‘High School Musical: The Musical’ is a mockumentary television series created for Disney+, the company’s brand-new streaming service. The show is set to release in November 2019 and stars as cast of fresh faces, among them Joshua Bassett, Olivia Rodrigo and Sofia Wylie. Now I understand if you’re asking, what could this show possibly be about? Stick with me, this might get a bit complicated. The show is set in the High School where High School Musical was filmed, the ‘real life’ East High. It turns out that this particular East High has never staged its own performance of Disney’s High School Musical and that must be rectified. That’s not all, amongst all the song and dance, the show follows a young boy’s journey to win back his girlfriend by joining the school musical.
Nowadays, it seems that the highest form of currency in the entertainment industry is nostalgia. Take Stranger Things as an example, part of the charm of the highly popular TV show is the 80’s fashion and the accompanying throwback songs. Even shows like Riverdale draw from our love of the past by bringing our favourite childhood characters back to life, even drawing from more nostalgic aesthetics to tie it all together. They always say, “write what you know” and for a lot of people that means writing about their childhood, or at least setting their stories in a time that they are familiar with. Can we call High School Musical nostalgic? Or is that an insult to anyone over the age of 30. The original High School Musical films undoubtedly had a major impact on childhoods all around the world, but is it really time to bring it back or will we end up suffering from Reboot Remorse?
Oceans 8, Ghostbusters, IT, Spiderman, Mary Poppins, Lara Croft, the list of Hollywood reboots could go on forever. Most remakes tend to fail and there have only been a handful that have reached commercial success, let alone critical. The real question is what benefit does rebooting High School Musical bring? Other reboots have given films the chance to be remade with better equipment, graphics and technologies or to be made more inclusive by casting women in roles that were originally played by men. As far as we are aware, this reboot doesn’t bring anything new to the scene apart from the occasional joke at the expense of the millennials. In an industry flourishing as much as Hollywood, one would think that there were a thousand scripts worth producing, hundreds of stories worth telling and yet we are expected to sit and watch the same ones be regurgitated. The biggest issue with remakes and reboots is that there is always going to be the original for us to compare it to, and no matter your opinions on the originals it can’t be denied that they were a commercial success that entertained children all around the world.
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