Student Life Archives (2001-2008)

In defense of: High School Musical


Okay, so I’m not saying “High School Musical” is Oscar-worthy, but, come on Nickelodeon, where was the Kids’ Choice Award? Yes, there are horrendous stereotypes: nerds wear glasses, jocks only own tracksuits and theater kids think they are better than everyone else-well, they did get one right.

Yes, it’s cheesy, and yes, my five-year-old neighbor could have predicted the ending. But remember, it is a Disney movie: You’re obviously not going to get any “Oh my god, Bruce Willis was dead the whole time” moments.

The songs in “High School Musical” are not anything worse than you would hear on Top-40 Radio. “Breaking Free” is comparable to every one of Avril Lavigne’s hits. And, with the Harlem Globetrotters currently in Spain, where else are you going to get your fill of ridiculous basketball tricks?

The dialogue is inadvertently funny. Gabriella, because of her infinite wisdom, is described as an “Einsteinette.” Mrs. Darbus, the drama teacher, thinks basketball is “just young men in baggy shorts flinging balls for touchdowns,” and at one point Troy asks his father, “Dad, did you ever think about trying something new, but are afraid what your friends might think?”

With this last sentiment, “High School Musical” teaches kids it is sometimes better to ask your parents and not the Internet.

Appreciate the irony of “High School Musical”: Middle schools in Maine are now allowed to issue birth control. So relish the fact that Disney is so G (as in rated, not gangsta) that Troy and Gabriella’s big kiss is broken up by Chad at the end of the movie. And Ryan’s sexuality is awkwardly avoided throughout the whole film despite his plethora of sequined shirts and matching hats.

This movie launched the careers of Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens. Efron went on to star in the musical movie “Hairspray,” and he is in the upcoming movie “Seventeen Again” (think the opposite of “Big”). And just imagine: If there were no “High School Musical”, there would be no naked pictures of Vanessa Hudgens plastered all over the Internet-which my guy friends tell me are great. I’ll just take their word for it.

You can learn some great life lessons from this movie: Your real friends should always have your back, sometimes it’s okay to put down your homework and breakdance, and playing the cello and smoking pot do not have to be mutually exclusive.

“High School Musical” also provides you with a great drinking game. Take a shot every time someone says “wildcat.” If this doesn’t kill you, you’ll be so shattered that by the end of the movie you will probably be singing along (and don’t worry if you don’t know the words, Disney Channel usually provides you with the lyrics).

I’m not one to sit down and watch the Disney Channel. A little piece of my soul dies every time I hear Miley “My voice is deeper than my dad’s” Cyrus. But everyone should experience “High School Musical” at least once in their lives, and you can borrow it from me if you’re too embarrassed to add it to your Netflix queue.

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