Is 'High School Musical' As Bad As We Think It Is?

I've been avoiding the infamous Disney Channel flick High School Musical for quite some time now, on the premise that it's TOO obvious for a bad movie rewatch. A Disney Channel original movie, featuring two teens from different social circles trying to find love, with musical numbers and thick Grease-y overtones? Throw in a princess played by Hilary Duff and a quirky go-getter in fashion journalism, and you would have every single cliché checked off. But now, I think it's finally time to look back on this 2006 classic.

While I admit I hadn't seen the movie before this, the plot isn't all that hard to grasp if you're in the same boat I was, because but it's still a story we've all heard before: a popular jock falls for a shy brainy girl. They bond over music, and challenge the status quo by auditioning for the school musical. Obviously, society crumbles beneath their feet.

Weird confession? I do see the artistic merit in this. For what it is, it's very, very good, and on its own, it's nowhere near as bad as people give it credit for... but that said, it is still pretty bad.

So in acknowledging that, let's recap chronologically the 27 silliest things from high school musical.

1. Starring Corbin Bleu, Monique Coleman, and utter basicness.

Really hitting the 2006 button a little hard with that outfit, aren't we?

2. Gabriella shows up to the teen party with her date, Book.


3. The karaoke songs are complete randomness.

I was promised "Don't Stop Believin'," this is bullshit.

4. Troy's taking off his jacket, it's getting real up in here.

Cue pre-pubescent squealing.

5. Nothing screams "jock" like the David Cassidy look.

Oof, that blouse.

6. "I don't want to be the school's freaky genius girl again!"

"It's such a burden being so wildly intelligent AND exotically beautiful, Mom!"

7. This girl's name is legit Sharpay.

Not pronounced like the marker.

8. Troy, who's afraid his boys will find that he's into singing, sings throughout basketball practice.

Not very surreptitious of him.

9. This is a school where 16 year olds correct the teachers.


10. There's a garage in the school?


11. When Sharpay and Ryan audition for the two romantic leads in the play.

I'm guessing they're the Cersei and Jaime Lannister of this franchise.

12. Everything about this situation.

I don't know what's more disarming, Sharpay's bedazzled microphone, or Ryan's lime green bedazzled newsboy cap.

13. Everyone wants to keep to the status quo, because a football player making creme brûlée is too confusing for people to handle.

Truly revolutionary stuff.

14. This is not the proper reaction to free cheesy fries.

God, Sharpay, don't be ungrateful.

15. This dude keeps giving Troy a hard time for trading sports for show tunes.

As if mop top over here is the very pictionary of unbridled machismo.

16. They schedule an intervention by using "legendary" Wild Cat alumni as inspiration.

They fail to mention that many of these "legendary" players ended up assistant managers at Denny's.

17. The brains just livestream a bunch of things that Troy is saying.

Incidentally, this transmission wouldn't go through without it glitching at least 16 times... before pinging up a "poor connection" message.

18. This belt is holding up nothing.

The entire point of wearing a belt is to have it cinch your pants, you're wasting a perfectly good accessory.

19. What kind of color is the Wild Cats uniform here?

In certain scenes it's like a less potent coral color, something that would be labeled "Grilled Salmon" in a crayola box.

20. Are you effing kidding me.

Do they have a Friday Night Lights situation here with basketball? ("Clear Eyes, Full Hearts, Can't Dance?")

21. Reminder: it's 2006.

But really, think about how truly ridiculous any of us would look if we went out in this today.

22. Troy comes over to win Gabriella with his Texas Tuxedo.

Given her outfit, it just might work.

23. "The guy you met on vacation is more me than the guy who said those stupid things."

"You know, the one you talked to for 30 seconds — that's more me than the person you've been dealing with for several weeks now."

24. Then Ryan and Sharpay do... whatever this is.

From white people trying to roll their Rs...

...to this fedora on top of this face.

25. Plus she looks like she was attacked with a glitter bomb.

The bedazzled head piece, I can't.

26. "I can't do it, Troy, not with all these people staring at me."

OMG, Gabriella, were you expecting people to not COME to this play? Forget it, just give the role to Sharpay.

Images: Disney/Netflix (28)