The Instigator
kenicks
Con (against)
Losing
38 Points
The Contender
Logical-Master
Pro (for)
Winning
61 Points

High School Musical

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/28/2008 Category: Entertainment
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,302 times Debate No: 2249
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (9)
Votes (25)

 

kenicks

Con

High School Musical. The classic tale of the guy overcoming all obstacles to get the girl. I look at the summary of a movie like this and become disgusted; the movie is already focused on the most popular guy in the school, the BMOC, the superjock. Why raise the person that everyone in the school aspires to be? Why can't movies like these be focused on the little guys, the nerds, the geeks? Why can't an unknown, put-down, teased kid come out with the blessed singing voice and get the girl? These questions are shoved away from the public, replaced with catchy, bubblegum songs that makes everyone feel good about themselves.

I'll elaborate on this topic later, and await the rebuttal of whoever accepts my challenge.
Logical-Master

Pro

Greetings. First, I'd like to thank my opponent for starting this debate. With that said, I ask that you (as the voters) vote on who presented the better arguments rather than what you are inclined to believe in accordance to your personal opinion. Thank you. Now let us proceed.

For those who do not understand, it is the job of the Pro (my job) to show that High School Musical doesn't suffer from the problems which my opponent has implied in round 1. He says he will elaborate in round 2, but if his arguments do not link with the arguments he made in round 1, I see no reason to not justify dismissal.

My opponent insinuates that this movie suffers because it applauds the "popular kids" whereas it gives no spotlight to the nerds/geeks. Here, he commits the fallacy of false dichotomy as the female protagonist (Gabriella Montez) is actually the "nerd" character for this film. In other words, she puts intellectual/scholastic activities above the activities which are commonly deemed suitable for the "popular kids."

Another problem with my opponent's rendering of what makes a "quality film" in this genre is that the "loser/nerd/geek goes out of his way to popular girl" trend is all too common in high school films. It also gives the audience a message which can be viewed negatively. As in, the nerd has to prove himself/herself worthy in order to get who she/he wants. Why should the nerd have to do that? Why should the nerd have to do all the work? Why not have it to where the popular guy (or girl) realizes the flaw within his (or her) own standards and works to prove himself (or herself) worthy in the eyes of the nerd/geek/loser? This film accomplishes just that; the jock (Troy Bolton) realizes the flaw in his standards (with the theme of music being tied in of course =D ) and works to prove himself worthy in the eyes of the nerd (Gabriella Montez) (who turns out to have a blessed singing voice by the way).

I now stand ready for my opponent's first rebuttal.
Debate Round No. 1
kenicks

Con

Logical-Master,

As a novice debater I thank you for pointing out my error of the use "elaborating later in the next round", when my topics may not even reference the ones I must counter in my next round. Thank you, as I try to take in as much as I can from those more experienced.

I will go back to the concept of my favoring of the nerd getting the girl, as opposed to the way things are presented in High School Musical. The "nerd getting the girl" theme is usually displayed as follows:

Phase One: The nerd is belittled by those higher on the social chain.
Phase Two: The nerd sees that he must change his appearance in order for the popular girl to take notice of him.
Phase Three: The change is a success, either solely with the girl or with the entire student body.
Phase Four: The girl explains to the nerd her true feelings; that she liked him for who he was, and that he didn't need to change who he is to get her attention.
Phase Five: The nerd and the girl both live their lives as they used to, and still get along.

The moral of these stories is that in order to get attention, to be appreciated or to be liked is to just be yourself; it's the most you can do, unless you want to live a false hope.

I'd also like to focus on the concept of the characters of Troy Bolton and Gabriella Montez. Troy Bolton is your typical, cool, everyday BMOC with a superstar smile. He is captain of the basketball team, and their overall best player. He is well-liked by the girl population of East High, being referenced to at one point a "superbuff". What more could one want in their life?

