The Des Moines Register from Des Moines, Iowa on January 14, 1990 · Page 124
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The Des Moines Register from Des Moines, Iowa · Page 124

Des Moines, Iowa
Issue Date:
Sunday, January 14, 1990
Page 124
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'Degrassi High': Unflinching look at teens By MARTHA SOUTHGATE Itaa Maw Vert Ml Mm For most kids, early adolescence isnt exactly "The Wonder Years." It's a time of raging hormones, intense peer pressure and confusion about values. Most network TV shows that feature adolescents (such as "Head of the Class") present them either humorously or through the rosy haze of memory. "Degrassi High" is different. The public TV series, a co-production of the Canadian company Playing With Time Inc. and Boston's WGBH-TV, takes an unflinching look at contemporary teen-age life. Though it's set in Canada, the situations are typical of adolescence throughout North America. The show attracts more than 10 million viewers in more than 40 countries and won numerous awards, including an International Emmy for Best Children's Program. "Degrassi High" enters its third season today at 3:30 on Iowa Public Television. The primary plot line for today's premiere points up the rocky road "De-. grass." travels. In it, Erica (Angela De-iseach) discovers she is pregnant as the result of a summer romance. Her twin sister. Heather (real-life twin Maureen Deiseach), believes abortion is sin and counsels strongly against it Erica believes she is not ready to be a mother. After a counseling session at a clinic and a heated discussion in school, she decides to have the abortion. Heather ts still resistant, but finally chooses to accompany her sister, telling her, "I still think what you're doing is really wrong, but you re my mm r 'aya; ' . Sf J- .; . ...... SVfc-J I rill I. J " jl.,. I,,, The public TV aeries "DeGrassi High" makes Its thlrd-Masoa debut today. Among the sew shows this season will be one titled "Dream On" (above), starring Duncan Waugfc and Stack Mlstysya at friends who share an unlikely romantic dinner. sister and I can't let you go through this atone." The reaction to this story in Canada, where the show has already aired, was not particularly vehement either pro or con. For the record, Malika Mendez, public affairs director at Planned Parenthood of Toronto, says, "Abortion is legal and freely available in Canada. We felt that the subject had been handled very sensitively. We want to make tt dear that we do not advocate abortion, but we recognize it as one of the pregnancy alternatives.'' Toronto Rtght-to-Ufe was not so sanguine. Laura McArthur, president of that organization, says, "There's nothing nice or necessary or reasonable about an abortion. Abortion is not something that should be an option in our society, so we felt that it was a very bad message to give to teen-agers." Kate Taylor, executive producer of the show at WGBH, feels that the program strikes a balance and that the response in Canada reflects that Though the abortion episode has garnered much attention, "Degrassi" has dealt with big issues before, such as interracial dating, homosexuality. drug use. teen age motherhood and di vorce. The producers try to avoid an "issue-of-the-wcek" feel with a sense of humor and plenty of advice from their young cast. Putting kids first appeals to young viewers and to adults who work with them. One such adult is Stanley Wal- fish, a Degrassi enthusiast and di rector of the health and biomedical program at John H. Roberts Junior High School in East Harlem, N.Y. Wal-fish found the show by accident three years ago as he flipped channels, but once he found it he was hooked. Walfish started taping the show and, with the approval of the principal, structuring guidance classes around it. It quickly became the high point of his students week. Walfish found some thing more when he talked about and screened "Degrassi" with family at home and at neighborhood youth group meetings. "I found that this show cut right across ethnic lines, cultural lines, class lines and racial lines. I realized that the kids in Scarsdale where I live have many of the same emotions and prob lems that kids m East Harlem da" Helping kids is what "Degrassi High" is all about The theme that all connected with this show want to con vey is summed up best by producer Taylor. "I think the main thing is to help kids understand that they can make positive choices for their lives. We want to encourage them to think for them- selves sometimes despite what their peers teu them to do and come up with their own answers. SEARS, !r23FREFPORTRAlfS 1-10x13, 1-5x7, 5 wallets and 16 Portrait Petites W5 when you buy our 14-piece package 2-8 10s. 2-5x7s and 10 wallets TOTAL 37 PORTRAITS Mca Mrfn $ iltfXMk. Ybur choke of traditional, nuraary. ipm or M bat kfround Wta and black bKlifrounik. Doubla Finn, Vmitt and other SpaxM Effaces portram not evaaable atWtMd pacttaf Poaai our arlecfion. It wr aach additional ponon (n portraK No aoporananc naceaavy Uat our Sean Credi Card or Oar over Card Cannot ba combined with any ochar oHor Oflar bd natv pronibnad.ladorfcanaadbylaw.CanaMl:M Price! mar var, n Atoaka. Aduksl ejMhei wafcoino. Alao eaeilesle: Inataw Coaar Paaaf art Photae and Copy Waew othm. Coupon good through Feb 10, 1990 Studoliouri Sun Moia Wl(rfiaraaorikiaM.r1oiv aioraaaann lo ona hour Brier eo More dounf. SEARS non i mar MiaMtWim MSENT COUPON AT TlHf Of SITTING AVOID RUSH HOURS. Place your Classified ad early in the day. Classified sales representatives are on call beginning at 7 a.m. Monday through Friday, and at 8 a.m. Saturday. Call 284-8141. TOLL FREE 1-800-532-1585. m Considering cosmetic or reconstructive surgery? Consider a doctor's credentials: John G. Ganske, M.D., FA.C.S. Medical School, University of Iowa Plastic Surgery Residency, Harvard Board Certification American Board of Surgery with Added Qualifications in Surgery of the Hand American Board of Plastic Surgery Member: American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery; American College of Surgeons; American Association for Hand Surgery; American Society for Surgery of the Hand; The Midwest Association of Plastic Surgeons; The Iowa Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Su rgeons John G. Ganske, M.D. 1301 Pennsylvania Avenue, Dea Moines Forconsidtation appointment, phone 51 5 66-6558 .."7 CENTERS- NEW YEAR'S SPECIAL! Vmr Wt'vt Mad II loiy for Teg Te Keep Tour New Year'f Resolution! YES! YOU CAN LOSE WEIGHT and you can lose It for ONLY 1 PER U. VISIT VmJ Avg. Coil Your Formu-3 Weight Lass Proeram will cost 60-70 less than other nationally advertised weight loss programs, based on a 50 pound weight loss. Formu 3's rapid fat burning system was designed for IMMEDIATE and PERMANENT weight loss. It is completely safe, promoting health and vitality. INCLUDES EVERYTHING! WEIGHT LOSS, WEIGHT STABILIZATION, AND FULL MAINTENANCE POI THE BALANCE OP THE TEAL Eat real supermarket food. No required food applenenta. No drafts, ehoU, or exercise. No Hunger CALL TODAY! 3m& WEIGHT LOSS CENTERS Call bow. 255-8135 2926 Merle Hay Rd. Lose Weight Without Losing Your Mind BawH on 8 vwHi per mk. IwKkW Fpifrht Vm, atahilizjiuon and niaintnunra. irat time viajUm Milv. Nut vaitd with anv other offer. CFormm-S InternatioKnt, am. J i t- k a, -1 . . p. "i k s n " i n t 4 U i ' v ti ii R t .

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