Jay and Silent Bob Up North
January 4, 2005 12:00 AM   Subscribe

Jay and Silent Bob go Canadian when Kevin Smith of "Clerks", "Chasing Amy" "Mallrats" fame writes himself into a script to reenact a teenage fantasy: making out with Degrassi High's "Caitlin", a character in the both the classic series and it's new "Next Generation" version. He nearly roped Ben Affleck into it ("Affleck, honestly, could use the work right now"), but is going with Alanis instead.
posted by stray (56 comments total)
Dang, this is sweet.
posted by Quartermass at 12:20 AM on January 4, 2005

When cult classics clash you get...alliteration.
posted by stray at 1:03 AM on January 4, 2005

So when can you catch these episodes? Kevin will be appearing in:

* Episode 420 <------- hmm...
* Episode 421
* Episode 422
posted by sophist at 2:24 AM on January 4, 2005

i must live under a rock. i just don't understand.
posted by moonbird at 3:29 AM on January 4, 2005

Funny how it isn't Kevin Smith of "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back" and "Jersey Girl" fame. Is it just me or has he got so bad as to be embarassing? I took a date to "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back" and had to apologize at how staggeringly bad it was.

His IMDB page also lists a few other films including a new clerks film. Let the Dead Horse flogging commence. We can presumably expect something with the quality of Star Wars One and Two. Oh my idols, my idols, why hast thou forsaken me?
posted by sien at 4:21 AM on January 4, 2005

You just KNOW that episode 420 is on purpose.

[which do you not understand moonbird, the cult classic or the 420?]
posted by kamylyon at 4:22 AM on January 4, 2005

Mmm, girls that say aboot.
posted by Mick at 4:28 AM on January 4, 2005

i must live under a rock. i just don't understand.

I've been confused for years with the popularity of Kevin Smith myself.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 4:33 AM on January 4, 2005

Caitlin was pretentious. And she made Calude kill himself. I'd rather make out with Melanie.
posted by Mayor Curley at 5:14 AM on January 4, 2005

First show I remember to have a character with AIDS. And everyone kept beating him up.

and Sien is right--Kevin Smith has done very little worthy of note. I liked the dead guy fuck scene in Clerks, but beyond that, he's ass on toast.
posted by bardic at 5:39 AM on January 4, 2005

Go easy on the guy, he's a long-time sufferer of Imminent Death Syndrome.
posted by Hat Maui at 5:50 AM on January 4, 2005

420 is a pot reference.
420 is a pot reference.
420 is a pot reference.
420 is a pot reference.
420 is a pot reference.

(repeat another four-hundred fifteen times.)
posted by andreaazure at 6:00 AM on January 4, 2005

"He was just like, 'You know what, dude? I'm a little too high profile right now. I'm trying to scale back.'

Hollywoodspeak, amazing. "I shouldn't have to say this... asshole. I'm really low on the totem pole right now and my agent tells me to stay low until it all blows over."

And Alanis didn't really "star" in Dogma.
posted by effwerd at 6:18 AM on January 4, 2005

Hollywoodspeak, amazing. "I shouldn't have to say this... asshole. I'm really low on the totem pole right now and my agent tells me to stay low until it all blows over."

"And your offer sucks."
posted by effwerd at 6:19 AM on January 4, 2005

I've been confused for years with the popularity of Kevin Smith myself.

Well, Clerks, Chasing Amy, and even Dogma kinda captured the zeitgeist of a certain time for a certain subset of the population. He's done some stinkers since then (and I was as disappointed by J&SBSB as anyone. We just hold out hope that he'll get it together again. Failing that he can become some kind of avuncular figure a la Ozzy.

As far as this goes, Degrassi was OK, but it didn't exactly set my world on fire so this is of minor importance. Whatever happened to Passion Of The Clerks?
posted by jonmc at 6:50 AM on January 4, 2005

Degrassi rocked my world (in fairness I was exactly the right age as it aired - makes a difference.) I'd make out with Caitlin, and I'm straight. Melanie, no way. Spike, Lucy, hell yeah.

