Friday, October 24, 2008
I fought "High School Musical 3" and the musical won. The kids reeaally want to go, like, today, and it would be cruel to make my husband take this assignment alone. As Troy, Gabriella and Chad might say, "All for one!"
Alas, it doesn't end there. Oh, no. Disney has decided to ride this franchise to infinity (and beyond!), announcing plans for a new class of song-loving teens. My daughter's only four, so I'm looking at, what, eight more years of this?
However, I'm going to keep it positive today and list the ways that HSM is good for America:
Diversity: When it comes to race, mainstream networks could learn a lot from children's television. I watch a lot of Nickelodeon and Disney, and I'm fairly impressed with the way their shows handle diversity, as if it's expected. HSM is no different. Leading lady Vanessa Hudgens plays a Latina character. Then there's biracial Corbin Bleu and his curly 'fro, plus a few backup players. I also noticed that the young women in the cast have a range of body types, which is pleasantly surprising.
Good, clean fun: After a harrowing dodgeball scene in an episode of "Freaks & Geeks," my son said he didn't want to go to high school after all. In HSM, high school is a (mostly) nice place where you can twirl your troubles away. A boy can dance without fear of a beatdown. There are no bomb threats, unplanned pregnancies or dream-crushing SAT scores. It's like an "Archie" comic with a film score. I figure kids have plenty of time to learn about the perils of adolescence, which apparently include nude photo shoots.
Decent music: These aren't Aimee Mann tunes we're dealing with, but let's face it — young children don't do irony and subtlety. They want catchy and loud. With the exception of the godawful ballads, the songs of HSM are kinda fun to listen to. "Work this Out" is a great example, and I'm still trying to learn the dance moves.
Arts appreciation: Perhaps this is a stretch, but I'd bet HSM has inspired more than a few kids to join a theater or dance troupe. At the very least, it might lead them to discover classics like "West Side Story."
That's all I got.