Welcome back to East High; High School Musical The Musical The Series is back on Disney+ , and Boss Rush Entertainment will be bringing you episode reviews every Sunday throughout season 2. It has been a little over a year since we have seen the inaugural season of this spin-off show, and fans have been excited to see HSMTMTS return.
In the time since we first returned to East High; Olivia Rodrigo (who plays Nini) released “Drivers License” which quickly rose to number #1 on the Billboard music charts earlier this year. Joshua Bassett (who plays Ricky) also released new solo music, and established himself as a star both on and off Disney+. The entire cast of HSMTMTS released a Christmas special complete with an album release and a special on Disney+.
Season 1 of HSMTMTS finished with Nini and Ricky finally back together, however, Nini received an invitation to join a performing arts school in Denver, but she hasn’t told Ricky yet. Big Red and Ashlyn finally kissed after the opening night of the fall musical, but now seem to be in the awkward space between dating and friends; Ashlyn has also welcomed a new roommate in the form of our favorite used-to-be villain Gina! HSMTMTS built a great foundation in season 1 with original music that hits every note, and throwbacks to the original movie that are elevated to new heights. Let’s dive into this first episode, shall we.
Season 2 of HSMTMTS kicks off with a new original song “Something In the Air” featuring the entire cast together again, and Sofia Wylie (the amazing talent behind Gina) defies gravity with her incredible dance moves. The East High Drama Club is celebrating the holidays and everyone is dealing with heavy emotions. Nini hasn’t told Ricky that she is leaving New Year’s day to go to a new performing arts school, Ricky is dealing with his parent’s divorce, and Miss Jenn runs into a former high school ex (played by Derek Hough) who makes her reconsider her choice for the spring musical. The cast meets on New Year’s Eve at Ashlyn’s house for an NYE party, during which Big Red is struggling to find the confidence to ask Ashlyn to be his girlfriend. Miss Jenn is determined to produce the best spring musical she can, so she changes her mind about making the spring musical High School Musical 2, and instead chooses Beauty and the Beast. Miss Jenn crashes the NYE party with an announcement that the cast will be challenging North High for the Allen Mankin Award for high school theater where the winner comes away with a scholarship to NYU. The season 2 premiere ends with Nini shouting at the NYE party that she is moving to Denver.
I think the beginning of this first episode is perfect; we get a big dance number that shows new confidence in Carlos and establishes the tone for this season. I love that the showrunners teased High School Musical 2, but ultimately decided to go with Beauty and the Beast as the spring musical; however, the cast did perform a mashup of HSM2 melodies that elevated it to new places. Nini and Ricky sing a near-perfect chorus of “You Are The Music In Me” (my personal favorite song from HSM2), and I think this is a perfect showcase of how Disney mixes old songs with new voices, yet it fits perfectly into the story. Julia Lester (who plays Ashlyn) really stands out in this first episode, as she navigates her love life and new roommate Gina; I will never stop being impressed by Julia’s voice. Season 2 looks like it will be a little bit more dramatic than season 1, and I am all for it. The storyline that I am most intrigued by with season 2 is Gina; Gina went from a villain at the beginning of season 1 to ending the season as one of the key pieces to the East High drama club. Gina throughout the season 2 premiere is caught by the camera giving eyes to Ricky who will inevitably have issues with Nini this season as they try long distance.
How will all these different stories play out in season 2? We will find out, and post our review every Sunday right here on the Boss Rush Network.