Joshua Bassett wears black high top chucks through most of the series..
When you see the title “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series”, you may be inclined to ask what in the world does that mean? Is this a musical or is it a show? The answer to both those questions is yes. The original High School Musical film series began in 2006 and it was an instant phenomenon. It catapulted its young stars into superstardom, turning Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens, and Ashley Tisdale into household names. The premiere of the second movie in 2007 was watched by over 17 million people in primetime. Now, some 15 years later, viewers have been returned to East High School but in a brand new way. The series stars the ensemble cast of Olivia Rodrigo, Joshua Bassett, Matt Cornett, Sofia Wylie, Larry Saperstein, Julia Lester, Dara Reneé, Frankie Rodriguez, Mark St. Cyr, Kate Reinders, Joe Serafini, Saylor Bell Curda, Adrian Lyles, and Liamani Segura. The show premiered on November 8th, 2019 on a simulcast across all the Disney networks before moving to Disney+. With the fourth and final season recently premiering, now is the perfect time to go back to East High and get your head in the game.
E.J. fills in for Ricky during rehearsals.
The show is set in a fictionalized version of East High School in Salt Lake City, Utah, the original high school where the High School Musical film series was based on and filmed. At this East High, the student body knows that the film was filmed there and some are fans but most just go on with their daily lives and pay it no attention. That is until Ms. Jenn (Reinders) begins working as the new drama teacher and decides to put on a production of High School Musical. Miss Jenn was a former background cast member in the film and loves the art of musicals. She enlists the help of student choreographer Carlos (Rodriguez) and holds tryouts for the student body. This includes Nini (Rodrigo), a young singer-songwriter who loves musical theater, and her recently-broken-up-with-ex Ricky (Bassett), a skater kid who doesn’t really care about musicals but desperately wants to win Nini back. Standing in his way is E.J. (Cornett), Nini’s new boyfriend she met at theater camp who is also vying for the lead role. The rest of the student body includes Gina (Wylie), Big Red (Saperstein), Ashlyn (Lester), and Kourtney (Reneé).
Carlos teaches Ricky and Nina the moves they need to know.
Many of the student body wear chucks at various points in the series, but Ricky and Carlos wear them very often. This show has really similar vibes to Glee, with it being about musical theater and set in a high school. However, this show manages to avoid many of the cringier aspects of Glee. There aren’t as many stereotypes, creepy teachers, or outdated ways of thinking. Overall, it just appears that this will be a series that will age a lot better than Glee did. The mockumentary style setup and more meta approach also really help the show stand out as something new and interesting.
Go East High…Leopards?
The cast is also very good and full of great performances. Olivia Rodrigo is obviously a star as evidenced by her becoming one of the biggest pop stars while filming the show, but you can still tell from the moment she first came onto the screen that she was always destined for more. This also fits her character of Nini very well as she also seems like someone that is too big for this town. Joshua Bassett is a very charismatic co-lead, and many of the other actors have great moments across the series. Finally, the music is very good. The original songs are catchy and the covers of all the musicals the cast does over the course of the four seasons are also great. Overall, this is a very fun show for those who love musicals and teenage drama.
Carlos goes over the choreography in yellow high top chucks.
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