It's 2006, the year High School Musical debuted. I'm in high school, and I'm working at a pizza place. Two of my coworkers listen to XM Radio's Disney Channel, which is playing the same 20-song loop full of Hannah Montana, Camp Rock and the Jonas Brothers all night long. I could change the channel, but Friday nights are always insanely busy. I just need to get my mind off the double-file line in the shop. But as I hear the same 20 songs over and over, they're burrowing into my skull like the whine of a dentist's drill. On this cold, snowy night, I'm hearing a song called "We're All in This Together." I ask myself, What in the world is this from? One of my coworkers tells me it's a song from something called—dun, dun, dunHigh School Musical.

Tonight I swear by Mufasa's name that I will never, ever see the movie. Ever.

Now it's 2010. I'm watching and sporking High School Musical from start to finish.

You're probably wondering why I'm watching this. So am I. My guess is that somewhere between 2006 and 2010, I heard people say this movie was the worst Disney movie ever. Naturally, I rubbed my hands together and with a fiendish cackle in my voice I said:

"At lahst, my next veectim."

OK, maybe I didn't say that, but I probably thought it would be like Simba's Pride—it would be just bad enough for me to make fun of it, but just good enough for me to praise it a little.

I sporked Simba's Pride pretty intensely because I'm a huge Lion King fan. But I'm changing it up here. I want to be fair with movies I don't like. I'll applaud them if they get better. Besides, I had heard just the one song. I shouldn't judge a movie by one song.

But the cover art and the plot description are terrible. The poster features six kids looking as though they took a whiff of laughing gas. The smiley faces look like they're from an ad for a toy or a new candy. ("Fruity Whompers! YAY!") The plot is less than overwhelming: Troy Bolton (played by Zac Efron) is captain of the basketball team, and he looks like he got yanked out of a boy band, so every girl and their mother will be calling him "cu-u-u-ute." Gabriella Montez (played by Vanessa Hudgens) is a beautiful, shy Latina who's a genius. These two audition for the parts…not part, but their high school musical, and for some reason, they become rivals over the whole thing.

Yeah, I'm serious: two parts, two people, one great disturbance in their perfectly perfect existences.

The rest of the Wikipedia synopsis is just as cheesy:

Despite other students' attempts to thwart their dreams

The title should be High School Conspiracy, then.

Troy and Gabriella resist peer pressure and rivalry


inspiring others along the way not to "stick to the status quo."

Yep. This movie is going to blow.

The movie opens with a black screen overlaid with the words "A Disney Channel Original Movie." A soft, happy piano theme plays over strings, and the screen fades from black. In the snow-covered mountains is a lodge; in the snow, a snowboarder carves out a path along the bottom of the shot. The subtitle "New Years Eve" lingers for a moment at the bottom center. The English stickler in me is pissed off because there's no apostrophe in "Years." Ugh.

Inside the lodge, high-schoolers are cheering and dancing to the incredibly slow music, and it begs me to wonder why there's no upbeat music playing. One of the kids is standing around and wearing bull horns. Yeah—a kid is wearing bull horns—at a New Year's Eve party. WTF?!

In a quieter part of the lodge, a girl in a purple outfit and pink boots is lounging on the couch and reading. A tall Latino woman in a black skirt comes up to her; the look on her face tells me she's sighing to herself. "Gabi, it's New Year's Eve," she says. "Enough reading." (I thought the problem was that people weren't reading enough.) She takes the book from Gabriella's hands, and Gabi protests—probably because it's either Twilight or one of her math or science texts. Given the scrapbook-style cover, it's neither of my theories. She's all, "Oh! But Mom, I'm almost done!" and her mom cuts her off with a coy look. She says there's a party going on and Señorita Perfecita needs to follow her and get changed.

Of course, Señorita Perfecita asks for her book back, and her mom gives in and hands it back. Señorita says an innocent "Thank you," and she follows her mom out of the shot.

She obeys her mom, and she's probably studying for something. Yeah, she's perfectly perfect. That's one of two.

