Sharpay’s Mediocre Adventure

Friends, I have made no secret of the fact that Sharpay and Ryan of the High School Musical trilogy (Ashley Tisdale and Lucas Grabeel) are near and dear to my heart (even though I have no love for the movies in a general sense).

Although I haven’t done an entry on them for this blog, the latest film in the franchise, the spin-off Sharpay’s Fabulous Adventure, which was neither very fabulous nor very Sharpay, and which just arrived on Disney Channel, brought up a few issues I thought I would address in a timely manner.

I am not going to recap or review the movie – it’s just not worth my time. It wasn’t very good and it never should have been made, but those things come as no surprise and I could have told them to you last summer when I first heard about it. I don’t blame Ashley Tisdale or Disney for making it – kids’ll like it matter what, and it’s all about the money anyway. I get it, and I’m not bitter.

So, in the High School Musical movies, twins Sharpay and Ryan Evans are highly associated with each other.

And often are shown as a matching and complementary pair in several senses and on several levels.

You probably already know that, but there’s a small chance that you wound up reading this post for another reason and have never even seen those movies.

In the majority of the promotional and publicity images for the franchise, they are tied together.

Sharpay and Ryan come from a wealthy family (though, for some reason, are attending public school) and show business is everything to them.

They get all of the leads in all the plays, ever since preschool (we learn in the latest installment).

In HSM 1, Ryan is Sharpay’s less-bright sidekick (Pinky to Sharpay’s Brain), and almost all of their scenes are together.

Even though Sharpay shows obvious romantic interest in Troy Bolton, she tries to defeat him and Gabriella Montez and obtain the lead roles in the school’s latest production for her and her brother.

General spoiler warning.

In the second film, Ryan is given more complexity as a character, but it’s a trade-off, because the perfect unity of his relationship with Sharpay in the first film is shattered.

At the beginning of the film, Ryan is shown to be 1) not blind to her faults, but 2) still her biggest fan.

But Sharpay decides she wants to sing in the talent show with Troy, and ousts Ryan from her number.

Naturally, he feels betrayed, and ends up befriending Troy and Gabriella.

And things get uglier as, for once, Ryan and Sharpay get competitive with each other.

He gets his turn to betray her back (which, if you ask me, hit way harder than what she had done to him because he was deliberate whereas she was merely thoughtless).

They reconcile warmly at the end.

In the third film, Ryan and Sharpay are allied once again, but there’s a shift in the dynamic as Ryan turns his focus away from performing to choreography. She expects his help in securing the best song in the spring production for herself, but he’s reluctant to betray his new friends and he doesn’t quite trust her.

She serenades him with promises of their glorious future, with special emphasis on their unity and partnership and the shared nature of that future.

He sort of slides through the movie without ever having to make much of a choice. I always got the sense that he wanted to help her, if he could only get her to be more reasonable. That’s why there are so many scenes of him holding his hands up in exasperation and puzzlement:

And though Sharpay’s machinations don’t end up quite working out, she gets her moment in the sun. And even after all that she’s done to him, you still see Ryan reaching out to her.

And, of course, they end the series on good terms.

Anyway, I wrote all of that simply to illustrate the importance of the relationship between the two of them, which, for their characters, takes a central role.

In Sharpay’s Fabulous Adventure, Sharpay takes off forNew York to make her dreams come true. Since Ryan is 1) her brother, and 2) also in New York, I thought it would make sense if he made an appearance. Even just a small one. In fact, I thought it would be quite odd if he wasn’t in it at all.

Well, I wouldn’t even have watched the movie at all if I wasn’t holding out some hope for a sighting of Ryan, or an important mention of him.

Alas, nothing. What the hell, people? Was Lucas Grabeel really so busy he couldn’t spare a day or two? There are zero excuses. Both parents are in the film, for hell’s sake.  In fact, Sharpay’s love interest is the son of one of her mother’s friends and was sent to check on her! Why wouldn’t her own brother check on her – I mean, he’s in the city!!!!

