Posts filed under 'High School Musical'

High School Musical: Ryan’s a giant queen on stage

I must admit, the whole High School Musical phenomenon is lost on me. This is, I suspect, due in no small part to my allergic reaction to all things pertaining to movie musicals. The song, the dance, the carrying-on — it’s just too much for me to handle.

However, my ears to perk up when the matter of latent homosexuality is brought up. As such, this article caught my eye. After Elton reports that while the character of Ryan is sexually ambiguous in a hat-wearing, non-significant-other-having way in the movie, he’s pretty much all the way out of the closet in the theatrical production.

Have a look-see at the article:

In the movie, Ryan dresses stylishly, is musically inclined, wears a different hat with every outfit, and, unlike all the other main characters, has no apparent love interest. As a result, many observers, including some here at, have interpreted him as a “coded gay” character — a character that the creative team conceived of as gay, even if the movies never come out and say so directly.

This ambiguity regarding the character’s sexuality was particularly ironic in light of the fact that the theme of the first movie, which has songs like “Breaking Free” and “We’re All in This Together,” is that everyone should be allowed to be exactly who they are.

However, for the stage adaptation, out playwright David Simpatico chose to make Ryan’s gayness much more explicit.

“I wanted to present Ryan as something from my own past, a version of me, I guess — though he’s a lot better dancer than I ever was!” David says. “In the movie, the character has a gay tint. But in the stage version, I wanted to more fully articulate that tint and say, hey, this kid is who he is. Yes, I consider him a young gay guy without ever having to say it. I’d rather say it with behavior and action. And we do.”

1 comment June 19th, 2008

The More You Know: Jury duty edition

This could be really bad.

November 5th, 2007

Who Would Win in a Fight?: Battle Royale

I haven’t done this feature in a while. Remember when I said it was going to be on Thursdays? Hell, remember when I said I’d be recapping Top Chef?


Anyways, I’ll resurrect this little feature by proposing a three-way (I know what you’re thinking — “Dan, that’s your solution to everything.”). But here we go, are you ready?

Who would win in a fight between Food Network’s Molto Mario, High School Musical’s Zac “Troy” Efron and Arrested Development’s G.O.B. Bluth?


Here’s a round-up of the contenders:

Mario Batali: Don’t let his teddy bear face fool you — Molto Mario would tear you in half if he ever got the chance. Like most chefs, he is skilled with a knife and knows anatomy. He’ll exploit his competitors’ weak parts in order to go for the kill. In addition, he’s got 150 and 100 pounds on Efron and Bluth, respectively. I’m conjuring a very specific image of Mario walking around, butcher knives in both hands, with Efron clinging to one leg and Bluth to the other. Batali’s weaknesses, however, lie in his strengths — his size means less agility and heavy, lumbering steps. He’s more likely to get winded mid-battle.

Zac Efron: Sure, he’s skinny. Sure, he’s young. But Zac Efron is a dancer. He’s got the best six pack of all the competitors (seriously, Google image him). I can imagine him darting between Bluth and Batali, quickly shooting between their legs and leaping on their backs, putting them in sleeper holds. That said, if Batali lands a punch, then it’s all over. Also, Efron’s orangish hue will make it hard to blend in if there is a Predator-like game of cat and mouse in the jungle.

G.O.B. Bluth: He may not be the strongest or the quickest, but as far as pure fearlessness, neither Efron or Batalie can match Bluth. Think of the possessed look in his eye when performing his magic. Think of him riding on his Segway, unsheathing his sword. Would you want to go up against that? Because I wouldn’t. Of course, as far as technical fighting skills go, I can’t imagine Bluth has that much to offer. But he’d probably play dirtier than either Batali or Efron, which is worth something.

Who would win in a fight?
View Results

7 comments September 12th, 2007

The More You Know: MySpace edition

Don’t be a bastard. Be our MySpace friend. We love you.

September 4th, 2007

The Teen Choice Awards: Attack of the Squeal

In the grand TiFaux tradition of watching crap so you don’t have to, I suffered through about half an hour of the Teen Choice Awards last night. After this careful viewing, I was left with one disturbing question: where are all the teenage boys?

efronx.jpgThe event, judging purely from the awards, the level of banter, and the neverending squealing, seemed so girly it was practically ovulating. I laughed heartily the two times Zac Efron took the stage; the audience literally would not let him speak, overwhelming him with squeals.

If this is what the teen girls are in to, what are the teen boys watching? Seriously, I want to know. Also, why is it that teen girls have absolutely no sense of humor? The boys from Superbad and Justin Timberlake all tried to crack jokes, but the audience was dead to their antics.

Which brings me to another oddity: Superbad is rated R, and not in a mild, there’s one sex scene way. It’s an R movie. Technically teens aren’t even allowed to see it. Similarly, Ryan Seacrest won “Best Hissy Fit” for Knocked Up (which, as an aside, was an awesome hissy fit), but did these squealing girls actually go see Knocked Up? Or are they just voting for Ryan Seacrest, who’s so dreamy? Or has the voting been infiltrated by non-teens?

I think teens should see as many R rated movies as they can. That’s just a personal belief of mine. But I’m curious about the blatant hypocrisy.

