Sexualized Saturdays: Heteronormativity and High School Musical

high school musicalFor a franchise about breaking free of socialized norms and clichés, High School Musical is absurdly heteronormative. Heteronormativity, for those of you who aren’t sure, is the idea or belief that heterosexual relationships are the norm and thus everyone and everything must be straight (and often includes the belief that men and women must follow certain gender roles). Now, it seems unlikely that Disney will ever have a queer character in any of its media, but it has a long history of promoting and extolling the virtues of heterosexual romance. Think of any Disney princess movie, where “true love’s first kiss” will transform a beast into a man or a woman into a princess, and heterosexual marriages can save whole kingdoms. High School Musical is no different with its heterosexual romances.

Spoilers for all the High School Musical movies below.

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Theatre Thursdays: My Heart Loves the View, But My Head Doesn’t; or, Girls in the High School Musical Franchise

high school musicalHigh School Musical has long been one of my favorite Disney franchises, mostly because I love a good high school AU, and High School Musical is the most high school you could possibly pack into a single set of movies. There’s just something about its over-the-top clichés that really speaks to me. Unfortunately, one of these clichés is its terrible development of its female characters.

Spoilers for all three movies after the jump.

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Theatre Thursdays: High School Musical

So guess what? Corbin Bleu, of High School Musical fame, is on Dancing with the Stars this season to strut his stuff, and he’s clearly not ashamed of his High School Musical past, as per the adorable homage he paid to it above. Lucas Grabeel was even there to cheer him on from the sidelines, which warmed my little Chad/Ryan shipper heart. But sadly, after I ended up rewatching the entire film series in a fit of Dancing with the Stars-induced nostalgia, I’ve come to realize that High School Musical is sort of like the steak TV dinner that you really like until you realize that real steak tastes about a thousand times better.

Spoilers, if you haven’t already heard everything there is to hear about this Disney film, after the jump.

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The Shortcut

One of my favorite new-ish horror movies is The Shortcut from Happy Madison productions (Although it’s called Scary Madison in the credits. I guess they use that title for horror/thriller movies).

While I likely would have been interested in this movie based on its own merits, the main reason I sought it out was because it starred Drew Seeley.

The reason I know and love Drew is because he was the singing voice for Troy Bolton in High School Musical and played the role in the concert tour.

The movie also stars Shannon Woodward, Katrina Bowden of 30 Rock, and Dave Franco of Scrubs.

One of the main reasons I loved the movie was because it was unexpected. I don’t want to give away any of the secrets because they’re just too enjoyable and if you do see the movie I want you to enjoy the ride. In fact, forget I even said there were surprises because then you’ll just be looking for them and ruin the experience for yourself.

And it really is a good experience to have.

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Theatre Thursdays: Corbin Bleu stepping into ‘Godspell’ revival

High School Musical star Corbin Bleu has been cast as the new Jesus in the current revival of Godspell.

I personally look forward to this. I think he’s got an uphill battle in winning over theatre fans having come from High School Musical which many pretentious conservative musical theatre fans consider a nearly mortal sin but he’s proven himself onstage before. I myself had my reservations when he was cast in the lead role of Usnavi in In the Heights, despite being an HSM fan myself, but he really impressed me and I think he’ll be great as Jesus. He has a real humble and friendly charm onstage that I think will be perfrect for this show.

He may also have another prejudice against him as he takes on this role as many people aren’t comfortable seeing a person of color portray Jesus. If anything we can at least hope that these people will have enough of a sense of shame to not voice this particular complaint, though I wouldn’t be surprised if anonymous commentors on various theatre sites make an issue of his race (some posts on broadwaysecrets when the news broke were not particularly reassuring)

But let’s not worry about that, let’s just look forward to what Corbin can bring to this production! It looks like a very good one and I hope to get to see it while he’s starring. My friend and I tried the ticket lotto back when we were in NYC a couple months ago but didn’t win so hopefully we’ll get to see it this summer.

I love these people

I really couldn’t think of something to post this week, despite the fact that I have a word document full of ideas for things to write about on this blog. Unfortunately they all required more time than I was able to invest this week, so thankfully the ever-amazing Carlos Pena Jr. came to my rescue and posted this mishmash of awesome:

I’ve never heard this song before but I can’t stop listening to it now and I love this video so much that I’m still sitting here with a goofy smile on my face after watching it three times in the last hour and a half. It’s basically a random assortment of tweendom stars from Disney Channel, Nickelodeon, and mainstream music just dancing around and having fun and while I know that probably doesn’t appeal to a great number of folks who frequent this blog it is something that I adore and want to share.

As I mentioned, the video was posted by Carlos Pena Jr. who is one of the four members of the band Big Time Rush which I am sure to post about many, many times in the future. (That list of post ideas I mentioned? Twelve of them are related to BTR) I won’t gush about Carlos too much here but I will say that he’s the most adorable, friendly, and genuine celebrity I know of and nothing makes me happier than seeing him post a new video. Kendall Schmidt, Logan Henderson, and Dustin Belt (DBelt isn’t an official member of the band but he used to be in a band with Kendall and has become BTR’s most featured musician) are the other Rushers present in this video, the only member missing being James Maslow.

From the Disney Channel troupe we’ve got Ashley Tisdale of ‘High School Musical’, Moises Arias of various featured roles, and Selena Gomez of “Wizards of Waverly Place”.

The biggest star here though is obviously Justin Bieber who I have to say I really like. Not so much his music because I haven’t listened to much of it (I love “Never Say Never” though) but more of how positive a role model I think he is for kids and as an educator that really is something that I value.

So please watch and enjoy! If for nothing other than the fact that it’s fun.