Just as whimsical as the return of the ‘High School Musical’ series of films in the form of a TV series, is its two-part title. More on that later, but it is pretty evident that Disney is leaving no stone unturned in ensuring that Disney+ is a hit. The capital, both physical and human, that they have already invested in, and will invest in, the creation of original Disney properties for their flagship streaming service, including all of its sub-properties in Marvel Studios, LucasFilm and Fox, is humongous to say the least. And mind you, there are several others of its existing properties that will be withdrawn from Netflix and other streaming services once Disney+ is off the ground.
But then again, Netflix too has already escalated from this game to the big leagues: the Oscars are its playing field now with movies including ‘Marriage Story’, ‘The Irishman’ and ‘The Laundromat’, sure shot Oscar contenders, lined up for release later this year, and raking in the praises at festivals already. Streaming commerce is another subject in itself, so we will try to keep the discussion centred on the already announced ‘High School Musical’ TV series. Let’s deep dive in too see what we know about the teen drama musical from the sensation of a movie trilogy that ‘High School Musical’ was, back when we were all teens. Read on.
High School Musical: The Musical: The Series Plot: What Is It About?
The official synopsis of the new series is stated as: “a group of students at East High stage a performance of High School Musical for their winter theatre production, only to realize that there is as much drama that happens offstage as there is onstage.” To plainly begin with, this series is not set to be a direct sequel to the series of films titled the same. Another major way that the TV series is going to differ from the movies is the mockumentary format, which, to be honest, I am frankly impressed about.
One may not consider this, but there are tons of fans out there who are closely watching on every development on the series: the very group of people that would definitely have been up in arms if Disney went the way of a complete reboot. What the makers and Disney have instead done is that they set up the show at the same high school as the movies, East High, but instead, the students here reveal that the movies have been shot at East High. That way, the series would thus be dealing with these students trying to recreate a staging of ‘High School Musical’, the movie. We therefore now have some high schoolers who audition to play a part—as Gabriella, Troy, Sharpay, or even Ryan—in a stage adaptation of the movie titled ‘High School Musical: The Musical’, and thus the double title!
To add to that, as is to be expected from a teen drama and as is written in the official synopsis as well, the plot will expectedly be dotted by teenage love triangles and a bit of drama club rivalry and politics, and even some “woke” humour thrown in our way. The term “millennial” in particular receives a treatment that is best described by the word itself in the early bits of the trailer, something that wasn’t around when the original trilogy of films first aired over Disney Channel. Moreso, Ricky and Nini, the leading duo in the film that will be roped in to play Troy Bolton and Gabriella Montez in the musical stage production, are already in a relationship when the series begins, but are on a “pause” on Ricky’s insistence, which is something that is bound to spice things up when the rehearsals for the play get on.
Coming to the second most important thing about Disney productions: the music. If the title doesn’t give it away, the series is going to feature a ton of musical numbers, both choreographed and un-choreographed, and both recreations of the original tracks from the movies, and a number of originals. For one, “Stick to the Status Quo” can be heard playing in the trailer itself, and it has been reported that each episode of the ten-episode season is to feature one recreated song and one completely original composition. If anything, I can already tell that it’s going to be one hell of an album.
High School Musical: The Musical: The Series Cast: Who Is In It?
While none of the original cast members from the film are in this one, it has been strongly rumoured that at least some of them may be up for cameos in the final episode of the series. However, that is still merely speculation, so we move on to what we know are the confirmed cast members. Joshua Bassett as Ricky, Olivia Rodrigo as Nini, Matt Cornett as E.J, Kate Reinders as Miss Jenn, Julia Lester as Ashlyn, Larry Saperstein as Big Red, Sofia Wylie as Gina, Dara Renee as Kourtney, Frankie Rodriguez as Carlos, and Mark St. Cyr as Mr. Mazzara will be appearing in the TV series as regulars.
The trailer also spells out that Ricky and Nini are going to be cast as the new Troy and Gabriella, respectively, with the rest of the cast filling out suitable roles in the said musical production. In another part of the trailer, Frankie Rodriguez as Carlos, an openly gay theatre student who also serves as choreographer for the musical production, steals the scene when asked if there was some place he should have been at by a teacher. “Broadway”, he replies assertively.
High School Musical: The Musical: The Series Crew: Who Is Behind It?
The series is created by Tim Federle, who has earlier worked on the screenplay for 2017’s ‘Ferdinand’, for Disney’s exclusive new streaming service. Oliver Goldstick will serve as showrunner for the first few episodes, followed by Federle himself taking over for the remainder of the season. The first episode of the ten episode series is directed by Tamra Davis.
High School Musical: The Musical: The Series Release Date: When Will It Premiere?
The musical series is all set to premiere as the very first batch of original Disney shows on Disney+, with the first episode available for streaming for members on the 12th of November, 2019. As announced above, the series’ first season will consist of ten episodes, and each of the episodes will be released weekly instead of all of them being available for streaming at once.
High School Musical: The Musical: The Series Trailer:
Check out the very high school and very musical trailer of the first season of ‘High School Musical: The Musical: The Series’, here.