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Whoa, Momma!

Sharon Kennedy Wynne, Tracey Henry and Suzannah DiMarzio

Update: "Spectacular" premieres on Monday!



UPDATE: While it's a Spectacular weekend on Nick, the premiere of the movie is Monday at 8 p.m., not Saturday as we reported below.


Nickelodeon goes after the High School Musical franchise riches this weekend Mom_spectacular_2  with the debut of “Spectacular!” a network original movie clearly conceived with HSM in mind.

Think high school. Musical numbers. Competition. The talented group. The patch-work, rough-around-the-edges group. And in Nick’s version, a rock star wannabe who gets kicked out of his band for selfish, showboat behavior only to make good with the rag-tag crew led by a talented and beautiful love interest.

Nikko Alexander (Nolan Gerard Funk) is the rock star castoff and Courtney Lane (Tammin Sursok) is the perky leader of “Spectacular!,” a show choir at Lincoln High School. Courtney begs Nikko to fill the male lead hole left when her ex-boyfriend Royce Du Lac (Simon Curtis) bolted to join rival group “Ta-Da” and Sharpay wannabe Tammi Dyson (Victoria Justice from Zoey 101).

Nikko is a hard sell, you know, cuz rock stars and jazz hands don’t go together. But Courtney makes a secret deal to give him $5,000 in winnings if he joins and “Spectacular” wins nationals (against “Ta-Da”). Money that can help him make a demo and maybe get a record deal.

So bad boy Nikko becomes the foil for straight-laced Courtney and good things happen.

It’s not basketball or the country club. And certainly the characters aren’t as rich and lovable as Sharpay, Troy and Gabriella. But it’s entertaining and the music, co-written by Matthew Gerard and Robbie Nevil, is good, much less bubblegum than HSM. You can listen to a song on YouTube here.

My 8-year-old squealed during many scenes and thought it was a great movie -- so it seems the folks at Nick have hit their target. Soon enough she may beg me to download the soundtrack to her iPod. And, it looks like some tracks might be available for download on Rock Band. For me, though, HSM is the standard and Spectacular! barely cracks the formula.

Nickelodeon is making this a Spectacular! weekend, with the first showing Saturday at  8 p.m. The big premiere is scheduled for Presidents Day, Monday, at 8 p.m.

Oh, and don’t count out a sequel.

-- Amy Hollyfield

[Photo: Michael Courtney/Nickelodeon of from left, Nolan Gerard Funk (Nikko), Tammin Sursok (Courtney), Victoria Justice (Tammi), Simon Curtis (Royce)]

[Last modified: Thursday, May 13, 2010 10:59am]


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