Dissecting the Legacy of “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series”

To this day, the “High School Musical” movies carry plenty of meaning for people of a certain age. Because of those movies, many kids who came of age during the late 2000s developed a love for musicals. The aforementioned films also launched the careers of Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens while taking home numerous awards.

When “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series” was first announced back in 2017, it was immediately clear that fans had high expectations for it. Now that the show has completed its four-season run, it’s worth looking back at its accomplishments to define its legacy.

A Showcase for Young and Promising Talents

It’s impossible to mention the “High School Musical” franchise without thinking of Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens. Just as Zac and Vanessa benefited greatly from the exposure provided by the wildly popular trilogy, “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series” has also served as a launching pad for a new generation of promising young stars.

Chief among those stars is Olivia Rodrigo. Portraying the role of Nini Salazar-Roberts, Olivia played a starring role during the first two seasons before shifting to a recurring role for the third season. Olivia’s time on the show was cut short in part by her desire to pursue her music career. Per IMDb, Olivia also won the 2022 and 2023 Favorite Female TV Star (Kids) Award at the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards.

Joshua Bassett won the 2022 and 2023 Favorite Male TV Star (Kids) Awards at the same show for his portrayal of Ricky Bowen. He also has a burgeoning career as a musician.

The future is bright for both Olivia and Joshua. Their starring roles in “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series” could go a long way toward establishing them as stars to watch in Hollywood.

Awards and Accolades

Aside from Olivia and Joshua’s honors, “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series” has amassed more than a few awards and accolades throughout its four-season run.

In 2020, the show won the GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Kids & Family Programming. It also won the Favorite Kids TV Show honors at the 2022 Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards. The show and the people involved have also been nominated for awards by various organizations, including the Children’s and Family Emmy Awards, the Directors Guild of America Awards, and the MTV Movie & TV Awards.

A Critical Darling

Despite being put in the difficult position of continuing a beloved franchise, “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series” has more than held its own. The show has an impressive Average Tomatometer mark of 87 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, and its Average Audience Score of 83 percent isn’t too shabby either.

Considering the fact that the show still garners favorable reviews from fans and critics alike, it’s fair to wonder if it could re-emerge sometime down the line. According to producer Tim Federle, a continuation of the show would likely take place in college. It may also end up becoming a reunion movie. 

There are no plans for that continuation right now, but there’s still a chance it could become a reality in the not-too-distant future.

“High School Musical: The Musical: The Series” is an ambitious show that lived up to lofty expectations in a unique way. It has proven to be a more than worthy successor to the original franchise and should be seen by anyone who enjoyed those earlier films.