High School Musical is a work of unbridled and under-appreciated genius. It perfectly de-constructs high school cliques, particularly the drama kids, the jokes are actually witty and surprisingly adult, and Bet On It, from High School Musical 2, is the greatest thing ever to be committed to celluloid. But in the first instalment of the greatest film trilogy since Lord of the Rings (potentially an exaggeration), the pinnacle of musical glory is in Stick to the Status Quo.
From the opening lines of Zeke singing of his love for baking (and CRÈME BRULEE!) to the electric guitar solo underpinning the final chorus, Stick to the Status Quo is a triumph. Awakened by jock Troy and genius Gabriella leaving their designated roles in high school society to star in the school musical, various members of the student body open up about their own secret passions. Zeke is a jock who loves to bake, Martha a dedicated student with a passion for hip-hop, and Jason a stoner with a hidden gift for cello. What this shows is a quite important message of not being defined by how others see you, and broadening your horizons, though the crowd’s cries of “keep things of they are” is a reflection of how the modern education system does not emphasise individuality.
Everyone knows that the greatest High School Musical characters, Zeke and his crème brulee aside, are twins Sharpay and Ryan. Blissfully, they are given a small moment of brilliance, as Sharpay’s world descends into chaos with this breakdown of the school structure. In some small way, Stick to the Status Quo could be perceived as Sharpay and Ryan’s own personal dystopia, but we may be getting ahead of ourselves there. Also, it’s basically just a really great song.