High School Musical 4: Breaking Free From Disney

Revivals of TV shows and movies you loved years ago seems to be the trend of late, like the new version of the superhero genre or forensic procedural that had a surge of shows in years past. And now here’s a little something for the millennials – a movie that just celebrated its 10th anniversary is getting a fourth sequel. Disney head honchos recently announced they are making High School Musical 4, with a whole new batch of aspiring actors just like Disney is wont to do. To tie the new installment in with the beloved OG franchise, one of the main characters is named Campbell and described as “Troy Bolton 2.0” in the character breakdown. Instead of the basketball court, he’s the captain of the soccer team and also a theater star, which runs in his family because guess what – he’s Sharpay and Ryan Evans’ cousin.

My guess is that these two are at least in for a cameo in the fourth movie, since they have reason to be back. But what are they, and the rest of the Wildcats doing eight years after graduating high school? Is Taylor McKessie running the world? Did Chad become a sports star? Has Ryan come out yet? Are Troy and Gabriella still together, fulfilling every shipper’s dream of Zanessa being alive and well in an alternate universe? Most importantly, is HSM4 going to be in the theatres likes HSM3 and I’ll have to go to a late night showing by myself so I don’t see it with other kids or will it air like a DCOM and on the Disney Channel? Will it be on the Disney Channel at all?? (Probably yes). But what if it wasn’t? And what if it actually caught up with the original cast instead of introducing new characters? An adult HSM, if you will. I’m taking a giant leap from reality and exploring not only what the Class of ’08 is doing today, but what they could be doing if they weren’t on DisChan but rather on some of today’s biggest networks. Who knows, anything could happen. This is the golden age of television, after all. You can’t stick to the status quo for everything.

The Disney Channel Version

After graduating from the University of Albuquerque with a degree in the performing arts, Sharpay moved to New York and lived with Ryan while she went on audition after audition to be on Broadway. She was in a few Off-Broadway shows including an ensemble cast member in a new version of Rent (waitress during La Vie Boheme). After two years of working retail at Forever 21 and no getting any luck with her Broadway dreams, she moved back to Albuquerque and works at East High rival West High as the drama teacher. Ryan graduated from Juliard, where he wrote songs with Kelsi, and they created their own duo of Evans & Nielsen. Together they’re Broadway’s next Kander and Ebb and are making waves on the Broadway underground. Meanwhile, Chad also graduated from U of A with Sharpay and was drafted for the Brooklyn Nets straight out of college. He moved from team to team but currently plays for the Phoenix Suns. Taylor graduated from Yale with a degree in political science, then went to Georgetown to get her graduate degree in economics. She’s just got a job in Washington D.C. working as a White House staffer. Troy and Gabriella stayed together throughout college, and he got a job in finance after graduating while Gabriella continued her studies on the way to become a doctor. She’s currently doing her residency in San Francisco, where they both live, and Troy is planning to propose to her, but he enlists the help of the Wildcats to help him pull off an epic proposal.

The CBS Version

Gabriella is a forensic scientist working in Chicago, when she gets a call from Connecticut Senator Taylor McKessie who heard through the grapevine that their East High classmate Zeke is missing. Sharpay, Troy and Chad have been secretly trying to get to the bottom of his disappearance, but they fear the worst and believe he’s been killed. Taylor urges Gabriella to go back to Albuquerque to help them, and a reluctant Gabriella heads home – but uneasy about not only Zeke’s possible death, but facing Troy again after their horrible break-up in 2013.

The Logo Version

Since Kelsi and Ryan attended Julliard together, they became best friends and eventually both came out as gay (much to the surprise to no one). They live together in Chelsea and are like a modern day Will & Grace except they’re both gay and live in a much more ramshackled apartment. Kelsi makes a living as a pianist in various orchestra pits on and off Broadway, while Ryan teaches youth theatre in New Jersey. They both lament about their love lives (or non-existent ones) constantly and are frequently visited by Sharpay, a celebrity stylist, and Martha, who owns her own dance studio in Brooklyn. Token straight couple Troy and Gabriella are married and have a baby on the way, which is a bit of an annoyance to Kelsi and Ryan, who are convinced Troy and Gabriella are going to become the most obnoxious parents and won’t ever have time to hang out with them again.

The Bravo Version

Sharpay lands a role as a stepsister in the Cinderella revival, but after the show closes, she lets the ego get to her head, and hasn’t booked a role in over a year. She’s been married to famed New York chef/restauranteur Zeke for two years and is simultaneously going on audition after audition while also building her new clothing company, while specifically caters to divorcees who have a penchant for glitter and bedazzled dresses. The movie is filmed reality TV style and features cameos from her gay brother Ryan, married couple Taylor and Chad and fighting exes Troy and Gabriella, who live in Long Island.

The Freeform Version

Like the Disney Channel version, but more sex and targeted to “becomers”. Special appearance by Ashley Benson and Shay Mitchell as Gabriella’s roommates in Manhattan.

The Netflix Version

Broken up into 6 hour and a half long episodes, each installment focuses on one of the main characters in the HSM franchise. Shot documentary style, we get a close look at Taylor’s journey on the campaign trail with Hillary Clinton, Chad’s new sober life after overcoming an addiction to painkillers, Sharpay and Ryan’s life in London as they debut their new musical in the West End, Gabriella’s work as a biochemical engineer working to create a cure for cancer, and Troy’s unexpected rise to stardom after starring in an indie film that was nominated for an Oscar, becoming Hollywood’s next big star.

The AMC Version

Basically Breaking Bad, but Ryan is Walter White and Kelsi is Jesse Pinkman. Taylor is Gale, Gabriella is Skyler, Troy is Mike and Sharpay is Badger.

