REVIEW: DISNEY’S HEAD IS IN THE STREAMING GAME

LIAM EASLEY, ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR

Disney is getting its head in the streaming game with Disney+. One of the Disney+ originals is the obnoxiously titled “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series,” otherwise abbreviated into the somehow more terrifying HSMTMTS. The show is centered around the “real-life” students at East High, the high school setting of the original films “High School Musical,” “High School Musical 2” and “High School Musical 3: Senior Year.”

On HSMTMTS, the school welcomed a new head of the drama department who is appalled that the school had never done a production based off the musical that was shot at the high school. Student drama ensues as auditions are held for the school’s production of “High School Musical.” The show adopted a filming technique similar to “The Office” as it is shot like a documentary with awkward on-camera zoom-ins and a shaky camera.

Shows like “Parks and Recreation” and “The Office” used a shaky camera for certain moments, however, HSMTMTS used a shaky camera for nearly the entire first episode. The shaky camera is also implemented into scenes where the actors broke the fourth wall and spoke directly to the camera.

The camera sways back and forth as if it was shot at sea. The point is that the cinematography was torturous. The scriptwriters tried to cram in as much slang and pop culture references as possible. Throwing around words like “millennial,” “triggered” and “hashtag” was just the tip of the iceberg, and students were characterized by Instagram followers.

It was a cringe-worthy attempt at relating to the desired audience. However, at times, the audience was hard to pick out, as it seemed like it was intended for kids, except for a few mature moments. It would make more sense for the show to be for adults for nostalgic purposes, as the original “High School Musical” came out in 2006.

However, with a predictably unoriginal plot, terrible cinematography and a script capable of invoking tears of pure sorrow, HSMTMTS felt more like beating a dead horse than nostalgic. It was a monotonous and poor attempt at reviving a franchise that is long dead.

Disney plans on releasing one episode each Friday, landing on a total of 10 episodes for the first season. A second season is not yet planned.

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