Who’s that now?

I don’t really post on news or music, but hey, these two kids have acted. One’s a Disney Channel brat, and shortly after, they both appeared in a Disney Channel movie. So they count. They can be on my blog.

And since I’m doing the summer music idea (Is this only CD #2 I’ve mentioned? Must get on that), well, that’s more ammunition to the fire.

I think these two are cute. Their songs are poppy. They fit good, wholesome teen movies. I am really attached to their Christmas music because they keep it traditional for the most part and don’t sing stupid songs about bubble gum clouds and marshmellows (think the Cheetah Girls). And since they’re not as over-the-top and overplayed like Hannah Montana and Miley Cyrus, you can’t hate them.

I’m someone who listens to pop music to brighten my mood. So they’re not bad for that purpose.

So what’s new? Well, for one thing, their name.

They announced today (in a statement and on Twitter) that the duo is changing their name to 78violet. Yes, that’s right. 78violet. As they said it, “This is how you spell ‘our new name’ 78violet. No spaces. All lower case letters. Love you all…”

Here’s the thing: Why?

See, here’s something silly. Their names are Aly and AJ (or Alyson and AJ). People know them as that. In fact, it’s not even anything stifling like a made-up Disney Channel character that defines your music like Hannah Montana. It’s just…your names.

So why the change? No clue. What does it mean? Well, not sure why they chose “violet,” but they chose the 78 because…they released the statement on July 8 (get it? 7/8). Good thing it wasn’t June 9. