lola pacini !

oh my gosh, okay. lola pacini from degrassi: the next generation and degrassi: next class is one of my favorite characters of all time. i just think she has the most amazing progression as a character as they realized what they truly wanted to do with her.

lola definitely starts out as more of a typical ditzy, boy-obsessed girl. she's a cheerleader, she gets wrapped up in the degrassi nudes scandal, and she can be a bit mean. i'm not the most familiar with the late seasons of tng, admittedly, so i don't have much to say about this rendition of the character. i also don't think short hair suits her as much as the longer hair, but that's okay!

something i want to say right off the cuff before it slips my mind is how it is lola that gets the line about changing your hair being a cry for help, depicted in the gif above. lola is one of the few characters with dyed hair, and has 5 total distinct hair styles/colorations throughout her time on the show. firstly her pink/purple/blonde hair from late tng, the bubblegum pink hair she had early in nc1, the baby pink and longer hair she had the remainder of nc1 and nc2, the blue hair with bangs she had in nc3, and the darker blue hair she had in nc4. it comes across as the most outright admittal that she's consistently crying for help, but especially as the seasons progress, she can't scream for help when she's tending to everyone around her.

one of my absolute favorite things about lola is how she blossoms into a very loving and emotionally intelligent person throughout her time at degrassi. i think the earliest instance of her inclination towards loving and helping is when she leads the protest surrounding the racism regarding tiny's suspension, and becomes the leader of the committee against the zero-tolerance policy.

and though i absolutely do not care at all for miles and lola as a pairing, it goes without saying that she emotionally (and physically... sadly) supported miles so much while tristan was in a coma, in a way distinct from all the rest of his peers. there are many reasons i hate mola, such as when lola breaks up with tiny, she comments how she's no one's second choice. later, in the episode #hugeiftrue, lola laments being everyone's second choice to tiny, being second choice to both her friends and all her romantic pursuits. it's that very episode that she ends up sleeping with miles . . . who ends up also making her a second choice. i just think she deserves so much better. he wouldn't even give her the time of day when she tried to tell him about her pregnancy! ughhh. and yet i think it speaks so much to lola's character that she showed him so much kindness, even if she didn't end up receiving any in return.

conversely, after talking about my least favorite lola dynamic, i think it's a much more positive thing to look at my favorite lola dynamic. i just think lola and yael have the most wonderful and distinct friendship. they start somewhat at odds, being complete polar opposites. lola is hired to assist yael with makeup and fashion to boost female viewership on their vlog channel, though yael is evidently uncomfortable with the topics. they even make some . . . somewhat sexist remarks, culminating after they mess up their nail art and exclaiming how girls who put lots of time and effort into their appearance are stupid. this upsets lola, and the two argue about the patriarchy and how/if it oppresses women with makeup. they resolve this offscreen, and lola is hired to do makeup and fashion videos for the channel.

their friendship goes to the next level later in season 3 when, upon realizing that lola would be going alone, yael accompanies her to her abortion. they also comfort her about her decision, and offers moral support before the procedure. after they return to school, they hug, and yael reassures lola about the abortion and how many women would support her. then, in season 4, lola helps yael to find a more comfortable bra. in another episode, yael is shown to be struggling with their identity. they were binding their chest, were less intimate with hunter, and didn't shave their armpit hair. yael kisses lola to see if they're attracted to women, something lola has no issue with, saying she's "glad (she) could help". lola helps yael with their identity journey, saying how their situation reminded her of her favorite vlogger, who identifies as genderfluid. that means it's makeover time, yay!!! during the makeover, lola asks yael if they had considered using alternate pronouns besides he or she. yael is concerned about hunter's reaction to their makeover, but lola does her best to assure how she's only worried about how yael will think about themself, which to me just makes me. . . really emotional. lola is clearly not someone to shy away from male validation on account of her appearance, and yet she reassures yael with immediacy that the person that matters most with their makeover is them. i love the two of them so so much.

my guilty pleasure ship with lola has to be with hunter. i definitely think there's an interesting dynamic between an edgy gamer boy and a more "woke" (so to speak) sweet girl. i think it goes without saying that hunter hasn't been the nicest to her, canonically, granted that he's done things i can recall offhandedly like call lola an idiot. he is undeniably attracted to her, however, judging by that scene where he can't help himself but ogle at her chest and get a boner because of it!

i think that it was a feasible ship the writers could've prodded at if they had ever wanted to go that direction, although i can never envision lola getting together with hunter after she gets so close with yael. it just wouldn't be like her, the new her, the warm and kindhearted her, to a) date her one of, if not her best friend's ex-boyfriend, and b) date someone so unaccepting of her best friend's gender identity. but i totally think hunter and lola would make an interesting couple in nc1 or nc2, while hunter is struggling mentally. although he needed professional help to cope with the culmination of his mental distress and illness, part of me wonders how the events of season 1 and early season 2 would be different if hunter had someone to treat him with kindness and patience, and also not feed into his sexist echo chamber. a girl can wonder, and a girl can dream!

i'm losing a bit of steam to work on this page presently, but i also have so much love in my heart for saad and lola together. it makes me so happy that she shows him kindness and patience while he's garnering the hatred and ire of the rest of the students of degrassi. i am so happy that degrassi ended with them together. a wonderful endgame, imo. i have a little headcanon that after they graduate, what with saad's background and lola's inclination towards social issues, the two of them set up a sort of foundation to help immigrants in canada get onto their feet. i just think it would be so sweet and befitting of them. and i hope they're happy forever and miles leaves lola the hell alone with his embarrassing fanfics about 'hope' on ao3. what a loser!