Well, whatever. He wasn’t in it. But, he wasn’t ignored completely: 1) except for the parents, Ryan is the only character from the HSM movies that is mentioned (granted, not by name) and 2) soundtrack. Lucas Grabeel is amply represented on the Sharpay’s Fabulous Adventure soundtrack. That rendition of “Baby” you hear while the dogs have their romantic afternoon is NOT Justin Bieber – it’s Lucas Grabeel.

And what plays over the end credits? A remix of “Fabulous” from HSM 2, Sharpay and Ryan’s big duet from that film. There are several other duets of theirs featured on the album, but not in the film.

So, if you go purely by the soundtrack, it’s like Ryan is a huge part of the movie.

Back to the love interest. Did you recognize him? I didn’t at first, it came to me a day later as I was laying down to go to sleep. It’s Austin Butler.

Who, you say.

Jake Pearson, I say.

Who, you say again. The blond cousin from Aliens in the Attic, I say.

If you’re still confused, check out my entry on that movie. So, I have to love that the guy they hired to play her love interest is the guy who played her cousin in another movie.

Incestuous casting. Sort of.

(And he is looking older and quite fine, no?)

But that’s not even the best part.

What do you notice about Austin Butler, aka TLI (the love interest)?

No! Not that.

Um, blond hair, blue eyes, pink skin. He’s Ryan 2.0! She went to New York and hooked up with a guy who looks just like her twin brother.

Plus, he’s all about film making. He decides to make a film about Sharpay. So, he worships her just like Ryan did, and he’s an artist. She’s got a type.

So….sex?

TLI makes all of the moves with Sharpay, and she does a combination of taking advantage of him and tolerating him.

Now, if I’m being honest, I actually like TLI quite a bit, and I think he’s good for Sharpay, and I like their relationship in this movie. But, I much prefer the idea that he’s a substitute.

Fair Lucrezia takes dark Paolo as a lover, and dark Cesare takes fair Ursula as a lover, when what they really want is each other

Like Paolo for Lucrezia and Ursula for Cesare in The Borgias.

Sharpay isn’t a nice person in the HSM movies. Her moments of humility and humanity are always washed away and she begins each new movie reset. But she was talented, and she worked hard, and she knew what she wanted and she went for it.

And babe’s got style.

And for those reasons, I always thought there was a certain amount that she deserved. Troy and Gabriella were dilettantes, but because they were protagonists, they always won. And Sharpay, because she was a bitch, always lost. In the grand scheme of the movies, she really got the shaft.

So, it was nice to see her finally get success at the end of this movie, even though as a whole I’m not sure the movie was entirely true to her character.

So…sex?

She was a little too nice, not quite proactive or ruthless enough. Not quite rude enough, truth be told.

So…sex?

She came off more as plucky, optimistic, and spoiled, maybe a little mischievous.

But she finally got her big break, so that much was good. Choke on that Ryan and Troy and Gabriella, and effing Kelsi.

It has come to my attention that Ryan does have a bit of a cameo. Unfortunately I haven’t seen it and can’t find the clip, but this description from Wikipedia gave me a good laugh:

At the end of Sharpay’s Fabulous Adventure, Ryan is on a break from his musical tour around the country and pays a visit to his sister Sharpay after she became a star on Broadway to congratulate her. While Sharpay goes to chase Boi, Ryan enjoys her bed until it folds back into the closet, taking Ryan with it.

“Ryan enjoys her bed?”

I’ve got to see this.

I also want to append my Ryan/Sharpay fanfictions:

IN VINO VERITAS

Summary: About a decade after high school, an estranged Ryan and Sharpay meet up on Christmas Eve. Fanfiction.net or AO3

BODY HEAT

Summary: The Evans’ take a family vacation at a ski resort over the winter break following graduation. The rest is in the title. Fanfiction.net or AO3

REPRISE

Summary: Ryan comforts Sharpay after she doesn’t get into Julliard. Fanfiction.net or AO3

PERFECT TWINS

Summary: Ryan misses Sharpay during his first week at Julliard. Fanfiction.net or AO3

OUR FUTURE

Summary: Sharpay’s jealousy of Kelsi brings on a difficult but necessary conversation between her and Ryan during the summer after graduation. Fanfiction.net or AO3

SOMETHING NEW

Summary: Takes place at the end of HSM 2: Sharpay and Ryan has out their conflicts and the pain they’ve caused each other. Fanfiction.net or AO3

IT’S US

Summary: Sharpay and Ryan at the airport as he leaves for New York. The inseparable twins find it hard to be separated. Fanfiction.net or AO3

(My Archive Of Our Own and Fanfiction.net profiles are linked in the sidebar, for future reference.)

