Shirtless Zac Efron in skimpy shorts, from Neighbors 2
Shirtless Zac Efron in skimpy shorts, from Neighbors 2

Zac Efron’s Acting Career Enters Its Second Shirtless Decade

It’s a big week for abdominally gifted man-boy Zac Efron. He’s got a new movie, a new trailer, and a big anniversary to celebrate.

Dirty Grandpa is out in theaters this weekend, and while we were initially excited by the premise and gratuitous Efron-shirtlessness, it apparently sucks worse than you could ever imagine. “Depressing,” “desperately unfunny,” and “bottom of the barrel” aren’t good things to hear about a raunchy sex comedy, and apparently it’s so bad that distributors won’t let critics review it until two days after it’s been released.

Good thing this week we also got to see the trailer for Neighbors 2, in which the original plot (frat house moves in next door to a couple that wants peace and quiet) is replicated almost exactly, except that this time it’s a sorority instead of a frat house. Don’t worry, though! Zac Efron is on the scene, wearing just a skimpy pair of shorts so that audiences can watch his abs rather than pay attention to the plot.

This week also marks ten years since the Disney Channel debuted High School Musical, the made-for-cable comedy about a teen basketball star and his budding relationship with a nerdy academic decathlete. Despite low expectations, the film jumpstarted Efron’s acting career, as well as the slightly more inconsistent acting and musical careers of Vanessa Hudgens and Ashley Tisdale.

While we doubt any of these movies are worth an hour-and-a-half of your time, we have to admit that we’re really excited to see the continued success of an actor who’s spent an entire decade as a walking Ken doll. While his private addictions have been well documented, his on-screen persona is just a regular guy who’s totally happy taking dumb roles in beach party movies, as long as looking at him makes you happy. Even in Dirty Grandpa, he looks like he’s having the time of his life. And in his rare serious roles, like 2012’s The Paperboy, he’s just one big glorified piece of sugary eye candy.

He’s currently filming the new Baywatch movie, which will of course feature a lot of Mr. Efron in some skimpy clothing. Let’s hope this trend continues for, oh, the next thirty or forty years or so.