In the next cut, a woman in a green dress enters a room with a portable basketball hoop. Two guys are dressed in uniforms, and Troy (in a purple uniform) is sweating and panting. "Am I going left?" he says, sounding like a gay guy I saw on American Idol once. (I know he's not gay, but typing "effeminate-sounding" takes too long.) The older gent (I'm guessing it's his dad) says, "Yeah! He books middle, you take it downtown!" Troy breaks left and takes the shot. His dad doesn't even try to block it; he just gives a pathetic leap that's equivalent to the words "Meh, whatever."

The ball goes in the net, and the woman in the green dress puts a hand against the wall. The way her outfit looks, it's like she tossed her clothes on her body so that they can slide off her with every step she takes. "Boys," she says as she walks forward. They keep jabbering for a while, the dad telling Troy to keep the championship game in mind. She finally gets their attention and says, "Did we really fly all this way to play more basketball?" They look at her with blank stares that make me believe that there really are male airheads. They look at each other innocently, nod to each other, then turn back to the lady and say, "Yeah." *facepalm* What's amazing is that they look like even bigger airheads than they did a few seconds ago.

Cut back to Troy's mom. "It's the last night of the vacation," she says. "The party! Remember?" She twirls around, holding her sash in her arms to reveal more of her top. Is she trying to be sexy here? I assume so, because the dad acts like a typical Disney idiot dad because he looks at her with empty eyes and drones out as few words as he can. The lady says to Troy, "They have a kids' party downstairs in the freestyle club." He says exactly what I'm thinking: "'Kids' party'?" which implies that he's still young enough to go to Chuck E. Cheese. "Young adults' party," she says with an irritated tone, and she points a finger over her shoulder and tells him to shower and get downstairs. Troy dribbles the ball and begs to take another shot, and she tsks as his dad gives in to Troy's whims. Disney Dad toddles around as PGT takes the shot, which lands in with a swish. "That's the way to end it," he says just before the camera cuts away. It'd be interesting if he actually missed the shot. It'd at least show there's an ounce of imperfection in Purple Gay Troy.

Nope—he's perfect. Two for two.

Down at the party, the camera hovers over a foosball table for a moment before panning across the room. Finally—upbeat music's playing, so the bopping and dancing make sense. Troy enters as spotlights shine from one side of the room to the next. He's not a total Gary Stu, or the whole room would break out in applause because he's so super awesome. In another part of the room, Señorita Perfecita walks shyly as a guy tips an obnoxious red hat at her. She takes a seat and pries open her book again. I can understand the shyness a little because she's a transfer student and a bookworm, but it's not like everybody's giving her a hard time. Heck, the guy in the ten-gallon hat's not even telling the kid with the horns to "Git along." Offscreen, an emcee starts to talk, and the crowd applauds. The two singers wave and smile to the crowd, and the emcee, who sounds a bit like a crackly-voiced Ted Knight, asks into one of the two microphones, "Who's going to rock the house next?"

Anyone want to take a wild guess?

PoorMan'sTedKnight doesn't get a response, and when he says, "Huh?" the crowd keeps chattering. He walks off the portable stage and breaks left (or would that be stage right?), and in the next cut, the camera does a knowing zoom-in on PGT. (That's one correct guess.) The spotlight shines on him, and a guy in a gawdy sequined top hat puts a hand on Troy's shoulder. A little too friendly, are we? In the next cut, another spotlight shines on Señorita and her book. (That's two for two.) She looks up and grimaces, obviously not grateful for the extra light to keep her from straining her eyes. She and PGT protest, but PGT's friends and PoorMan'sTedKnight drag them up to the stage. Señorita winces as a party horn blows near her ear, and PGT snaps at his buddies to leave him alone.

Onstage, Señorita folds her arms over her light-blue sweater, and PoorMan'sTedKnight says, "You know what? Someday, you'll thank me for this...or not." (I think I'm starting to like him.) He gets off the stage and passes PGT the mic. The song begins, and PGT looks at Señorita, who looks off to the side shyly. I don't think she'll be looking like that for long, though. I just don't.