This entry was posted in Family/Kids' Movies, Movies That Should Have Incest, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Sharpay’s Mediocre Adventure

  1. Beast of the Sea says:

    Hi! 🙂 I really liked your Avatar: The Last Airbender posts (made me actually interested in the series), and admired your sheer attention to detail in going through all the Zuko-Azula scenes and picking them apart screenshot-by-screenshot. Now that is what I call a persuasive shipping argument. 😀

    Anyway, I’m commenting to highlight another brother/sister couple. I noticed that you mentioned the Resident Evil movie in your DOOM movie post, and funny you should mention it – one of the games, Resident Evil: Code Veronica, has as its main villains Alfred and Alexia Ashfords, twins who I think are right up your alley. 🙂 I know you mainly do TV shows and movies, but you can find the cutscenes on YouTube and the in-game files on the Resident Evil Wiki.

    If you want to just cut to the chase, here are the two main cutscenes involving the twins together:


    (Context:
    The woman with the ponytail is the heroine of the game, Claire, and the brown-haired teenager is her companion/love interest, Steve. Before the latter cutscene, Alfred unsuccessfully attempted to ambush the two, and got shot in the chest by Steve for his trouble. Alexia is in the tube because she’s been in hibernation for many years to develop T-Virus-fueled powers without, you know, being zombiefied.)

    Their backstory’s pretty interesting, too. They definitely fit the bill of “a brother and sister who are isolated from everyone else,” as you said you liked in the DOOM entry. So perhaps you could chec them out? 🙂

    Also, have you read Phillippa Gregory’s Wideacre book? It’s hard to describe the exact genre, but is ultimately a tragedy. Written by most authors, would be about the innocent and idealistic good characters being screwed over by a weak-willed aristocrat and his cold-hearted, scheming sister, but Gregory throws in the twist that it’s from the POV of said sister (who is named Beatrice), and about her fight to stay on the estate on which she was born (the titular Wideacre). And yes, part of that fight includes seducing her brother in order to maintain power over him. It’s an interesting read.

    That’s all I can think of, really. Sorry that I can’t be more helpful, but I’m not half as clever as you are when it comes to detecting subtext, so I tend to only go for the couples that are explicitly stated (or, in the case of Alfred and Alexia, so obvious that even people who don’t WANT to see it see it).

    Looking forward to any other posts you might make!

    • Shipcestuous says:

      Thanks for your recommendations. I watched the videos, and now I want to know more about Alfred and Alexia! I’ll have to do some reading on the wiki. I’ve heard about a few different video game stories that intrigued me, but it never occurred to me to check youtube for the cut scenes. Now I know. I don’t know if I’ll do a post on them yet – I’ve already got a major backlog of ideas and not enough time to do them in. Is Alfred really dead? Great, now I’m upset and disappointed and I hadn’t even heard of them five minutes ago, LOL. Actually, incestuous twin villains are my absolute favorite trope right now because even though they usually end up defeated and dead, their love never wavers. Consensual incest among the protagonists usually features another love interest, which is frustrating.

      It’s funny that you should bring up Wideacre, because I have heard of it. I always check out lists of books, movies, etc. on Television Tropes and Idioms and Wikipedia with incest content, and decide what I want to watch. (Yes, I do actually reject some of the listings, LOL.) I couldn’t decide about Wideacre. A book, and especially a book series, is a much harder decision than a movie or even a TV show because of the time investment. I ended up reading a synopsis of the entire story. At the time, I think the lack of enthusiasm on the brother’s part and the tragic tone put me off, but on the your recommendation I’ll add it to my list of books to read. I am a fan of Phillipa Gregory.

