Never heard of High School Musical: The Musical: The Series? You might have missed a bit of TV history in the making. Running four seasons and the brain-child of producer Tim Federle, the show became immediately popular with a combination of a high school storyline and musical concepts woven into the plot.
A Common Theme People Related To
While the basic concept involves students and a teacher focusing on trying to put on a high school musical, the stereotypical production most students have either been involved in or seen during their time in high school in real life, the show also bounced back and forth with the relationships between the student characters, their peers and the wider environment of the high school. A key factor in the show’s success, however, was rooted in its ability to change as the storyline progressed, versus staying stagnant.
A common trend in many sitcoms and TV shows was the odd problem of the characters never aging, changing or evolving. That became awkward as the actors themselves began to age and change over time in reality. Married with Children, a blunt comedy on American family life in the 1990s and early 2000s, was a good example. It became extremely awkward with the “kids” being played by clearly adult actors who were in their 30s.
Serious Support for Success
Set in Salt Lake City, UT, the show’s storyline focused on a Midwest setting versus West Coast aspects, which likely made it a lot more popular for wider audiences across the country than the usual Buffy the Vampire-Riverside fair that had been on TV previously regarding high school drama. The show also had the backing of Disney, easily providing the support and budget needed to bring it to a wide audience with enough marketing backing to grab attention.
Typical Drama Class Angst
The characters weren’t automatically shoehorned into their musical roles. They had to rehearse and compete for singing positions, which created variety and provided a more realistic aspect into being picked for a spot on stage. As the seasons progressed, added layers of pressure were brought in, such as competing against other schools in stage contests, or character development during summer when school was out. With a final closing in the last season, the characters fully evolved to graduating and moving on from high school, which provided a natural closer to the storyline and even if some in the audience wanted it to continue. This fundamental difference made the TV show even more of a hit, leaving on a high note versus becoming a tired, repeat exercise for ratings.
In many ways, doing so might have etched High School Musical into people’s memories, much the same way the end of M.A.S.H. did for TV audiences in the early 1980s when that show ended.