One of my favorite things about pop culture is that there are certain movies, television shows, songs, books, websites, you name it that are so absurd they’re amazing, and for me High School Musical is one of those things. Yes, the movies are fairly ridiculous; the first HSM is the only one of them that has even a semblance of a believable plot, and even that is suspect, because they very idea that these kids would write, arrange, choreograph and score their own rock opera is beyond ridiculous–you KNOW Sharpay would be all about staging Phantom or something, since she basically considers herself the Christine Daaé of East High. But whatever. I understand why that’s not the case. Whatever.
Despite the fact that we’re in our twenties, my friend Mary was very excited to see this third installment in the theater, and when she asked if I was going I told her that while I enjoy HSM in all its cheesy glory, I was against having to pay $12 to see a movie I would normally just be able to watch on television. Still, Sunday eventually rolled around and there was a great need for some hangover theater, so Nikki, Cambria and I trouped to the Union Square theater and sat our butts down to watch Zac Efron be hot on screen.
Seriously. We are not even pretending that there are other characters in this series anymore, which is FINE BY ME. There are clearly only three talented performers in the HSM movies, but the fact that Sharpay is evil-but-redeemed in every installment so far kind of takes the bite out of her formerly awesome villainess, and poor Lucas Grabeel has never been front and center despite deserving to be (he’s so like Ryan in that way!), so Zac Efron it is, then. I really wish they would stop shoving the Troy/Gabriella relationship down our throats. Not only do I not buy the movie’s (and Troy’s) pronouncements about how Gabriella changed everybody’s lives, but I also am so sick of her dumping him for no reason. There is so much about a high school romance that is angsty, there’s no reason for them to manufacture drama like that. It’s just lazy. Although it did get rid of Gabriella for a chunk of the movie, which I appreciate, considering that she is THE MOST BORING PERSON ON THE PLANET and while a certain amount of blame falls on the writers for making her such an insufferable, brainy (unbelievably so, I think; nothing about Vanessa Hudgens screams “intellectual!” to me), do-goody-two-shoes, I also blame Hudgens, who is bland and talentless and would be completely ignorable if it weren’t for her Totally! Cute! Outfits!
Until now, I was completely bewildered by the presence of the “Tiara Gold” character. Why is she British? Why is she even in the movie? It didn’t make any sense. What made her think she could just saunter on stage and usurp Sharpay’s roll AS HERSELF without anybody batting an eyelash or, you know, holding her accountable for such ridiculous subterfuge? Now I realize that they’re planning on continuing the series with a new cast, and they need a villain, but Tiara, dear, you are no Sharpay Evans by a long shot. One of the best things about the movies was that, obvs, Sharpay was 100 frillion times more interesting, fun, talented, cool, and inspirational than soapy Gabriella, but this Tiara girl? She’s frankly just worthless. And who’s the new Gabriella? And who’s the new Troy? I mean, I just am very confused by the lameness of the next generation of HSMers.
Highlights of the show: Zac Efron wearing a tux with black Converse. (Note to my future husband: that’s what you’ll be wearing at our wedding.) Zac Efron’s dramatic solo “suicidal” dance-off in the halls of East High complete with falling CGI symbolic anchors (I MEAN BASKETBALLS), thunder and lightning, and a Zac Efron’s naked back!!!1!1 Sharpay’s super cute navy blue polka dot outfit. Ryan and Kelsey teaming up to take over the world at Julliard (erm, spoiler!). The completely inexplicable, thus completely awesome, “The Boys Are Back” song and dance sequence. Did I mention Zac Efron’s naked back?
Cambria actually brought up a really great point last night when she said that she was surprised adults haven’t totally co-opted the original movie and turned it into a sort of Rocky Horror Picture Show type sing-along, which is such a great idea, get on it people! I would totally go.