Fiona and Declan shippers unite!
I almost don’t need to write an article, because Fiona says it all in one sentence: “Boyfriends are temporary. Brothers are forever.” And she means it exactly the way I want her to mean it.
Degrassi, formerly known as Degrassi: The Next Generation, and somehow burned in my mind as The New Degrassi is a Canadian TV show. That’s right, Canada!
I’ve never actually seen Degrassi, which I feel is an important fact to state right at the start. Why would I write about a show that I’ve never seen and do not plan on watching?
Well, it’s because I misrepresent myself. I’ve seen the Degrassi movie special Degrassi Takes Manhattan which aired just after the ninth season, aka this July of the year 2010. That’s right, nine seasons! That’s pretty remarkable for us in the U.S. Only ER, Saturday Night Live, The Simpsons, and Law And Order can generally boast those sorts of numbers. And Degrassi is still going strong, with their tenth season already going on, and with the show moving from a half an hour format to an hour-long format. For us in the U.S., Degrassi has been shown on Teen Nick, a channel that I am not really familiar with. One of the ninth season plotlines dealt with a meth addict, so I’m not sure that sort of programming should be airing on any channel associated with Nickelodeon, but that’s just my opinion. But Degrassi – it goes there.
I checked out the movie for the simple fact that I was informed thanks to the great people at Television Tropes and Idioms and Wikipedia in their incest sections that twins Fiona and Declan kiss. Well, that was all of the convincing that I needed.
Fiona and Declan just joined the cast beginning with episode one of the ninth season. A show that lasts for ten seasons always needs new blood. So, even though I had only one season to watch in order to catch up with their stories, I didn’t. But I have done a little bit of reading so that I do not come to you totally uninformed.
Fiona and Declan Coyne are exactly the sort of twins I like. Irish, wealthy, absent parents, and co-dependent. Co-dependent relationships are my favorite among siblings. So much fun! In real life, of course, I think they’re awful. And also (usually) when it’s not between siblings. Um, Twilight, I’m looking at you.
They’re not really Irish, but just look at their names! Other Irish Declan’s include Ethan Embry’s character on the three-seasonser Showtime show Brotherhood which was disappointing in so many ways, but could only be so disappointing by being so brilliant in other ways,
and Amy Adams’ love interest in the delightful romantic comedy Leap Year. (I may never mention Leap Year again, so let me take this opportunity to say that Leap Year follows every romantic comedy convention, is as formulaic as they come, and is still absolutely wonderful. I recommend it a thousand times.) Gabrielle Anwar’s Fiona on Burn Notice (I’ve only seen the first season) is probably one of my favorite Irish Fiona’s out there. Enough on this tangent.
General opinion seems to find Declan good looking. Personally, I am bothered by the stark difference in color between his eyebrows and his hair. He also reminds me of Robert Pattinson, without being as good looking as Robert Pattinson, which is irksome. It’s like being tricked. And also his hair is too long – so easily remedied, and yet so rarely done. (This is neither the first time nor the last time I’ll mention it but I’m highly susceptible to having my feelings about a person guided by my feelings about their hair cut. And sometimes it’s totally subconscious.)
Three thirteen year old girls I found myself hanging out with recently were of the opinion that Declan was unbearably hot. They also seemed to like Degrassi. They preferred watching it to watching the Saints win the Super Bowl. If you can believe that! Oh wait, that’s normal. (Congratulations to the Saints on their victory over the Vikings in the season opener last night!)
As for Fiona, I find her kind of funny-looking in an unpleasant way. (Not ugly at all, of course.) She’s got lovely eyes, though. I suppose the starkness of her features, especially her black hair, do not contrast well with Declan, who is supposed to be her twin and just doesn’t look it (aside from the eyes). That might be the sticking point here. We could dye Declan’s hair black, but then his eyebrows would match even less! Fiona’s cheekbones are classy, but dramatic. She’s got kind of a hawkish nose, which is the real problem. I’d feel worse about saying that, but hey, she’s on Degrassi – she seems to be doing all right. It’s funny: she looks her most beautiful when she’s sad. She kind of looks like Gabrielle Anwar when she’s sad. And again I feel like I’m being tricked.
Declan is played by Landon Liboiron. That’s quite a last name you’ve got there, Landon. It looks kind of French, but it even looks weird for French to me. I guess because it’s totally unfamiliar.
Fiona is played by Annie Clark. Well, that’s a very apple pie name, especially compared to Landon’s. In looking for pictures of her, I discovered that there is a music person named Annie Clark. You may have heard of her, I have not. That girl’s got some crazy hair.
Well, I come to you discussing more twins, and more genuine actual incest (see Helloy II). I was going to stick mostly to the hopeless shipping of non canon couples and less to the genuine article, but I’ve been tackling my list of movies to see, and these obscure titles seem to warrant my attention more. Plus, I thought it was time for another entry, and this is what I most recently watched that had a brother and a sister of interest in it.
