Like most girls out there, I managed to watch the premier of High School Musical 2 on Saturday night. I have to admit that I actually liked it a bit better than the first for a variety of reasons. I liked the first High School Musical, but High School Musical 2 just struck me as a tiny bit better, and here’s why.
It’s More Realistic
Having done a bit of high school
, I’ll tell you that East High School has very little to do with reality, but that’s okay. The movie isn’t really about reality. That being said, High School Musical 2 (HSM2) seemed a bit more real to me. Sure the settings were a bit too clean cut and characters were exaggerated, but that’s just a musical for you.
The relationships between characters seemed deeper. It wasn’t quite so happy go lucky. There was joy, there was sadness, and Troy had some real depth to him. The first gave him about an inch of depth (“Hey, let’s go to my thinking spot while I decide if I can sing a song.”) The second gave him a solid foot (“Hey, I’m becoming a complete jerk but I must decide what is more important – my future or my friends.”)
It’s Got Good Angst
Making decisions and dealing with the drama of life is the stuff teen novels and movies are made of. “Angst,” as in teen angst is the term that universally covers all of the drama of life. The first High School Musical had us entertained with people trying to break out of cliques and stereotypes. The second actually had us guessing a few times about who was the good guy and who was the bad guy.
There were some songs and scenes that tugged at the old heart strings. Without giving too much away for those who haven’t seen the show yet, Troy makes a fool of himself and hurts Gabriella in a big way. They are adorable together and then…they aren’t.
Sharpay is up to her usual tricks, but this time she is even more devious. And to top it all off she not only is out to hurt the usual Wildcat crowd, she stomps on some family toes along the way. Ryan, Sharpay’s brother, gains a real personality in this sequel and becomes something of a leader rather than Sharpay’s pet. It’s very interesting and heartwarming to watch.
There is More Song Variety
Finally, and this is a personal reason, I liked High School Musical 2 better because the songs were better. There was more variety. The first movie had mostly upbeat, peppy songs, but HSM2 had some deep and thoughtful songs. (At least deeper and more thoughtful than the first – they didn’t rival “Hopelessly Devoted” by a long shot.)
There is the usual love song created for Troy and Gabriella, but the couple also gets a rather moving duet off the stage. Troy also gets a powerful solo as he tries to come to grips with what he has become and the difficult decisions he faces.
I don’t have any of the songs memorized yet, but I did record the movie. I’ll probably watch it a few more times just to make sure I get at least one song stuck in my head for a few weeks. Plus Troy’s got a haircut and I’m a fan of the new look.