High School Musical: The Musical: The Series: The Review

James Troughton reviews the revamp of a childhood favourite, HSM. Is High School Musical: The Musical: The Series worth watching?

James Troughton
1st December 2019
Credit: IMDb, Disney
Imagine if 13 Reasons Why, Glee and a modern-day Disney channel show were all thrown into the brewing pot by the witches of Halloweentown - that's what High School Musical: The Obnoxiously Long Title is, and it's an absolute slog of sh**e.

Take the absolute treasure of a scene that is a lone man's emotional breakdown over his failing marriage. Is it organically intertwined into the narrative, with a convincing performance and a well-timed placement in the pacing of the overall episode? No, it's slapped in there with some obnoxiously 'sad' music and a raw chicken that's thrown to the ground which is very, very symbolic.

It's symbolic because that raw chicken represents what High School Musical truly is - an underprepared, abused and neglected product that Disney carelessly threw out there as they broke down. "We have The Mandalorian and Jeff Goldblum, but what else can we use to sell people on our platform?"

"Oh, I don't know, let's bring back High School Musical and make a live-action reboot of Lady and the Tramp," the deluded execs said as they doused themselves in gasoline whilst smoking a cigar.

There's genuinely no redeeming features about the show

Yikes. It's a mess of an Emoji Movie calibre. Outdated tropes, stereotypes and cliches, oh my, and that's before the weirdly placed Modern Family-like interviews. Is the show a documentary? If so, why are they recording private conversations about teenage girls discussing their feet to their boyfriends in the comfort of their own room? If not, what's it adding? We don't get any personal insights, just some awkward teen boys complaining about how much they like girls.

There's genuinely no redeeming features about the show beyond the Leslie Knope wannabe drama teacher that rips her skirt in the opening. She's a funny bit of relief from the relentless bombardment of stereotypes that vary from your usual depiction of jocks, geeks, underdogs and popular girls. The only difference between this and the other sewer-load of teen drama crap is that, in this world, the musical we all 'love' was filmed at their high school.

I can't help but nervously sit on the edge of my seat, half expecting a serial killer in a campy costume to jump out with a knife and a loaded scream ready to gut somebody. It feels like a parody and hell, maybe it is one big joke and the wool is being pulled over our bleach-ridden eyes.

Credit: Disney, Youtube

At the very least, I went in with low expectations. Still, they were completely shattered as the bar I had placed on the ground was still far too high. Nonetheless, it's crapness actually makes it pretty fun to watch, almost like The Room or Green Hornet - someone actually saw the final product and thought, "yup, this is ready to go!"

Now, I'm eagerly anticipating some Goldblum, Star Wars and High School Musical every Friday - two beautiful chirping birds and a stone that smashes your window whilst some kids flip you off from outside.

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