Taking Two for the Team

May 11, 2010 at 7:57 pm (A Midsummer Night's Dream, Film Adaptations, Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare's Plays) (, , , , , , , )

I guess this proves I will do almost anything for this blog. I watched both, yes BOTH, High School Musical and High School Musical 2. I read that the first one is based on Romeo and Juliet and the second one is inspired by A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Blech. I mean, I guess there is Shakespeare drowning somewhere deep in all the treacle, but it’s really hard for me to identify.

Let’s start with the first movie. It’s boy (Troy, played by Zac Efron) meets girl (Gabriella, played by Vanessa Hudgens). They meet at New Years at a ski resort. They make beautiful (karaoke) music together. Girl disappears. Girl reappears at boy’s high school the following week.

Girl is smart; boy is athlete. She has smart friends on the school’s quiz show team; he has athletic friends on the basketball team. I think this serves as the Capulet/Montague structure. How can a smart girl be friends with an athletic boy? The mere thought threatens the foundation of the cosmos. So, I guess that makes them star-crossed.

Then they try out for a school musical together. I guess boy sings to girl on her balcony (I might have slept through that, but I saw a reference to it somewhere). And ummm, yep, I think that’s all I can say regarding Shakespearean parallels there.

And then on to HSM2. It’s summer vacation and everyone is working at the country club. Everyone plays Bottom. Right? I think that’s the connection to A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Alack, alack, alack.

If I am forced to find parallels here, I think it must be that Sharpay (played by Ashley Tisdale) is pining for Troy, making her Helena and him Demetrius. Except that Troy actually is dating Gabriella, so that makes him Lysander if she is Hermia. So, we’ll call him Demander.

And then a little money/college scholarships are waved in front of Troy/Demander’s nose, and that serves as the love juice and he is temporarily sucked into Sharpay’s vortex. But then he wanders around the woods of his own mind, duels with himself, and the real Troy/Lysander comes back to sing beautiful music with Gabriella. Yay!

Really, I am so sorry for anyone who has children who watch this over and over again. It is mind numbing and I think you must be earning extra karma points wherever those things are tracked. 

HSM is (mercifully) not popular in my own home. When I asked my second grader if he wanted to watch it, he looked stricken and said “No! Why?!” And that was the end of that. Now, excuse me while my head explodes.

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