Gabriella Montez is the typical, brainy, everyday nerd; or is she? In the movie, her intellectual background is portrayed well, through talks of her math championships and high intellect. However, her physical appearance is something to be questioned; she is shown in the movies with no "nerdy style" to her clothing, wearing typical, hot fashion trends that the other girls in school don. She lacks glasses, braces, and outspoken hairstyle (pigtails, frizzy hair, etc) that many nerdy girls are portrayed to be. Her appearance creates a false illusion to viewers, in that this girls is supposed to come off as the underdog, the nerdy one who comes victorious; and yet she is still drooled over by guys of all ages (including me...drools on keyboard), and if you minus all the smart, nerdyness that surrounds her, she is still beautiful.

Other nerds in high school musical portray this attire. Why shouldnt she? It loses effect.

When they first meet, they are both immediately drawn to each other. The movie progresses, and the mutual attraction still follows. The focus on Montez's braniac personality is not mentioned as much, as the movie primarily focuses on-guess who?-Troy Bolton, superstar, Mr. Popular, and his possible downfall. I'm sure everyone's heart jitters when they think of even the slight possibility that the teen at the top of the world just might have a slight dent in his side, ruining his reputation forevermore. Oh, the humanity of it all! But fear not, for in the end, the direction of the film takes a turn for the best of the American audience, because everyone realizes that they're "All in this together", and that disregard for others shouldn't be a part in their life. Can't we all just get along?

Unfortunately, the world isn't as happy-go-High School Musical as we'd like it to be, and I believe it gives the false illusion that when you try something new, the whole student body congregates together in song (figuratively or literally) approving of your choice to be different. If I could change the ending of this movie, I would have it be like this: rather than the whole school congregating together and making everything perfect for Montez and Bolton, giving them the best of both worlds, that the BMOC and the braniac should've been left to fend for themselves, audition for the musical on their own terms, and end up together, without the support of the entire student body; in life, nobody has that kind of support, and nearly every time your decisions are weighed based on your priorities, what you believe is right-everything isn't going to fall perfectly into place. You've got to make things work on your own.
Logical-Master

Pro

My opponent starts his second round off by defining what he perceives to be the typical "nerd-gets-the girl" theme.

To avoid confusion, the first thing we must note is that this kind of theme isn't exclusive to a male nerd ending up with a popular female; it isn't exclusive when it comes to gender.

I'd advise that you not accept my opponent's synopsis for the "nerd getting the girl" theme as his presentation of it does not define most (or all) of the movies with the theme. In fact, his outline fails to present a theme that is carried out in nearly all films of this genre; it presents no CONFLICT. As you can see in my opponent's brief synopsis, everything goes smoothly for the nerd; no part of his plan backfires. Skilled screenplay writers (or even skilled writers who merely focus on storytelling in general) know that an audience's interest is typically weakened considerably when the protagonist does not suffer any blow (be it mentally or physically) that impedes him/her from reaching his goal.

As for the moral of these stories, I agree in most cases, but the lesson isn't illustrated as well when there is no sort of conflict. In other words, if the protagonist didn't pay any kind of price for the error that he made, not abiding by this moral would hardly seem reprehensible, no?

My opponent then moves on to briefly provide descriptions of the characters Troy Bolton and Gabriella Montez. I see no problems with his description of Mr. Bolton (assuming there wasn't some negative implication with his rhetorical question at the end of it), but I can't help but notice some problems with his rendering of Gabriella Montez.

My opponent is advocating that Ms. Montez is by no means a nerd due to her appearance. However, my opponent is completely incorrect. First, I shall cite Merriam Webster's dictionary:

_______________________________________________________________________________

Main Entry:
nerd
Pronunciation:
\ˈnərd\
Function:
noun
Etymology:
perhaps from nerd, a creature in the children's book If I Ran the Zoo (1950) by Dr. Seuss (Theodor Geisel)
Date:
1951
: an unstylish, unattractive, or socially inept person; especially : one slavishly devoted to intellectual or academic pursuits "
_______________________________________________________________________________

Link: http://www.merriam-webster.com...

In the above definition, you must pay special attention to the term "or." In other words, being unattractive is not necessary to be considered a nerd, according to this credible dictionary.

Come to think of it, this is not to say that Gabriella couldn't be defined as unattractive (even in the context) considering the nature of the term itself.

That said, there is more to my opponent's rendering of Gabriella that is extremely erroneous.