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Whatareyoudoinghere: Unexpected Guest Stars of Veronica Mars

I was one of those latecomers that only got into Veronica Mars when was available on Netflix Instant a year or two ago. I was immediately hooked, and scolded myself for judging the show by its name (Veronica MARS who lived in NEPTUNE??? Def some kind of sci-fi show I wasn’t interested in). But fast forward to my Netflix marathon days and I watched eps nonstop, then proceeded to purchase the DVDs once they took it off instant.

Anyways, from the beginning, I noticed that a lot of random celebs appeared on VMars. Some were famous before the show, and some reached their fame after their appearance. The obvious one is Amanda Seyfried, who played Lilly Kane, Veronica’s bestie, Duncan’s brother, and Logan’s main boo. Oh and she was mysteriously killed, so pretty much the all of season one and season two focus on her murder. Ugh Harry Hamlin.

Because of the future Mamma Mia star, I proceeded to make a list of some notable names who I was surprised to see in Neptune.

PS: gold star and +50 points if you got the Californians ref in the post title.

Paris Hilton

Season 1, Episode 2

Props to Paris for signing up to be a guest star so early on in the show. Although she probs would’ve taken any role she was given money for, so nevermind. I will admit that I was super jeal of her because she played Logan’s new GF. Logan *sigh*

Jessica Chastain

Season 1, Episode 7

Jessica was recently on Jay Leno recalling how although it seems like she’s an overnight Oscar nominee, she graduated from Julliard and was in various TV shows – including V Mars. She played a character involved in one of the darkest storylines ever done on the show, a pregnant woman who lived next door to Veronica, who went missing. Turns out her stepfather raped her, and just as she was going to shoot him in self defense, Veronica’s dad shoots him to safe her life. Srs business, y’all.

Aaron Paul

Season 1, Episode 11

Before he was a maker of meth, Jesse Pinkman was accused to being a serial killer. So I mean, he has a history of playing troubled characters (RIP Gale).

Leighton Meester

Season 1, Episodes 14 & 21

Spotted: Young B playing Carrie Bishop, queen of the rich ’09ers (sound familiar?). She accuses Veronica’s favorite teacher, Mr. Rooks of having an affair with her, so VMars sets out to prove that he’s innocent. She finds out that not only did Rooks have an affair, it was actually with Carrie’s BFF, who got preggo from the scandalous tryst. So Carrie decided to press charges against him for herself.

Adam Scott

Season 1, Episode 14

Oh, BTW, the guy who played teen predator Mr. Rooks? THIS GUY.

Ben Wyatt/Knope, I still love you. Even if you were a creeper.

lit’rally took me forever to decide which pic to use because i love him so much

Lucas Grabeel

Season 2, Episode 14

The High School Musical alum played Kelly Kuzzio, a baseball jock who was secretly gay. Not like he’s ever played a gay guy before.

Kristin Cavallari

Season 2, Episode 14

Kristin, the only villain who looked sane next to Speidi, made her scripted TV debut and she played a cheerleader. Oh sorry, a LESBIAN cheerleader. It was great. I mean her acting wasn’t but just the entire thing it general was great.

Zachery Ty Bryan

Season 1, Episode 15 & 17

Usually the middle child gets the shaft, but on Home Improvement, I always thought eldest kid Brad got the short end of the stick. I mean the middle child was Jonathan Taylor Thomas, like how do you compare with that? I remember as much about Brad’s plot line as I do of his brief stint on VM. Which is that he played basketball and drove a car.

JTT

Season 1, Episode 18

Speak of the devil. I was never one of those girls who fawned over JTT. I didn’t get it. Still don’t. Which is why that although I appreciate his rare TV appearance on a UPN show in 2005, I remember his guest starring role mostly because this was the first episode where Veronica and Logan kissed. I mean he played an ATF agent who went undercover as a high school student, so that was cool, I guess. But VERONICA AND LOGAN!! They had an epic kind of love, you know? One that  spanned years and continents. Lives ruined, bloodshed, epic.

Rider Strong

Season 3, Episode 2

Good old Shawn Hunter played an asshole classmate of Logan and Wallace in a college class, where they participated in some prison experiment. IDK, basically he made the kid from Freaks and Geeks pee his pants.

Matt Czuchry

Season 3, Episode 4

Logan Huntzberger from my fave Gilmore Girls uses his reporter skills as he pretends to be Logan Echolls’ half-brother just to get a story. Whoa, that got confusing even for me. Again, forget about Matt for a sec because this was a great episode for Jason Dohring who got to show his dramatic side after he found out he still didn’t come close to getting to know his half-brother.

Dianna Agron

Season 3, Episodes 5, 15, & 19

Incidentally, Dianna played a college kid in VMars, and then went on to play a high school cheerleader/wheelchair bound/walking Yale student miracle on Glee.

Paul Rudd

Season 3, Episode 17

The great Paul Rudd is actually BFFs with show creator Rob Thomas, which explains his involvement with VM and with Rob’s follow up show, the hilarious Party Down. Paul plays a washed-up rock star who’s playing at Hearst College, and is a drunk nut job. One of my all-time lines from the show comes from this episode, as seen above.

Max Greenfield

Recurring character

I saved the best for last. Before New Girl was New Girl, I saw promos for the show, and put it on my list immediately because Max Greenfield was in it. At the time, he was only Deputy Leo to me, the handsome, smiley, police officer who Veronica canoodled with in the first season. Unfortunately their love dwindled, but only because she was falling for Logan. And I was ok with that. But now, he can’t be anything else but Schmidt.

Logan TYFYT