If you know me, you know that my favorite teen drama show of all time is Degrassi. It’s such an iconic show that tackles so many important topics.
One thing I think the show majorly missed the mark on, though? Miles and Tristan’s relationship. They’re one of my least favorite TV couples of all time, and here’s why:
So, when these two first got together, I was actually on board with the ship. Even though I’ve never really been a fan of Tristan as a character, I was excited that the show was exploring Miles’s sexuality and giving us more LGBTQ representation.
Unfortunately though, their first relationship was…not great. Miles was dealing with abuse from his father and still had lingering feelings for Maya, and he wasn’t very nice a lot of the time.
However, my biggest issue with Miles and Tristan as a couple starts in the first episode of Next Class. They’ve broken up at this point but recently kissed. And then at the school presidential debate (because of course they’re both running for class president), Tristan sees Miles flirting with some girl.
Now, I can totally sympathize with Tristan feeling hurt by this. But what he says during the school debate is seriously not cool 😕.
Tristan continues to repeatedly invalidate Miles’s sexuality even after they get back together and the writers never make any point to frame this as wrong.
The worst example of this is in the episode “#RiseAndGrind” when Tristan finds out that Miles slept with a total of five girls before they were together and gets super upset about it.
Tristan continues to be the WORST.
Now, Miles definitely makes his fair share of mistakes throughout their relationship; but for some reason, he’s the only one who’s ever held accountable and has to apologize. That doesn’t feel right to me, especially since bisexual characters are so often portrayed as villains in media.
Tristan gets injured in a bus crash at the end of Season 2, putting him in a coma while Miles is left to pine for him, and it kind of weirdly rewrites Miles and Tristan’s relationship as some amazing, perfect romance.
After three months of Tristan being in a coma, Miles ends up having an affair with Lola (aka his actual soulmate). I feel like I should be upset they pulled the “bisexual cheats on their partner” trope but TBH, I was mostly just happy to see Miles with someone who actually accepted his identity.
I will give Tristan some credit for how he handled the whole affair revelation after he woke up but I still don’t think it undid the damage the writers did in earlier seasons. If anything, it just made me kind of sad for both of them and frustrated that they were still together.
So yeah, as you can see, this relationship was messy as hell and not exactly my OTP.
If Degrassi actually addressed these issues and made a point of having Tristan learn, I would have a totally different view on all of this. But alas, that never happens 😕.
In conclusion, Miles’s character arc is really important to me but I just can’t bring myself to ship the only canonically confirmed bisexual character on the show with someone who repeatedly didn’t respect his identity. If Degrassi ever returns, I hope they write bisexual characters who get to date people who love them exactly for who they are.
In the meantime, I will not be getting on board with #Triles. Thank you for coming to my TED Talk.
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