By Seth Cano | Editor in Chief
High School Musical: The Musical: The Series is a spinoff television series of the High School Musical films. The pilot show originally aired on Nov. 8, 2019, but became available for streaming on Nov. 12 as a part of the launch of Disney+.
The series follows the students and teacher of the East High School drama club as they prepare for the opening night of their school’s first-ever production of ‘High School Musical: The Musical’. Alongside the numerous choruses performed with soul are emotionally gripping life-lessons, rivalries, friendships, and romances. These friendships, romances, and rivalries are exceptionally powerful when you consider the acting skills of those playing the parts of the students and faculty advisors of East High. Furthermore, each of the students and faculty members all has different personalities that contrast with each other. For example, Kate Reinders’ character, Miss Jenn, who is the director of the theater program, has a complicated relationship with Mr. Mazzara (who is played by Mark St. Cyr). Mr. Mazzara teaches robotics and obtains a vendetta against Miss Jenn when he finds out a good majority of his students leave the robotics team to participate in the production of ‘High School Musical: The Musical’ instead. This sense of conflict amongst many others made me eagerly anticipate each and every episode. Some of the other actors who portray their characters excellently and have conflicts at some point are Joshua Bassett (portrays Ricky), Olivia Rodrigo (portrays Nina), Matt Cornett (portrays E.J.), Julia Lester (portrays Ashlyn), Frankie Rodriguez (portrays Carlos), and Dara Reneé (portrays Kourtney).
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed watching the first season of High School Musical: The Musical: The Series. The acting was top-notch and the character development was some of the best I’ve ever seen from a Disney show. Despite it being a ‘musical’ series, the show has enough going on to establish itself as not being ‘niche’ and can appeal to a broader amount of people. That being said, if you aren’t into drama both on-stage and off, then this show is definitely not for you. If you’re going into this expecting another High School Musical movie then you might be disappointed, but if you keep an open mind, this show can be seen as equally good (if not better). Fortunately, likewise, if you end up enjoying the show too, you will be pleased to know that Disney has confirmed a second season for release later this year.