Well, the plot is of little interest. I have no idea what Degrassi is about in general, except for teenagers dealing with issues. I skim Gossip Girl, so I’m not claiming to be of loftier taste. The movie features Declan and twin sister Fiona returning to their old home in New York (upper east side, I imagine) for the summer. Declan is bringing along relatively-new girlfriend Holly J (yes, the initial is part of her first name) who has a summer internship at an MTV-type show. Holly J invites along her friend Jane who has been dumped by her boyfriend Spinner after it came out that she cheated on him with Declan a few months in the past. It seems to me that Holly J took real liberties by inviting Jane along. That’s the set-up.
Now, spoiler warning as I lay out the rest of the plot. In New York, Fiona tries to rid her and her brother of the hateful Holly J, Holly J settles in at her internship, overcoming Fiona’s interference there. Jane joins up with a band and starts falling for the lead singer. Back in (? Toronto?), Spinner accidentally marries Emma after an alcohol-riddled night of successful gambling as he tries to get over Jane. (That’s right, accidentally marries.)
And now extra extra spoiler warning as I lay out the ending. Fiona gets so fed up with Holly J that she kisses Declan at a party in front of everyone! Declan sends Fiona to the Hamptons (poor girl…not!). Holly J flees angrily from the party. She and Declan are well and fine when the movie ends, but I don’t actually remember their make-up scene. Jane gets dumped by the band guy. Spinner and Emma decide to have a ceremony that they’ll actually remember and in front of everyone. Jane tries to stop it, but realizes that Spinner loves Emma and acquits herself well.
Jane bugged me. A lot. I don’t know if its because she sings in a rock band, or because she’s going to Stanford, or because she reminds me of Kristen Stewart but isn’t Kristen Stewart (and I love Kristen Stewart) which disorients me (another trick!), but she bugged me. But I was proud of her at the end. I was proud of her trying to stop the wedding, and I was proud of her then realizing that she shouldn’t. That being said, I’d cut out every part she was in because they were boring. But she does a great surprised face!
I thought the Spinner stuff was great. I really liked him, from the time he punched Declan in the face and shouted at Holly J for lying to him right up until the very end when he forgave Jane and married Emma. (The actor who plays him reminds me of a Wahlberg brother. So many facial similarities to other actors on this show!) I was in total suspense, not knowing whether he would choose Emma or go back to Jane. I was rooting for Emma the whole time, and we were victorious. Some people on Fanforum, fellow Declan/Fiona fans like myself, didn’t seem to enjoy “Spemma” (I’m to understand that it was “random”), but I did. Of course, I’ve never seen the show, so I’m only a viewer in the most relaxed of definitions. I certainly couldn’t hold my own in a debate.
So, I did enjoy the Spinner/Emma storyline, though perhaps not enough for a second viewing.
Now, onto the “good” stuff. Fiona appears stuck-up from the beginning, but I can’t judge how she was during the ninth season. I know she was in a storyline involving abuse that somehow Declan wasn’t involved in (some brother (!). I suppose, knowing that she was a New York socialite, we can assume that she’s kind of a bitch. But I’m trying convince myself that she was vilified during the movie.
While I was watching the movie, I was led to believe that Fiona was a villainous character who was only around to cause trouble for others, but after reading more I now believe that she’s just a little rough around the edges sometimes, but that she’s just as much a character as anyone else.
Of course I immediately became hyper-empathetic with her and distanced myself from Holly J because that’s what I tend to do (with the sisters and for some reason with the evil girls who never get what they want, or really with anyone who never gets what they want), but all the same, I think Fiona really pulls on the heartstrings sometimes. I can only compare her to Blair on GG. I only felt bad for Blair when it came to Chuck, and I think I only feel bad for Fiona when it comes to Declan. These men make these evil women human.
I don’t really know what to say about Declan. He doesn’t know how to barbecue, so as far as I’m concerned he’s worthless as a man. His trail of conquests leaves no question that he’s something of a womanizer. He likes opera, which is cool. Beyond that he didn’t seem to have much of a personality. He’s like a reed in the wind, bouncing between Fiona and Holly J and not man enough to handle it.
I won’t say much about Holly J. She seems like a pretty nice girl. From what I understand, her romance with Declan was almost a season-long development. At least half a season. Maybe if Declan didn’t have a sister I could root for the two of them more.
Her one evil act is to lock Fiona in a closet. Excuse me, copy room. This got Fiona in trouble and prevented her from interviewing Jane’s band for the MTV-like TV show. Holly J got to do it instead. Frankly it was pretty bad. I’m not saying Fiona didn’t have it coming, but jeez.
So, apparently the incest vibe had been present all season, although not necessarily building. In fact, episode one introduced them as rather co-dependent and very, very close, but I’m not sure there was a lot of development, mostly just background. Declan is quoted as saying something in the general vicinity of “When you’re not happy, I’m not happy.” Awwww!
In the past, they’ve mostly just had each other while their parents jet-setted. The movie doesn’t really lay that out the way it should. In the movie, all we get is Fiona’s half. Fiona is the needy one. Fiona can’t socialize on her own. Fiona needs to get her own life. Fiona needs Declan, and not the other way around. We really miss out on seeing that Declan was once in need of Fiona as well. Fiona once came first in his life.
