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The Antelope

‘High School Musical 4’ hardly the start of something new

The Antelope Newspaper


Last week, I encountered condensed groups of people who yelled, “We’re breakin’ free! Soarin’…” In nearly every instance, at least five students would complete the song lyrics, singing, “FLYIN’! There’s not a star in heaven that we can’t reach!” One enthusiastic Loper even sparked a movement of clapping along. Through this experience, I witnessed the pride of the High School Musical generation or HSM Gen.  

For those who lived under a rock in the mid-2000s, High School Musical is a Disney original movie based on Troy Bolton, basketball superstar, and Gabriella Montez, the new student/math whiz who both summon the courage to participate in the school’s spring musical. Together, they break through the limits set by previous stereotypes in movies like Grease or The Breakfast Club. 

For example, the captain of the basketball team trades the court for the stage. The math genius is portrayed as radiant, not nerdy. The popular girl is a theater geek. A jock wants to be a culinary artist. Even more unrealistic, the fine arts department has financial support comparable to the athletics department! In other words, what made the trilogy so inspiring were the boundaries being broken in an atmosphere governed by dancing through the hallways and breaking into song.

“It’s a timeless movie that I’ll force my kids to watch when I’m thirty,” said Diana Ramirez, a sophomore at UNK and a HSM fan since 2006. “But I’m still waiting for my Troy Bolton to fall in love with me on New Year’s Eve at a ski resort’s karaoke night.” Ramirez also mentioned owning T-shirts, the sing-along CD’s, and a Troy and Gabriella hamper. 

Why is this still relevant? On November 12th, a ten-episode docu-style series titled “High School Musical: The Musical” will be coming to Disney +. With a new cast, this series takes place at East High School (the same location where the original was filmed) based around their theater program producing HSM. In other words, it’s High School Musical within a High School Musical reboot. “I will watch it to see what it’s about,” Ramirez said. “I’m nineteen-years-old, but that six-year-old is still in there. That six-year-old was a Sharpay that grew up to be a Gabriella.” 

Whether or not the series is worthy of its predecessor, I encourage those HSM fans to keep “Bopping To The Top,” and to the members of the HSM Gen remember that “We’re All In This Together.”

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