Now we're in the library, and Chad is yelling at Troy about wanting to be in the musical. Which is good, because I'm sure Troy hasn't gotten enough shit about this yet. And Chad is full-on yelling, too, despite being in a library.
Chad says, "Have you ever seen Michael Crawford on a cereal box?" Troy has no clue who Michael Crawford is, so Chad replies, "Exactly my point!" So, wait, how does Chad know who Michael Crawford is? Is he just covering up for his own secret love of musical theater?
He explains that he saw The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway, and that his mom saw it 27 times. Sure, sure. His mom did.
He further explains that his mom put Michael Crawford's picture inside their refrigerator. Supposedly, it was one of her "crazy diet ideas". Ultimately, the whole point of this dumb, time-wasting conversation is that basketball stars end up on cereal boxes, while musical theater stars end up in his mom's refrigerator. Hacked to pieces, most likely.
And I'm not sure about cereal boxes, but Spamalot did end up on a can of SPAM. A honey-flavored can of SPAM. Now that's worth a good solid hour of shuddering.
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It seems the badgering didn't work, because next we see Chad, flanked by a few basketball players, going to talk to Taylor. Ryan and Sharpay are at the classroom door, with more crazy outfits on. Honestly, it's getting to the point where I can't do their outfits justice through simple words anymore.
Disney tried to clone Sonny and Cher, but something went very, very wrong.
Ryan and Sharpay are getting crazy paranoid. They discuss how Troy getting into the musical could make the drama club merely an extension of the dominion of the jocks. Also, Troy hooking up with an alleged nerd like Gabriella means that "the scholastic club goes from drool to cool!" Ah, well, there you go. Their motivations have now been fully fleshed out. The movie makes so much more sense now.
Sharpay makes a tortured pun on "Tony Awards" and "Tony Hawk", and it's not funny, so I'm moving on.
Cut to the next day. Chad is now the one sneaking around the school grounds Mission: Impossible style. He meets up with Taylor, and wants to sync up watches with her, and it turns out he's wearing three wristwatches. Taylor updates my Mission: Impossible reference by about thirty years by saying, "We're not Charlie's Angels, okay?" She hands him a laptop.
Chad's current T shirt: "Easily Distracted". It's like he's wearing the Facebook mood application.
And now, Troy is wandering around the strangely vacant boys locker room. He turns a corner, and his entire team is there, gathered around a table covered in basketball awards and trophies. And it appears they're staging a musical theater intervention. All that talk of Shaq and LeBron and Michael Crawford didn't do the trick, so now the team has moved on to emotional blackmail.
They're all holding up photos of former MVPs who led the Wildcats to championships in years past. I'll be the first to admit I never had any interest in my high school's sports, but do athletes generally know this much about their high school MVPs from 6, 15, even 30 years ago?
Chad sums it all up by saying none of these "legends" got into musical theater the week before the big game. Kind of hard to argue with that logic, actually. This prompts the 8 billionth chant from the team of "Getcha head in the game!" Aaaaaaand, they follow this up with the 8 billion and 1-th chant. Okay, fine: 32nd and 33rd.
Troy reasonably points out he's not the only guy on the team, and there are 12 of them. So Chad reminds him of the invisible 13th member. He pulls out an old photo of Troy's dad—which looks nothing like him—from 1981, when he won the championship and made MVP. So, way to manipulate a guy.
And now, the School Nerds take their turn on Gabriella. They're doing the full guilt press on her in one of the classrooms. But whereas Chad went with an appeal to emotion, Taylor's ploy is far more logical.
On a laptop, she's got a whole PowerPoint slide comparing athletes to cavemen. She's even got a blown-up, poster-sized photo of a basketball player with Troy's head pasted on it. She refers to him as "Lunkheaded Basketball Man". I'm all for visual aids, but this makes no sense at all.
The consequences of getting your head too far into the game.
Taylor tells Gabriella that "our path, the path of the mind" has brought us various famous women, and she brings up slides of them: Eleanor Roosevelt, Frida Kahlo, Sandra Day O'Connor, Madame Curie, Jane Goodall, Oprah Winfrey... Oprah Winfrey? Is this really what young girls find inspiring in this day and age? I guess they must, because in comes the inspirational music.
And let me tell you, she sure knew all about shooting the outside J.
