We’ve all heard the classic ghost stories about doors opening and closing by themselves, shutting blinds, and flickering lights. But have you heard about ghosts that are visible when they’re playing music? That’s the plot of the Netflix original series “Julie & the Phantoms,” directed by Kenny Ortega, who also directed the “High School Musical” movies on Disney Channel.
Season one of the show first premiered on the streaming network on Sept. 10 but has recently gained a large mass of popularity on TikTok, a well known video app.
The show takes place in 2020, centering around a young girl named Julie Molina, played by newcomer Madison Reyes, whose mother had recently passed away. This led to Julie ceasing to play music.
We are also introduced to a band called Sunset Curve, consisting of Luke (Charlie Gillespie), Alex (Owen Patrick Joyner), and Reggie (Jeremy Shada), who died in 1995 before they could get their big break.
One day while Julie was cleaning out her mother’s music studio, the ghosts of Sunset Curve appeared in the middle of the room. We soon learn that the band used to practice in that very same studio. The band and Julie are hesitant to get to know each other at first, but after hearing Julie sing for the first time in over a year, they start to open up to one another, starting by encouraging Julie to play a song in front of her entire school.
At the performance, Julie sings a song that was written by Luke called “Bright.” Halfway through the performance, the boys decide to join in. But once they start to play the song with Julie, they become visible to the entire school. Once the song is over, they disappear once more. To explain the disappearing band, Julie explains to the school that they were simply holograms.
This show features some incredible music and a beautiful merge of genres.
When we’re originally introduced to Sunset Curve, they play an intense rock song called “Now or Never.” The next song is Julie rediscovering her love of music with a piano ballad called “Wake Up.” The rest of the music in the series features the two styles together to provide a pop-rock sound, shown best in the song “Flying Solo.”
What I like most about this show is how much they value friendship. We see how important the boys are to Julie and vice versa. They each have had their struggles yet with each other, they all seem to grow into even better versions of themselves.
We also see the importance of family in this show, not just shown through the Molina family and how they have bonded with each other since the death of their mother, but we see this when we get a chance to look at Luke’s past.
When Luke was 17, he ran away from home to join Sunset Curve after getting into an argument with his mother. He ended up passing away before he could get a chance to reconcile with his mother and apologize for running out on her and his father. This leads to the most emotional song in the show, “Unsaid Emily.”
The song has made the most waves on social media with people saying this is the song they will scream in the car when they’re upset or even the song they’ll cry themselves to sleep to.
Overall, Julie and the Phantoms is an extremely heartwarming show that will definitely put the viewer in a good mood. The songs will undoubtedly get stuck in your head and you’ll find yourself rewatching it time and time again, no matter how cheesy it may be.
I would rate Julie and the Phantoms 4.5 out of 5 stars.