Couch Potato Pickings | Is Glee better than High School Musical?

How much better is Glee than High School Musical?

Not surprisingly Glee, the latest US TV sensation, has been compared to tweeny Disney hit High School Musical more than once or twice on the worldwide web.

High School Musical

It is probably unfair to compare a TV series to a movie, and an adult-targeted show to a kiddie film, but let’s face it they do take the same inspiration – high school kids and the world of amateur musical theatre.

As a recent convert to the Glee phenomenon (and someone who has never been able to understand the High School Musical mania), I decided yesterday afternoon to re-watch the first of these all-singing, all-dancing Disney movies.


Well, I’d like to say that it was in order to make a sound judgement about which of the two is better, but I can’t lie – it was just an excuse to rip that overrated movie apart further .

Sorry, High School Musical fans, here are my observations:


In HSM, a girl from out of town arrives at a new school after meeting a cute boy on holiday, only to find that the cutie attends her new school. Yes, it’s Grease, but not as entertaining and not as dirty.

Glee, on the other hand, is hugely entertaining and it is a little dirty. Best of all, Grease star Olivia Newton John has chosen to appear on the show later in the series. Says it all. Also, Glee’s various plotlines about singing misfits press all the right buttons with me because I was a singing misfit myself at school.


HSM is packed with cringeable over-acting and Drew Seeley sings star Zac Efron‘s parts. Glee, on the other hand has a great cast and they all do their own singing. They may be older than the high school kids they’re portraying, but this just demonstrates the extent of their acting abilities.


The Characters

HSM is a teen-led movie. The one-dimensional adults are simply there to create problems for the naive (and therefore boring) youngsters. Glee’s adults, however, are as interesting as the kids. This is real life.

The Music

Don’t Stop Believin’ or Start of Something New? Hmm, think we all know which is more popular.

The Routines

Glee’s show routines are colourful, memorable and varied, whereas HSM’s are just red and white.

The Humour

High School Musical, Alyson Reed

I think HSM’s Sharpay and Ms Darbus characters are supposed to be funny, but I didn’t laugh at them once. Glee’s camp humour, however, has me in stitches. Who can beat lines like “smell your armpits. That’s the smell of failure.”

Glee,Jane Lynch

So my conclusions are:

Glee is far better than High School Musical. Check out this link for an opposing opinion.

But they are aimed at different audiences, so, to be fair, I’ve picked out some movie recommendations for fans of each.

If you love High School Musical, you’re probably still a kid. Go off and watch all the other squeaky clean HSM movies and their singing, dancing spin-offs. Or check out Bandslam which stars HSM’s Vanessa Hudgens in a very similar role, but this time singing rock songs.

If you’re a Glee fan you clearly have a sense of humour and a sense of irony, so check out offbeat musical movie Camp. It’s got bitchiness, backbiting and teenage misfits at a theatrical summer camp, and it’s loads of fun.

High School Musical is showing tonight (1st Feb) on the Disney channel at 7pm

High School Musical 2 is showing tonight at 8.35pm on the Disney channel

Bandslam is currently available on Sky Box Office and Filmflex

And Glee is of course on E4 tonight at 9pm

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