Am I the last person in America who doesn’t get the whole “High School Musical” thing? I’m coming to the conclusion that the “High School Musical” is being marketed to people who aren’t in high school and who therefore don't have any pre-conceived notions about it, is that right? That “tweens” are the target market for this franchise? Because I thought I had “high school kids” firmly in my mind as being the cell-phone using, tattoo-having, Starbucks-drinking types of youth who would never, EVER subscribe to a concept as blatantly unironic as a high school where everyone sings and feels good about themselves all the time.
The fact that this was the # 1 movie in America last weekend clearly shows that there is some high demand for this, but I thought we as a nation were well past the age of syrupy sentiment and idealistic high school situations like “Grease.” Because, when you think about it, high school is the one place that you could not want to get out of MORE once you’re in it (unless, of course, you’re a person for whom high school was the best time of your life, and if you’re that person, I really, really doubt you’re reading this blog).
In fact, I was thinking about this the other day—I think if you offered me one million dollars to travel back in time and re-live my high school years again, I think I could pretty confidently turn that down. Isn’t hating high school the thing to do? And, if so, doesn’t that make “High School Musical” an unlikely concept, and an even unlikelier success?
This must mean that the market for “High School Musical” consists solely of people who haven’t BEEN to high school yet, and therefore think it’s conceivable that there could be singing and dancing, and that there wouldn’t be a clique of loathsome jocks and cheerleaders whose sole purpose it is to make everyone feel bad about themselves, but who, don’t worry, are assuredly going to be fat by your high school reunion, so let them have their moment in the sun, because in twenty years they’re going to be drunk and bringing photo albums of themselves when they were in cheerleading to the reception after the reunion, and drunkenly pointing to old pictures and going “Look how skinny I was!”, as if trying to desperately escape the present and will themselves back to a sliver of time when they were thin and happy.
I’m not saying that really happened at my high school reunion, only you know it did. So, I guess let them have their “High School Musical,” because for me, the REAL musical-worthy stuff started right around the time of the ten year reunion, when the wheel of karma starts to come around, and when a former football star who called me ugly in the seventh grade gets drunk and tries to hit on me. And of course, by "musical-worthy," I mean in like a satirical, Avenue Q/ The Producers kind of way, where the world has righted itself, and the geeks and the people who were really into things like theater and liked The Smiths and thought for themselves are now cool, and the cheerleaders are now fat.
Oh yes--yes I did.