'Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies' Teaser Explores a Rydell High Origin Story (Watch)

Watch a teaser trailer for 'Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies.'
by Danielle Turchiano — 

The cast of 'Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies'


Forty-five years after Grease was released in theaters, a new prequel series designed to be an origin story for the girl gang the Pink Ladies is coming to Paramount+. Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies will premiere April 6 and tell the story of four teenage girls in the mid-1950s who attend Rydell High School but face judgment from their peers for various (sexist) reasons.

Creator and showrunner Annabel Oakes admitted at a Television Critics Association Panel for the series that she didn't originally want to do a series set in this world because she thought that original film was perfect as it was, so why mess with that? But the more she thought about it, the more she remembered how she "wanted to live in that sleepover in Frenchie's bedroom and I wondered if that girl gang was a real thing or if it was something they made up for a musical." With a little research she learned that it was a real high school group.

"They were these tough girls who had to stick together because they weren't like the other girls," Oakes said. And thus, her series was born.

Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies is a musical set four years before the events of the 1978 film. In it, four outcasts — Marisa Davila's Jane, Cheyenne Isabel Wells' Olivia, Ari Notartomaso's Cynthia, and Tricia Fukuhara's Nancy — band together to survive (and thrive in) Rydell High School, while also sparking a moral panic due to the conservative nature of the time period. Spoiler alert: They won't have the shiny jackets immediately, but they will get them (along with an unbreakable bond) soon enough. (Glimpse that in the new teaser trailer below.)

And on that journey, there will be much singing and dancing, including a cover of "Grease Is the Word." Sonically, executive music producer Justin Tranter, said, the team wanted to pay respect to the original version of that song, but they had to update the sound for the time. Tranter also noted the importance of collaborators for the series because of how high the bar was set for music within the Grease universe.

"I like trouble," Tranter said with a laugh. "I thought, 'What an amazing challenge' to push myself and dig deeper and explore parts of music I never have before."

Similarly, like the films that came before it, this new series looks backs at the time it is set in and attempts to comment on that time, as well as the time of the original film. While the film was made in the late 1970s, commenting on the late 1950s, this series is happening in the 2020s, which means it can comment on both the '70s and the '50s.

"We all love Grease. We refer to it as the mothership and we always go back to it," Oakes said. 

That said, some lyrics may not hold up today, and Oakes does not ignore that: "We reference those in the pilot in other dialogue and you'll see us start to...try to open up the world of Grease and try to open up the lens of Grease," she continued.

But don't worry: Those of you who love the characters of the original film will get to see some of them pop in too, just years before they grew into the people you already know them to be. 

Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies premieres April 6 on Paramount+. The series does not yet have a Metascore, but the original film has a Metascore of 70 and the sequel has a Metascore of 52.