It’s been 10 years since the release of the seminal made-for-TV movie, High School Musical. While it’s best remembered for its shitty-but-catchy songs, High School Musical is as much a sports movie as it is a musical (Zac Efron’s Troy Bolton has to choose between playing basketball or auditioning for the school play). In hopes of reclaiming its sports movie legacy, Nerdist has released a frankly insane exploration of the verisimilitude of High School Musical’s basketball scenes. With the sort of fervent attention to detail previously seen only on Lost message boards and True Detective thinkpieces, Derrick Rossignol breaks down the coaching, practices, team rosters, rules, and championship game as depicted in the film.
The frame-by-frame analysis reveals some fascinating insights, like the fact that the team’s coach (who happens to be Troy Bolton’s dad) seems to have no idea how to actually play basketball. The article goes so far as to break down the names and numbers of everyone on both the East High Wildcats and the West High Knights, for anyone who had been wondering about such things. Otherwise minor uniform infractions, incorrect basketball brands, and scoreboard continuity errors make up the bulk of the critiques. In his final verdict Rossignol notes:
For a pseudo-sports-movie, High School Musical was actually relatively faithful to the source material with its treatment of basketball. The only rules broken were somewhat minor ones, and the play of the game appears to be natural and realistic, the only major error (the early scoring surge according to the scoreboard) is more of a continuity error than a basketball inaccuracy.
So while it turns out that High School Musical was surprisingly successful at recreating the ins-and-outs of high school basketball, we’d like to point out the far more troubling fact that the film couldn’t be bothered to find an even vaguely accurate voice double for Efron (who did his own singing in the rest of the franchise):