Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies – The DVDfever Review – Paramount+ – Grease prequel

Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies is a title which sounds like it’s going to be a spin-off from the Transformers franchise, yet is merely a prequel to the huge 1978 musical Grease, and is set four years before that, thus 1954 for this series, while Grease 2 was set in 1961.

As the new school year begins, so does the series with a steamy car and a steamy scene, and Jane’s (Marisa DavilaI Am Not Okay With This) in a car with a jock. Once she gets to go steady with him, she’ll sing the original song, despite this being set four years before the first movie. But then, as the Bible said, “In the beginning was the word. And the word was Grease. And Grease is the word.” – or something like that.

Meanwhile, Susan (Madison ThompsonBoo, Bitch) wants to date Richie (Johnathan Nieves), and you can imagine they’ll be starting to pair off before too long, except, perhaps, for tomboy Cynthia (Ari Notartomaso), who wants to become a T-bird.

Naturally, there’s a few songs scattered about throughout the opener, which is all I’ve seen so far. I’ve still to become more au fait with most of the characters, hence, so far, Jane is clearly the ‘Sandy’ of the piece – a bit nerdy at first, and in need of bringing out of her shell, and Assistant Principal McGee (Jackie Hoffman) is hilarious when making her announcements through the campus mic.

In fact, regarding those songs, none particularly linger in the memory, yet it would’ve taken more than one listen for the same to happen with the movie, so repeated viewings will be required. If I had a complaint with these, though, the singing voices sound far too autotuned, as opposed to coming across real. If that could be altered, it would benefit this series immensely.

The plot isn’t exactly Shakespeare, but then it never was for the films, so most likely over the series, Grease fans will certainly be well-served.

There’s some smutty language based around the fact they all want a bit of “how’s your father”, so expect a 12-certificate for this. Yes, the two films are PG, but if they were to be recertified, the original, at least, might be upped to a 12. As for the sequel, my memory of that is a bit hazy. I know it’s on Paramount+ also, so I really should check it out again.

Plus, I understand a prequel movie – Summer Lovin’ – is in the works, if Wikipedia is to be believed.

As I mentioned, so far, I’ve only seen the first episode of Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies, but everyone talks so fast and there’s no subtitles on the preview episodes, so I will watch more of this, but it’d be easier with subtitles, especially to actually work out what the song lyrics are, since without those, I can’t cut through the autotune.

UPDATE: I did start watching a second episode, although at that point, I couldn’t quite get into it. Maybe I’ll try again. After all, we won’t have been familiar with the original movie’s songs on first listen, so some things can take two or three viewings to get into them.

Thanks to our friends at Paramount+ for the screener prior to release.

Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies is not available to pre-order on Blu-ray or DVD, but is on Paramount+ from Friday April 7th, with two episodes available at launch, and then weekly episodes.

Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies – Official Trailer – Paramount+

Detailed specs:

Running time: 45-60 minutes per episode (10 episodes)
Release date: April 7th 2023
Studio: Paramount+
Format: 2.39:1

Series Directors: Alethea Jones, Marie Jamora, Annabel Oakes, Jamal Sims, Diego Velasco
Producers: Grace Gilroy, Emily Wissink
Created for TV by: Annabel Oakes
Writers: Samantha Cordero, Mackenzie Dohr, Alison Levering, Gabe Liedman, Phylicia Pearl Mpasi, Christina Nieves, Annabel Oakes, Laura Pollak, Kayla Richardson, Raul Martin Romero, Auriel Rudnick, Robert Sudduth
Music: Zachary Dawes, Nick Sena, Justin Tranter

Jane: Marisa Davila
Susan: Madison Thompson
Olivia: Cheyenne Isabel Wells
Cynthia: Ari Notartomaso
Rosemary: Charlotte Kavanagh
Nancy: Tricia Fukuhara
Asst. Principal McGee: Jackie Hoffman
Buddy: Jason Schmidt
Peg: Kallie Hu
Richie: Johnathan Nieves
Dot: Josette Halpert
Floyd: Victor Lau
Gil: Nicholas McDonough
Orson: Matt Kennedy
Hazel: Shanel Bailey
Wally: Maxwell Whittington-Cooper
Shy Guy: Maximo Salas
Potato: Alexis Sides
Polly: Summer Lynn Gillespie
Tommy: Peter D’Souza
Leonard Daniels: Chris McNally