DISNEY+ REVIEW: “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series” Has Extra Helpings of Bad News in Episode 7
It’s time for these Wildcats to go on Thanksgiving break! A much-needed vacation is what the cast needs, but most of them would rather stay in school than deal with the oncoming problems that come with Thanksgiving at home.
We start the episode off during the last rehearsal before Thanksgiving break, with Ricky and Nini blocking the number “Start of Something New”. The chemistry between the two exes seems to be improving and everyone is excited to head off from school when practice ends. With everyone comparing plans, we find out that Ashlyn would have the house to herself for the evening, and invites the entire cast to come over for a party after everyone’s had their Thanksgiving meals.
During the day of Thanksgiving, we get to see a bit of how everyone spends the holiday with their family. Nini and her grandmother are going through old pictures and family history, Ricky and his dad are having a makeshift Thanksgiving meal, and EJ is on Instagram confessing to all of his wrongdoings.
After Ricky finishes up his meal, he decides to call his mom who’s in Chicago currently, to wish her a happy Thanksgiving. To his surprise, a man picks up and announces that he’s Ricky’s mom’s new boyfriend. He’s about to head out to the party when Gina stops by with homemade cupcakes and a new knitted hat for him, which distracts him about the harsh news for the time being.
Everyone starts gathering at Ashlyn’s house later that evening. EJ has Emily, a girl from summer camp, on face time when he arrives and gets Nini and them to talk after he admits that he was the one who gave Emily food poisoning so Nini could get the lead in the play. Ricky and Gina arrive together a bit later, which makes Nini a bit upset at how close the two really are getting. But to break up all the tension, Carlos arrives with a homemade High School Musical board game that gets everyone involved and having a good time.
Meanwhile at East High, Miss Jenn and Mr. Mazzara are avoiding their own family Thanksgiving meals by working on separate projects in the workshop. Miss Jenn is working on set designs while Mr. Mazzara works on improving his robotics before entering into a competition. The two end up helping each other, finding that they both can work well together now that they’re on better terms. They both end up watching Big Hero 6 together in the teacher’s lounge before falling asleep on the couch, not noticing the small electrical fire that’s occurring in the workshop.
Back at Ashlyn’s, during the game, Nini and Gina end up coming to better terms with things. Gina is even invited to stay the night with all the girls at Ashlyn’s. When Gina goes to call her mom to ask for permission, she finds out that they have to move again in the next few days due to her mother’s work with FEMA. Gina quickly leaves and Ricky ends up following her out, only adding to Nini’s uncertainty regarding her feelings.
When Nini goes back home, she works on writing a song for herself. “Out of the Old” is all about everyone dealing with the changes in their lives and how Nini decides to make her own changes to improve her own life. By the end of the song, Nini decides that she’s going to apply for the Youth Actors’ Conservatory in Denver, Colorado as part of her own change.
This episode continues to focus on the repercussions of everyone’s actions throughout the series. From the break up between Ricky and Nini, EJ’s admissions of guilt, Ricky’s parents divorce and Gina’s constant moving, everyone has to learn how to adapt best to the changes in their life and the emotions that comes with them. Although there isn’t a lot of nods to the original movie in this one, other than at the very start with the “Start of Something New” number, it’s nice to see that this show can withstand it’s own plot without having to borrow and copy everything from the source material. It’s also nice to really look at the real world implications that some teenagers have to deal with at home as well, making this show more realistic and relatable for viewers.
Still with us Wildcats? Check back with us next week for Episode 8, “The Tech Rehearsal”.