The longest-running dramatic series in Canadian history is back as Degrassi: Next Class returns for its third season tonight.
The new season picks up immediately following season’s two’s cliffhanger finale where a tragic bus crash left the fate of many of the show’s favourite characters up in jeopardy.
While the show has a reputation of tackling serious teen issues, this year is no different as Next Class will explore abortion when Amanda Arcuri’s character, Lola Pacini, decides to terminate her pregnancy. Viewers will be taken into the procedure room with her as the show holds nothing back in its accurate portrayal. That’s in addition Degrassi‘s continued contemporary adherence to stories that are currently in the headlines as this season will also welcome Syrian refugees to the school as well.
Last summer, I had the chance to visit the Degrassi set. It was the second time I had been there and this time, I was given a tour by Ana Golja and Sara Waisglass.
The pair showed me around and pointed out everything that had changed since my last visit in 2013. In particular, The Dot has undergone a pretty big makeover. We also stopped by where the series shot its France sequence and Ana and Sara showed me where Maya and Tristan dropped the bucket of water on their French teacher’s head.
From there, we went over to Casa Hollingsworth where I once again reminisced that this was the same place where The LA Complex used to film.
Upon entering the school, we strolled through the gym and I received some insight from the stars about how the show decides which ‘team’ will be featured in the season. Generally speaking, I have noticed that Degrassi has sometimes featured a hockey team, a volleyball team, a cheerleading team and that’s just to name a few.
I checked out the interior of the Hollingsworth house and Sara recounted some hilarious stories about how the show uses actual photos of the cast when they were younger to add a degree of authenticity to their family life on the series.
We stopped by the student council office where Ana remained mum about some upcoming storyline details for Zoe.
We headed to wardrobe where the actresses both detailed their love of rompers and counted out just how many black sleeveless shirts are laid out for Ricardo Hoyos’ Zig Novak to wear (the answer shouldn’t shock you, but it probably will!).
We then stopped by The Conversation Pit which was a new addition to the school from my previous set visit. Ana and Sara both confessed that the bean bag chairs are not as comfortable as they look in real life and because they move around a lot, they can sometimes be responsible for the actors missing their marks when the camera starts rolling.
After the tour, I sat down with Ana and Sara to discuss what fans can expect from the new season and I gave them a Murtz challenge that is pretty hilarious.
Check out the video above!
The season premiere of Degrassi: Next Class airs tonight at 10 p.m. on Family Channel. The entire third season is now available on the Family Channel app in Canada and on Netflix in the U.S. and around the world.
Murtz Jaffer is the world's foremost reality television expert and was the host of Reality Obsessed which aired on the TVTropolis and Global Reality Channels in Canada. He has professional writing experience at the Toronto Sun, National Post, TV Guide Canada, TOROMagazine.com and was a former producer at Entertainment Tonight Canada. He was also the editor at Weekendtrips.com.