With a slightly panicked look, he turns back to the mic. He's probably thinking she won't help with the song. As we cut to the monitor, we see the song title "Something New" and the lyrics displayed in a 1970s-style font.

Cue lyrics:

Living in my own world Didn't understand

As he sings, he sounds a bit like a scratchy-throated Justin Timberlake. Maybe Señorita thinks it's cool, because as he sings, he starts to turn her head toward him.

That anything can happen When you take a chance

With that he stops singing, and he starts to walk off the stage. Come on—there's more of a song to sing, bro. You're committed. In a quick cut, we see Señorita take in a breath and square her shoulders. You can guess what happens next.

I never believed in What I couldn't see

OK, she's a nervous agnostic.

Señorita: I never opened my heart
Oh, oh-h-h
To all the possibilities (Oo-ooh)

And just when I thought that Troy's walking off the stage was bad, he stops and turns to look at her. It's love at first sight! Señorita's breaking out of her shell, and Troy walks back to the mic to sing with her!

This is going to be nauseating. I just know it.

I know that something has changed
Never felt this way
And right here tonight

All together now! *whimpers*

This could be the start of something new
It feels so right to be here with you (Oh, oh)

I have to give this film credit where credit's due: They aren't all gushingly happy, and the rest of the room isn't breaking into wild dancing or clapping to their singing.

And now, looking in your eyes,
I feel in my heart

The start of something new

And what exactly is that something new? Their Romeo and Juliet romance? If so, they'd better hope it's not exactly like Romeo and Juliet, or it won't end happily.

*grimaces* What am I saying? It's 21st-century Disney. Of course it'll end happily.

They exchange a couple friendly looks, and Señorita's able to keep them without turning away nervously. Just before the next stanza starts up, Troy takes off his coat, and the girls in the audience start to cheer and dance as he bops to the music. *facepalm*

Now who'd have ever thought that
We'd both be here tonight?

Everyone, lady.

And the world looks so much brighter (brighter)
With you by my side

Señorita has finally stopped hugging herself and is now holding the mic and getting into it. So much for being shy.

I know that something has changed
Never felt this way
I know it for real

The crowd starts to dance and clap their hands. Meanwhile, PGT and Señorita share more friendly looks. They even start grooving by pointing and looking at one another. ("Take it, Señorita!" and so on and so forth.)

This could be the start of something new
It feels so right to be here with you (oh, oh)
And now, looking in your eyes,
I feel in my heart

Señorita only:
the start of something new

A couple streamers fly into the air, and the crowd starts waving their arms in the air. Señorita looks all gaga, and PGT looks like he's in the middle of bursting out laughing. Seriously, did someone open a container of laughing gas in there?

Cue Troy, grooving with the microphone stand:

I never knew that it could happen
'Til it happened to me

All together again:

I didn't know it before
But now it's easy to see

Now that they've broken out of what little shells they were wearing, they're flailing their arms and singing at the top of their lungs.

It's the start of something new
It feels so right to be here with you

The song bumps up a couple pitches, and the camera shot shows the kids dancing, clapping, singing to the song, and having a good time. I'm sorry, but it's just completely and utterly fake. The kids look like they're saying, "Why couldn't we get paid for this?"

And now, looking in your eyes,
I feel in my heart

Troy prances up to Señorita and looks at her with wide eyes, and Señorita still looks like she could collapse in a heap.

That it's the start of something new

A nice little bit of fail right here: Señorita walks a little too far backward under the weight of Troy's over-the-top charisma, and she teeters off the stage. The crowd reacts with a mixture of outcries and cheers. I'm rooting for the cheering if it means they were hoping she'd fall. I'd have a lot of respect if they actually let her fall (granted that she didn't get hurt), because it'd show how she'd react to embarrassment and not let everything be instantly all right. But nope—a guy with a pinkish-looking shirt pushes her up to safety, and she keeps singing as if nothing happened.

It feels so right to be here with you
And now, looking in your eyes

PGT motions a hand toward her head as if she's about to embrace and kiss her.

I feel in my heart

She puts a hand a little too close to her chest. Where, exactly? It's a couple inches below the heart, let's just say that.