Just can't get into the "New Generation" though - I'm getting much too long in the tooth for teenage hijinx and drama, I think. Still, I'll probably have to watch these episodes. Anyone getting to live out the dream of kissing Caitlin is good television.
posted by livii at 7:03 AM on January 4, 2005

Anything to keep Smith far, far away from ever even touching Fletch.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 7:07 AM on January 4, 2005

I have no problem dealing with Smith doing a Fletch film. I am a huge fan of the books -- and the spinoffs with the Inspector Flynn character -- and thought that the smart-alleck Chevy Chase did not make a good smart-ass Fletch. I actually hate the films.

Smith is enough of a smart-ass he might pull it off.

[Difference between a smart-alleck and a smart-ass is that a smart-alleck is pleased with his cleverness and a smart-ass doesn't give a damn.]
posted by nathanrudy at 7:15 AM on January 4, 2005

I liked the dead guy fuck scene in Clerks, but beyond that, he's ass on toast.

right on. and the video store scenes were marginally funny. but that's all. it's amazing how he managed to build a Hollywood career on a few minutes of grainy footage (insert Paris Hilton joke here). we'll remember him for cinematic masterpieces like Mallrats and Jersey Girl. but pecunia non olet, so good for him.
posted by matteo at 7:19 AM on January 4, 2005

I just read on Barbelith that Smith appears to be involved with an upcoming Star Wars TV project.

Which'll probably suck.
posted by COBRA! at 7:21 AM on January 4, 2005

I like Kevin Smith in spite of his love of working with Benny.

That said, I've never watched Degrassi classic or next gen, nor any episodes of Dawson's Creek or Friends. And I also thought the last Jay and Silent Bob movie pretty well sucked ass so I'm not holding out much hope for this one.
posted by fenriq at 7:25 AM on January 4, 2005

The new Clerks documentary was pretty good. They ran it on IFC on New Year's Day.
posted by smackfu at 7:29 AM on January 4, 2005

it's amazing how he managed to build a Hollywood career on a few minutes of grainy footage

well, after a decade of bad teen sex fantasy a la Risky Business and half a decade of cheeseball romantic young adult fantasy a la Singles(which was basically an Erma Bombeck comedy with Soundgarden & flannel), it was an incredible breath of fresh air to see unattractive low-rent young people on screen living out lives of pointless frustration. Call it the shock of recognition. Maybe the very cheapness and DIY style is what made that happen.

Sadly. Chasing Amy is the only time he's come close to that again. Still a drag to see the backlash.
posted by jonmc at 7:31 AM on January 4, 2005

Kevin Smith inspires all of us. According to him, all you have to do is make a piece of shit unfunny black and white movie and major movie stars will kiss your ass for a dozen years. His lack of talent makes Joel Schumacher look like Orson Welles, and yet this fucker keeps going. Amazing.

And Degrassi? What was wrong with Saved By The Bell? or is that too American?
posted by fungible at 7:35 AM on January 4, 2005

Caitlin's a babe.
And 'Clerks' is an awesome movie.
But doesn't Kevin Smith directing Caitlin to make out with him seem kind of like Vincent Gallo directing Chloe Sevigny to give him a blowjob in The Brown Bunny?

Or maybe I'm just jealous.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 7:35 AM on January 4, 2005

Saved by the Bell, man? Dawson's Creek? 7th Heaven? Gah.

Come on man, Degrassi has edge. Now I've never watched those other shows, but Degrassi in the mid eighties had kids having abortions, kids with aids, kids dealing with harsh reality. It was a sweet show. 7th Heaven was just creepy, and reenforced in my mind the old adage that dentist's kids have the worst teeth, and pastor's children are warped beyond comprehension.
posted by stray at 7:47 AM on January 4, 2005

Yuck, how awful. I loathe Kevin Smith & he sullies a fine thing like Degrassi just by being involved.

A black day for Cancon greatness.

My only consolation is that it wasn't Amanda Stepto.