In this film, you'll notice that Gabriella was rather reluctant to the school finding out about her academic achievements. This is primarily due to the fact that she was considered a nerd in her previous school. As is suggested, she was treated badly because of this, hence the reason she didn't want anyone to know about her intelligence. In the film, many got the impression of her being a nerd when they found out about her secret. Therefore, my opponent's claim that she isn't a nerd is false. Not only is she considered a nerd by definition, but she is also defined as a nerd by the story itself. Whether or not the actor was very attractive is not relevant when we take all of the above information into account.

My opponent argues that other nerds in high school musical aren't portrayed with the same attire, but there is a big difference between those nerds and Ms. Montez. Unlike Ms. Montez, those nerds were not attempting to hide their nerdy characteristics in fear of possible humiliation.

My opponent argues that the movie primarily focuses on Troy Balton and is thus bad storytelling. However, Troy Balton is the one attempting to "get the girl", is he not? With this being a crucial part of the plot, focusing on Troy moreso than Gabriella is necessary for the story to masterfully develop. In many ways, the film is like Greece. That said, if my opponent is giving you the idea that Gabriella hardly gets any screen time, he is misleading you as she gets enough for the viewer to understand her background, understand what she sees in Troy, understand her faults as well as how she overcomes them. In short, we know everything we need to know about her as a character.

My opponent then goes on to make a rant about the film's ending and the value of "togetherness." However, as I've suggested in round 1, it is my opponent's job to prove this film to be flawed in the areas he brought up. In round 1, his argument is that this film is flawed because it focuses on the students involved in the popularity clique rather than the students involved in the nerd/geek clique. Attacking this film because it doesn't live up to HIS idea of realism does not link with the argument he made in round 1, thus (as I've stated and as my opponent had agreed in round 2), you can dismiss his last argument.
Debate Round No. 2
kenicks

Con

kenicks forfeited this round.
Logical-Master

Pro

My opponent has forfeited his round. Therefore, extension of all my arguments is warranted. Since the instigator has failed to do his job in refuting all opposing arguments while defending all of his own, I urge you to vote against his case.

Thank you! :D
Debate Round No. 3
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by Araku 9 years ago
Araku
I think that the way the heroine in the movie is portrayed as a nerd, is very weak. The fact that when you think of "nerd" as a intelligent, un-popular, non-good looking, shy person, does not seem to apply in my mind to the beautiful girl who enjoys science and math.

As men being very visual, all relation ships (excluding online, over the phone meetings etc.) begin with slight, or lot of attraction. Therefore, the moment the two main characters met, not knowing who was a nerd, or geek, one knew they were going to end up together.
Posted by Logical-Master 9 years ago
Logical-Master
No need to apologize. Stuff happens. =D
Posted by kenicks 9 years ago
kenicks
Sorry about that...I could not access my computer due to a harsh grounding from my parents.
Posted by Logical-Master 9 years ago
Logical-Master
Edit to previous comment: I meant to add " . . . while seeing no responses that justify reason for voting"
Posted by Logical-Master 9 years ago
Logical-Master
Thank you for contributing. :D

It sometimes get frustrating here when I have less votes while truly beleiving that my arguments remained air tight.
Posted by impactyourworld89 9 years ago
impactyourworld89
as far as to why I voted the way I did, 90% of the time, I won't vote for someone who has forfeited a round, especially the last one.
Logical Master, your arguments were well done, complete and to the point and that is also why you are getting my vote.
Posted by Logical-Master 9 years ago
Logical-Master
For those who voted, constructive criticism would be nice. :D
Posted by kenicks 9 years ago
kenicks
Haha, good choice in doing so; it's fun to take up a completely different viewpoint sometimes. By the way, as much as Vanessa Anne Hudgens is stunningly gorgeous, I was disappointed when I heard the news of her nude photo scandal. Not so much appalled or suprised, but disappointed. These kinds of things are exactly what should be removed from American culture, and what it represents.
Posted by Logical-Master 9 years ago
Logical-Master
LOL! I completely affirm what you're saying, but for the heck of things, I may just take this topic up.
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Vote Placed by kenicks 8 years ago
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