Disney’s new “High School Musical” series takes off

TV show succesfully replicates nostalgia of High School Musical

“High School Musical: The Musical: The Series” may have one of the worst names in TV history, but the show surprisingly slaps.

The show is set in the same location as the original High School Musical and focuses on the students of East High as they put on a production of High School Musical. Hence the name.

While the main focus of the series is the production, the plot also follows the rekindling romance between Ricky and Nina, played by Joshua Bassett and Olivia Rodrigo, and their personal lives dealing with anything from parents divorce to struggling to feeling good enough.

Almost all the actors have great singing voices and the soundtrack makes great background music for studying.

Nina and Ricky’s voices mesh very well and songs like ‘Just for a Moment’ and ‘Wondering’ became instant bops.

These songs have also become very popular on TikTok due
to the lines being relatable and catchy.

My main problem with the show is rooted in my dislike of the character E.J., who is played by Matt Cornett. The boy cannot sing. His song ‘A Billion Sorrys’ is an automatic skip on any playlist.

On the other hand, Joshua Bassett, 19, and Olivia Rodrigo, 16, are both great singers that embody teenage talent.

Often, studios shy away from hiring teenagers to play teenagers due to child acting laws that prevent long hours. It is always great seeing teenagers play teenagers even as it becomes more mainstream. For this reason, the character E.J. also fell flat because Cornett is 21.

Also, the TV show is written by people aged between 39-68 years old and this is clear in the writing. They try to place ‘hip’ terms and often the jokes fall flat and come off as cringey like when Ms. Jen, the drama teacher, was “shocked, inspired, and triggered as a millennial.”

Still, the TV show is better written than most Disney shows from the 2010s like Bizaardvark or Bunk’d.

The style of filming is also a weak point of the show. Part of it is filmed in a mockumentary style, where the students talk to the camera about the production, but they also include scenes where the characters do not know there is a camera present. This inconsistency is a tad annoying.

It was nice that the performance that the students put on is a realistic expectation on what a school could put on. The errors that happen make the show feel more homey.

The main draw to the show is that it feels targeted towards kids who grew up with the movie. The classic songs and impromptu cafeteria dancing and singing reminded me of the High School Musical of my childhood.

If you liked the High School Musical films, you will most likely enjoy this television series. But, if you are looking for an intellectual masterpiece, this show is a skip.

All things considered, I absolutely loved the show—even though it did make me feel a little old.