Monday, August 20, 2007

High School Musical 1 & 2

Amy and I spent some time watching these this weekend. If I was a parent, I'm sure I'd think that this kind of good clean entertainment was great for my kids and bearable for me. But I'm not a parent, so I thought they were a bit overrated.

The plot of both Disney TV movies is paper thin. The first is largely stolen from Grease. Boy meets girl on Winter Break at a Karaoke contest. When he returns to school she's the brainy new girl and he's the basketball jock. Will they overcome their differences, the peer pressure, and the school drama queens to sing together in the Winter Musicale? The second reminds me of a season of Saved by the Bell where everyone was working at a country club. Will the handsome jock become overcome the machinations of the wealthy drama queen and stay true to himself and his friends? Answer? Of course everything works out in a big musical number at the end.

But, as many people point out, the plot of these movies isn't really the point. The plot is largely a set piece to string together a bunch of big catchy musical numbers. And they're fun, but like the rest of the musical they are bubblegum. I have a hard time figuring out who is singing because everyone has the same over-produced pop-vocal sound. The boys all sound the same. The girls all sound the same. Because of this the songs never develop vocal depth or layered harmony. And the plot isn't deep, so the characters are shallow, so none of the songs can plumb non-existent emotional depths.

But hey they're catchy, right?

Oh well. So I'm not

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