So clearly I was left with a lot more than just one disturbing question. Perhaps that’s why I had to give up and turn it off: So many contradictions!

2 comments August 27th, 2007

The More You Know: High-impact aerobics edition

Those 80s Jane Fonda workout tapes were bad for you. The news said so.

August 27th, 2007

The More You Know: Yellow highlighter edition

Yellow is really the only acceptable highlighter color.

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1 comment August 24th, 2007

What’s With All the Hats?: The Ryan Evans Story

Even I’m getting a little sick of me taking High School Musical too seriously. I promise after this I’ll direct my brain-beams at something a little more worthy. For example, The Pick-Up Artist is now officially my second-favorite reality show after Project Runway. What? Not brainy enough? [Side note: Four years ago, I never would’ve thought I could utter the phrase “second-favorite reality show.” The thought of even watching one would make me break out in hives. Ah, how times change.]

highschool_lucas.jpgSo. Ryan Evans. Ryan, as I assume you know if you’ve made it this far in the post, is Sharpay’s super-sparkly, super-awesome, super-gay (coded) brother. This is the Disney Channel, after all, so none of the characters could actually be gay, but of all the likely candidates (cough-CRÈME BRÛLÉE-cough [another side note: Where’s Crème Brûlée in movie #2? Is he at culinary school? What, is the actor too good for the Disney channel now? And jeebus, crème brûlée has a lot of accent marks]), Ryan is the most likeliest. And I think Disney is kind of okay with that.

So how does Disney tell us they’re okay with it, in their subtle way? It’s not the fact that he performs in the musical; Troy performs in the musical, and he is the epitome of Disney’s manly men. I mean, Troy totally wants to kiss Gabriella. Like, seriously. The fact that he keeps letting circumstances come between himself and the kiss doesn’t mean he’s not way into it.

It’s not the fact that Ryan loves jazz squares, either. That’s just his way of annoying his sister. And besides, jazz squares are awesome. As he so aptly put it, “Everyone loves a jazz square.” You can’t argue with that.

No, it’s not the musical or the jazz squares. It is, simply, and quite literally, that he wears a lot of hats.

Click to continue reading “What’s With All the Hats?: The Ryan Evans Story”

18 comments August 22nd, 2007

A post about multiple varieties of fruits

I caught about the last half hour or so of High School Musical Two on Friday. This was entirely by accident.

However, I did watch it in a semi-darkened room with four other gay men (just as God intended) and we enjoyed it approximately 85% ironically.

Eventually, the entertainment turned to other (decidedly less wholesome) entertainment.

Anyway, throughout the ordeal, I was distracted by Zac Efron’s ever-changing skin tone. In the indoor scenes, he was a normal-ish shade of porcelain, but during the outdoor scenes he tended to glow orange. Therefore, a quick poll:

In High School Musical Two, Zac Efron's complexion is closest in color to which of the following citrus fruits:
View Results

2 comments August 21st, 2007

Fabulous: A Closer Look at Sharpay Evans

Get ready for another post in my continuing quest to make this blog all about High School Musical (part 2 of, potentially, hundreds). This is more of a scholarly look, because honestly, I’m seeing a huge gap in the academic community when it comes to made-for-TV Disney movies, and I’m just here to fill the need.


Sharpay Evans (blue dress) is the “villain” of the High School Musical series (technically, though, the villains really keeping our heroes down are better described as “the status quo” and “classicism”). In the first movie, Sharpay tries to keep Troy and Gabriella from auditioning for her precious musical. It was vaguely suggested, as so much was in movie #1, that she also had designs on Troy romantically, but that angle was not nearly as important as the audition plot. In the stage version (which, yes, I have seen, thank you for asking), which features an expanded book, her motivations are much more obviously confused — she spends a lot more time trying to make them into the perfect couple.

Which leads naturally to the second movie, where her motivations are more hopelessly muddled than ever. She wants Troy; she arranges the whole summer so she can spend time with him. But “getting Troy,” to her, means getting Troy to sing with her in the talent show. For Sharpay, it seems at first that romantic relationships are all about winning. She needs that trophy more than she needs Troy. Or is it all the same, really? Does she consider performing with Troy the same as being with him romantically? In a way, it doesn’t matter, because her obsession with Troy means she forces him to sing with her. Forcing him to sing with her also guarantees that she’ll win the trophy, since he won’t be upstaging her by singing with Gabriella.

So far her romantic goals and her trophy-winning goals line up fairly smoothly, if not exactly emotionally consistently. But then the rest of the staff decides to compete in the talent show together, with the help of Sharpay’s scorned brother, Ryan. A single glance at their rehearsal convinces Sharpay that they pose a legitimate threat to her trophy. This is despite the fact she OWNS THE RESORT and could just insist on winning no matter what (it’s obvious she has that power; the grumpy resort manager almost gives her the trophy, despite the fact that she didn’t end up singing in the competition at all). She can’t do it, though, because it’s actually important to her to be the best.

And that’s the key to her personality.

Click to continue reading “Fabulous: A Closer Look at Sharpay Evans”

14 comments August 21st, 2007

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