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DVD Review

The Kids of Degrassi St.
Volume 1 - Episodes 1-5


Starring: Various
Fabulous Films
RRP: £7.99
Certificate: PG
Available 11 February 2008

Who would have thought that four short films about issues which affect the kids which live in and around Degrassi Street in Toronto, Canada would not only spawn a series but also a further four, all dealing with issues relevant to the various age groups that  the shows represented. There has always been a strong educational element to the various incarnations of Degrassi so it is no surprise that the first five episodes deal with problems which may affect six to eight year olds...

Time has not been kind to the show. Made in 1976, the original shorts were created by Kit Hood, a video editor, and Linda Schuyler. This DVD starts with Ida Makes a Movie, which was an adaptation of the book by Kay Chorao. The basic equipment used means that the picture and sound is less than broadcast quality, though they do improve as the stories progress. This is not the fault of the DVD authoring, rather than a problem with the source material.

All four of the original shorts are presented here; Ida Makes a Movie, Cookie Goes to Hospital, Irene Moves In and Noel Buys a Suit. They were originally aired respectively in 1979, 1980, 1981 and 1982. To add to the value of the disc you also get Lisa Makes the Headlines.

Depending on how you view things, the acting is either endearingly naïve - given that few, if any, of the cast were professional actors - or just very ropey. Naïve must have won out considering how successful the concept was to eventually become.

So here we have five stories with Lisa Casey, Griff, Martin and the rest of the kids about the good and bad parts of being six to eight which will delight long time fans of the show, though I suspect that it will leave the casual viewer cold.

The disc is presented in 4:3 with a mono track. There are no extras, but each show has a short synopsis.


Charles Packer

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