‘High School Musical: The Musical: The Series’: 7 reasons why season 3 is the best so far (and 1 reason it’s not)

There was a lot to love here!

High School Musical: The Musical: The Series Season 3 Finale, Season 3, Episode 8, “Let it Go” premiered Sept. 14, 2022 on Disney +

Season 3 of HSMTMTS came to a close, and there is so much discuss! It was said that Shallow Lake is a place of transformation and growth, and they were not lying! Every character that attended camp left a little bit (or a lot) changed by the end. There was drama, there were new characters and there Camp Rock songs – so much to love! Here are 7 reasons why season 3 was the best season of High School Musical: The Musical: The Series so far, and 1 reason it wasn’t. 

Kourtney steps into the spotlight 

This season finally gave Kourtney’s character the attention she deserves! Yes, she has been present in many of the show’s previous storylines, but season 3 put more focus on Kourtney’s struggles with anxiety and it added more depth to the show overall. We got to see Kourtney overcome some of her fears, but the show made it clear that there is no easy fix for her anxiety.

The stigma about these topics wasn’t avoided, rather, it was showcased in such a respectful and unforced way that felt 100% relatable. In addition to the meatier character moments, we also got to see Kourtney nab a lead role and absolutely CRUSH IT. More of that please! 




The fake drama, the slaps, the chaos – IT WAS PERFECT! This was hilarious and Carlos is an icon. And because this was featured in the documentary, we are sure to get more of it in season 4! YES! 

HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL: THE MUSICAL: THE SERIES – “The Real Campers of Shallow Lake” (Disney/Anne Marie Fox)

EJ’s bummer summer 

This season really took EJ on an emotional journey and for the first time in forever, we got to see the real, raw EJ behind that perfect smile and red jacket. EJ has not been shy about his strained relationship with his father, but this season showed us how deeply upset he really is about it all. While many characters had growth and change at Shallow Lake, EJ’s was the most notable. 

EJ started the summer in a relationship with Gina, and with determination to forge is own way, with or without his father’s approval. But, after the stress of directing slowly broke down his relationship with Gina, we also started to see that one thing EJ really does want, despite saying otherwise, is his father’s support.

He ends the season more lost than anyone after a break up and a gut-wrenching call with his father. It was heartbreaking to watch it all unfold, but we are ready for EJ to find the right path AND a girl who isn’t secretly in love with Ricky Bowen. He deserves it. 



Bi, bi, bi 

Ash and Big Red both realizing they are bi over the exact same two week period is adorable. And while we were initially worried that they were going to break up, they are still pretty solid. We can’t wait to see how they explore this in Season 4! 


Nini’s sendoff 

We knew going into the season that Olivia Rodrigo’s character would be appearing in just a few episodes, but that didn’t lessen our sadness to see her drive off to California. The reason that we have included Nini in this list isn’t because she left, it’s because of what she did when she was there this season. In season 2, it was hard to watch her struggle at boarding school and most of the time she felt so isolated from the main cast, which was a bummer. 

This season we got to see a much happier and fulfilled Nini. She got to officially meet her birth father, she was writing tons of music and she really seemed to be at peace. And while we would have loved a giant group hug sendoff, it was perfect to just have her interact with Ms. Jenn and with her BFF, Kourtney before she drove off listening to a song that Kourt used to hype her up in season 1.

And the lotto ticket that she gave to Ricky was the perfect touch to remind us of their bond without trying to reintroduce any sort of unfinished business between them. We will miss her, but hopefully she will pop in again in season 4. 


Jet and Maddox 

The show hadn’t really gotten into the complexities of sibling relationships prior to season 3, so the introduction of Maddox and Jet was very intriguing right away. They had some big issues to overcome and even though they were brand new, their story fit right in to the show. Their characters might have been new this season, but they felt fully developed upon arrival. Hopefully, we will get more of them next season! Crossing our fingers! 

HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL: THE MUSICAL: THE SERIES – “The Real Campers of Shallow Lake” (Disney/Anne Marie Fox)


Our Frozen loving hearts melted when an act of true love graced that Hollywood stage. After the viewing of a drama-filled trailer for the documentary that was filmed during the 2 weeks at Shallow Lake in season 3, the series long build up of Ricky and Gina’s feelings finally came out! 

Gina poured her heart out on that stage and was prepared to walk away, but Ricky stopped her and kissed her! It was a long time coming and we are hopeful that this couple is the one that sticks. Just think of all of the cute love songs we are going to see in Season 4! 

HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL: THE MUSICAL: THE SERIES – “The Real Campers of Shallow Lake” (Disney/Anne Marie Fox)

What we didn’t love 

All of this said, we do have one note. The only thing that we didn’t love this season was how many songs felt like a music video. Season 1 had the songs imbedded in the show in a semi-natural way. Season 2 had a few dream-like sequences, but season 3 was packed with fourth wall breaking number after number.

They were all bops, but it would be great to see the songs layered in the show a little more going forward. For season 4, we are hoping that the only person looking at the camera is Ricky Bowen channeling Jim Halpert. 

High School Musical: The Musical: The Series season 3 is streaming on Disney +


Meg Bonney

Meg is a TV obsessed writer based in the Midwest. She is also the author of the award winning YA-Fantasy novel, EVERLY and tends to be overly caffeinated. Find her on Twitter to chat about TV, books and Bellamy Blake's freckles.

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