TV: High School Musical – The Musical: The Series – Season 1

Premiered: November 8, 2019

On: Disney+

Starring: Olivia Rodrigo, Joshua Bassett, Matt Cornett, Sofia Wylie, Larry Saperstein, Julia Lester, Dara Reneé, Frankie Rodriguez, Mark St. Cyr, Kate Reinders, Joe Serafini, Alexis Nelis, Nicole Sullivan, Michelle Noh, Jeanne Sakata, Alex Quijano, Valente Rodriguez & Beth Lacke

This Disney+ original series is a welcome revival of the High School Musical franchise that will have fans of the original bopping along, while new viewers get invested in the love story.

New drama teacher Miss Jenn (Kate Reinders) is shocked to learn that the school where High School Musical was filmed has never put on a production of the stage show. She casts Nini (Olivia Rodrigo) and Ricky (Joshua Bassett) as Gabriella and Troy, though the former couple have tension.

Rodrigo shines with fantastic vocal chops, but supporting characters Big Red (Larry Saperstein) and Ashlyn (Julia Lester) steal every scene they’re in.

Disney and creator Tim Federle have to be commended too for finally giving the franchise openly gay characters played by Frankie Rodriguez & Joe Serafini. Both have tear-jerking moments.

Final say: The start of something new. ★★★★★

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