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Julie and the Phantoms Episode 1 Review - Fun Musical Comedy Series

New series from High School Musical’s Kenny Ortega.

Reviewed by on Sep 09, 2020
Rating: 4 Star Rating

Kidzworld checked out Wake Up, the first episode of the new Netflix musical comedy series Julie and the Phantoms. It’s upbeat, empowering and boasts some cute new talent.

In “Julie and the Phantoms” first episode entitled “Wake Up”, 15-year-old Julie (Madison Reyes) a talented musician, has lost her passion for music after her mom died last year. When the ghosts of three hot musicians from 1995 suddenly appear in her mom's old music studio, Julie is, at first, freaked but they inspire her to start singing and writing again. Others can hear the band, once called Sunset Curve, but only Julie can see them. They look forward to their music being heard in 2020. All this could cause some real changes in Julie’s life!

"Julie and the Phantoms" Trailer



Hollywood 1995

At L.A.’s famous Orpheum theater, the band Sunset Curve is practicing for their big night in which they hope to be signed by a record label. Talented, cute and super ambitious, the guys Luke (Charlie Gillespie), lead guitarist, Reggie (Jeremy Shada), bass player and Alex (Owen Joyner), drummer, celebrate with hot dogs from an “iffy” stand. Next thing, we see an ambulance arriving. Cut to:

The guys (Jeremy Shada, Charlie Gillespie, and Owen Joyner) eat deadly hot dogsThe guys eat deadly hot dogsCourtesy of Netflix

L.A. 2020

At Los Feliz High School, Julie’s friend Flynn (Jadah Marie) encourages her to prepare for a performance in their music class while mean girl Carrie (Savannah May), lead singer of a girl group and Julie’s rival, invites everyone but Julie and Flynn to a performance. In music class Nick (Sacha Carlson), jock, musician and dancer dating Carrie, performs on guitar. He’s pretty good. It’s Julie’s turn to play piano and sing but she freezes and can’t. Of course Carrie makes fun of her.

Carrie (Sacha Carlson) is Julie's mean girl rivalCarrie is Julie's mean girl rivalCourtesy of Netflix

At Home

Julie’s dad Ray (Carlos Ponce) reminds her they might sell the house and she needs to clean out her late mom’s music studio built in the garage. She says she will. She checks out some old but in good shape instruments left in the loft area and finds info on Sunset Curve and their demo CD. When she plays it, they suddenly appear out of nowhere, she screams and tells her dad she has seen ghosts. He thinks she maybe saw her mom and needs more therapy. Back in the studio the guys tell her this is their music studio and about their big night that didn’t happen. She looks them up on the phone. Yep. They died 25 years ago. They think it’s the next day!

Julie (Madison Reyes) is sad about her momJulie is sad about her momCourtesy of Netflix

They Hear Us!

Julie’s little brother Carlos (Sonny Bustamante) doesn’t see or hear the ghosts and thinks Julie is cracking up. Aunt Victoria (Allison Araya) comes over with Mexican food and the ghosts come into the house. Dad learns that Julie dropped out of the music program at school and tells her she has to try to regain her voice.

Julie has a great relationship with her dadJulie has a great relationship with her dad

The ghosts see they are intruding and leave. Everyone hears their music coming from the studio! So everyone can hear them but only Julie can see them. Dad sees the old instruments downstairs and talks of selling them but he does like “the CD” he just heard. The band is both flattered and freaked. Later, Luke tells Julie they are thrilled that people in 2020 can hear their music. Playing makes them feel alive again.

Can the band impress a 2020 audience?Can the band impress a 2020 audience?


The ghosts find music that Julie’s mom wrote and tell her how good it is. They are sorry her mom died but say they haven’t seen her on the other side. Julie says she doesn’t do music and that they can stay. They pop up sitting on the sign at the Orpheum. They are glad they’ve been given a second chance. On the street, Alex sees a weird guy dressed in dapper 19th century clothes. He tips his hat. Who was that? Meanwhile, conflicted about music, Julie enters the studio, finds the guys gone and plays and sings her mom’s song “Wake Up”, which encourages everyone to follow their dream. She’s great and the guys have secretly returned, hearing her. She doesn’t know they are there. She’s crying. Should they comfort her?

The guys hear Julie sing her mom's songThe guys hear Julie sing her mom's songCourtesy of Netflix

Where From Here?

Julie obviously has talent. Will the ghosts convince her to show it? Will she tell her friends about them? Will family members figure out that the music from the studio isn’t from a CD? Who was that strange man from the past Alex saw? Does the band and Julie’s family have a past connection? Will we see other ghosts?

Julie's first performance with her PhantomsJulie's first performance with her PhantomsCourtesy of Netflix

Wrapping Up

Granted, many of the characters in this new musical comedy series are cliché…the withdrawn but talented girl crushing on the jock/musician, the nasty mean girl rival he’s dating, the true blue bestie etc. but adding the element of a ghostly rock band makes it work.  

Carrie and her group Dirty CandiCarrie and her group Dirty Candi

Madison Reyes as Julie has a nice voice and we look forward to hearing more. This first episode promises dance and singable music and most of us can relate to losing our passion for something after going through a family tragedy. Despite losing her groove, Julie will discover that she is strong and has faith in her music.

Julie sings with bestie FlynnJulie sings with bestie FlynnCourtesy of Netflix

Having three cute and talented guys to perform with doesn’t hurt although I assume others can see as well as hear them when they all perform together… Maybe the audience will think that Julie can produce some great special visual effects as part of her “act” making her band appear and disappear?  I think it will be fun to find out.  We give this “pilot” or first episode 4 stars.

"Julie and the Phantoms" Episode 1 Rating: 4

Julie and the Phantoms Episode 101 Review - Fun Musical Comedy Series

See the first episode of “Julie and the Phantoms” starting September 10th on Netflix. More episodes are also available.

Will You Watch?

Do you like supernatural shows? Can you relate to a young musician discovering her “voice”? Were you a fan of “High School Musical” or the “Descendants” movies? Share your thoughts with everyone. Leave a comment here or on your Kidzworld profile pages.