In season four of Degrassi: The Next Generation, the show changes from a relatable teen drama, into an over the top parody of teen life. I'm not knocking the show, because even despite a weak season like this, Degrassi is still one of the best teen dramas on television. However, season four takes the show into over-dramatic territory, which is why I consider it one of the weakest seasons, with a few high points.
The main problem I have with season four is the amount of drama crammed into each episode. Take the season four premiere for example. In "Ghost in the Machine", Paige's rape trial finally goes into effect. In some of the earlier seasons, that would've been enough to carry the entire episode. But instead, the show added more drama to add more shock value. Paige conveniently runs into her rapist at a college frat party, purposely runs into his car and totals it, and then has her boyfriend take the heat by getting arrested. This is what I mean by over the top. Too much drama for one episode. I liked it better when the show focused on the issues and less on dramatic effect.
However, despite that one nitpick I have about this season, there are also a lot of wonderful episodes and storylines that ensue. One of the highlights of season four is Rick's storyline which develops wonderfully on screen. Rick is immediately introduced as a villain right from the start, as we know he's the guy responsible for putting Terri in a coma in season three. Consequently he is shunned and outcasted at school by his peers, which inevitably pushes him over the edge and causes him to bring a gun to school in "Time Stands Still", which is still considered one of the shows best, highest rated episodes to date. The aftermath of Rick's actions become a major part of the second half of this season, as some of the main characters are largely effected by what happened.
Other issues covered this season are: bipolar disorder, STDs, and paralysis.
Overall season four is filled with drama and spectacles of great proportions. However, I feel like this season the show lost a bit of its light hearted edge and the issues became less real and relatable and more over the top. However, a couple of great storylines make the season more enjoyable. And like I said, despite some weak points, it's still better than most teen dramas on television today.