I feel sick now.
posted by stinkycheese at 7:48 AM on January 4, 2005

Gotta defend him at least a little. Having grown up at least partically in NJ, I probably found Clerks to be a lot funnier than most people. Not that it contained many in-jokes per se (though, there were a few), it's just that the characters in the film were dead ringers for a few people in my high school.

I thought Chasing Amy was decent (Jason Lee stands out) enough for light gen-x comedy, but at the time I remember thinking that the male lead (the asshole with the goatee) was just about the worst actor I had seen in any movie since Sofia Coppola's film-ruining performance in Godfather III. I still can't believe, what a phenomenon that guy (Ben Affleck) has turned out to be. And oh, his acting hasn't really improved all the much since then.
posted by psmealey at 8:18 AM on January 4, 2005

Degrassi was a step above all those shows (and I'm not saying that because I knew a lot of those actors growing up, brag brag).

Alanis is only a natural casting fit. She's of the same generation as the Degrassi folk; she's still got some credibility and fame-capital, and she's the one person that connects to all the universes involved. Why she wasn't the obvious and straight-ahead first choice to run with this is beyond me.

And I don't hate Kevin Smith, but he's had a hard growing up process. I'm guessing this will be underwhelming, as will the five years or so worth of projects, and then he'll finally wind up on the inside of Hollywood and he'll pull a Soderbergh, where his early stuff and his later stuff are so wildly different it'll be hard to reconcile.

I predict that a Kevin Smith movie will sweep the 2027 Oscars. But until then, nothing.
posted by chicobangs at 8:32 AM on January 4, 2005

I liked Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back, particularly the last 30 minutes of it (the first 30 is the most difficult),

Oh, and as for everyone's criticisms, I would point to the POINT of J&SBSB, which is driven home in the last scene.
posted by linux at 9:17 AM on January 4, 2005

Having seen big chunks of Clerks and Chasing Amy again in the past week I gotta say Clerks holds up fairly well despite the weird sort of reading-off-notecards quality of much of the dialogue... I can't tell how much of it is bad acting and how much is early '90's hipster rhythms because that was kind of a thing back then. But it's such a piece of its era. Chasing Amy doesn't do that for me, mostly because of the Affleck and the Squeaky and the better production values.
posted by furiousthought at 9:47 AM on January 4, 2005

Kevin Smith films makes me laugh. I like to laugh so I like his films. That's about as deep as I need to think about it.
posted by sexymofo at 10:23 AM on January 4, 2005

Also the lack of Affleck greatly increases the chance I'll waste my money on this thing when it does come out.
posted by chicobangs at 10:57 AM on January 4, 2005

The movie is fake, right? He is just appearing as himself on the TV show...at least that's what I got out of the viewaskew web site.
posted by Cool Alex at 11:09 AM on January 4, 2005

I haven't caught much of the Next Generation but I was a diehard viewer of Degrassi Jr. High and Degrassi High. I am going to have to catch these episodes.

And I want to make out with Joey Jeremiah. : )
posted by SisterHavana at 11:13 AM on January 4, 2005

And I want to make out with Joey Jeremiah. : )

Want to or wanted to?

My claim to fame: A friend of mine in High School went to some party and ended up making out with one of the twins.

Anyone remember "The Kids of Degrassi Street"? That's going back a loooong time.
posted by smcniven at 11:26 AM on January 4, 2005

I saw both Jersey Girl and Saving Christmas recently, and while Jersey Girl got terrible reviews and Saving Christmas wasn't supposed to be all that bad, I have to say JG was one of the better romcoms i saw all year while with SC i had to turn it off after 30 minutes.
Mr. Smith is a pretty good director, and i've never seen a bad film directed by him, but he doesn't really live up to his hype.
posted by svenni at 11:32 AM on January 4, 2005

Degrassi was deeply cool. I remember the episode where Wheels dreamed that his parents were really alive. Oh, and my brother and I can still sing the "Zit Remedy" song.

My guess is that the guy who played Joey Jeremiah didn't age too well.
posted by Sidhedevil at 11:51 AM on January 4, 2005

DeGrassi High, pheh.

