See the thing about living on campus is that you don’t have DVR and are never in your room to watch your shows. This was the case for me with Grease: Live. I wasn’t going to be able to watch it. But then I remembered home. See the thing about a student who has a car on campus is that it is much easier to go home. So I called my mom. And made sure she recorded it.
My mom watched it that night. I called her the next day and asked her how did she like it. She responded by telling me she didn’t even finish it. I laughed. My mom is a diehard Grease fan, so it makes sense that she wouldn’t necessarily like it. I grew up watching it, obviously. Every time it came on it would play and me, my sisters, and my mom would watch. But the original isn’t of my time. It’s more of a classic for me. So when I heard FOX was doing a live remake of the 1978 movie I got really excited. I know the movie by heart so after hearing my mom’s response I was a bit apprehensive. I feared it would turn out like Grease 2, a terrible sequel made in 1982. But it wasn’t bad. It kept a lot of things the same but here were some noticeable differences that I liked:
- They added character depth to a lot of characters. Patty Simcox had more personality, Eugene is more than a smart nerd. And the T-birds and Pink Ladies are more distinct.
- They added songs. Two of them were featured in the movie but played on jukeboxes not sung by cast members. That includes “Freddy My Love” and “Those Magic Changes.” A completely new song was “All I need is an Angel” for Frenchy.
- They had musical guest!! Jessie J opened the show. Boys II Men were the angels that tell Frenchy to go back to school and DNCE was the band that played at the dance.
- Old cast members. The original Frenchy played the waitress that gave the new Frenchy advice.
- There was more girl power. Jan’s weight wasn’t commented on. Marty didn’t try and get with that older man that was hitting on her. And Sandy sticks up for Rizzo when people make fun of her after having heard she was pregnant.
- Rizzo is the one who helps Sandy at the end showing their new friendship.
- Eugene becomes a T-bird for helping them with the car which is why they win at Thunder Road.
- They had a culturally diverse cast.
things that were different that I wasn’t too fond of:
- Sandy wasn’t from Australia. They changed her last name to Young and she transferred from Utah.
- They take out Jan’s famous line: “See a penny, pick it up, all day long you’ll have good luck.” I loved that line and they took it out.
- They added a cheerleading tryout scene that I thought was very unnecessary. I mean I get that the girls can dance but that was too extra. (On the bright side, there were male cheerleaders)
- At their date, Sandy doesn’t order the same amount of food as Danny. I liked the fact that in the original they made a date seem more realistic with a girl ordering just as much food as the guy but they took that out. All she orders was a soda.
- There was no “Blue Moon.” I guess it’s not family friendly to have guys showing their butts but it was funny.
Overall, I think it was a pretty good adaptation of the movie. Sure, there were somethings that could have been done better (that I didn’t mention because it wasn’t that big of a deal for me) but it was don’t live so they couldn’t edit things in or have certain effects. It was great enough for our generation but I can understand why my mom wouldn’t like it. It definitely tops the second one!
*How do you categorize a TV movie/ musical thing???