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Lady Calypso

S01.E01: The Auditions

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On her first day as the drama teacher at East High School, Miss Jenn announces that the school will be staging a production of High School Musical: The Musical. Nini is a regular participant in East High's school productions, typically as a chorus member, but on this occasion successfully auditions for the main role of Gabriella in the show with her rendition of "The Start of Something New". Ricky auditions for the role of Troy in an attempt to win his former girlfriend, Nini, back. However, Ricky returns to school from the summer to discover that Nini is now dating E.J., who she met at theater camp.

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I've never been that much of a Glee fan, but watching this pilot really illuminated what a high-wire act Ryan Murphy pulled off in that first season especially. This was trying to mimic so much of what Glee did, from the kick-snare soundtrack, to the shaky cam and quick zooms, and the ironic humor, but this just wasn't anywhere near as sharply written or directed. It really is Disney Channel Glee.

I liked some of the performances. Olivia Rodrigo has a very sweet and earnest presence as Nini, and the guy playing her jock boyfriend landed his jokes better than anyone else. I think of all the actors, he probably understood the tone of the show the best. I found Ricky kind of annoying and grating and that actor was probably the weakest of the bunch.

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