Didn't anyone here watch Head Of The Class. I wanted to make out with Khrystyne Haje. Plus there was the added bonus of having Dr. Johnny Fever as a teacher.
posted by jonmc at 11:53 AM on January 4, 2005

Head of the Class didn't suck, but it doesn't belong in this discussion.
posted by chicobangs at 12:01 PM on January 4, 2005

I didn't mention this before but I once 'did security' for Amanda Stepto (Spike) back in the late 80s when she visited the Whitby Public Library. I believe the head of the library had been a writer on the show, and that's how we were able to swing that unusual appearance. This was at the height of Degrassi mania (in Canada at least). She was very cool and, uh, anyways, here's a site about Spike.
posted by stinkycheese at 12:08 PM on January 4, 2005

I now know that jonmc and I have at least one thing in common.
posted by gluechunk at 12:13 PM on January 4, 2005

Head of the Class didn't suck, but it doesn't belong in this discussion.

Well, someone else mentioned Saved By The Bell, so I figured all high school sitcoms were fair game. My bad.
posted by jonmc at 12:28 PM on January 4, 2005

ah yes, head of the class. the quiz bowl episode is still my favorite. any time the revolutionary war can be compared to a video game is good thing in my book.
posted by Igor XA at 12:45 PM on January 4, 2005

Man, 45 posts into this thread and still no one's asked the really pertinent question:

Does this mean Kevin Smith also gets to fuck Tessa Campanelli?

(See Moment No. 1 on this list for more info.)
posted by gompa at 2:18 PM on January 4, 2005

I remember absolutely falling out of my chair at that line, gompa. Caitlin? Swearing? Gawd, it was great (even if that special was really, really depressing.)

Comparing Degrassi to shite like Friends or Dawson's or Saved by the Bell is just, well, shite. Sure, it was often cheesy but it tackled such great issues and had great, normal, likeable characters.
posted by livii at 3:11 PM on January 4, 2005

ok i see none of you people watch degrassi tng. like really watch it. it rules so hard.

that said, kevin smith is going to gimmick up and ruin one of the most insane seasons this show has ever seen. bj's and gonorrhea anyone?

what i wonder is how his appearance is going to have any relevance to the shows main demographic (middle n highschoolers) me and my friends are older than that and while we appreciated kevin smith when he was actually edgy, we think he will all but destroy the show during his plot arc.

ok im gonna go make my i heart craig manning shirt.
posted by c at 4:10 PM on January 4, 2005

Well, no one else is going to do it, so I will. I like Kevin Smith. A lot. I think the pile-on that this thread has turned into is almost entirely unwarranted. I, for one, have yet to not enjoy one of his movies for exactly what it was - admittedly, I've not seen Jersey Girl. I'm disappointed that he's making "The Passion of the Clerks,"as I posted here, because it definitely smacks of desparation. The guy is unequivocally a better writer than actor or director, and a better comedy writer than anything else. He's a humble, true-to-his-fans guy who pretty much knows his limits and (in my opinion) does well when he stays within them.

Here's where things get crazy. I also think Ben Affleck is a really solid guy. I'm not going to comment on his acting talents. I think he's fine and after some time out of the not-entirely-self-imposed spotlight will end up as a perfectly good leading man. Not Harrison Ford, but good nonetheless. I realize that this is heresy, but I put a lot of stock in this interview he gave to Premiere Magazine a few years back (1, 2).
posted by Sinner at 7:38 PM on January 4, 2005

My girlfriend and I have watched this show pretty religiously for the better part of a year now (she's seen the original Degrassi; I haven't) and every so often I try to figure out what's so compelling about it, but I fail every time. I've seen a number of articles/posts/whatever by adults who are outside the target demographic that basically say the same thing. I do enjoy that the characters are actually appropriately aged (really unusual in the teen drama department), and while the cast is huge, there are a few who really stand out (Lauren Collins/Paige does a great job in particular, IMO--what could've been a one note character, the archetypal Snarky Bitch, has a lot more depth than I would've expected, and I think the show's producers have said the same).

c, every time my gf reads about Kevin Smith being on DTNG she groans really loudly and proclaims "the show is ruined!" I'm reserving judgment, but I have to say it's not looking good. At least he's a fan of the show in all of its iterations and not someone they just brought in to have a "Celebrity Episode," but still... I'm worried. If it's bad, that's a horrible way to end a season. :p I guess it'll drive the ratings up, but presumably the show already gets great ratings...