The start of something new
(The start of something new)
The start of something new

Then tell us what the heck it might be.

As they hold the last notes of the song, they keep the microphones close and their eyes locked. Behind them, the crowd breaks out into wild cheering and applause. PoorMan'sTedKnight steps onto the stage and claps for them, too. Amid the gushingly happy noise, PGT and Señorita introduce themselves and shake hands. The camera gives them and the audience one last shot as they keep holding hands.

Well, that blew.

Now, we cut to the outside of the lodge. PGT and Señorita walk into the center of the shot as another teenage couple leaves a table. As they get near the table, PGT says one of the stupidest lines ever. Be sure to hear it for yourselves, folks; I couldn't make this up.

PGT: But, seriously, you have an amazing voice! You're a singer, right?

*facedesk* Wow.

Señorita looks over her shoulder and replies, "Just church choir, is all. I tried a solo and nearly fainted." Given how politically correct everything is today, I'm surprised they didn't have her say "religious choir" or something like that. Plus, I'm a little put-off by her line: people don't always change like that—going from passing out from fear to passing out from pleasure in a fell swoop. (Not in a karaoke, at least.) PGT looks at her with amazement and says, "Really? Why's that?" and Señorita replies, "I took one look at all the people staring at me, and the next thing I know, I'm staring at the ceiling. End of solo career." That's actually not a bad line. She's still Señorita Perfecita, but the actress isn't trying to force on the shyness anymore, so at least it sounds real. I have to give her a golf clap for that. PGT says, "With the way you sang that tonight, that's pretty hard to believe," and Señorita says, "Well, that was the first time I've ever done something like that. I mean, it was so cool!" PGT really sounds G as he says, "Yeah! Completely!" The blank, absentminded look on his face is hilarious. Señorita motions to PGT and says that he sounds like a pretty experienced singer himself. "Yeah, sure. My shower head is very impressive," he replies.

They're perfectly perfect. I rest my case.

Señorita chuckles and leans toward PGT happily, and in the background, the crowd—still inside the lodge, by the waybegins the typical ten-second countdown. As the countdown continues, PGT and Señorita share more happy looks, and more people run inside. I'm completely serious. And the countown ends like so:




*terrible CGI*

And while all this is going on, the crowd's still inside, and they're just screaming their lungs out. They don't say "Happy New Year!" and they're not even there for the fireworks. Even worse is that the fireworks look like particle emitters from CGI software. It's hard to say cheesy it looks. I'm annoyed by this because I remember a movie that used real fireworks for the show. A fireworks scene from The Sandlot (1993) stuck with me; it made me think that movies were good enough to have real fireworks taped or cut in. That's not the case here. They didn't even take scenes from a local fireworks show and key them in. At least the lodge scene looks right; a few colored lights shine on them to at least look like fireworks are going off above them.

Anyway, Señorita hesitantly says she wants to go see her mom and wish her a happy new year. Aww. PGT says, "Yeah, me, too! I mean, not your mom."

I repeat: Wow. After seeing him here, it's like he's the socially awkward one instead of her. Come on, guys, get your characters straight!

Anyway, PGT stumbles all over himself and says he'll go find his mom and dad. When he mentions his dad, Señorita nods her head and doesn't look him in the eye. Maybe she doesn't have a dad, or maybe she's remembering that she has to be shy. PGT's face lights up, and he says,"I'll call you!" Señorita looks gaga at the idea. As the camera cuts to a shot of both of them, we see the crowd swarm behind them. Finally—they're outside. PGT tells Señorita to put her phone number into his cellphone, and we hear a cellphone camera click. They swap phones, and he dials his number into her phone. They pass back phones, and Señorita smiles and walks through the crowd to go back inside. A clueless PGT stares at his phone for as long as he can get away with, and he says, "You know, seeing you was the most fun I've had this entire vacation!" He starts to turn his head, and he says, "So, um, where do you live—?" and Señorita's disappearance cuts him off. Dun-dun-du-u-un! A little bit of suspense! About time.

