High School Musical: The Musical: The Series Features Teen and Adult Romances

Friday, May 24, 2024


What teen drama could exist without romance? It’s a featured facet of every teenager’s life, whether they date frequently or have yet to go on their first date. Part of the genuineness of the characters in “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series” (HSMTMTS) comes from their immersion in everyday situations every teen faces.

Young Love

Now that the series ceased production, looking at it retrospectively shows how writer/series creator Tim Federle intertwined romance and challenging times for teens. The series explores how an unhealthy relationship can stunt your personal growth through lead characters Nini and Ricky. It juxtaposed their unhealthy pairing with the coupling of Seb and Carlos, who consistently support one another. Even when they argue, they approach it more like well-rounded adults than two teenage boys.

Grown Ups with Goals

The kids of East High have an attractive, single teacher, Miss Jenn, who enjoys a healthy dating life. Rather than solely focusing on the teens, HSMTMTS includes the adults in romance arcs. Miss Jenn dates a teacher who doubles as a former rival in a coupling meant for laughs.

She also features prominently in another pairing that caused some angst among teen viewers. After the break-up of his marriage, Ricky’s dad, Mike, hooks up with Miss Jenn. Federle’s pairing brought reality to the series and provided teens with an opportunity to voice their opinions about such a coupling safely. Mike asks out Miss Jenn before he finalizes his divorce, and fans of the show said his character should not have dated so soon after moving out of his and his wife’s home. Ricky’s character experiences a tough time dealing with his dad dating so soon after his parents separated, and teen viewers backed Ricky's reaction.

Romance Is Romance

Federle and his colleagues developed story arcs, and romance arcs, particularly, that mirrored their own high school experiences. As a real-life theater nerd, the series creator included many aspects of a high school student with dreams of making it big on Broadway. He also included straight and gay romances in the show, doing so in such an effortless way that the series won a GLAAD award for its “fair, accurate, and inclusive representations of LGBTQ people and issues.”

The show also won awards from critics, colleagues, and the children and teen audience it targets. HSMTMTS won Emmy Awards and Kids’ Choice Awards. Actress Liamani Segura won the Gracie Allen Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role - Comedy or Musical.


If you missed watching “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series” when it originally aired, catch it now. Stream it on Disney+ today.

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