SPOILERS are ahead for the Season 2 finale of the High School Musical series streaming on Disney+. Tread lightly until you’ve finished bingeing the season!
At the end of the first season of High School Musical: The Musical - The Series, our hearts fluttered with joy over Olivia Rodrigo and Joshua Bassett’s Nini and Ricky professing their feelings for one another and becoming a couple again after a season of will-they-won’t-they tension. But as Season 2 has unfolded this summer, the teen relationship has been taking a turn for the worse. Where do they go from here? Showrunner Tim Federle shared some insight.
Now that we’ve caught this week’s Season 2 finale, called “Second Chances,” it looks like Ricky and Nini’s relationship is going to continue to diverge onto separate paths and I’m not sure how I feel about it. On one hand, their relationship was super cute with roots in being childhood best friends. On the other hand, it’s become clear that they are starting to grow apart. I’m not sure who to root for anymore or where the show will go from here without the couple.
High School Musical’s showrunner Tim Federle opened up about the star couple to ET Online and what he's planning for Ricky and Nini. Here’s what he said:
They're still really young, so depending on how many seasons we go, I don't know exactly where it all ends up, but for now, they have a mutual understanding that they've got this club, the treehouse. They're the only two people who were ever in that treehouse and they'll always have that. And it remains to be seen if that treehouse actually gets torn down.
It sounds like Tim Federle hasn’t made up his mind about where Ricky and Nini will be whenever the series has its curtain call yet. He’s taking it season by season, and after the second one, Ricky could be starting a new fling following his phone call to Lily, and Nini is making bigger strides in her career with a connection in Jordan Fisher’s music producer character Jamie. The HSMTMTS showrunner also said this:
I actually think [Ricky and Nini] are on the same page. I think they both feel differently about [being together]. Nini has fully accepted that there's an exciting other world of possibility when you don't center yourself on a guy and I think she's actually excited about that and obviously has nostalgia for this first relationship and her best friend from her youth. But also sees real possibilities. Ricky accepts it, he's read the room. She doesn't want to hear the song he wrote, it's time to move on. I just think it takes him longer to move on because Ricky is so afraid of change. But I think they respect each other and they respect that distance.
It’ll be especially interesting how HSMTMTS decides to handle Ricky and Nini given all the buzz Olivia Rodrigo and Joshua Bassett’s alleged relationship and break up has gotten over the past year. Fans believe the actors met on the set of the series and dated for a time until things ended between them. Olivia Rodrigo’s debut album Sour has also become linked to their rumored relationship since her breakout song “drivers license” went viral.
As the actors move on in their own lives and level up in their solo careers, it might make sense for HSMTMTS to go in a similar direction, but at the same time there could be potential for the couple on the show to reignite their flame after they’ve explored their own paths. We’ll have to wait to tune in and see!