gives one the impression that there's nothing wrong with a high school coed finding her confidence via being a cam girl. But we wonder what Kaplan thinks of the men who pays the teen cam girl. The men and the cam girl should be viewed in the same light. 

A full post on Euphoria is coming soon and a full post on Degrassi: The Next Generation is coming later. 

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