REVIEW: ‘High School Musical: The Musical: The Series,’ Season 2, Episode 3 – “Valentine’s Day”

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HSMTSMTS Season 2 Episode 3 Valentine's Day - But Why ThoSeason 2 of High School Musical: The Musical: The Series continues with its third episode, “Valentine’s Day.” In last week’s episode, Nini (Olivia Rodrigo) is struggling to adjust to her new school that doesn’t allow much creative freedom. Back at East High, the Wildcats prepare for the two-part edition for the spring musical. Gina (Sofia Wylie) brings out her competitive side after an encounter Lily (Olivia Rose Keegan), which causes conflict between her and Ashlyn (Julia Lester). Several Wildcats who had behind-the-scenes roles during the previous musical plan to audition for the spring musical. At the end of the episode, Miss Jenn (Kate Reinders) posts the casting sheet, which is full of surprise castings.

In “Valentine’s Day,” Big Red (Larry Saperstein) and Ashlyn celebrate their first Valentine’s Day as a couple, though things turn out not as they expected. Kourtney (Dara Renee) starts a new job at the local pizzeria owned by Big Red’s family but finds it difficult due to constantly clashing with a coworker. Gina, being used to spending this day with her mom, deals with spending Valentine’s Day alone. Meanwhile, Ricky (Joshua Bassett) and Nini’s plans to surprise one another don’t go as planned, which leads to unexpected revelations.

“Valentine’s Day” continues to give Ashlyn and Big Red more prominent roles, not just in the show but in the overall plot of the season. They’re the couple that a lot of fans of the show wanted to see get together since it was teased that they had feelings for one another. Now that they’re a couple, the possibilities of where their storylines could be taken are endless. The chemistry that the two actors have is authentic and so endearing to watch. Throughout “Valentine’s Day,” Ashlyn struggles with getting the lead role in Beauty and the Beast because of certain standards based on looks. But Red’s immense support for Ashlyn and really listening to her was amazing to watch. They’re the couple that many fans will surely be rooting for as the show progresses.

Ricky and Nini’s storyline in “Valentine’s Day,” while predictable, was enjoyable to watch. It’s clear that they love each other and the show went to great lengths just to prove it. However, the long-distance aspect of their relationship begins to put a strain on them. It’s no surprise that the distance would get in the way, especially since they’re both high school students. It would be a different situation if they were older. Both of them were hurt because they couldn’t spend the day together, but it seemed as if Ricky took it much more personally. It will be interesting to see whether this affects his feelings for Nini.

While the musical numbers in “Valentine’s Day” are limited, they make an impact on the plot of the episode. The first musical number is Kourtney singing one of the central songs from Beauty and the Beast. The simple piano rendition and her vocals bring emotion to her performance. The second performance, which was released before the second season aired, shows the songs that Nini and Ricky wrote for one another. Through the miscommunication and not being able to spend the holiday together, the song shows how much they care for each other. Both songs focus on the theme of love, which is obviously important due to the title of the episode.

Ultimately, “Valentine’s Day” delivers an outstanding episode with its musical numbers, the focus put on Big Red and Ashlyn’s relationship and the struggles of long-distance between Nini and Ricky. The musical numbers really bring out the theme of love, which fits well because of its title. Big Red and Ashlyn are becoming an incredible couple because of how much they support one another. Ricky and Nini’s relationship beginning to show signs of struggle makes sense, but it’s also clear that they both care for each other. Though there several paths this relationship could take, it will be interesting to see if their relationship continues or ends.

HSMTMTS Season 2  is streaming now on Disney+ with new episodes airing Fridays.

HSMTMTS Season 2 Episode 3 - "Valentine's Day"
  • 9/10
    Rating - 9/10
9/10

TL;DR

Ultimately, “Valentine’s Day” delivers an outstanding episode with its musical numbers, the focus put on Big Red and Ashlyn’s relationship and the struggles of long-distance between Nini and Ricky. The musical numbers really bring out the theme of love, which fits well because of its title. Big Red and Ashlyn are becoming an incredible couple because of how much they support one another. Ricky and Nini’s relationship beginning to show signs of struggle makes sense, but it’s also clear that they both care for each other. Though there several paths this relationship could take, it will be interesting to see if their relationship continues or ends.