Dreamy Actor-Musicians Rock Out In Netflix Series "Julie And The Phantoms"
Ai dela Cruz
Gotta admit I was skeptical at first. I thought I wouldn't enjoy teen musicals anymore, but I actually found myself breezing through the whole season of Julie and the Phantoms in two sittings. And it left me hungry for another season!
I was among the crazed high schoolers singing "Breaking Free" and "We're All In This Together" (yes, with matching dance steps) with her classmates when High School Musical first came out in 2006.
So when I heard that HSM director and choreographer Kenny Ortega was helming this Netflix series, I was both excited and afraid. How do you top those now-iconic Disney songs? Can I really break free from Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens' chemistry? I wasn't sure if I was ready for the start of something new.
NEW MUSICAL SERIES BY "HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL" DIRECTOR IS COMING TO NETFLIX!
And then I saw the cast—the dreamy and talented Charlie Gillespie from the Charmed reboot in particular—and decided that maybe there's ample space for a new high school crush in my heart!
In this new musical, the Canadian actor plays one of the Phantoms: three ghosts who were part of a 90s rock band called Sunset Curve.
Coming from someone who hates it when actors don't look believable when they're playing musical instruments (surely, I'm not alone in this), the show's cast was quite convincing that I had to stalk each one to find out if they were actually legit musicians.
Playing the band's frontman Luke, Charlie displays some pretty decent guitar skills in the series. So I wasn't surprised when I found out that he's also a musician in real life. Aside from the guitar, he also plays the piano, violin, bass, trombone, tuba, and saxophone. Wow.
Check out his cover of "You Are The Reason" by Calum Scott below. You're welcome.
Jeremy Shada—the voice of Finn from Adventure Time—stars as Sunset Curve's slow-but-adorbs bassist Reggie. He also sings and plays bass IRL for indie pop-punk-rock band Make Out Monday, so it wasn't a surprise either to see his smooth bassist moves in the series. See him in action in the official music video for their debut single "Hope Less Romantics" below.
Courtesy: Make Out Monday
The true surprise came from Owen Joyner who completes the Phantom trio as the band's openly gay drummer Alex. Unknown to many, the Nickelodeon baby has had mad drumming skills since his pre-teen years. Check out his latest post playing the drums (without a shirt on).
I only started playing the drums again for @julieandthephantoms and hadn’t played since I was 12. I probably wouldn’t have really ever played again, so thanks @kennyortegablog . Still learning obviously but though it’d be cool to share my progress. I can’t wait for you to hear what’s playing in my headphones...Sept. 10
Lastly, the bright young star of the show (and the primary reason why their songs are still stuck in my head) is Madison Reyes who plays high schooler Julie. The 16-year-old Puerto Rican who grew up in Brooklyn, New York seems like one of those people who were just born with it. Her natural talent in singing and playing the piano radiates through the screen. It's no wonder that she got the part especially if you see her audition video!
But aside from the talented cast, what really makes this show magical are the LSS-inducing original songs and musical numbers scattered throughout the season. There's even one co-written by Madison and Charlie themselves titled "Perfect Harmony" in Episode 7 that you should watch out for!
Expect a very wholesome, inspirational, and fantasy-filled narrative as you follow Julie's high school journey, set in a pre-pandemic 2020 in Los Angeles. The show is bursting with optimism and a strong reach-for-your-dreams vibe, even as it tackles grief and loss as well, with the death of Julie's mom (and the three ghosts) in the beginning.
Julie and the Phantoms starts streaming on Netflix this September 10, alongside the release of its awesome soundtrack that has 15 original songs.
Oh, and as a special treat, there's another cute musician in the cast who's actually the most intense guitar player among them. Taking on the ultimate campus crush role of Nick is Sacha Carlson. No, he's not part of Julie's band, but he could definitely be if ever there's a second season! Watch him shred in the video below.