Pop Project Explains: High School Musical



We’re soaring, flying!

Since I love crushing childhood memories, I thought it was long overdue to explain “High School Musical.” Welcome to the end of your childhood on this edition of “Pop Project Explains.” ‘We’re All in This Together” so let’s just jump into it. Warning now: this is freaking long. There’s a lot of things to go over.


What is “High School Musical?”

Please note that I’m only explaining the first movie and not the entire franchise. I don’t want to send people into shock. Also, I think we can all agree that the first movie is the most messed up than the other two. Oh, this will have spoilers so if you haven’t seen “High School Musical” then you need to question the life choices you have made up to this point. Just go watch it, it’s a need.

“High School Musical” follows Troy and Gabrielle as the lose their musical virginities. They met on winter vacation while being peer pressured and forced to sing karaoke in what looked like the Cagefighting version of karaoke. Two singers enter, one song dies. They both ended up attending East High together as Gabrielle moved to the school district for plot purposes. Oh, and her mother got a new job. Gabrielle’s mom apparently can’t hold down a job. It’s so bad that she has to promise the company that she won’t move again until after Gabrielle graduates.

Gabrielle’s mother is a rolling stone. And where is her father in all of this? Are we suppose to just assume that he’s dead? Or is he okay with the fact that his daughter keeps getting moved around the country? Kenny Ortega, why didn’t you tell us this? For purpose of this “Pop Project Explains,” I’m going with that her father is dead because it’s a Disney movie. In Disney movies, at least one or both parents is dead at some point. Man, Disney movies are fucked up.

We are introduced some of the cliques of the school, which aren’t anything like the cliques you would fine in a high school. They are all too attractive and throwing slurs at each other. Chaos ensues as literally every character that has lines are in the same homeroom because of the plot. Gotta love plot conveniences! After the Disney’s version of “it was my first time, I’ve never done anything like that” sex conversation in the hallway,  Troy and Gabrielle stop and talk about the audition for the winter musical before we are introduced officially to Sharpay Evans, the bitch of the school who’s supposed to be the antagonist but is really more of the protagonist.

Sharpay also has a brother named Ryan who is pretty much her bitch. They are the leads in every play. Lead characters usually fall in love with each other. Everyone just pretty much ignores that and I will too….for now.

Sharpay sees Gabrielle as a threat and in her own mean slightly nice way, sets her up with the Taylor and the Academic decathlon because stereotyping is allowed. Gabrielle is smart so it only makes it right to she wants to join the Academic Decathalon. Don’t worry, Taylor and Gabrielle keep the stereotyping alive and well by speaking to the cheerleaders in a valley girl like way about Troy Bolton. Because both of their friends pretty much shamed them about liking new things, Troy and Gabrielle sneak into the auditorium like they are wanted for a felony just to watch the auditions. How fucking sad is that? They also see Sharpay castrate the person who wrote the show, Kelcie. What a bitch and yet, she’s the most likable person in this entire movie.

Let’s talk about the fact that Sharpay and Ryan are auditioning together with a love song. Am I the only one who finds it very wrong that Ms. Darbus, the drama club/homeroom teacher, is letting brother and sister audition for the lead role of people who are in love? Do people think that theatrical incest is okay? What is Disney trying to teach us with them? It is so messed up that I’m at a loss for words. Anyways, Troy and Gabriella show themselves but Darbus denies their audition because it’s over. They help Kelcie and give her some words of encouragement before she plays them the song Sharpay and her “brother” sing but the way it’s supposed to sound.

It is here that we are introduced to the biggest plot hole in the entire musical franchise: HOW THE FUCKING HELL DO THEY KNOW HOW TO READ SHEET MUSIC IF THEY HAVE LITTLE TO NO MUSICAL EXPERIENCE???? Explain that to me, Kenny Ortega! Let’s hear your explanation on how the plot centers around two characters that have never done musical theater before can magically read sheet music. It’s like giving two toddlers the keys to your car and having them drive perfectly fine without knowing how or reaching the pedals. And don’t say YouTube because that wasn’t a think in 2006.

