4 Reasons to Watch High School Musical: The Musical: The Series (Season 2)
Updated: Sep 7, 2022
It’s that time of year again…time to reignite my obsession with High School Musical: The Musical: The Series! The show of the summer will be returning to Disney Plus on July 27 (watch the trailer here). I recently completed a rewatch of HSMTMTS Season 2 in anticipation of Season 3, which left me SO excited for new episodes. As a follow up to my blog post last year, “8 Reasons to Watch High School Musical: The Musical: The Series (Season 1)”, I’ve compiled a list of four big reasons to watch High School Musical: The Musical: The Series (Season 2)!
(cover photo from @highschoolmusicalseries Instagram)
For the soundtrack, the HSMTMTS production team goes big! This season, the East High drama department is staging their own production of Beauty and the Beast, which means most of the cover songs are from the Alan Menken classic. This was announced before Season 2 started airing, which left me wondering: will they just cover songs from the 1991 animated film, or will the writers and production team also pay tribute to the 1994 Broadway musical? Personally, I love the BATB Cast Recording, so I was rooting for some Broadway songs. I was NOT disappointed! Their stagings of “Home” and “If I Can’t Love Her” blew me away! However, if you are concerned about a lack of representation from the original High School Musical canon, fear not! There is an adorable tribute to High School Musical 2, as well as a nod to another Disney Channel throwback…
The end of Season 1 left many of the characters coupled into romantic pairings. Those couples pick up where they left off, each navigating relationship dynamics unique to those characters. Additionally, other brand-new pairings established themselves over the course of Season 2 in compelling ways. The care with which each pairing was written and developed showed adolescent love with emotional maturity. All couples were shown facing their own problems, with some working through their issues together, and others deciding to go their separate ways when they realize the relationship is not healthy for either of them.
(3) Guest Cast
An exciting cast of guest characters added plenty of fun drama! I was especially excited about the appearances of Derek Hough, of Dancing with the Stars fame, as a rival drama teacher. I also found Lily, a new antagonist, delightfully wicked, and thought her scenes added exciting tension. The writers also teased a complicated backstory for her, which I hope unfolds more in Season 3.
(4) Character Development
The character work on this show goes deep! When someone on HSMTMTS makes bad decisions, you KNOW they are heading for a redemption arc that will steal your heart before you realize what’s happened. For example, those who read “8 Reasons to Watch High School Musical: The Musical: The Series (Season 1)” may remember my third reason was how great of a character Ricky Bowen is. In Season 2, there are a few situations in which he struggles to make the right decision. However, those struggles coordinate so clearly with his character development from Season 1. The reason Ricky and Nini broke up before the beginning of Season 1 was because he was hesitant to commit to her, so when they are back together by the beginning of Season 2, his clinginess is an overcorrection from his previous aloofness. I never condone his bad decisions, yet I am still rooting for him to grow and make better choices. Another character I mentioned in my previous article was EJ. In the fourth item on my list, “Antagonists you’ll love to love,” I described the state of his character arc by the end of Season 1 as, “he’s still got some work to do, but his journey is definitely on an upward trajectory.” In Season 2, I was proven correct as EJ went from comically self-absorbed to a sweetheart finding himself.
I could go on for a while talking about all of the characters on this show, because each one is written with the intention of developing them wholly, with their own personalities, skills, insecurities, and challenges. By the end of Season 2, we’ve barely scratched the surface for some characters, yet there’s clearly more depth to be discovered. I can’t wait to see what lies in store for every single one of them in Season 3.
If you watched Season 1 but never got around to Season 2, I hope my list was enough to convince you to run, not walk, to catch up before the Season 3 premiere! I am eagerly awaiting July 27 to see what happens next in the story of the East High drama department!