Disney Channel's 'Teen Beach 2' movie, soundtrack and related shows debut this week
“Teen Beach 2” premiere week is finally here, and that’s no small event for Disney Channel viewers or the cable channel itself. After all, the first “Teen Beach Movie,” which debuted in 2013, had 13.5 million viewers, making it the second highest-rated TV movie of all time, according to Variety.com.
The highest-rated TV movie of all time also belongs to Disney Channel: “High School Musical 2.” The highly anticipated sequel was part of a trilogy that made musicals popular with a new generation of viewers. Given that “Teen Beach 2” also is a musical, it might be difficult for the cast to avoid such comparisons.
I had the opportunity to interview Garrett Clayton, who plays Tanner, before “Teen Beach Movie” was released, and I asked him about the comparisons to the “High School Musical” franchise. For starters, it’s impossible to ignore that Garrett bears an uncanny resemblance to Zac Efron, who played the male lead, Troy.
"I think because no one has seen [the movie], they see that there are four leads and it's a musical and there are resemblances with cast members to Corbin Bleu, Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens, people assume that, but there is so much more," Garrett said. "I think when people actually see the plot line, they'll see it's worlds apart."
In the original “Teen Beach Movie,” Brady (Ross Lynch) and Mack (Maia Mitchell) were transported back in time to the 1960s, when surfer movies were all the rage. The sequel, however, brings retro surfers Tanner (Clayton) and Lela (Grace Phipps) into the modern world, which, of course, is a set-up for many comedic scenes.
“Teen Beach 2” debuts at 8 p.m. ET Friday (June 26) on Disney Channel, and it also will be released on DVD the same day. At 11 a.m. ET Saturday, the cast will host a Teen Beach 2 Beach Party, following by a replay of the movie, on Disney Channel. A special lip sync version can be seen Sunday at 8 p.m. ET.
Fans won’t have to wait till Friday to get their hands on the movie’s music, however, because the soundtrack goes on sale today (June 23). Only one track was released in advance, "Gotta Be Me," which is performed by the four main actors - Lynch, Mitchell, Clayton and Phipps - and John DeLuca and Jordan Fisher.
In May, my pre-teen children and I previewed "Best Summer Ever" and "That's How We Do" at the kickoff of the Teen Beach 2: Beach Party at Walt Disney World’s Typhoon Lagoon. Expect to see the latter song in a choreographed, large-scale production scene in the new movie. Partygoers got a taste of the dance moves, with surfer and biker characters teaching the crowd how to do "The Milkshake" and "The Jelly Belly." Most of the songs on the soundtrack are performed by the cast; after all, "Teen Beach 2" is a musical. (There is one song by Lynch's band, R5.)
"This music is a little more contemporary, more modern," Lynch told us. "The [music from the] first movie was more retro, like surf guitar." You can see our full interview with Lynch in my previous blog post.
The soundtrack from the original "Teen Beach Movie" reached No. 3 on the Billboard 200 chart and was No. 1 on the soundtrack chart, and the new album would seem to be headed in the same direction with its peppy, high-energy tunes.
Tune in for sand, sun and fun this week, and let us know your thoughts on “Teen Beach 2” and its soundtrack in the comments.