As Señorita goes back to being the shy heroine, PGT looks over his shoulder, and he's probably starting to think she's not going inside just to see her mom. Yes, characters can change and overcome their shyness. And yes, they can act one way one minute and a totally different way the next. But no—this doesn't work. She was acting totally natural and at ease when she was confident. Most of all, she felt real. Now she's going back to acting like she's utterly shy—which doesn't feel real.

PGT turns back to his cellphone and looks at the model-esque picture of Señorita Perfecita. Doesn't exactly look like a low-resolution picture you'd take on a cellphone, does it? I'm surprised that she's even in the picture because of how dark it is out there. I don't even remember the last time I saw a cellphone with a built-in camera flash. As PGT lets the picture sink in, he turns back up to look at the fireworks. Faux snow falls behind him, but a few pieces stick to his clothes, and the fireworks light up his face. He says Señorita's name to himself, his face as blank as ever as he stares off into nowhere.

Soft music transitions us into the next scene. A, uh, a cross-dissolve later…the music ends, and another song kicks in with a heavy beat and half-coherent teenage voices singing. It's Albuquerque, and the first day of school has arrived. I've got to comment on the font: it's different from the font that displayed the punctuation-free "New Years Eve" subtitle. (Yes, folks, I'm harping on the font. Still.)

The camera pans over a stone engraving of the school. The school itself comes into view, looking little like the engraving. Kids in red shirts bustle in the foreground, and in the next cut, a kid with an afro dribbles a basketball. (We can guess which side of the school he'll be on when PGT and Señorita Perfecita divide it. Oops...I guess I gave it away that they'll be at the same school, even though I haven't gotten that far ahead yet.) Back behind him is a kid in a pink shirt. PeptoShirt appears in the next cut, all of a sudden moving and sharing a shoulder bump with another kid. I'm a little put-off by how friendly everything is. I'm in college, and I pretty much never see this kind of camaraderie. Maybe it just goes with the territory. Or maybe this is as real as an aluminum Christmas tree.

Cut back to the afro kid, who turns around to see the bus. The cheerleaders clap for the guy coming off the bus. I'll give you one guess who they're applauding for. The afro kid, played by Corbin Bleu, meets up with Troy and puts an arm over his shoulder. At the same time, another kid shakes Troy's hand and asks how he's doing. Troy wishes his buddies a happy new year, and FuzzyWuzzy starts to talk. Just before he does, I'm not sure, but I could swear that I hear him snort. It could be a scoff, though, but's hard to tell because YouTube's audio quality isn't that great here. What's weird is that when I bump up the quality, it sounds worse.

Anyway, FuzzyWuzzy snorts and shouts, "Yeah! It's gonna be a happy Wildcat new year, man!" Behind them, a kid waves and says, "Troy! You da man!" FuzzyWuzzy continues that it's going to be a great year because the Wildcats go to the championships in two weeks—"with you, leading us to infinity and beyond!" You tell it, Buzz Lightyear. With that, the crowd starts chanting the team song that consists of the words "What," "team," and "Wildcats"—and nothing else. As the crowd bursts out cheering, PeptoShirt makes a totally not effeminate leap and pumps his fists in the air.

Inside the school, the exuberant atmosphere dies with an oboe melody. It's the kind of melody you typically hear when some ditzy animated character's about to get into trouble. It's live action here, and I don't see any mischief, but the ditz alert is blaring like crazy. The camera follows a blonde girl in a pink outfit and a cellphone in her hand. A guy in a white shirt follows alongside her. On her right, a guy in a blue shirt and baseball cap goes "Phew!" and motions his hand across his face. So did she fart? Take it from nigahiga: Girls never fart.

As the camera follows her regally annoying gait, she lifts her hands up—as if she's trying to frame her face or something—and the entire crowd, as if they're trained to do this, steps away from her to make room. They might as well just lay out the red carpet (and roll her up in it if she trips, which would totally win my undying respect). One problem: is she supposed to be remotely believable? Another: why's she going outside in the first place?

