HSMTMTS Season 3: Episodes 3&4 Reactions!
Welcome back to some more reactions to Season 3 of High School Musical: The Musical: The Series! I hope you are enjoying the new season as much as I am. If you’re not caught up, the first four episodes are waiting for you on Disney Plus!
You can also catch up on my thoughts on the first two episodes of Season 3 here.
If you haven’t seen Season 1, here are some reasons to watch.
If you haven’t seen Season 2, here are some reasons to watch.
Without further ado, here are my reactions to HSMTMTS Season 3 Episode 3: The Woman in the Woods and Episode 4: No Drama (Light spoilers ahead).
(cover photo for the post from Entertainment Weekly)
The Ballad of Susan Fine (E3)-This song was alright, I hope EJ gets a better solo song later this season, though.
Rising (E3)-A really powerful, beautiful number, and I loved how it fit well with the theme of evaluating one’s identity via astrology (However, the lack of covers in Episode 3 was disappointing).
Fabulous (E4)-I LOVED this cover. First of all, everyone looked so cute in their pink pool wear. I also really enjoyed the way the instrumental track was remixed with new rhythms and sounds, and the way that the choreography was in tune with the iconic original. It did what a good HSMTMTS cover must: reimagining a classic in exciting ways, while creating a sentimental homage to an old fan favorite.
Love is an Open Door (E4)-AMAZING. I love the way this was staged. I need to research the Frozen Broadway musical so I can prepare for any future Frozen covers…
EJ-EJ has not had a moment of peace since he was appointed director of Frozen. I’ll write some more spoiler-y thoughts on this a little farther down.
Gina-I’ve always said that I’m happy when Gina’s happy, and right now Gina has a lot to be happy about. Her joy about her future shows just how perfect she is to play Anna. I just hope she stays happy.
Ricky-There’s a lot of buzz on social media about shipping Ricky and Gina; I’m not participating. First, I think after Nini (and Lily), Ricky needs to spend some time being single. Second, I am of the opinion that Ricky Bowen, more than anything else, is a great, big, all-around, nondiscriminatory flirt. He’s been touching, teasing, and making eyes at not only Gina, but Jet and EJ as well. I think that’s just an aspect of his goofy personality that’s been able to rise to the surface in his post-angst era.
Ashlyn-There is so much to unpack with Ashlyn! In these two episodes alone, she has spiraled into a multilayered identity crisis. It starts with the posting of Frozen’s cast list, which revealed that Ashlyn has been assigned to the ensemble, an abrupt change from playing Belle in Season 2’s Beauty and the Beast. Over the course of Season 2, Ashlyn battled a lot of insecurity from fears that she wasn’t good enough, or didn’t look the part, to be a leading lady. Ashlyn ultimately shined as Belle, and in my opinion, being cast in the ensemble must have shaken any newly-developed confidence and caused a lot of self-doubt. In fact, this led to a spiral in questioning what kind of person she really is. Honestly, she becomes so focused on herself she comes off as a bit self-centered. For such a sweet character, she is not her best self, and Gina tells her as much. In fact, I was reminded a lot of what Ashlyn’s character did for EJ in Season 1. In the beginning of HSMTMTS, EJ made a lot of bad decisions, and Ashlyn was around to remind him that his behavior was not okay until he got back on the right track. In Season 3, Gina is the one attempting to pull Ashlyn back to earth with love and honesty. Then, of course, there is the evolving relationship between Ashlyn and Maddox. By the end of Episode 4, Ashlyn feels less threatened by Maddox and starts to see her as a confidant, which is very interesting to see. One may even say there is quite a bit of chemistry to be found between the two…
Kourtney-Over the past couple seasons, I’ve enjoyed the nuances of Kourtney’s character. You see that Kourtney is someone who works hard to maintain a strong persona, but also struggles with confidence. I appreciated getting to see that part of her go a bit deeper and as she put her anxiety into words. I wonder if this will become an ongoing storyline, especially as Kourtney goes into her senior year in Season 4.
Maddox-We’ve learned quite a bit more about Maddox, and I love her even more! I can’t wait to spend more time with her and learn even more about her in future episodes. I love the energy she brings to the show.
Jet-We learn a bit more about Jet, too! I think it was just a taste of what we’re going to learn about him, so I’m excited to see what is revealed next.
Carlos-So far in Season 3, Carlos has made me laugh. My favorite sarcastic quip from him was, “Yes, it’s me, the notorious womanizer of the group.” I also found his (way off-base) theorizing about Jet and Maddox amusing…
The cast list for Camp Shallow Lake’s production of Frozen has been posted! I am very excited for Gina and Kourtney, who have been cast as supporting roles the last two seasons, to have their chance to be leading ladies! Also, I loved that this season of HSMTMTS included the quintessential high school theatre experience: the cast list is posted, some people are NOT happy, and they don’t care to hide it…(if you were ever a theatre kid, you know exactly what I’m talking about).
Turns out, Ricky is working his way through a “Before I Turn Eighteen” bucket list, which includes the item “say yes to something that scares me.” Sounds like foreshadowing to me…
EJ reveals that he intends to take a gap year, which pleased me because I would love to see more of EJ after his graduation from East High. However, EJ’s father, briefly seen in Season 2, has other plans. Now, the stakes for EJ and his directorial debut are heightened as EJ strives to prove to his father that he can be successful without going away for school. The Disney Plus documentary on Camp Shallow Lake’s production of Frozen should be the perfect opportunity to do that, right?
However, the documentary itself is in jeopardy. By the end of Episode 4, Corbin and his producer make it clear that this group of kids is too friendly, and that there is not enough “drama” present to make good reality television. Everyone, not just EJ, wants this documentary made, so he does what he can to convince them to stay. I just hope he doesn’t do anything he can’t undo…
What comes next?
The campers of Shallow Lake need to transform themselves into proper reality TV subjects. I’m sure their attempts to entertain Corbin and his camera crew will be interesting to see unfold. Then, we’ll see what real drama the manufactured drama brings forth…