Everybody is aware of the hit Disney trilogy High School Musical (HSM) which dominated TV screens, CD sales, merchandises and eventually cinema screens over the three year franchise. Critics called it the modern Romeo and Juliet with a twist to tell the youth generation not to stick to the status quo.
This text resembles Leavis approach on popular culture. Leavis always stated that film plays on ''cheap responses''. HSM does just that. The film is loaded with experiences that relate to its target audience with school years and the problem they face through peer pressure, self esteem cliques etc tat are explored throughout the three films.
These are emotions that the ordinary teen of today's society go through. They react to these responses that are cheap as they know that the young generation will lap it up and make Disney money by buying into the franchise.It can be argued that people learn to adapt the social norms of high school and accept what will be. There is also another argument that HSM does not portray real life.
When you think about it it is a little far fetched. Who would meet a guy on a holiday end up singing karaoke with him and then be transferred to a new school to become childhood sweethearts. That stuff only ever happens in Disney and Leavis theory of film by ''not learning, just watching'' could not be further from the truth for this particular Disney franchise.
''10 Things I Hate About You'' the romantic teen comedy from 1999 staring Julia Styles and the late Heath Ledger. A massive hit amongst the teen generation and of course critics alike. I first cam across this film in school aged about 16. We were learning about William Shakespeare which is very daunting at the age of 16. Then in cam the TV and bam out plays this film that had me laughing.
Little did I relaize that it was a modern adaption of the classic ''Taming of the Shrew'' by Shakespeare. Matthew Arnold (1869) describes some media texts as sweetness and light or as he likes to add ''the best of what's thought and said''.
I think that 10 Things I Hate About You is sweetness and light for our generation. Everybody knows the film and understands the film. It can be seen as the best because it is modern day tale of a classic. Therefor adapting the best high culture for the populist audience to allow more people to understand the work that William Shakespeare wrote. It gives people a new sense of culture identity and allowing the sweetness and light to spread across the popular culture.