FuzzyWuzzy, PGT, and the rest of their clique laugh at Her Majesty. "The Ice Princess has returned from the North Pole!" says a black kid. Um..."Ice"? Wrong nickname, dude: she looks like a bottle of Pepto-Bismol. (I'd better not break into song.) FuzzyWuzzy says she probably spent Christmas break in the place where she "always is"—"Shopping for mirrors!" The whole crowd surrounding them laughs and howls (almost literally), and the group continues down the hall. A black girl watches after them, hailing the arrival of the "zoo animals." The bell rings, and the girl gives a quick wave to her friends. Something tells me that that girl and her friends will be part of the brainy clique and that Señorita Perfecita will eventually spearhead it.

The music ends, and the camera cuts to a quiet part of the school. Señorita walks down the hall, and her mom and the principal walk beside her. Señorita's complaining about her stomach, but Señora says it's nervous just because it's the first day. She says Señorita will do great—as always—and that she won't be able to transfer until she goes off to college. She kindly says that she promised her company to stay on until then, so in other words, Señorita's stuck and has to make the best of it. Good, right? To make her feel better, the principal says he's impressed by her transcripts and that "[her] light will shine very brightly at East High."

Gee, really? Give her one subject she hates and show her trying to struggle with it, and I'd give this film a lot of respect. It'd be nice to see her overcome more than her less-than-paralyzing shyness. I doubt it'll happen, though. Instead, she just says that she doesn't want to be the stereotypical genius at school. "Then just be Gabriella," says Señora as she gives her daughter a kiss on the forehead. Finally—another honest line. With a smile, the principal guides Señorita down the hall without so much as a "Have a nice day." The principal's low voice makes it sound like Señorita's about to encounter something bad. Señorita gives her mom a panicked look before scurrying up the stairs and out of sight. She's got the manila folder in her hand as she runs; she'd better hold on to it tighter than that if she wants to keep the papers from flying all over the place.

Upstairs. The camera pans across the room that's part-theater, part-basketball court (in large part because the basketball keeps getting passed around by the team). PGT keeps chatting it up with his buddies; behind him, Señorita gives the manila folder to a witchy-looking woman who doesn't bother to pay her any attention. (Another stereotype alert is blaring like crazy right now.) Señorita then looks past Troy, who doesn't even notice her. The stage directors make sure Señorita gets as close as possible to PGT without giving herself away...which freaking works. PGT gets a glimpse of her and looks on as she disappears into the crowd again. He tries to get her back in eyeshot, and right on time, Her Majesty comes into the camera and into his line of sight.

Her Majesty grins at PGT, and the first thing I notice is that she's got large front teeth. She says a giggly "Hi, PGT!" She probably didn't him laughing at FuzzyWuzzy's mirror joke—either that, or she was written to be completely insufferable (which wouldn't surprise me). Looks like we've got a little romance being rekindled after the Christmas break.

Before he can get past "Hi," the bell rings, and an extremely jarring voice says, "I trust you all had s-s-splendid holidays!" Yep—it's the witchy and mean (and very politically correct) woman. She's either a drama teacher or the reason the stereotype alert's blaring even louder. Given her tone and stereotype, I'd rather have the actress who played Hag (from Simba's Pride) be the teacher. (If they had to, at any rate.) Glenn Close would have been a good fit, too.

Anyway, Darbus rails on PGT to check the sign-up sheet for extra activities, including the winter "musicale." He cowers in her presence, and FuzzyWuzzy's all, "WTF, dude? You signed up for that?" PGT says a silent "Yeah" and turns back to the front. Darbus continues to say that there will be singles auditioning for supporting roles and pairs auditioning for the leads. Musical setup complete. Now we need a conflict—a good one.

Anyway, FuzzyWuzzy goes "Pb-b-b-t" and gives a thumbs-down. Bad move. Now he gets to cower in her presence. She wastes no time in raising her voice to a full-fledged yell. "Mis-s-ster Danforth, this is a place for learning, not a hockey arena!"

Wait...a hockey arena? Where there's a basketball getting passed around? By the basketball team? And get this: Darbus walks past and doesn't even bother to confiscate the basketball.

