The Return Of The Wildcats

Name: High School Musical: The Musical: The Series
Genre: Musical, Comedy
Year: 2019

The famous original Disney hit High School Musical is back as an entertaining and humorous drama-mockumentary style comedy about modern high school theatre students and the challenges of high school. This description reminded me a lot of Glee, and therefore… I decided to give it a go.  

High School Musical: The Musical: The Series is about a group of school teens attending the famous East High, where Disney Channel’s original High School Musical movies were filmed. A new drama teacher is employed, Miss Jenn (Kate Reinders) which found out that they have never put on a stage production of High School Musical. So obviously she took it upon herself to make this happen. 

The series is set in the real world, where High School Musical was a successful series of TV movies on Disney Channel starring the famous Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens. These real kids are putting on a stage production of the first movie. I say real as these kids are fictional characters that fictionally go to the actual school that was used. It’s pretty believable too, as you have students talking about High School Musical on the set of High School Musical – pretty genius. 

The cast shines bright throughout the series, with an incredible amount of talent giving us an impressive sense of nostalgia of the original cast. Maybe one day, it will be time to recreate the franchise with a complete new cast, giving it a more modern feel, well this series is a good start. There is a bit of obvious auto tuning and corrections that does take away from the blow away numbers embedded in the series, but not enough to ruin the sense of a high production series. The casting of the stage production within the series is a clear indicator of how times have changed since the original movies. The role of Sharpay is played by Seb (Joe Serafini), which is one example of a simple acceptance of more diverse characters playing star roles.  

The series introduced us to some new songs too, with my favourite being the amazing solo for Miss Darbus played by Ashlyn (Julia Lester) called Wondering. It was nice to see the hype and familiarities of High School Musical through fresh eyes with fresh energy.

The characters storylines away from the stage production was entertaining too as they follow the challenges of teens in high school, in a lighter way than current airing series such as 13 Reasons Why. Yes a lot of the teen problems are dramatized a lot, but doesn’t stop the messages and discussions to start with the audience. With so many series these days taking the darker more raw look on teen struggles, it was refreshing to see something lighter and more fun to watch. 

I’m interested to see where Disney decides to take this series if it continues past the first season. Television is in need for some fun, light and funny series to break away from the dark, serious and raw shows that is flooding my ‘to watch’ list.

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