For those who don’t know, a big thing for Potterheads occurred on Friday night. No it wasn’t the announcement of a new Harry Potter book, nor was it an exclusive interview with J.K. Rowling. It was the premiere of A Very Potter Senior Year on youtube.
For those who may not be “in” the Harry Potter fandom or for Potterheads who have never seen the musical, A Very Potter Senior Year is the third of three Harry Potter parody based musicals produced by Team Starkid on youtube. The three Harry Potter musicals were uploaded onto YouTube in June 2009, July 2010 and now March 2013. Darren Criss (you may know him as Blaine from Glee) stars as Harry Potter and also writes much of the songs in the show. The show parodies several of the Harry Potter books throughout the three musicals: the first mainly focuses on The Goblet of Fire and Deathly Hallows, the second focuses on The The Order of the Phoenix, The Half-Blood Prince and The Prisoner of Azkaban while the third focuses on The Chamber of Secrets and The Deathly Hallows.
A Very Potter Senior Year takes place during Harry, Ron and Hermione’s last year at Hogwarts. The musical starts in The Ministry of Magic with Harry, Ron, Hermione, Neville and Luna (guest-starring Evanna Lynch!) being chased by Death Eaters for stealing a mysterious diary that the Death Eaters want for a reason that the audience doesn’t know yet. After capturing the Death Eaters, it’s time to go back to Hogwarts. Staying at the Burrow before heading to school, Ron worries about his relationship Hermione. She hasn’t kissed him in five years (since the first musical) and now all she does is read Young Adult romance novels like the Hunger Games written by the wizard himself, Gilderoy Lockhart. Harry and Ginny’s romance, however, is going wonderfully and before going to school, Harry gives her a gift – the diary that the Death Eaters wanted. When the trio (and Ginny) return to school they meet their new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, Gilderoy Lockhart, who sings a jazzy tune (“Wizard of the Year”) about Harry’s lack of popularity. Harry then tries to be like the heroes in Gilderoy’s novels and starts a forbidden romance after breaking up with Ginny. Heart-broken, Ginny starts writing in her diary when a young man named Tom Riddle starts helping her with her problems. I’m sure you can see where the musical goes from here.
Like every Harry Potter themed musical, A Very Potter Senior Year features catchy songs and great harmonies. The plot-line is also more focused and easy to follow and not as jumpy as the other two musicals.
The musical also does an excellent job of easing the pain for Potterheads. While many Potterheads eagerly waited for A Very Potter Senior Year, many also dreaded it. This would be the end of Harry Potter for good. Potterheads have already dealt with the ending of the series in both novel and film form, and now the musicals were about to end. But the musical constantly reiterates the idea that while Harry Potter is important to this generation, it may not be important to the next and that’s okay. The song “Everything Ends” reinforces this fact, sung by Harry, Sirius Black, Lily, Cedric, Snape, James and Lupin (via resurrection stone if anyone is curious as to how these dead characters came back to sing). Team Starkid did their best to try and avoid sending Potterheads into another wave of Post-Potter-Depression.
A Very Potter Senior Year is the best of all of Starkid’s Harry Potter themed musicals. The acting is fantastic, the songs are unforgettable and super catchy and the final message is both bittersweet and immensely meaningful.
By: Sarah O’Conner