What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this documentary about real-life teens putting on a production of High School Musical airs in sporadic 5-minute "interstitial" installments (also available on DisneyChannel.com) -- just enough time to grab kids' attention before signing off and making them crave more, which might leave them frustrated. And if you're looking to soothe the HSM fever in your house, this won't help. That said, the reality-style show (which will culminate in a half-hour special) celebrates the cooperative effort required to put on a successful show, and the teen stars often comment glowingly about how the experience has changed them and introduced them to new friends they otherwise wouldn't have met.
What's the story?
Airing in brief installments between shows on the Disney Channel, the documentary HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL: THE MUSIC IN YOU follows two schools' real-life production of a stage adaptation of Disney's hit musical High School Musical. The program treats viewers to a backstage tour of try-outs, rehearsals, and opening night, and also shows how the theater can unite teens from different backgrounds. Brief interviews give some of the students, who hail from two rival high schools in Fort Worth, Tex., a chance to express their love of drama, their personal goals for the show, and their feelings about their castmates. Some episodes focus on particular aspects of the stage production process while other installments focus on the journeys of a select few key cast members. For some, landing a lead role is less a goal than an expectation; for others, just stepping from the stage crew into the cast is a major accomplishment.
Is it any good?
Seeing the process behind the show in The Music in You may inspire some young High School Musical fans to check out try out their own stage legs. The documentary also evokes hopeful messages about the unifying nature of drama by showing how these teens were able to set aside their previous judgments and school rivalry and create a cohesive cast and a stellar show.
But much of that may be lost on young tweens, whose patience for the show's disjointed nature will be as brief as the 5-minute installments themselves. Parents' patience, on the other hand, may be tested by the barrage of High School Musical branding...
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about whether this type of series -- short-form episodes that air unpredictably -- is fun or frustrating. Aside from the length of the episodes, is it different from "regular" TV? If so, how? Families can also discuss the idea of adapting High School Musical to the stage. How does your familiarity with the movie affect your impression of the "live" version? What other stories have you seen in both stage and movie form? Do you think it's more harder to act on stage or in a movie? Why? Tweens: Are you interested in drama? What movie role would you like to play?