Paramount+ is taking audiences back in time with their new prequel series Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies. A weekly comedic drama about life in the 1950s and the formation of the later infamous Pink Ladies at Ridell High. With an all-new cast, the show creates backstories for characters that fans have loved for decades and helps fill out the world around them.
Much like the movie Grease and its sequel, Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies is a coming-of-age story with a musical element. Instead of just focusing on Sandy and Danny, the series breaks out the ladies that we later know as the Pink Ladies. We have familiar names in the mix like Frenchy and Dot, but there are other ladies we are introduced to as well. Each lady is given a full back story, a family, and a personality and they’re not just there to hang on the arms of the T-birds.
The show introduces us to Jane, who is dating a popular Buddy despite being more of a brain. When rumors start going around the school about her, the social imbalance between the genders becomes clear. The issues Jane is facing – are one that still happens today making the series and issues relatable, despite the 70-year difference in time.
Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies doesn’t sugar coat life, and instead throws the social and gender issues of the day to the forefront. Making the show not only relevant to current issues but one that is equally relatable. The stories being in the Grease franchise and universe does however give them the opportunity to package it in some pretty fantastic outfits, sets, and cars.
What makes Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies different than the original movies? It’s an opportunity for many of the characters we grew up with and love to get a back story of their own. It gives them a voice that they haven’t had before and it helps develop the world around them. The girls aren’t treated just as set pieces for once, instead, they’re given their own stories, their own voices, and their own agency through the series and the young actors take it head on.
The series is a welcome addition to the Grease franchise with a lot of great songs, funny moments, and a reminder that the 1950s weren’t as whitewashed as the media would have most of us believe. The series is now streaming on Paramount+.
About Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies
This musical series takes place four years before the events of “Grease;” four fed-up outcasts dare to have fun on their own terms, sparking a moral panic that will change Rydell High forever.