Gabriella's response is the extremely coherent, "Uh... but... what is... you know, I've got Kelsi waiting for me to rehearse." She's on the path of the mind, alright. Taylor snaps at her, saying Troy represents "one side of evolution", while they represent the "side of education and accomplishment", and other pointless drivel in a similar vein.
Over in the locker room, Troy promises the guys he'll be putting the statistically impossible "110%" of his "guts" into the championship game. He assures them that his head is, in fact, in the game. And while he's talking, one of the players does a really obvious "secret" move, where he flips open a laptop and aims a webcam at Troy.
"You know what would really prove that you're for the team, Troy? Take off your shirt."
Troy is completely oblivious, while Chief Prosecutor Chad starts asking leading questions. Under duress, Troy yells, "I've always been for the team!" He insists the "singing thing is nothing", and furthermore, "Gabriella is not important!" She is not his perfect little snowflake, he'll forget about her eventually, etc.
Surprise! Gabriella is watching this speech on Taylor's laptop. Somehow, Taylor is able to get a live webcam feed from the locker room. And according to her screen, her laptop is "Recieving [sic] Wi-Fi Signal". But compared to the Engrish I see in a lot of the device drivers I install these days, that's nothing.
The Zac-Cam is about to become the most profitable venture since the Corey Hotline
Gabriella is cruelly forced to watch Troy make this big speech about how he doesn't care about her at all. Taylor gloats. A single fake tear falls out of Gabriella's eye. Come on, Gabriella, you gotta admit this is way more entertaining than most video blogs. Would you rather watch this, or that guy cursing at Nintendo games?
In a smooth transition, Taylor immediately asks Gabriella to compete in the scholastic decathlon. Then she asks, "Did you want to grab some lunch?" I mean, after you're done realizing all your hopes and dreams have died in one afternoon, who wouldn't be starving?
In the locker room, everyone's pumped because of Troy's heartless rejection. This leads to yet another chant of... oh, please don't make me type it again. I'll just say that makes 34, and leave it at that.
And now there's a rally out in front of the school, with cheerleaders dancing, and banners, and people jumping around. Hey, just in time! And they all lift Troy up on their shoulders, and there's another brief snippet of the song about how the Wildcats have "really got it going on".
"Hooray for Troy, the first guy to do a mashup of YouTube and dumping a chick!"
Sad Gabriella stares out a classroom window at this euphoric display. She turns around, looking thoughtfully out into space. Yeah, you guessed it: time for another song. This one is a weepy power ballad called "When There Was Me and You".
Summary: She feels like she's on the outside looking in (actually, she's on the inside looking out, if you want to be pedantic), she doesn't know why she believed in Troy—or rather, why she thought "miracles could happen", and she thought Troy was her "fairy tale", and "a dream when [she's] not sleeping", and "a wish upon a star that's coming true", and about 45 other lyrical clichés I don't feel like getting into.
The choreography is also completely forgettable. Gabriella just wanders around the school alone and sings. At one point she's on a balcony and she gets a halo of key light, that kind of thing. Well, I will give them this: it's still more interesting than the average musical number on Cop Rock.
And on top of everything else, Gabriella is a firestarter!
She sings, "I'm only left with used-to-bes, and once upon a song." I think that just shorted out the grammatical portion of my brain. Here down come Gabriella be, singed the song boringly.
By the way, did you know that "dreams were meant for sleeping"? Who says this movie is not educational?
The sole hilarious moment comes when she just happens upon a wall mural of the Wildcats, and it actually features a giant image of Troy. No heavy handed symbolism here! She even leans on his enormous likeness and sings to it, which is just a tad bit bizarre.
Gabriella considers the possibility that the rest of him is just as huge.
And then she keeps singing that she "liked the view" when "there was me and you". The view? What does that mean? Could they have been more obvious about being desperate for a rhyme?
She wraps up the song, and now the halls are suddenly filled with people. She goes to her locker and Troy appears, but she gives him the cold shoulder, and preemptively disses him, and says she's not interested in the callbacks. "I mean, who are we trying to kid? You've got your team, and now I've got mine!"
She tells him to go win the championship, and she'll go win the scholastic decathlon. "It's where we belong." Ah, everybody's back in their boxes, at long last. The struggle is finished. Troy and Gabriella have won the victory over themselves. They love Big Brother. And the thing that is in Ms. Darbus' homeroom is the worst thing in the world.