Ms. Darbus apparently hear them after leaving because she has ears like a hawk and gives them a callback even though she just denied them a few seconds ago. East High has just too many problems. Troy and Gabrielle getting a callback is apparently the worst thing that has happened because it sends everyone into a song and dance number in the cafeteria where the “Status Quo” gets shaken up because of all the cliques are pretty much shaming their friends because they like something that they find wrong. Can you believe this is a Disney movie? And where is the lunch aid during all of this to break up the music number? Are they hiding in fear of getting hit or trampled? And how come none of these students are getting detention for this? If I did this at my high school, I would be in big trouble.

After Troy’s father and his best friend openly say they aren’t fans of what Gabrielle is doing to him, the basketball team and the Academic decathlon team come together to break up Troy and Gabrielle so they could just focus on the bigger picture: Winning. They were more worried about winning and than their friend’s happiness. It’s the most realistic High School thing about this movie. Oh, Troy and Gabrielle’s friends are supposed to be the protagonist of the film too. The basketball team got Troy to say that he wouldn’t do the callback and would forget about Gabrielle in order to make them happy. The decathlon team wired it up so Troy would appear on the laptop saying those things during a Powerpoint presentation they made for Gabrielle.

The real kicker is that they got it all on camera and Gabrielle didn’t even question why he was on there like that. For a genius, she’s lacking some common sense. Anyone else would think of the bigger picture and wonder how they got that footage. And how doesn’t Troy notice the webcam and the laptop open? Too many basketballs to the head cause his vision to be bad?

Both become extremely depressed not high functioning members of the teams that they are stars of and their so-called friends realize “oh, shit we fucked up.” The two teams come clean about how they were assholes. Gabrielle doesn’t care as Troy really hurt her feelings. Troy later visits Gabrielle to apologize but she doesn’t show up at the door. So he breaks an entering and end ups calling her on the phone and standing on her balcony outside her bedroom. What parent gives their teenager a balcony with doors? That’s just asking for problems. If only Gabrielle’s father wasn’t dead.  It’s here that we come to the second biggest plot hole of the franchise: TROY SINGING ON THE BALCONY DOESN’T SOUND LIKE HE NORMALLY DOES!!

We all know the reason behind that but it still. Do they just think no one will notice? It’s very very noticeable. TROY BOLTON SINGING DOESN’T SOUND LIKE THAT!!?! Anyways, Troy and Gabrielle makeup and we fade out on them smiling at each other with love in their eyes because they are going to “practicing music.” They really probably getting it on. Think about, if Gabrielle’s mother knocks on the door, Troy can just escape off out the balcony and no one will notice.

Everything is right in the world with a happy montage until the incestuous bitchy twins get the date of the audition moved to the same day as the big game and the academic decathlon, which would never happen in a real world because that’s too much money being use by the school besides the fact it’s making people/fans pick if they like sports, theatre, or academics. I’m also pretty sure you would have to get approval for that. But the assholes come together to create a plan that will allow Troy and Gabrielle to do everything.

Their plan you ask: release toxic gas in the air that may or may not kill everyone and cause a power surge in the gymnasium that could start a fire or make things explode. Again, these people are supposed to be the protagonists of the film. This all occurs with a montage of the twins performance, the game, and the decathlon. It’s a cluster fuck montage. Everyone is forced into the auditorium for “safety reasons” aka plot conveniences. This allows them to watch Troy and Gabrielle perform and are shocked at how good they are. We also see the shock on their parent’s faces. Which is stupid because they probably heard them practicing at home.

This is where the movie ends as they win the game, the decathlon, and the parts because it’s Disney. Sharpay is somewhat happy about being the understudy, which makes no sense character wise. She was ruthless and trying to get the role at any cost and then she’s just suddenly okay with not getting it? There’s also the big dance number about how “We’re All in This Together” and being there for each other. So we are just going to forget about the peer pressuring, the stereotyping, and bullying? Yes, because it is a Disney film.

I hope your childhood was ruined by this “Pop Project Explains” just like mine was researching it. The movie isn’t a bad movie. It’s just fucked up with the plot points. The movie does have a very good message…it’s just the subliminal messages that make you go “that’s not right.” You’re welcome for this.

Leave your thoughts in the comments below. Make sure you follow me on Twitter for more of your childhood getting ruined.


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