I am taking a small break from the kiddie shows in order to focus on another genre, one possibly more deadly. Teenie-bopper shows. Disney and Nickelodeon (or Nick, cause they are trying to be cool) are two of the most responsible for this programming. These shows tend to feature beautiful, pimple-less teens with major problems, like prom, boyfriends or lack thereof, and parents who are complete morons.
While these shows feature teens, they are usually watched by pre-teens in the 9 to 12 range. That’s because once a kid reaches the age of the kids on the show, they realize that real school life isn’t remotely like the lives of these teenage stars. But for younger kids, these shows are great, because they feature great role models they can look up to – um, at least until their role models get caught smoking crack. Which brings us to the first example, by request:
Hannah Montana is about a girl named Miley, played by Miley Cyrus, in yet another T.V. trend of naming the main characters after the actress so that they can more easily remember which part they play. Also on the show is Miley’s real-life country music has-been mullet-headed father, Billy Ray Cyrus. Billy Ray made it big with the song “Achy Breaky Heart” which was played on the radio so many times in the early 90s that people were poking at their own ears with sharp sticks. The song even spawned a line dance. No, really. Horrible times, the 90s.
Anyway, after Achy Breaky, Billy Ray didn’t do a whole lot until he was able to ride the coat tails of his daughter onto her new Disney show. In the tradition of Disney, they chose a girl who was both pretty and a good singer. They would also have her act, badly, but with the goofy scripts, it was really hard to tell. The plot of Hannah Montana was rather simple. Miley was a young teen who had just moved from Tennessee to Malibu and had to adjust to her oh-so-difficult life filled with problems like concealing her secret identity as rockstar Hannah Montana. Her disguise was almost as clever as Clark Kent’s. She wore a blond wig. Yup. A rock solid disguise there.
So what were the highlights of this show? Well, first there was the corny accent that I could listen to for all of five seconds before I started looking for that pointy stick I used back in the early 90s. Or the costumes, that were always modest and appropriate -for a showgirl. And the singing – imagine the exact same song played over and over and over again. Oh, sure, my daughter assures me that she was actually singing several different songs, but they all sounded the same to me. Here’s some of the songs I got from Wikipedia that thankfully I don’t remember.
“Make Some Noise” (how very apropos!)
“If We Were a Movie” (whut?)
“Nobody’s Perfect” (except for Miley / Hannah!)
“The Best of Both Worlds” (I really don’t want to see the worst, then)
Hannah Montana ran from roughly the beginning of time about a million years until mercifully ending in 2011. By this time, Hannah had spawned a huge merchandizing frenzy, with dolls, bedspreads, and clothes. At one point, Wal-Mart carried only Hannah Montana clothing in their girl’s section. The face was everywhere – like Hannah was purposely following me around. “Haha, you just think you can avoid me by screaming when the T.V. is on until your daughters turn it off. I’ll show you!”
As Hannah’s fame grew, so did Miley Cyrus’s. The little brat is worth millions but you’ll be happy to know she has been very responsible with it. At 15, she posed nearly naked in bedsheets – pictures approved by her father. Can’t describe the Ick factor there. Later, she got a video leaked on youtube of her doing drugs on her birthday. Parents everywhere were filled with joy. Around the time of this scandle, I was helping at a kindergarden Christmas party for my youngest daughter. An adorable five-year-old classmate of hers told me, “Miley Cyrus smoked a bong.” “That’s nice dear, want a cupcake???”
On the plus side, Hannah and Miley are now of age, and the show has ended. But never fear, for there are still other shows about kids who happen to be rock stars – dozens of them. So exciting! OMG.
Irritating, has-been country music star: Check
Teen with totally realistic alter-ego: Yup
Disney actress that does drugs: Uh huh
Ick Factor: Present