Disclaimer: Despite the title of this post, I have never watched Grease 1 or 2 or even shows like Glee, I actually spend all my time doing manly things like wilderness hunting, building 4 bed/2.5 bathroom houses for under privileged kids, and bench pressing or curling.
Musicals are the quintessential combination of theater, music, and the American dream. Shows like Smash and Glee on TV are constantly seeking to recapture the allure of the bright lights on the screen with varied success. These shows idolization of the musical arts is not anything new. TV Shows like the Partridge Family and even Saved by the Bell have always had musical elements. Not to mention the number of performances that have been forever etched (and later digitally redesigned once etching was out of style) on the silver screen.
While many people have never heard of incredible shows such as In the Heights that have not yet made their way to a theater near you, one of the most highly recognized and commonly replicated of these music filled stories turned movie turned Broadway and local high school sensation again is the world-wide known Grease. Whether you have seen the movie, bought tickets to a show, put product in your hair, or made fun of your all too wholesome friend at a sleepover, there is one debate that a simple rendition of “You’re the One that I Want” simply cannot sing away…. Oo- oo- oo.
Grease 1 vs Grease 2. Just like Pepsi vs Coke everyone has a preference even if they will choke down a couple sips of the lesser version. If you have never seen one or both movies and have made the wrong choice as to the best previously, here is your quick guide. Aside from the glaringly obvious differences like Grease 2 having a better story and dreamier actors (Sorry John… not much love from me especially since Max Caldwell defended our nation by winning the battle of Little Round Top in Gettysburg), here are four less obvious reasons why Grease 2 is far superior than its older sibling, the original.
1. A better soundtrack
Sure, Grease has “Grease Lightning” and “Summer Loving,” and if I needed music to listen to while taking a nap in the library instead of studying, you know exactly which videos I would cue up as I closed my eyes. Grease 2 has unforgettable hits like “Who’s That Guy” and reminds us of a time when gas was less than a dollar a gallon with “Prowlin’.” With a song like “Rock-A-Hula-Luau“, how have you not added this soundtrack to your Christmas list yet?
2. Everything is better when made in the 80s.
Grease was released in 1978 and Grease 2 was released in 1982. The 80s created the rise of John Cusack, Don’t Stop Believing, and even its own tribute TV show “I love the 80s.” From the Brat Pack to the birth of Urkel, the 80s knew what it meant to be inspiring, creative, and everlasting well beyond its decade. While Grease was a fine show, it was made in the 70s. Even though the 70s had ABBA, Grease was born with a predisposition to not be tall enough to play basketball and that is hard to overcome. Anything born in the 80s is clearly destined to be a hit. You can quote me on that. –The Messy Chef (1987-present)
“Oh no he didn’t.” Yes, yes, I did. In Grease, Sandra Dee gets the guy by wearing leather pants and dancing with her hips. Gross. This movie takes the equality movement right back to the 60s! Grease 2 despite being set just a few years later is infinitely more progressive. In Grease 2, Michael gets close to Stephanie not only by riding motorcycles but by tutoring her. Helping her to educate herself and better herself as a person to achieve her personal dreams. Kudos, Grease 2, kudos.
4. “Cool Rider” vs “Grease Lightning”
Yes, I know that soundtrack already counted as number one, but the song Cool Rider is on another level, a song that when heard just once will forever change the way that you view motorcycles and taking the initiative to go get what you want. While Grease was a fun story about two kids (NSFW) that fell for each other one summer, broke up, and then decided at the start of the next summer that they should go out again. Grease 2 is the story of a guy that is good at who he is but realizes that in order to achieve his dreams he must work hard to push himself further. His motivation is a girl but in wooing that girl, he teaches himself to not only ride a motorcycle but also to rebuild one all while rocking a smooth leather jacket. Score. While Grease has that great old American love story, Grease 2 does not lose any aspects of the love story but seeks to capture the entire and real American Dream, perseverance and rebirth. Besides, motorcycle races are so much more exciting than car races.
Now that I have clearly proven while Grease 2 is better for that next time a stranger challenges you on this topic in an elevator, I am off to eat some raw meat and whittle myself a rocking chair out of a tree I cut down myself. Do not worry though. I planted two trees in its place while taking care of the rest of this year’s crop. Nothing more manly than caring about Mother Nature. Feel free to continue the debate in comments below; come on “Do It For Our Country!”