Saturday, October 25, 2008

High School Musical

A couple years ago, I began hearing news of this phenomenon called High School Musical. But it wasn't anything that I had experienced myself. And then I took a job working as a counselor at Northside Middle School in Roanoke. That's when High School Musical became an earth shattering reality.

You know how kids will have those days in school where they get out early? You know how on those days, teachers are never able to get any work done? Well, the sixth grade teachers at Northside seemed to embrace that truth. They took those days and just made them fun. No learning. No work. Just fun.

One of those days came along and the kids were herded into the auditorium where they showed the first High School Musical on the big screen. All the kids new the songs, so they sang along. Me, I watched in wonder. I love music. And thus, more often than not, musicals do it for me. And this one was no exception.

Nearly a year later, The Disney Channel premiered High School Musical 2. I'll admit, I wasn't as impressed. I'm told I need to see it a couple more times to let it sink in. To date, I've only seen it once. I should revisit that volume. The sequel just seemed cheesy to me. It was as if they were just reaching for something to capitalize on the phenomenal success of the first one. The lines "Keep your head in the game!" and "We're all in this together!" were repeated repeatedly. If one were so inclined, a drinking game could be created based on those words.

Today I saw High School Musical 3: Senior Year. Finally, the franchise is where it belongs, on the big screen. I didn't go alone. I'm not that creepy old guy that goes to Hannah Montana concerts. I don't even like Hannah Montana. Though, admittedly, I am not Disney's target demographic where this film is concerned.

Jen is in town, so she, Nicole, Makenna, and Braeden all let me tag along. Sadly, Jen slept through most of the movie. I really don't know how. I mean, could be that she was on a plane all night. I find it difficult to make excuses.

As far as the story goes, I still liked the first movie the best. Maybe I just need to see part three again. I will say that the production value for this one was far beyond anything produced exclusively for The Disney Channel. You could tell there was a bigger budget when the high school suddenly seemed much more crowded than the previous installments.

There were some pretty catchy tunes, some that I'm sure I'll be hearing over and over again in the Greenehouse. It's just a shame that real life isn't like this movie. It's a shame that people don't randomly burst into song whenever they're struggling with a tough decision or when they're heartbroken or when they've found "the one" to whom they're hopelessly devoted.

I imagine high school wouldn't have been much different if the random song and dance was a part of every day life in the cafeteria. I remember there being a tense feeling in the air whenever a fight was about to break out. It was as if you could feel it coming on. What if, instead of the violence, it was a song that broke out. Suddenly everyone was harmonizing and in sync with the choreography. Jumping and dancing on the tables. And then going on with their day as if nothing strange had happened. What a happier place it would be.

Which brings up an interesting question. Are there any musicals that don't have saccharin sweet happy endings? I guess Moulin Rouge wasn't a very happy ending. Any others? Did Tony and Maria end up together at the end of West Side Story? Mom tried to make me watch it when I was a kid, but I kept refusing. Leave the sad musicals in the comments. I'm curious about this one.


  1. i'm gonna need you to turn in your man card immediately...

  2. *Spoiler alert* Tony dies. No happy ending for little Maria. Shame.

  3. I was going to list Moulin Rouge. Terribly sad, and yes. . . not sure if you're aware, but West Side Story is supposed to be based on Romeo and Juliet, so . . . no, no happy ending there.

    And I suppose there could be some debate as to whether having to flee the country you love while the Nazi's occupy it, and being forced to cross the Alps on foot is really a HAPPY ending for The Sound of Music.