By Sadie Dodds
High School Musical: the epitome of early 2000s Disney optimism directed by Kenny Ortega, raised a whole generation’s expectations for what high school was going to be. Now Ortega brings this feeling back to the screen in the new Netflix show Julie and the Phantoms (based on Nickelodeon’s 2011 Brazilian show “Julie e os Fantasmas”), released on September 10. This show’s endearing characters and incredible music has recently enjoyed an uptick in fans with people creating TikTok, YouTube, and Instagram posts based on the show.
Sometimes it feels that the characters of a show are merely the vessels by which the writers entertain us with an exciting plot. However, it is the mark of a good show when the characters not only work with the plot, but also on their own. This also can lead to an incredibly rabid fan base, as they feel that they can not only enjoy a show but also a group of people. Julie and the Phantoms is a great example of this. The main characters are all adorable, relatable, and motivating. Although the ghosts (Reggie, Alex, and Luke) are the main source of comedy, therefore having the most memes about them, every character has their moment. On top of that, there is a section of the fandom that is obsessed with “shipping” the characters. Shipping is the act of wishing for two characters to be together romantically.
There is a second section of the fandom who simply likes the show for its music. Oftentimes, there is a sense of anxiety about musicals because there is no way to know whether or not the music will be any good. It could completely flop or it could be the best soundtrack ever. This show’s album is closer to the latter. Every song fits into the plot while also being able to stand on its own. Many people have downloaded the album in order to listen to it in their free time.
Part of why it took so long for the Julie and the Phantoms fan base to arise is because it is technically a kid’s show. This is a stereotype that makes many people wary of starting something new. However, it is also one that we as a society are beginning to get over. Much of this fan base actually consists of teenagers who learned about the show through social media. The posts on TikTok and other apps have led to a new type of fandom for the show, one of older kids who are thinking about the show more critically. But this group is also just as entertained by jokes written for middle schoolers.
All in all, Julie and the Phantoms has a lot to offer to teens so it’s uptick in fans makes sense. More and more people are learning about everything that this show has to offer. Julie and the Phantoms hasn’t been renewed for a second season yet, but we are all anxiously awaiting an announcement.