Julie and the Phantoms: The Show of 2020

I don’t know about you, but I have spent the last three weeks thinking about one thing: Julie and the Phantoms. It is a brand new show on Netflix, and it is produced and directed by THE Kenny Ortega, director of High School Musical, Descendants, and all-around childhood dream maker. I watched this show the very first day it came out because I happened to finish my Gossip Girl binge the day before. I had no idea this show was coming, let alone any anticipation for it, but I am so glad I found it when I did.

The nine episode season took me just a few hours to get through and it was so worth sitting through the entire thing all at once — it is the best way to watch it. That is one of the best things about Netflix Original shows: they are short and they all come out at once. 

Spoilers ahead for Part 1 of Episode 1: The plot of the show is so original and entertaining that it is almost impossible to stop watching before it is over. Sunset Curve, a ‘90s boy band, is about to perform at their first big time Hollywood club, but they need a little pick-me-up before the show, so they go outside to get some street hot dogs. The street hot dogs not only tasted bad, but were also very bad for the guys, and they ended up dying from them. Yes, the very first scene of the show is 3 out of 4 members of the boy band DYING from eating bad street meat. Way to start out with a very confusing bang Kenny. 

The next scene opens on two girls at school, talking about the class they are about to go into, but the kicker is that this scene takes place in 2020, 25 years after the 1995 scene that the boy band was in. Julie, the namesake for the show, is nervous for her music class performance and her best friend Flynn is hyping her up. She ends up getting too scared to perform in front of her class, and it is revealed that she hasn’t played music in a year and she is now getting kicked out of her music magnet program. Later that night, Julie’s dad asks her to go into her (revealed to be late) mother’s music studio to clean it up. She reluctantly goes in and quickly finds a CD that says “Sunset Curve” printed across the front. As she plays the music from the CD, she hears screaming, and then three guys, the three who died eating street meat, show up out of thin air. 

I am not going to take the time to write out the plot of the show in this article, I just hope that that small part gets you excited enough to watch the show. If it didn’t, here is some things you can look forward too: 

  1. The first openly gay character in a Kenny Ortega production (yes, Ryan Evans, but he was not out)

  2. Age appropriate actors!! Julie is 16 and she is played by a 16-year-old! And the guys in the band are only 19, 20, and 22

  3. Really, really good music — there is at least one song in every episode, but it is not a musical so the songs aren’t just to move the plot along

  4. Some really, really attractive people. If you aren’t interested yet, I implore you to look up Charlie Gillespie (he plays Luke) and Owen Patrick Joyner (he plays Alex) and maybe it will change your mind

I honestly believe you are missing out on one of the few good things to come in 2020 if you are not watching this show. While it is a show for kids, it has adult humor, some really serious moments about grief, and a ton of feel-good moments that are perfect for a lonely night in quarantine.