Jamie Elman, along with seven other former cast members of the 90s-era teen TV series Student Bodies, made the days of a lot of millennials last week when they got together for a 20th anniversary reunion.
Elman, who played the protagonist Cody on Student Bodies, which was filmed in Montreal and aired on Global and YTV for three seasons beginning in 1997, was in Toronto last week for the Fan Expo Canada convention at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.
Elman is also co-creator and star of the web series YidLife Crisis. He told The CJN that he never would’ve expected that Student Bodies, which was based on the lives of students at the fictional Thomas A. Edison High School, would garner any kind of interest 20 years after it aired.
“We have all stayed in touch. Many of us are still friends… And the ones that live here in Toronto have told me over the years that they are still recognized on the street. I guess that was cool, or expected, the first year. But year five? Year 10? 15? 20?” Elman said.
Elman, 41, explained that the reunion came about after talking with his former cast mate and good friend Miklos Perlus, who played Victor, “about the possibility of capitalizing on the fact that people still remember us and still want to see us together.
“Mik sort of spearheaded the effort to put together this little video that we put online that said, ‘Would you be interested in seeing us reunite?’ And we got a million views. And so we said, ‘OK, I guess people still remember it fondly and let’s celebrate it.’ That was sort of how this all happened.”
Student Bodies is real Canadiana. if you were of a certain age and a certain generation, then you just knew about it’
He said the reunion at Fan Expo – which brought together Elman, Perlus, Nicole Lyn (Emily), Mark Taylor (Romeo), Ross Hull (Chris), Katie McIninch (Mags), Jessica Goldapple (Flash) and Victoria Sanchez (Grace) to meet fans and answer questions about the show – might lead to something more in the future.
“We do all still like each other and would be happy to work together,” Elman said, adding that fans who are interested in seeing more from the cast of Student Bodies can post on social media using the hashtag, #studentbodies20, so that networks and producers can see that there is a demand.
‘we did things that were much more adult and edgy and risqué than anything on [other] shows – like drinking and a lesbian relationship. One character wanted to get plastic surgery’
“No one is more surprised than me that anybody cares. It’s hard to get anyone to care about anything. It’s very lucky, as an actor, to book a job, let alone one that people still want to talk to you about two decades later.”
He said that like the Degrassi series, Student Bodies is “real Canadiana, and if you were of a certain age and a certain generation, then you just knew about it and you and your friends watched it.”
He said the show was also often compared to American shows like Saved By The Bell, “but the weird thing about our show is that it was somewhere in the middle. Degrassi was a drama that dealt with heavier topics.… But then, when you talk about Saved By The Bell or teen shows of the ’90s that was on the air in that same era, we did things that were much more adult and edgy and risqué than anything that was on those shows – like drinking and a lesbian relationship.… One character wanted to get plastic surgery – she wanted to get breast implants. And this was on a kids show on YTV. It’s unimaginable now.”
Although he’s open to working on a new project with his Student Bodies cast members, Elman said he still devotes his time to YidLife Crisis, “a Yiddish comedy web series and evolving Jewish cultural brand… to pay homage to the Yiddishkeit in their upbringing and the questioning Jewish comedic lens on life with which they were raised.”
“They are all under one-minute long. They’re in Yiddish, subtitled, and star 3D printouts of us,” he said.
Elman is also starring in a theatre production of Bad Jews, which will be playing at Montreal’s Segal Centre of Performing Arts.