I’m doing great, I hope you are too! I’m terms of characters acting OOC, that term along with things like fans constantly complaining about relationship drama I refer to as “crutch complaints.” Sometimes they’re very real and very valid, but you also have times where fans will throw that lingo around just because they don’t like what’s happening on the show. We complain about Degrassi not developing characters enough, but when characters develop and change in the process we label them as OOC, as if people are supposed to behave in the same exact way in every situation every single time for their entire lives. But we’re all guilty of throwing out generic complaints at some point because as fans we’re very much emotionally invested in this show, and when Degrassi does something we don’t like we take it personally.
Is Eli OOC? Maybe…
The only character who might even come close to OOC is Eli, and even that’s stretching it because of how this situation has been presented. People just look at the fact Eli cheated and say “He would never cheat on Clare!! He’s too loyal!” However, since season 12 Eli has been portrayed as someone who uses coping mechanisms when he’s stressed out. When he was on the show it was weed. Is it possible that while at school he was so lonely and missed Clare so much that he used Lenore as his coping mechanism so to speak? It seems possible, especially as we see the loneliness aspect from Clare’s POV and what it’s done to her in 13C. The problem with Eli is that the show doesn’t want us to think about his cheating in depth, because it’s not about him. Even with the Dorm Life minis it feels like they’re not interested in fleshing out how his character got to that point, because his cheating is simply supposed to be a plot device to move Clare’s character along. In Sparks Will Fly Pt. 1 the footage where we see Eli on the phone feels like a random scene they filmed forever ago and just edited in…I mean I’m sure that’s what they did, but it shouldn’t feel that way.
Is Clare OOC? Not really.
(NOTE: This commentary DOES NOT include situations like being in a relationship with someone in the military, etc. Their lives are obviously demanding and I know communication is limited. However, if that person didn’t attempt to communicate with you when they had the chance, and it happens multiple times in a row, that is cause for concern).
The disturbing part of all this has been browsing through the Degrassi tag here on tumblr, and watching other females harshly criticize Clare. The two biggest criticisms:
1) How dare she break up with Eli by phone…poor Eli!
2) Eli’s busy with school, Clare you need to stop being selfish and stop whining about how Eli can’t come see you.
If those two points are the only thing you can see in this situation, then you’re simply not paying attention. In Sparks Will Fly Pt. 1 every time Clare complained, the very first thing that Clare would mention was neither Lenore nor the fact Eli doesn’t visit her…it’s the fact they don’t communicate. I repeat, the primary issue between Eli and Clare is lack of communication. Eli doesn’t return her phone calls. Eli doesn’t return her text messages. This has been happening for months. If you’re a female who thinks it’s okay for your boyfriend to just not respond ever and make no attempt to communicate with you when he has time, then no wonder us guys can shit all over girls’ emotions as much as we do. Eli is not doing things 24/7, so being busy is an excuse that only extends so far. And even if he is, any guy worth his salt will make time to do something simple like leave a message.
Eli could get away with breaking plans to visit Clare if he’d simply answer his damn phone, or call her or leave her messages reassuring her that he loves her, etc. But he doesn’t do that. And again, this has been happening for months.
Clare is not acting OOC. She’s behaving exactly the way I’d expect: she’s lonely and she’s tired of her boyfriend putting forth little to no effort to talk to her. Tell me, who in the hell wants a relationship like that? Clare’s decision to break up with Eli by phone was an emotional response done on impulse. Why should she wait until Eli is around to do it when she has no idea when they’ll talk or when he’ll show up?
Breaking up by phone isn’t necessarily ideal, but it also doesn’t make someone a coward. This is coming from someone (me) who believed for the longest time that breaking up any other way besides face-to-face was cowardly. But of course through my life experiences (I’ve been rejected both ways) and also seeing how others deal with things, there are situations where face-to-face breakups can work well, and there are situations where breaking up in person can be a very bad idea.
Is Drew OOC? My question is, “Is anyone actually paying attention to this show?”
Apparently it is OOC for Drew Torres to be attracted to Clare Edwards. She’s not “his type” because he’s a shallow guy who only goes for looks, and Clare’s not considered super hot. Would Drew be looking in Clare’s direction if he were still with Bianca? I doubt it. He wouldn’t need to.
However, let’s not act like the Drew Torres we’re looking at right now is the same Drew we’ve seen over the past several years. The primary thing that Degrassi has focused on when it comes to Drew over the past few seasons is his self esteem, or lack thereof. Even when his character was at his most ridiculous (aka his “dropout Drew” phase), Degrassi has hammered into our heads that Drew Torres is a guy who doesn’t have a lot of confidence in himself.
The end of season 12 was a turning point for Drew. Bianca helped him gain some confidence by helping him to become elected student council president. In season 13 we’ve seen Drew taking his life more seriously. He’s out to prove that he isn’t an idiot and can handle responsibility. There have been some setbacks (the beginning of his tenure as president, the breakup with Bianca, and him using Zoë as his rebound) and he’s fully not there yet, but for the most part he’s showing that he is trying and maturing. A lot of that has to do with his responsibilities as president, and Clare being by his side to help him manage things. If Drew’s indeed maturing, then why wouldn’t his tastes in what he’s looking for in a woman mature as well? Clare’s “not as hot” as someone like Bianca and might not be “fun and athletic” like Eden, but Clare also possesses the type of qualities Drew wishes he had for himself: she’s intelligent and driven, and because of that she will wind up being successful. What does Drew want? To show he’s not a failure by becoming successful.
And as a straight guy, I can also attest to the fact that if a single guy is spending a lot of time with a girl, there’s a pretty good chance he will become attracted to her at some point. It might be something where he develops serious romantic feelings for her. It might be that he develops a crush on her in the early months, but those giddy crush feelings fade away as the friendship grows. He may tell her how he feels, or he may never mention a word about it. Either way it’s a real thing that happens, so the idea of Drew being attracted to Clare isn’t all that far fetched.