When you fangirl a thing, you fangirl it hard! And we’re fangirling Disney+ big time. We can’t stop talking about it: we even launched Now Streaming Disney Plus podcast this year, just to have a platform to discuss all that is coming. The number 1 listener question: what to watch first on Disney+? This Encore! review tells you why I think this show should be on your Disney Plus day 1 watch list.
What To Watch First On Disney+: Encore!
After what feels like waiting forever, we’re now in the home stretch for all things Disney+ launch.
In just a matter of days, we’re going to be streaming from the newest platform. And this fangirl is stupidly excited over what’s to come.
Since there’s so much available at our fingertips on Disney+ on Day 1, it might be hard to decide what to watch first.
Without a doubt, however, you’ll want to make time and add Encore! to your Disney+ Day 1 watch list.
Executive producer Kristen Bell brings together former castmates of a high school musical, tasking them with re-creating their original performance in high school reunion like no other.
Emotions run high as the former students face faded friendships, former flames, self-doubt, and killer choreography.
Disney+ allowed me to screen Encore! this week.
Since Kristen Bell, who executive produces the show, is high on my “coolest stars I’d love to hang out with list,” I was more than ready to give this show a watch. Frankly, it was on my Day 1 Disney+ list already.
First thing to note: the show is not really about Kristen. She’s not a major on-screen player or focus of the story being told and her role is limited on camera. If you were hoping to see a lot of K-Bell in this one, you’re going to want to temper that expectation.
And that’s not a bad thing; the focus of Encore! is on regular people who once found a moment of fame on their high school theater stage.
As one of the many former theater kids who basked in the lights of Northgate High School’s Little Theater, this show pulled me in immediately.
The premise of the show asks, “Can you go back again and relive your big moment on stage?”
What I found touching, relatable, and oh-so-real was when one of the performers follows up with her own concerns: should we?
I get it- I think we all have those moments where looking back doesn’t feel like the smartest way to move forward in life.
And Encore! was careful to show the struggles and strains of taking this look back and not focusing only on “how freaking cool is this idea?!”
Personal Stories Are The Stars of Encore!
In the first episode, we’re introduced to a group of adults who once acted in the musical, Annie, on their high school stage. That went down in 1996 and as a group of juniors and seniors, they had their moment to shine on their Santee, CA stage.
In 2019, they’re parents, professionals, stay at home moms, and teachers themselves. And their once strong bonds have changed and strained and here they are, trying to recapture some of the magic.
You gotta remember: they never were and certainly still are not professional actors. The trials of putting on a full show with 5 days of preparation and rehearsals are bound to take a strain- and Disney+ wasn’t afraid to show that aspect of things. This is the main reason why I’m adding this to the what to watch on Disney+ Day 1 list for everyone.
One mom wants her kids to see her in a different light than “just mom”- and I totally get that.
One former loner felt he never really embraced his high school experience and this is his chance to revisit what should have been a highlight of his school career.
And then there’s the former Homecoming couple who had major struggles in their final years of school that still hasn’t quite resolved in the future.
I wish there was more time to go deeper into these personal stories. While Encore! touches on the surface it’s clear that there’s a whole ocean of emotion lying under there- but due to the 1-hour run time, the editing doesn’t quite give me what I wanted in this aspect.
Encore! Podcast Review On Now Streaming Disney Plus
Andrea and I talked a bit about this one on a recent episode. No worries about spoilers: we’re not about that life on the podcast!
This is why we think Encore! should be on your Day 1 Disney Plus watch list.
Encore! Parent Review: What Ages Should Watch Encore! on Disney+?
This show is wholesome and completely family-friendly for all ages.
What ages can watch Encore on Disney+? All ages. This is a kid-safe and kid-friendly series.
That being said: should the kids watch this one?
The target audience is going to be the Gen X crowd (holla!) and I can’t say most young kids will get or enjoy this one. While you can certainly sit down as a family and give this one a go, I wouldn’t be surprised if your teens and younger are more interested in their Instagram than in the series.
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Patty Holliday is a movie critic, writer, and podcaster living in the Washington, DC area. Her goal is to bridge the gap between casual fandom and picky critic with parent movie and television reviews.