High School Musical: The Musical: The Series: The Rundown

Sarah Boccafola, Staff Writer

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Yes, you read that correctly.  The time has come for the continuation, or rather spin-off of the most renowned Disney movie: High School Musical.  The movie, which came out in 2006, was popular among young children and tweens.  Now, those children are all grown up and ready to reminisce about their childhood by watching the new show.  

For those who have never seen the movie, High School Musical is a drama about a popular high school athlete, Troy, and an academically gifted girl, Gabriella, who each get roles in the school musical and develop a special friendship that threatens the social order of their high school.  There are three installments: the first movie is set during junior year, the second movie takes place during the summer break, and the third is their senior year. 

 The mockumentary series created by Golden Globe winner Tim Federle mimics the first movie.  The show takes place at a high school that puts on a stage production of the popular movie, but takes a unique approach by breaking the fourth wall.  Similar to shows such as The Office or Parks and Recreation, but with an entirely different tone, HSMTMTS characters speak directly into the camera during their confessionals.  Filming took place in Salt Lake City, Utah, where the original movie was filmed. The dramedy first premiered on Disney, Freeform, and ABC followed by Disney+ where it currently resides.  There are ten episodes in season one.

The cast includes many members of already existing Disney shows.  Olivia Rodrigo from Bizaardvark plays Nini, who is then cast as Gabriella in the musical.  Another lead role in the new show is Gina, who plays Taylor in the musical.  She is played by Sophia Wylie who has a significant role in Andi Mack.  The Disney shows the actors are in are certainly not a part of the same generation as High School Musical the movie was, so it is a great opportunity to showcase the new talent to an older audience.  The rest of the cast are fairly new to the screen, including Joshua Bassett who plays Ricky and Troy in the musical, and Dana Renee, Nini’s close friend.  The new friendly faces freshen up the story.

Moving on from the cast, the storyline has a twist.  The show surrounds the relationship between Nini and Ricky, and it fluctuates throughout the show. There is a lot of drama in between the madness of trying to put on the play.  Couples break up then get back together then break up again, students move schools, fires are started, and teachers are fake. The unique thing about the series is that it delves much deeper into the students’ personal lives.  From complicated home lives to complicated friendships, the show is more dramatic than the movie by far. In the musical, they sing songs from the movie, but they also have original songs such as the popularly known “I Think I Kinda Ya Know” and “All I Want” sung by Olivia Rodrigo and Joshua Bassett.

The series has become popular very quickly, mostly due to the fact that the world has awaited the continuation of High School Musical since 2008 when the last movie premiered.  Even just the cast reunions throughout the years have excited fans.  Although the series is not the original cast, it is undeniably more than expected.  The series by the Golden Globe winner is so uplifting and relatable, that it has been renewed for season two.  Although real East High students will once again be bombarded by cameras and celebrities, I’m sure they are just as thrilled as the rest of the fans of High School Musical for the prolongation of the widely popular High School Musical: The Musical: The Series