Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Who Writes This Stuff?

I just watched High School Musical and High School Musical 2 for the first time last night, and all I have to say is, "Who writes this stuff?" Now, I'm not trying to sound bitter or cynical, but we all know that high school was not even CLOSE to that...nor will it ever be. And I'm not putting it down because it sends out a good message that being yourself is okay. In case you haven't seen it, or in case you couldn't stomach watching the whole thing, let me just paint a picture for you of what the characters are like:
Gabriella: I am the smartest kid in the United States and win decathalons like little kids win soccer trophies. My boyfriend is the star basketball player and...well, we'll get to how awesome he is in a minute. I have the voice of an angel and I am dying to try new things. I am perfect.
Troy: I am the star basketball player, the star golf player, the star everything player. I am nice and always want to help everyone. My parents took me snowboarding for New Year's yet I still feel the need to get a summer job so I can pay for college. Oh, and did I mention that I recently realized I could sing and read music and that I am good at that too? I am perfect.
Sharpay: I am beautiful. I am talented. I am conniving. I am rich. I am shallow. My thoughts consist of me, me, me, me. I am The Mean Girls stereotype.
Ryan: I am Sharpay's brother. I follow her around like a lost puppy. I have no depth until High School Musical 2. That is all.
Chad: I am Troy's best friend since preschool. I play basketball, and baseball, and every other sport known to man. I am the stereotypical wingman. I am perfectly content to be second best. My life is perfect.
Taylor: I am the second smartest kid in the United States, but I am also beautiful and can fit in with any crowd I want to. My only role in this movie is for Gabriella to have a friend and for Chad to have someone to ask out on a date at the end so that his life stays perfect.

And miraculously, they are all singing and dancing to, "We're All In This Together" at the end of the movie. Classic Disney.

How do they do it though? How do they find writers (who all have a bit of cynicism inside them somewhere) that will write this stuff? What? Do they put them in a room with smiley face bouncy balls and make everyone hold hands and discuss what their high school dreams were while a secretary sits in the corner with a steno pad and writes everything down? I just don't understand where it comes from. Maybe adults don't write it. Maybe they scour elementary schools for 4th grade writing samples of what they think high school is going to be like.

Anyways, thank you Disney for making a production where singing and dancing and being yourself is not just okay, but it's the cool thing to do. Thank you for letting kids know that it's okay to break out of the norm and to enjoy doing a variety of things. Thank you for sending a good message and promoting it so well that kids from all backgrounds eat it up like a mountain of cupcakes.

And just for a little fun, I came across this a while back when looking for Kevin Bacon Footloose pictures and had to hold back the laugh while I was watching High School Musical 2 with my neice. Enjoy...


Matthew said...

For a writer, they know jobs can be tough to come by and that the market can dry up pretty fast. So you take any job you can. Especially one from Disney where you know you're getting paid and will probably be asked back for fifteen sequels.

When it comes to how they wrote this, they probably told themselves to write the silliest thing they could. They probably wrote it as parody just so they could get through it. Then, once the parody was finished, they passed it off as real and collected their paychecks.

Alison said...

I'd say that those writers decided to sell their souls for money, and/or taught some kind of English training at Region X at some point in their life.

And,uh, this:

"Do they put them in a room with smiley face bouncy balls and make everyone hold hands and discuss what their high school dreams were while a secretary sits in the corner with a steno pad and writes everything down?"

is greatness. :)

Erica said...

I heart HSM...not so much HSM 2. I didn't need the added depth. I also just watched Camp Rock which was AWESOME!!! Yay Jonas Brothers!

So here's my thoughts...This is what's wrong- and yet makes me laugh hysterically ...about HSM. In Grease for instance- people sang their inner emotions on cue and stuff and music started but it was like.. in their head. In HSM they are literally supposed to be singing music they have never heard before with only piano and suddenly they are making up their own mariah carey riffs and a million other instruments are kicking in. Ahh greatness. Or the worst badness ever.

The BESTEST is in Camp Rock where the hot Jonas brother is out aloen on a dock and singing to a girl this song he wrote for her and suddenly one of his brothers(who isn't there) is in duet with him. It's so wrong and stupid I can't even describe.

I should totally become a cheesy disney musical consultant. It would be an awesome job.

WhiteEyebrows said...

First of all, I hope you know that HSM2, as stupid as it may be, is blessed of the Lord because it was filmed in St. George. In fact, the red hills in the background are where the theatre is located where I used to work, and I used to pass that golf course every day on my way to work.

Second of all, I have met with people who write or have written for Disney. I can safely say that most of them just know what the disney product is and deliver it for them. There are some kool aid drinkers, though, and they are usually the ones who are in management and who do all the approval on these scripts. Disney also does lots of writing by committee, where a single script will be re-written into oblivion. Most excellent, toothy writing is always written by one or two people. They have armies of writers on these Disney 'products' (and that's how they refer to them... as products, not as pieces of art...) Sad, huh. But they make mountains of money...

Emily Anne said...

I have not seen either of these movies, but I want you to know that my high school experience was PERFECT. I was queen of the world, wonderful, smart, sweet, and beautiful. It went away in college, but good things don't last forever.

Tamara said...

I feel I am owed an update. As to a certain plan that was to have unfolded. In the very recent past. How'd it go?