What can we expect from 'Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies', the prequel to the iconic musical

Musical lovers have an unmissable date during Holy Week: Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies will premiere on Friday, April 7 on the SkyShowtime content platform.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
29 March 2023 Wednesday 04:02
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What can we expect from 'Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies', the prequel to the iconic musical

Musical lovers have an unmissable date during Holy Week: Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies will premiere on Friday, April 7 on the SkyShowtime content platform. It's the TV prequel to the musical made popular by John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John that, let's face it, no one ever asked for: it's a considerable risk to touch a title as beloved as Grease.

But what is the series about? Who is responsible for relaunching the brand? And who is responsible for writing catchy songs like Greased Lighnin' or You're the want that I want?

The action of Rise of the Pink Ladies takes place at Rydell High in 1954, four years before the events starring Danny Zuko and Sandy Olsson. In other words, nobody expects this couple to make an appearance or for Rizzo to walk through the halls of the institute (for now), since the only character that repeats is that of McGee, the director of the center, who is still an assistant here. from the director (and Jackie Hoffman takes over from Eve Arden, who died in 1990).

What the prequel tells is the formation of the Pink Ladies, who would later have Rizzo, Frenchy, Jan and Marty, Sandy's new friends, as successors. And the first episode already introduces the original members of the pink jacket gang, led by Jane (Marisa Davila), who had an ideal summer romance with one of Rydell's popular kids but, when rumors spread that they had sex, he is left in the lurch and with his reputation in question.

She is not the only one with adaptation problems. Nancy (Tricia Fukuhura), for example, has lost her best friends, who discriminate against her for not having a boyfriend like them; Olivia (Cheyenne Wells), fed up with speculation about her sex life, decides to assume the title of her official badass; and the more masculine Cynthia (Ari Notartomaso) gets tired of being denied the gang's jacket by the Thunderbirds because she's a girl.

Fed up with others telling them who they are, how they should feel, and what they should be like to be popular, they strike up an unlikely friendship that challenges Rydell's social functioning.

The project did not go smoothly when it was announced in October 2019. Before merging with Discovery, WarnerMedia convinced Paramount to leverage its Grease intellectual property to develop a TV prequel and greenlit the production of a full first season. for HBO Max. Like a series like the Gossip Girl reboot, it had a clear objective: to ensure that the new platform had teen-oriented content and more commercials to complement the titles in the HBO catalog.

"Grease is an iconic pop culture phenomenon that works for every generation," said Sarah Aubrey, HBO Max's director of original content, who reported that it would be a "Grease 2.0 but with the same spirit, energy and emotion you think of." immediately upon hearing some of the iconic songs.”

However, following a leadership reshuffle at WarnerMedia in the summer of 2020, HBO Max was no longer interested in the project and Paramount TV Studios, which produced the series, placed the prequel at home at the company we now know as Paramount. Global, to be broadcast on their content platforms.

The creator of Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies is Annabel Oakes, a screenwriter with a background in teen fiction with titles like Awkard and Atypical on her resume, and who was most recently at Minx. She already warned in an interview that "fans of the original should be happy" because she always had in mind to "pay tribute" and "respect" the Randal Kleiser film starring Olivia Newton-John, John Travolta and Stockard Channing.

In fact, when Paramount asked her to adapt Grease, she thought it wasn't necessary because the film was "absolutely perfect." But she then wondered if she had questions regarding the imagery of Danny Zuko and Sandy Olsson and she asked if gangs like the Pink Ladies really existed in the 1950s. “I started googling and found out there were real Pink Ladies at the original Grease creator Jim Jacobs' high school,” she revealed.

From Oakes you can expect a more up-to-date look at Grease, which in turn was already reimagining the 1950s since the late 1970s. In this way, she wants to delve into the idea of ​​tough girls, of those who challenged the gender conventions of the era, of which they were accused of being light-headed, from a much more diverse cast than the 1978 film.

From Paramount they did not play it: they convinced Justin Tranter for the job, who has participated in the composition of Sorry by Justin Bieber, Issues by Julia Michaels, Believer by Imagine Dragons, Look at her now or Lose you to love me by Selena Gomez , Fake Smile by Ariana Grande or Alice and 911 by Lady Gaga. He is the author of the 31 songs that will sound throughout the first season.

And the best? That, as the presentation musical number already shown to the public shows, the production values ​​seem to live up to the expectations that a series with Grease in the title should generate. How much colour! What planning! How many extras following the choreography! Attention: