A Question About 'High School Musical'
(Posted by guest blogger Valerie Strauss)
I've just watched "High School Musical" for the umpteeth time with my 'tween daughter, and it was as fun for her--and the gazillions of other young kids watching it over and over--as it was the first time she saw it.
The question is: Why?
For those who don't know, "High School Musical" is a Disney-produced TV movie that came out on DVD early this year and has been riding high on the charts ever since. The soundtrack hit No. 1 on Billboard, costumes are available, clothing lines are for sale, and, well, you get the picture. It's a phenomenon.
What is so striking about that is this: There is no sex or drugs (not even a hint), no bullying, no suicide, no effort to exact revenge or steal tests or secretly break into the school computer to change grades.
It's simply about being who you really are. A basketball star meets an academic star on vacation and when the latter moves to the former's school, they decide to buck their own cliques and audition together for a high school musical. Shenanigans ensue. There is a happy ending, so happy for everybody involved that a sequel is planned.
In the world of reviews, the songs have been praised as both catchy and lambasted as empty; the acting called bright and lackluster; its screenplay delightful and banal.
I can only imagine how fun it would be to read a review from the great Post movie reviewer Steven Hunter (as for me, all I can say is, "The things we do for our children....").
But, of course, the difference in reviewers' opinions doesn't matter to the kids.
A lot of the entertainment these same kids watch, and the songs they hear, are laden with sexual suggestion, or, more accurately, description.
Today's young people--and I mean really young people--sing along to songs about body parts and sex, wear seductive clothes and watch graphic movies and television shows. Their parents let them. The sight of kids singing and acting out, for example, the Black Eyed Peas song with the lyrics "My hump, my hump my lovely lady lumps," has become so routine that perhaps one conclude think kids feel entirely comfortable with our sex-saturated culture.
Part of the appeal of this sexless musical may be that they aren't. Just because kids today are exposed to more than we were at their age doesn't mean they are any more developmentally ready to be bombarded with adult messages.
Maybe a story about two people fighting, and succeeding to be who they are--without anybody going to bed, getting beat up or dying--is just the ticket for the comfort level of these kids.
Or, maybe not. Maybe it is so popular because the kids are hot for the male and female leads.
Time to go watch it again.
Please email us to report offensive comments.
Posted by: Mom in Silver Spring | August 16, 2006 1:32 PM
Posted by: Anonymous | August 16, 2006 1:53 PM
Posted by: another mom in SS | August 16, 2006 1:56 PM
Posted by: Anonymous | August 16, 2006 2:19 PM
Posted by: texas terp | August 16, 2006 2:30 PM
Posted by: Auntie Lisa | August 16, 2006 2:54 PM
Posted by: Yeah | August 16, 2006 3:19 PM
Posted by: Dave | August 16, 2006 3:28 PM
Posted by: Sam F. | August 16, 2006 3:56 PM
Posted by: Frankee | August 16, 2006 5:14 PM
Posted by: Frankee | August 16, 2006 5:20 PM
Posted by: Elizabeth | August 17, 2006 3:52 PM
Posted by: Dave | August 18, 2006 3:58 PM
Posted by: Petruchio & Katherina | August 23, 2006 8:08 PM
Posted by: Erin | August 25, 2006 5:06 PM
Posted by: andrea | August 31, 2006 2:46 PM
Posted by: andrea | August 31, 2006 2:51 PM
Posted by: andrea | September 1, 2006 9:13 AM
Posted by: tessa | September 9, 2006 1:24 AM
Posted by: allice | September 9, 2006 1:27 AM
Posted by: Shelby.L | September 15, 2006 5:45 AM
Posted by: adelina | September 19, 2006 7:32 PM
Posted by: Anonymous | September 19, 2006 7:39 PM
Posted by: Anonymous | September 19, 2006 7:43 PM
Posted by: High School Freaks | September 20, 2006 11:48 PM
The comments to this entry are closed.