Darbus continues on that there's a signup going on for a scholastic decathlon, and PGT pays as much attention as he can—which is next to nil because he's already flipped open his cellphone. Darbus goes on, telling the students to see the black girl from before—who's the school's chem club president—to answer any questions about the decathlon. (What'd I tell you? She's part of the smart clique.) Darbus finishes her sentence—with a great deal of disgust, sounds like: "Please see her with all of your questions...about...THAT!" Yeah, uh, Darbus, dramatic pauses don't become you.

Now trouble's coming. PGT's cellphone beeps, and Señorita's picture is on the screen. Señorita practically dives off her chair. Darbus doesn't even skip a beat. "Ah! I see that the cellphone menace has returned to our crucible of learning!" Whatever that means. As she says it, we see more kids—including Her Majesty and her white-clothed minion—with their phones out. They're acting like they don't hear first. Darbus sports a colorful paint bucket—which the class obviously knows quite well, because Her Majesty, eyes bugged out and mouth agape, drops her cellphone into the bucket. Her minion does the same as Darbus says she'll see them in detention. This is so full of pure, unadulterated crap. It feels like a really awful fanfic for Recess, except that Muriel Finster will always be more realistic than Darbus.

Darbus continues her rampage. She peers down at an agape-mouthed Señorita. "We have zero tolerance for cellphones in class-ss-ss-ss!" Apparently not, since she won't even give them a warning, even though it's the first hour of the first day of the semester. She is so badly stereotyped that she's not even funny. She goes on to say, "We will get to know each other in detention! Cellphone! And welcome to East High, Ms. Montez!" Welcome, indeed.

Not even Purple Gay Troy's out of the woods. He's bound to be jailed up, too, and something tells me the class won't get their phones back...ever. FuzzyWuzzy falls over his tongue in reply: "That's not possible, Mrs. Darbus...Your Honor…We have basketball practice—" ("Your Honor"? Now that's a new one.) Whether it's his lispy voice or his insolence, it won't fly. He doesn't even get to finish the sentence. He does get detention, though. As she gives Fuzzy detention, she looks as though she's doing everything she can to keep from laughing. The chemistry club leader whispers something barely coherent, which results in...oh, forget it. You can guess. The chem club leader just about falls apart at the news. Darbus then drops the pail of cellphones onto the floor; the pail-crash alarm gives the class a start. She then yells at them that the holidays are long over—"LONG OVER!" And after that tirade, she says, "Now, any more comments? Questions?"

*raises hand* Yeah, uh, I think you're my favorite character.

Darbus: (screeches) Mis-s-s-ster Farragut, flattery is neither honest nor becoming! We shall see you in detention!

*grins* Cool! Will there be snacks?

As the class reels from the tirade, a kid in a mustard-yellow T-shirt raises his hand. He folds his arms over his chest and says, deadpan, "So, how were your holidays, Ms. Darbus?"

*facepalm* OK, as dumb as that was, I've got to give him props for making me laugh.

At once, the whole class turns around and looks at him. They groan and do facepalms as Darbus lowers her head, disarmed by Jason's punctual line.

The bell rings, and everyone gets up and bustles out of the room. By my watch, it was a two-minute class period without any hints at the subject material (except for detention). Señorita swings her backpack over her shoulder and looks at Troy, who's still off-camera. Outside, PGT props a leg against the wall. A few kids say they'll see Troy in jail, and another kid says, "She's crazy." That sums up my thoughts on her right there. PGT and Señorita Perfecita meet up in the hall, but right now, I'm too worn out to go any further. Questions: Will they remember each other? Will they have a happy reunion? Will they fall in love?

Most of all, why should I care?

Eleven minutes into this film, and I hate it. I expected a happy, light bubblegum movie. I never thought it would take me eleven days to spork the past eleven minutes of this. But as long as I've got this much film left, I could change my mind. Simba's Pride is a case in point: It shaped up to be a great ending but wound up being a disappointment. So I'll give High School Musical a chance before I make any judgment calls.

With that, I leave you with the words from "We're All In This Together":

Together, together,
Come on
Let's have some fun!

Ugh...maybe I should try a Simba's Pride form of self-motivation.


Nope. Doesn't help.

I'm out.