Despite the fact that High School Musical: The Musical: The Series was doing exceptionally well in ratings and produced an incredibly strong audience rating, the show ended with Season 4. In many ways, it was the right decision; the story line was wrapped up cleanly, there was no lingering leftover for another season, and actors weren’t kept in the lurch wondering if a new season would be paid for or not.
Season Abrupt Cuts are the Worst
There is nothing more annoying than a popular series being canceled between seasons without any warning or, worse for the audience, any completion of the story line. This has played out again and again with few happy endings, and it has produced thousands of unhappy fans across TV land repeatedly.
Fortunately, High School Musical was not a repeat of the above. It wrapped up its overall story arc and sub-plots rather succinctly, giving closure to all the characters and their outcomes. While some in the audience might have wanted to see things keep going, everyone agrees the show ended correctly.
Musicals End Better It Seems
In the case of High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, produced by Tim Federle, the show’s story line and its characters at East High were already hitting the edge of their fictional envelope. The characters were in their senior year of high school, and the topics of the series were starting to feel stretched. Rather than stretching the fictional boundaries, the show’s writers and creators felt it made more sense to wrap things up, just like what would happen in real life with a high school graduation and moving onto college or adult life.
Additionally, the anxiety of not knowing if one got into college made the last season realistic for many teens in the audience, relating directly to their own ambiguity about their next educational step as well. And the primary motivation, moving onto adulthood, was a natural closer to the show’s musical happiness of turning 18 and closing out teenagehood with all of its good and bad stuff.
The drama of high school becomes just that, small issues left in the past with memories, and the characters move onto bigger and better things in their starting fictional careers. Many of the show’s review critics agreed it was the willingness to let the series story change as the characters grew up realistically that made it work so well.