WTF You Just Watched: 'High School Musical: The Musical: The Series' on Disney+


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Thursday, 14 November 2019

WTF You Just Watched: 'High School Musical: The Musical: The Series' on Disney+


WTF You Just Watched: 'High School Musical: The Musical: The Series' on Disney+

For many fans of Disney’s original High School Musical trilogy, like myself, the movies are an inimitable work of canonical art that nobody has any business messing with. Period. And so my first thought upon hearing the news about the new Disney + series was that it was totally unnecessary. We don’t need ~another~ High School Musical. I don’t even need to know what happened to Jimmie “The Rocket” Zara and Tiara Gold. But the new show isn’t continuing old storylines, not is it an HSM wannabe. High School Musical: The Musical: The Series is it’s own quirkily self-aware form of entertainment that both Gen Zers and millennials can appreciate.

HSM The Musical: The Series is like the woke lovechild of The Office, Glee, and HSM. The show doesn’t simply have new characters step in to take the place of the old, but creates a whole new story with a noticeably diverse cast. Of course, there are plenty of cheeky references to the films (with lots of shoutouts to V-Hudg), but it also isn’t afraid to throw a little shade and make fun of the movies as well as the bygone era of the 2000’s. (I definitely felt my age while watching the first two episodes.)

Unlike the movies, there aren’t any dramatic, random burst-into-song moments. Instead, most of the singing is confined within the physical space of the theater, or within the online world in the form of Instagram videos. And the show doesn’t just recycle HSM classics, but there are new beautifully-written, singer-songwriter-vibe, catchy songs. It also takes a documentary-style approach as its characters talk directly to the camera between scenes, voicing out their thoughts and explaining their actions as they go along.

The show is set in Salt Lake High School East or East High School (EHS) — where the original movies were shot, and home to the East High Leopards (nope, they were never known as the Wildcats IRL). There’s a new drama teacher named Miss Jenn (Kate Reinders), who says she starred as a background dancer in the first HSM movie. And now that she’s returned to East High, she wants to do a production of High School Musical as an homage to the film.

High school junior Nini Salazar-Rodgers (Olivia Rodrigo) is the sweet baby girl who wants to play Gabriella. Most of her life, she’s played the role of “cow” or “tree” in school productions. But after recovering from a breakup from her skater boy ex Ricky Bowen (Joshua Bassett), and focusing her attention on theater over the summer while attending camp, she feels like she’s ready to be the leading lady. Luckily, she has the support of her family, her fierce patriarchy-smashing best friend Kourtney (Dara Reneé), and seemingly perfect theater kid/ jock boyfriend EJ Caswell (Matt Cornett) — an overachieving senior who also happens to be the co-captain of the water polo team and his class’s treasurer.

In an attempt to win Nini back, Ricky — who is kind of a fuccboi, but is also dealing with his own family problems at home — auditions for the role of Troy. In an unexpected (or, let’s be real, 100% expected) turn of events, Nini and Ricky get cast in the lead roles, which becomes a problem for the production because of the former couple’s bickering, and a problem for understudies EJ and Gina (Sofia Wylie) who also want the lead roles for themselves.

The main plot of HSM The Musical: The Series/ HSMTMTS/ HSM The Series (or whatever the young people will choose to call it) sounds a lot like your typical high school drama, with love triangles and struggles for high school stardom. But it also tackles themes beyond what goes on in the hallways of East High. It delves deeper into what it means to be a teenager in this day and age, looks into the pressures of school and family life, and deals with the changes that come with coming-of-age.

🏀 Ricky (#HSMSERIES) / Troy (#HSM1) 🏀 . . Edit just for fun. Not trying to pine the two versions against each other. High School Musical: The Musical: The Series is not a remake! . . Edit apenas por diversão. Sem intuito de criar briga entre as gerações. High School Musical: The Musical: The Series não é uma remake! . . All credits go to Disney. No copyright infringement intended. . . #highschoolmusical #hsm #highschoolmusicalseries #hsmtm #highschoolmusicalthemusical #highschoolmusicalthemusicaltheseries #hsmtmts #wildcat #sharpay #troy #highschoolmusicaltheseries

A post shared by HSM: The Musical: The Series (@hsmseries) on Oct 14, 2019 at 10:43am PDT

This new High School Musical definitely isn’t the original. There are no over-the-top personalities like the Evans siblings and no spontaneous dance numbers. It’s different, and is fun in its own relatable way. I’m honestly looking forward to watching the rest of the series, and would definitely recommend original HSM fans give this show a shot. In the words of Natalie (Alexis Nelis) the stage manager, “Buckle up, Wildcats! Sh*t’s about to get real.”

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Most WTF Moments of High School Musical: The Musical: The Series:

These kids think Gabriella’s old phone looks like a garage door opener. Has it been that long since HSM?

Source: WTF You Just Watched: 'High School Musical: The Musical: The Series' on Disney+

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