I’ve had an idea for a post percolating for awhile about how I don’t really like irony. That’s a pretty sweeping statement, hm. Let me get more specific: what bothers me about irony is that I think it contributes to a cultural feeling that genuinely liking things — specifically, happy things — isn’t cool.1 Liking things that are artistic, or weird, or only little-known (but never popular, god no) is fine, but the only way to like something silly or fun for the sake of being fun, is to like it ironically. Which means, you know, you like it, but you don’t really like it, because that’s Uncool, and you’re way too Cool to ever just like something for fun. To me, there’s just something sad about the idea that products created just to be enjoyable aren’t worth really liking; I think it devalues joy, and I don’t understand why anyone would want to do that.
Luckily, I realized many years ago that I will never be Cool. I had angst about that for, oh, four or five minutes, then came to terms with my nerdiness and did my best to stop worrying about what other people would think of me based on the things I enjoy. And it’s very freeing! It means that when I like something, even if it is silly or ridiculous or aimed at people roughly 13 years younger than I am,2 I am free to enjoy and squee and fangirl shamelessly.
This, however, is not that post. That was merely prologue, brought up so you will all know I am not exaggerating my glee when I can share this news: Today, I sort-of-kind-of met Corbin Bleu, and oh my god I love him so much!!!11!!one
Let me back up: a few years ago, I watched and kind of enjoyed High School Musical. A year after that, the creatively-named sequel, High School Musical 2, aired on Disney. And I loved it. Love. Present tense. And after that, High School Musical 3: Senior Year was an actual theatrical release3 and yeah, I saw it in the theaters three times. These movies are ridiculous. I can’t give you plot summaries, because the “plots” are nonsensical. But the cast is adorable, the songs are fun, and the dances are wonderful.4 These movies are 100% joy, and my love for them is 100% genuine. I keep the music from all three on my iPod just in case I need an instant shot of joy during my day, and they never fail to pick me up.
Obviously, Corbin Bleu is one of the afore-mentioned adorable cast members. And while I’ve said before that I’ll basically see anything with any of these kids in it, no matter how bad, Corbin is my favorite. Except that should be italicized and have way more vowels stuck in, and ideally be read in a sing-songy voice: faaaaaaavorite. He’s ridiculously talented, and in interviews, he always comes across as genuinely sweet. (And let’s face it, he’s cuter than a box of kittens.) And… look, I could go on for paragraphs and paragraphs, but I think you get the point.
I’ve watched a lot of things just because Corbin is in them. Most of them are not very good.5 So a couple months ago, when it was announced that he’d be starring in In the Heights on Broadway — something that is actually good, not just gleeful, and which might actually show off his strengths as a performer — I made a noise so squeaky it’s possible only dogs could hear me, and then convinced my sister and two of my BFFies to come with me. (This consisted of saying, “Hey, want to go see In the Heights with me?” It was not a hard sell.)
At which point Jess — my co-blogger — pointed out, you know, hanging out at the stage door to meet actors is basically a thing that it’s okay to do with Broadway shows. And then I fainted and had to be revived via smelling salts.6
I wish there was something more to the story than that, like, oh, a sudden gaze into one another’s eyes, instant true love,7 and a marriage proposal. But in actuality, it was a brief but lovely moment; he was very nice (to me and my sistren, the girls in their early teens who also started shrieking when he came outside), even more adorable up close, and YOU GUYS, I LOVE HIM A LOT.
Oh, and the show was good, too. I don’t want to understate that. I’m not nearly knowledgeable enough about such things to really critique it, but it certainly seemed to me to be very well done. Loved the music, loved the use of the setting, loved the interwoven stories. (Though my favorite moment was the joke about the 1/9 train, and how the 9 no longer exists — or more specifically, the audience reaction. Which is to say, only a handful of people laughed, a nice way of picking out who was not a tourist in the crowd.)
But let’s face it: above and beyond all that, I love this guy:
So thank you, sir, for existing, and making my not-at-all-inner fangirl very, very happy. ♥
- I feel like this was a very Gen X thing that has really stuck around, but haven’t done any research to back that up. ↩
- Holy crap, 13-year-olds are half my age, when did that happen? ↩
- I think the only series that’s ever started as made-for-TV and made the jump to theatrical, not the other way around. ↩
- Discounting Zac Efron, who is charming as all get out, but really, really not a dancer. ↩
- Case in point: a show so bad even the CW wouldn’t keep it on the air. ↩
- Okay, not gonna lie, I actually had to be talked into this. When I meet someone I’m that emotionally invested in, I tend to freak out. Not that it’s happened often, but for example, when I met the bassist from my favorite band in 12th grade, I actually forgot my own name when he offered to sign my ticket. You know the cliché girl who bursts into tears when she meets her favorite teen idol, as illustrated daily on TRL for a decade? SO ME. ↩
- On his part, clearly, since that’s obviously already true on mine. ↩