Posted by: Staff | 01.18.2008

Clichés are the Best Medicine: High School Musical

JESSICA PENZIAS ‘08

For a little context, High School Musical’s pedigree includes such films as Zenon: Z3 (“The Zecond Zequel”) and Brink, so you can be excused for underestimating it. This high school comedy, in which students often break into enthused song and dance, is often ridiculed by those over the age of 11. These people tend to mock the convenient plot lines and the not-so-subtle lessons the movie provides. The movie enforces such clichés as “what goes around comes around,” “tomorrow is another day,” and “All good things come to those who wait.” Above all, the film promises a happy ending complete with a dance number no matter the circumstances.

Cinematic quality aside, certainly no critic can question the commercial success of the Disney Channel Original Movie. For the Disney Channel, its viewership was topped only by that of its sequel, which was the most watched cable broadcast in history. The film also incited a concert tour; is currently touring as an on-ice production, created two hit CDs, and sold countless DVDs. To everyone who stares cynically at these facts and even attributes the downfall of American integrity and the brainwashing of American youth to the Disney corporation—and there are people who do (cough *Mr. MacDonald*)—I will not respond with a cliché. Instead, all I have to say is: DO judge a book by its cover.

While many adults question the High School Musical phenomenon, in doing so, they miss the point of the film. I urge these people to accept High School Musical for what it is. High School Musical is not a success because it has profound insight, or needs an analytical eye. It is a success because it, in itself, is a cliché. It has been seen before. It is simple. It is repetitive. It is repetitive. And overall, it is reassuring. The predictable plot lines, simple characters, and catchy songs do not need to be analyzed.

There is beauty and safety in clichés that children immediately connect to. High School Musical’s simplicity allows the viewer to be reduced to a childlike state—to accept what they see before them because they have seen it before. Personally, I find it refreshing to watch an unoriginal story and to hear lessons that I have already learned. Frankly, if you are one of those sad people who are still resisting the phenomenon that swept America, all I have to say is, “if you can’t beat them, join ‘em.”

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Responses

  1. I love how you ended this with a cliche. This editorial was laugh-out-loud funny!!


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