“Julie and the Phantoms:” Kenny Ortega’s Newest Addition

by Angel Stacey

Director Kenny Ortega released his newest TV musical “Julie and the Phantoms” on Sept. 10, and it was filled with his usual catchy tunes and captivating plot. Ortega, the well-known director of “High School Musical” and “Hocus Pocus,” directed this new Netflix series based upon a Brazilian show from 2011.

The series follows a high school girl, Julie, who lost her passion for singing after her mother died. However, once introduced to three musical ghosts, she begins to find love in music again.

Julie meets the ghosts when looking through her mother’s old songwriting shed. She finds an album, “Sunset Curve,” and plays the album out of curiosity. While the song plays, the ghosts of the old members of the band appear in front of her. Throughout the series, the ghostly band is on a quest to find out why they are back on earth. They are able to complete their unfinished business through playing music with Julie.

The most prominent theme in “Julie and the Phantoms” is grief and loss. Multiple characters in the show have lost loved ones, or are the loved ones who have been lost. It is through music that the characters process those feelings.

Luke, the lead singer of Sunset Curve, has the most trouble with coping with his death. The series does an amazing job at telling his story; the audience can really connect with him and his struggles. His story is told through the song “Unsaid Emily,” a musical piece that captures the audience’s hearts and is bound to make you shed a tear.

Songs are incorporated to further tell the story of each character. Julie’s love for music is brought back to life by the feeling of being connected to her mother, encouraged by these three musical ghosts. The three ghosts – Luke, Reggie, and Alex – not only help Julie but are able to continue to do what they love and do best: create music.

Movies and series directed by Ortega often have great soundtracks, and this show is no different with its music and talented singers. Each song makes you want to dance and sing along, which helped increase the series’ popularity among children, teens, and even young adults. Overall, the captivating plot brings about both laughter and tears. “Julie and the Phantoms” is a series you will not regret watching. 

Watch the trailer of “Julie and the Phantoms” here.