Fiona makes it clear that she wants Holly J gone. It’s not that she just doesn’t like Holly J. She wants Declan to herself. No one can counter that point. She kissed him because she wanted to.
The decision to kiss Declan may have been the result of imbibing copious amounts of alcohol; the desire to kiss him was not. Fiona remembers the event the next morning – she could only have been so drunk. And she had the mental faculties to fake her faint, an ingenious move.
She tells him that she was just trying to send Holly J a message. Like that’s an explanation (!) If we just ask ourselves what the message was, we’re right back where we were right after we saw the kiss.
Fiona tries to join Declan and Holly J for dinner, and for the opera, but Declan’s got reservations for two the whole summer long. It’s hard not to feel for Fiona then, abandoned by the one person she’s always truly loved and has always been able to rely upon. If we only imagine what they once had.
After the kiss, the next day when Declan is telling Fiona that she has to go to the Hamptons, he says, “I’m afraid there’s something wrong with you and I can’t help you.” It reminded me a lot of The House Of Yes. Those were twins too! (We can only ask ourselves: was Fiona born holding Declan’s penis?) Marty leaves because he knows he’s making Jackie-O crazy. Maybe Declan is just afraid that Fiona is seriously troubled, and he’s making it worse.
Fiona must be a little troubled, she kissed Declan in front of a room full of New York socialites! The next day they’re on the TV and in the newspapers. “That’s a framer,” Fiona says. Hee! Even Declan almost laughs at that one.
Let me set the mood: the song playing in the background during the kiss is Ke$ha’s Your Love Is My Drug. Is there a message here? Is Fiona like a lovesick crackhead? Is she addicted to Declan? If so, bring it the hell on because that’s what I’m talking about.
As for the kiss itself, well, it’s brief. As partial as I am, even I can say that Declan never really gets in to it.
Declan, if interested, is reserved. But now that that bit of rationality is out of the way, I can say that he sure could have stopped the kiss sooner. A lot sooner. OK, OK: he’s surprised. I know. But still. A teenage boy has faster reflexes than that.
And you’ll notice that he lifts his hands up – that’s not exactly the best way to push someone off of you. Not very effective at all.
Putting your hands up like that is classically known as an act of surrender. Hmmm….More food for thought.
And, the kiss had to be pretty long if someone managed to get a picture of it!
And we have to remember: this wasn’t a kiss in private. This was a kiss that was not only in front of a room full of gossips and friends, but also in front of his girlfriend. Holly J was front and center. This was not the environment to return that kind of kiss.
The clever Fiona feigns a faint into Declan’s outstretched arms. You’d think he’d realize this is an antic of hers, but his body expresses concern even though his face is trained on his girlfriend. He says, “I can’t just leave her here.” But can’t he? Of course, it’s his house and there’s a party going on. He can’t really just go. He could be robbed.
Holly J offers us more. She tells not Fiona but both of them that their relationship is “inappropriate”. Well, OK, she says it to Fiona, but Declan is standing right there. She runs out saying “You two are pathetic” (underline is mine…) and that she’s sick of coming second to Fiona. Well, this tells us a lot. First of all, while the movie may not have indicated this, Holly J tells us flat out that Declan has made a habit of choosing Fiona over her (woohoo!).
What’s better than that? Well, even though Fiona has been trying to get rid of Holly J all summer, and literally rips him out of Holly J’s hands, pulls him to the center of the room and kisses him, Holly J gets angry at Declan? Why? Maybe because she saw what we cannot profess for certain, which is to say, that Declan enjoyed the kiss and did not cut it off as quickly as he might have.
It’s curious that he did not chase after Holly J when she ran out, especially since she was unfamiliar with the city and was staying at his penthouse. She sleeps at her work. That’s how angry she is at him. I’ve revisited their make-up scene. All he does is promise her the summer that she’s always wanted. There’s no explanation with regard to Fiona.
His conversation with Fiona the next day is interesting. The first thing he does is show her the newspaper. He’s concerned with what the public has seen. I don’t think he ever mentions Holly J. He doesn’t ever ask her why she did it. Or ask her “how could you do that”. Nothing in that conversation precludes the possibility that they had kissed before. Nothing in the conversation precludes the possibility that he enjoyed the kiss or would like to kiss her again. Perhaps he grows angry and sends her away because he’s afraid of the part of himself that liked it, and wants her, and is just like her.
Well, the tenth season is upon us, and from what I understand, Declan will be missing from the first half. But I have written about Degrassi partly in order to encourage those of you who either watch this show already or are going to watch it, to share the Fiona/Declan scenes with me and with each other. Is there going to be hot incestuous love? Will Declan leave his vanilla love for Fiona’s exoticism? (Ironically, of course, she’s less exotic because she’s his twin). Will Degrassi “go there”? Is there any hope for Fifi and Dekko?