Once More, with (Chaste) Feeling

David James / New Line

Wholesome teens? Check. Candy-colored costumes? Check. Must be HSM again.

Disney Channel's 2006 surprise-hit movie operated on the aspirational principle of kid culture: just as naming a magazine Seventeen will attract 13-year-olds, so will a franchise called High School Musical reach tweens for whom high school is only an enticing and terrifying eventuality. Like the original, High School Musical 2 (Aug. 17, 8 p.m. E.T.) gives them high school with training wheels: romance without sexual pressure, G-rated teen pop (Justin Timberlake before he brought sexy back). It's a raging bacchanal of hand holding, milk drinking and explicit thespianism! Obviously, this is escapism for parents too. Even the kids' rebellions--baking crème brûlée,...

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