Throughout my middle and high school years, Grease was a constant theme in pop culture. After the sequel flopped, it died down until now. With the success of Glee and, more recently, Hamilton in the mainstream, it is no surprise that Paramount went looking for musicals for their streaming service, Paramount+. In that search, Grease is reborn in the episodic prequel Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies.
This prequel could teach a few lessons to the producers of the original sequel to Grease. The benefits of investing in quality when making media instead of trying to make material on a shoestring budget are visible from the start. This is demonstrated by the quality of the sets and how the characters’ attire fits both the times and the world of the original.
Strong writing rooted in the spirit of the original, in plot and musical style, helps simultaneously breathe nostalgic emotions into this new incarnation. It combined them with special effects reminiscent of the ones used on Glee. The performers sing the musical numbers instead of lip-syncing, making the music more impactful.
These factors combine to give any fan of the original Grease a nostalgic trip with each episode. The songs are good enough that at least a few of the songs from it will be played at school dances, much like how the songs from the original were at dances during my school days.
Not everyone who liked Grease will be a fan. For those who aren’t, it is their loss. This is a deep and well-put-together show. Between the writing and how the music is set for the show’s time, the actors invest themselves in their characters, bringing them to life from the script and making you see the actor and character as one. I give Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies 4.5 out of 5 remote control put-downs. Remote control put-downs mean you will put the remote down and stop skimming or changing the channel.
The super fans will enjoy it for the newness combined with the nostalgic feelings it brings simultaneously. Of course, now I feel like I should prepare for a Grease-themed high school reunion, but there are worse things in life. Grab your remote and check it out, then let me know if I am spot on or far off.