I don't understand the obsession with Craig that so many people have, though. I think he's an annoying, irresponsible dick (granted, that applies to a lot of teenagers, but Craig seems to get away with it every time.)
posted by Kosh at 7:40 PM on January 4, 2005

Aww, Degrassi.

I was the right age for Kids of Degrassi Street-- hell, we used to watch it in school!

My older sister went to school with most of the DJH kids. The Deschach (sp?) twins babysat me a few times :D Most of the kids on the show were really sweet, really nice people, who didn't let the show go to their heads.

I've picked up one or two episodes of DNG... it's just not the same. It's CanCon, but the bad flavour :( And I think bringing Kevin Smith in, as much as I love his movies (minus J&SBSB, because that movie was a steaming, festering turd), I don't think that it's the right venue for his talents.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 8:20 PM on January 4, 2005

The original Degrassi was Kids of Degrassi Street. Homeliest kids on earth. They're what made the Littlest Hobo run away!
posted by C.Batt at 8:22 PM on January 4, 2005

Well said, Sinner. And that Premiere article you linked to does a pretty good job of humanizing Affleck (and is a pretty good read to boot). I had similar thoughts after he made a funny, natural and self-effacing appearance on Jon Stewart awhile back. There I was, all set to schadenfreude my ass off at the Bennifer Monster, and instead he seemed like a guy I wouldn't mind sharing a pint or two with. Even though there's nothing worse than a celebrity whining about the glare of the spotlight, it's also true that not everyone in that spotlight is automatically vain, shallow and loathsome. (On the other hand, as The Smoking Gun revealed, it would appear that Affleck the sometime Democratic Party activist is not registered to vote.)

For the record, here's a Guardian story from awhile back that for me did a similar job of humanizing the photo ops Bono constantly submits to as part of his activist work.

Also for the record, I generally like Kevin Smith as well, and I find that if I go in expecting a fun, smart comedy that's pretty light-hearted even as it occasionally digresses (with mixed results) into semi-serious intellectual territory, I'm not disappointed. I find it hard to believe that the structural integrity of the new Degrassi universe is so flawless and delicate that his presence will ruin it, but then I haven't watched much Degrassi since Joey stopped fucking Tessa Campanelli.
posted by gompa at 9:09 PM on January 4, 2005

I like Kevin Smith, but why must he be party to the wrecking of a second generation of Degrassi by, again, making it All About Caitlin?

(Watched the first round as a kid, still watching the new shows.)
posted by Tomatillo at 10:54 PM on January 4, 2005

Well, no one else is going to do it, so I will.

Sinner: wha? There were about 25 posts in this thread before anyone really laid into Kevin Smith (that would've been me BTW). A quick perusal of this thread would suggest a majority defending his - cough! - work, not attacking.

I was going to follow here with a remark about how Kevin Smith sucks the sweat off a dead man's balls, but that would be the sort of negativity I am trying to see less of on MeFi so let me just say that I'm not a fan.

And since we're on the subject of Cancon, I would just like to say: Beachcombers!!!
posted by stinkycheese at 7:44 AM on January 5, 2005

oh kosh im so glad you watch.

having never seen the old degrassis i also cant really put my finger on why its so compelling but i cant stop watching it.

kevin smiths whole career has seemed to center around injecting his mug into every single one of his pop-culture wet dreams and in my opinion this sort of weakens the originals integrity. the clean history of anything he ever liked is now peppered with his name. or something, its just sort of creepy.

you being a guy will never understand the craig appeal. hello! girls want boys to hurt them! bad troubled boys who mean well but just cant seem to do it right! plus i have a real and sick love of guys with some degree of mental illness. and duh hes in a band.

posted by c at 5:43 PM on January 5, 2005

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