      I don’t know if I’d really call myself good at detecting subtext as much as desperate to find it. I try so hard to point out that I’m not actually delusional, just imaginative.

      I’m glad you liked the Avatar: The Last Airbender posts. I’m sure you can tell from the word count and number of screen shots that they took me a while, and are probably my biggest project on the whole blog. I was so defensive about their relationship and Azula in particular that I felt I had to make a note of everything. My points of criticism about the second half of the final season aside, it’s a great TV show for people who could enjoy a cartoon with some silliness, and I spent a lot of time laughing out loud. In terms of humor, plotting, and creativity it truly is unmatched.

  2. Beast of the Sea says:

    Hmm, seems that if I wanted it embedded, I should have given a slightly more explict URL for the second one.

  3. Twincest says:

    Speaking of Resident Evil there’s another brother and sister pair in the games Chris and Claire Redfield who I always hoped would hook up. They’d be perfect for each other especially given the situation they’re in with zombies everywhere and being one of the few who know the full story of what’s going on, it’s like they’re basically by themselves in this together making it even more romantic.

    • Shipcestuous says:

      I thought the names sounded familiar, so I went and looked for videos on youtube, and ended up clicking on one from Resident Evil: Afterlife, and then I realized, “Oh, it’s Wentworth Miller and Ali Larter! I remember now!” I shipped them when I watched the movie, of course, but it looks like they have a lot more story in the game. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find very many of their cut scenes on youtube, although there were some fanvids with clips set to music, but I’d rather hear the dialogue and see everything in order, you know. Though it was hilarious to me that they encountered Alexia Ashford in the one that I found.

      • Beast of the Sea says:

        I don’t ship Chris/Claire, myself, but here’s a summary of the information that might aid subtext-scouting:
        Randomly, I think I should add both their parents are dead. Hence, they’re the only family each other has.

        In the first game where she appears (Resident Evil 2), Claire has just entered Raccoon City in order to find her brother (who was one of two heroes of the first game). Unfortunately, she happened to pick the day of the zombie outbreak. Using the self-defense skills that Chris taught her, including knife-and-gun-wielding, she, along with a rookie cop named Leon Kennedy and a girl named Sherry Birkin, manages to get out of the completely zombie-infected-city alive and uninfected. Given later information, she apparently sets out IMMEDIATELY after this to go find her brother. Literally, she, Leon, and Sherry are standing by a highway nearby the city, probably only hours or less after they finally escape, and Leon starts insisting that she should go look for her brother. (Apparently – putting subtext-goggles on, of course – he’s a fervent shipper!) Claire doesn’t put up much of a fight, and immediately sets off.

        Three months later (Resident Evil Code: Veronica), what is she doing? STILL looking for Chris. In fact, the game starts off with her breaking into Umbrella’s PARIS facility just because he might be imprisoned there. That’s right, for her brother’s sake, she’s willing to INTENTIONALLY pick a fight with Umbrella, because he MIGHT have been captured by them. That’s dedication.

        Unfortunately for her, she gets captured and sent to Umbrella’s prison base, Rockfort Island, which is run by… dun dun dun… Alfred Ashford. When that base gets bombarded, Alfred assumes that Claire, who was transferred right before the bombardment, was a spy, and proceeds to hunt her down throughout the now-zombie-and-monster-infested base. While she’s there, she also meets Steve, who is her companion/love interest for that game, and, well… Okay, here’s a pro-Steve viewpoint, to be balanced: http://il-robin.tumblr.com/post/8869582740/so-i-said-that-i-would-make-this-rant-today. Long story short, people’s reactions to his death near the end of the game tend towards either ‘It was so sad :(‘ or ‘HE’S DEAD? :D’. And yes, he dies… So there goes the love interest… *cough*

