Time to get our heads back in the game.
High School Musical: The Musical: The Series finally returned for season two last week, and much has changed in the meta world of East High. Their production of High School Musical: The Musical was a rousing success, and the whole theatre department was prepared for what was surely to be an equally successful performance of High School Musical 2: The Musical. Then, Derek Hough ruined everything!
After he (or his character Zack) revealed to Miss Jenn (Kate Reinders) that his far superior (according to him) North High was putting on The Little Mermaid in order to compete for an Alan Menken High School theatre award, she changed all her plans and switched the spring musical to The Beauty and the Beast, crushing our epic "Bet On It" dreams in the meantime. Sure, we still got to watch Ricky (Joshua Bassett) pay his best homage to Zefron, but, like, it was in a living room. Give us a golf course or nothing at all!
Speaking of Ricky, he's really the reason we're here. Or, one half of the reason. Since he and Nini (Olivia Rodrigo) found their way back to each other at the end of season one, some s--t has gone down both fictionally and non-fictionally, so it's time to check in on East High's most dramatic power couple as they navigate the perils of high school love.
As we saw in the premiere, Ricky is fully dedicated to his lady. He finally wrote her a song, he can say out loud that he loves her, and he's fully envisioning a spring musical season as the leads. The problem is that Nini has been accepted into a performing arts boarding school in Denver, so she's about to move away and she's terrified of telling her boyfriend.
Of course, the news comes out in the worst way. She yells it at him in front of all their friends, right after Miss Jenn breaks the news about Beauty and the Beast. That is, of course, where the premiere ends, so we haven't seen Ricky's reaction just yet, but the kid's parents just split up, he's about to lose his house, and now his girlfriend is moving to Denver. He surely is going to need a big hug in episode two!
In real life, Rodrigo and Bassett have dominated the headlines.
Rodrigo just performed on Saturday Night Live (and absolutely killed it if you ask us) after taking the world by storm over the past few months. Her three singles chronicled what sounded like a very angry breakup, leading fans to theorize that they're all about Rodrigo's short-lived relationship with Bassett, who released a few successful singles of his own.
Then, Bassett made his own headlines on May 11 when he referenced "coming out" in a video after he said Harry Styles was hot (which, objectively, he is). Later, he asked fans for "love and acceptance" in a statement on social media about how "it's OK to still be figuring out who you are."
No matter what's happening in their personal lives, the music, as they say, slaps.
Elsewhere at East High, Ashlyn (Julia Lester) and Big Red (Larry Saperstein) continue to be adorable and we're rooting for romance between EJ (Matt Cornett) and Gina (Sofia Wylie), who is living with Ashlyn and very excited about it.
It remains to be seen whether Ricky and Nini can survive long distance and who might take the lead in the musical if Nini's no longer in the running, but you can bet we're ready to find out.
New episodes of High School Musical: The Musical: The Series arrive Fridays on Disney+.