Photo courtesy of Disney Plus.
MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD.
High School Musical: The Musical: The Series or HSMTMTS for short debuted on Disney Plus on November 8, 2019. The third season premiered on July 27, 2022. The premise follows students at East High as they navigate love, friendships, passions, identity, and family. Season 3 was full of drama. Let’s talk about it.
This season is set at Shallow Lake summer camp. No East High this time. The wildcats are still putting on a show. Frozen to be exact. There’s a catch though. The show is being filmed for a documentary for Disney Plus (oh, the irony). It’s hosted by non other than Corbin Bleu.
Minor spoilers will be discussed. Please watch all of season 3 first before you continue reading.
The main highlight of season 3 for is Ricky (Joshua Bassett) and Gina (Sofia Wylie) aka Rina. We start the season with Gina and E.J. (Matt Cornett) as boyfriend and girlfriend. I came into the season as a big Portwell fan but I left the season as a big Rina fan. Let me tell you why.
Their story was so beautifully written and acted, not just in this season but in the entire series so far. The foreshadowing and homages to past moments in the series was a bonus. Joshua and Sofia have great chemistry and you can see that in through their performances on the small screen.
Ricky has definitely matured a lot since season 1. I’ve watching him on his journey of finding himself and seeing how he was grappling with his feeling for Gina this season.
Let’s talk about Gina now. It was so moving to watch her come into her own. I’ve loved Gina since season 2 and I’m glad that she finally got her time to shine. Sofia portrays her so wonderfully and I’m hoping we’ll get to Gina shine even more next season.
I loved getting to see Ashlyn (Julia Lester) on her self-discovery journey. It all starts when she finds out that she’s apart of the ensemble for the show. She meets Maddox (Saylor Bell) who pushes her buttons in the beginning as well as Val (Meg Donnelly). In episode 6, we see her have a conversation with Val about why she’s being so mean to her since all she’s been is nice to her. She comes to the realization that she feels the way about girls as she does with boys. The fireworks in this scene were a perfect touch symbolizing that breakthrough discovery about herself. It was so well done.
I love that we got to see an arc for Kourtney (Dara Reneé). I love Kourtney and to see her journey with anxiety was something that meant so much to me. As someone who struggles with anxiety, I always love it when a character is experiencing it on the big and small screen because it makes me feel valid and seen.
Let’s move on to Maddox and Jet (Adrian Lyles). These characters truly belong in this show. They fit in so well and the chemistry is clearly there, especially between the two of them. They were interesting and had layers. I love Maddox and the representation her character adds to the series.
Can we talk about how incredible the costumes and hairstyles were this season? I was in awe every time Gina and Kourtney graced my small screen. Both departments deserve so much praise for their work on the show this season.
A bittersweet moment of the season is seeing our beloved Nini (Olivia Rodrigo) depart the series.
HSMTMTS has been renewed for a season 4 by Disney Plus. The plot reportedly centers on the wildcats back at East High. They’re putting on High School Musical 3 while being extras for High School Musical 4. Bit of a mind trip, right? When I heard this I was so confused at first but now I’m excited to see the storylines that will be explored next season.
High School Musical: The Musical: The Series is exclusively streaming on Disney+.
Creator: Tim Federle
Cast: Joshua Bassett, Sofia Wylie, Matt Cornett, Julia Lester, Dara Reneé
Producers: Oliver Goldstick, Tim Federle