        Anyway, to summarize, after Alexia wrecks Claire and Steve’s snowmobile and captures them, Leon FINALLY tracks down Chris and sends him off to go follow in Claire’s footsteps. Chris finds Claire, saves her, and they have a happy reunion. Aside from a very pissy Alexia hunting them down, that is. Now, I will note for subtext purposes that Chris and Claire are almost specifically set up as a sibling team in opposition to the sibling team of Alfred and Alexia, with Alexia going so far as to taunt them with “It is almost time, you genetically-inferior siblings!” (implying, of course, that she and Alfred were the genetically-superior siblings). Alfred was Claire’s enemy, dying at the end of her segment, and Alexia is Chris’s, dying at the end of his segment (as the final boss). Now, undoubtedly Chris and Claire are supposed to be the good-and-wholesome siblings in contrast to the rather-too-close pair of Alexia and Alfred, but as long as they’re being compared, why not go all the way? 😛

        As kind of mentioned earlier, Alexia turns Steve into a monster and kills him. Well, he didn’t even make it to the cover of the game, so he should have known he was marked for death. 😛 (The cover and title screen both feature Claire and Chris together.) For joking-around purposes, maybe Alexia disapproved of his potentially getting in the way of a fellow incest ship. (More seriously, the obvious motive was that he gave Alfred the gunshot wound that killed him, even if it was in self-defense. That’s probably why Alexia experimented on Steve first, while saving Claire for later.) Later, Alexia herself turns into a hideous monster as she single-mindedly pursues the Redfield siblings, but Chris kills her. Chris and Claire escape the Antarctic facility together on a fighter jet (long story), and hooray, game over, and…

        …Oh my. (That’s an actual screenshot.)

        [I would help pick out more subtext, but alas, my computer is currently violently allergic to YouTube, so I can’t check the cutscenes. I read that, perhaps, in the scene where Chris gives Claire a serum to cure her poisoning (if she got poisoned in an earlier boss battle), Claire’s hand placement looks… off… when she says “Just like a big brother, huh?”, but as I said, I can’t verify that at the moment.]

        Short summary – Chris and Claire are both willing to go through hell to save each other, they appear as part of a brother-sister-team-versus-brother-sister-team framework (with the latter team being all but outright incestuous), Claire’s love interest gets killed off, Claire’s other potential love interest (that is to say, Leon – lots of Leon/Claire shippers out there, though it’s not canon) firmly aids and abets all attempts to reunite the siblings, and Chris and Claire’s last known appearance together is… walking arm-in-arm down a street. Those are the facts WITHOUT subtext goggles on.

        So all things considered – it’s not as blatant as Alexia/Alfred, but I can see the grounds for the ship. Rather John/Samantha-ish, minus the initial antagonism.

        P.S.
        Here’s the link to the first out of nine videos showing all the Code:Veronica cutscenes in order: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L3vKOo6onMY You can find the rest by looking for the next part in the “Related Videos” sidebar (watching it on YouTube, that is) and repeating the process for each of the videos.

        P.S. II
        I don’t know how much you’re interested in Alfred/Alexia, but if you are, I do know there’s a lot of stories with that pairing on fanfiction.net. I’ve only seen one Chris/Claire fic while looking for Alfred/Alexia (but then again, I wasn’t looking for Chris/Claire :P), and it was called “How could I not love you?”, if I recall correctly. Also on the Alexia/Alfred side, sniiperinthebrain.tumblr.com posts a great deal of fanart from various sources involving the Ashford twins, and is a devoted Alfred/Alexia shipper. Just check the “Alfred Ashford” or “Alexia Ashford” tags.

        ==

        Anyway, hope you have luck (and fun) in searching for subtext in whichever shows (or games) you might choose to do so! 😀

        • Shipcestuous says:

          Wow, thanks for writing all that up. You definitely have subtext-goggle skills. I’m sure that took a lot of time and work (especially all the links); I really appreciate it. Alfred and Alexia are definitely the sibling-pair I find more fun to ship, but as you laid out here there’s plenty to be done with Chris and Claire. The death of her love interest, and the way that she and Chris are juxtaposed as with Alfred and Alexia are exactly the sort of ship fodder I find hard to resist. I bookmarked those cut scenes – I’ll watch them when I get a chance. I’ve never been much of a gamer, so I was initially very surprised by how much attention there is to the characters and their relationships, but I can see why now. I might check out some of the fanfics too. Thanks again!

