Tuesday, September 25, 2007

High School Musical - Why, God, WHY?!?!

I have tried and tried and tried and tried to avoid anything and everything having to do with High School Musical, but the time has come for me to give in. The perennially smiley Zac Efron is invading every magazine and web site I read, the Vanessa Hudgens naughty picture scandal is hogging headlines, and then a reader requested that I comment on this "masterpiece" - so I knew I could hold off no longer.

But the funny thing is, I actually needed to do some research to understand what High School Musical even IS before I wrote this post! Is it a TV show, a movie, a musical, or what? I had no idea. And if you are not a pre-teen yourself or don't have any pre-teenage kids at home, then you may not be clear on this either, so allow me to share my new-found knowledge. High School Musical (and its sequel, High School Musical 2) are actually a made-for-TV movies that ran on The Disney Channel. Its soundtrack went on to become the best-selling album of 2006! WHAT?!?!? I don't know what is more unbelievable to me - that HSM had the best album or that Rascal Flatts came in at #2. The peeps in the UK and in Australia seem to love this cheesiness, too! What is happening to this world!!!?!?

Wikipedia describes the HSM plot as: A modern retelling of Romeo & Juliet - a story of two high school juniors from rival cliques: Troy Bolton, captain of the basketball team, and Gabriella Montez, a shy transfer student who excels in math and science. Together, they try out for the lead parts in their high school musical, and as a result, divide the school. Despite other students' attempts to thwart their dreams, Troy and Gabriella resist peer pressure and rivalry, inspiring others along the way not to "stick with the status quo."

Now, I don't know about where you went to high school, but where I went, the captain of the basketball team would not be trying out for the lead role in the school's musical - you were either a jock or a drama club person, but you were not both. So props to Disney for making this seem like a believable premise and inspiring countless jocks around the world to pursue their Broadway dreams.

But it doesn't stop there... a script is in the works for High School Musical 3, there's now a series of books based off of the movie, and even a Disney on Ice tour is underway. They're taking over the planet - run for your life!

I don't think I can say anything that hasn't already been said about the cast - there are enough bloggers ripping apart Zac Efron for his pretty looks and what many consider to be his for-publicity-only relationship with his co-star, the embattled Vanessa. And while Disney is currently standing behind her after her scandal... more and more pictures of her in compromising positions keep turning up, so I'm curious to see how long they back her, given that her character is supposed to be the serious and studious one. And given that there are ten million teenage girls with aggressive mothers trying to break into the business who would do anything to knock Vanessa off of her pedestal.

What I think is more interesting than any of the behind-the-scenes drama is that fact that there is obviously a huge market for this sort of "wholesome" entertainment. The popularity of this franchise cannot be denied - and perhaps Hollywood and the recording industry will get a clue and realize that what they should be promoting and focusing on is this niche, rather than continuing to get burned by huge pop-stars who don't deliver or rappers who can't think of anything better to talk about in their lyrics than gold chains and Bentleys and all the women who are fighting over them. While I myself am never going to like the HSM phenomenon, I could see how if I was a parent I would be praying for more entertainment just like it to keep popping up so that my tweenager didn't turn to Britney Spears or Lindsay Lohan as a role model. My advice to Disney would be to hold a mandatory session for all its actors and actresses entitled, "Why You Shouldn't Ruin Your Chances for a Long-Lasting Career By Taking ANY Photos of Yourself That You Wouldn't Want Your Own Parents To See Because Those Photos WILL End Up on the Internet, DUH!" and then milk the HSM cash-cow dry while developing 5 other shows exactly like it in the meantime.

It will be interesting to see what has become of the HSM cast in 10 years. I'll set a reminder on my calendar to blog about it in 2017, OK? Until then, I just hope Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens take their faux relationship to a deserted island for several months so I can stop seeing pictures of them and getting jealous about his great hair and make-up.

- e


Unknown said...

mg thx e u actually DO listento te comments maserpiece was sarcasm btw
luv ya e

Anonymous said...

Hi e I have to admit I like HSM, I have 2 kids and one is a girl who loves it and after watching it around 6 times a week I have started singing along!!!! I dont know when I started singing along but it worries me because I was in my local DVD store and it was on in the background, and there I was a 31 year old man singing along to 'get your head in the game' I ran out of the store as fast as my legs could carry me!

I think I must be getting old as I have no idea what the comment Michael left made no sense to me whatsoever!

Excellent site e
Keep smilin'

Erika (aka "e") said...

Glen - Wow, I am sorry to hear that you are exposed to HSM SO much that you actually sing along to the soundtrack when out in public! But, there are worse things in life.

Michael - Yes, I realized you were being sarcastic about HSM, that's why I put "masterpiece" in quotes, but perhaps it didn't come across that I knew you were joking.

I definitely do read all comments, I've just been extremely busy lately (this not working stuff is hard work!) so I haven't been able to directly respond to as many as I'd like. I'm hoping to get a handle on some sort of normal schedule soon!

- e