        • Shipcestuous says:

          Wow, thanks for writing all that up. You definitely have subtext-goggle skills. I’m sure that took a lot of time and work (especially all the links); I really appreciate it. Alfred and Alexia are definitely the sibling-pair I find more fun to ship, but as you laid out here there’s plenty to be done with Chris and Claire. The death of her love interest, and the way that she and Chris are juxtaposed as with Alfred and Alexia are exactly the sort of ship fodder I find hard to resist. I bookmarked those cut scenes – I’ll watch them when I get a chance. I’ve never been much of a gamer, so I was initially very surprised by how much attention there is to the characters and their relationships, but I can see why now. I might check out some of the fanfics too. Thanks again!

        • Twincest says:

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r22EQkp4sEs&feature=related This is the scene with Chris and Claire mentioned earlier @ 5:26 where she says “Just like a big brother huh? You’re always looking out for your little sister.” with her hand seemingly on his crotch.

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X0OUOGXKiRM This is a scene right before that @ 9:09 where he first cuts her down from the cocoon, the way she falls into his arms with him staring at her while saying her name softly has even more subtext.

          And that screenshot of them walking down the street arm in arm at the end of the game is ridiculously romantic, they make such a perfectly hot couple together that you wouldn’t even know they were brother/sister if someone didn’t tell you.

          • Shipcestuous says:

            OK, I think I’m shipping Chris/Claire hardcore. Those scenes were ridiculous! The way they say each other’s names! And this is probably the fault of the simplicity of the animation, but they spend awkward amounts of time staring longingly at each other. In the first one, when Chris asks if she’s OK, and she says, “Now that you’re here?” It was so flirty. Who is the voice actress because she’s terrible! But in the most wonderful way. And I’m sure her hand was just supposed to be on his hip (which is a little odd in itself), but it could just as easily have been placed somewhere else, given our angle.

            I really need to watch all of the scenes.

            You guys are the best!

  4. RonZ says:

    Ryan did make a guest appearance in the movie (but in the TV version, not the dvd,bluray)

  5. Jessie Situ says:

    Hi! It’s me again. Just going through your blogs and i loved it. I love brother sister incest… Sorry to mention that I didn’t watch most of the movies that you wrote (shame on me to be a BSI shipper i know…). I watched High school musical a long time ago, i didn’t pay much attention to the characters because i think the movies are pretty boring… especially troy and gab are just so boring. I definitely love Sharpay and Ryan more (did i mentioned that i normally like villains more than heroes before? i don’t remember, although sharpay and ryan can’t really be considered “villains” but yea..just like how i love nuada more than hellboy) they look so good together and they are both talented, although i’m sure there is no incest things going on between these two since sharpay totally fell for troy and and that guy(i don’t remember the name) in her fabulous adventure movie, but they still look good together. Such a perfect team when they work and dance and sing together. Also for the posters or campaign pictures they are always together when the others are standing together as couples. And this is kinda cute in a way, it’s like they are a couple too… i mean it feels like the people taking and editing those pictures actually supports them to be a couple in a euphemism way.. you know what i mean?

    • shipcestuous says:

      Thank you so much for all of your comments! I figure a lot of the posts on this blog would be recommendations, in a way – I don’t expect that a lo of people will have seen the shows/movies that I’ve written about. Especially since I focus on non-canon.

      I tend to be drawn to the villains a lot of the time too, or the antagonists, anyway. I felt the same way about High School Musical – I love Sharpay and Ryan but I’m not that into the movies in a general way, particularly Troy and Gabriella.

      One of the best things about Ryan/Sharpay is definitely how they are always together in the promotional material like all of the couples. They definitely have a couple vibe, though they clearly aren’t together offscreen because, like you said, they both have other love interests. The way I see it, Ryan is either in love with her and she’s clueless, or they’re both pretty clueless about the fact that there’s the potential for something more between them.

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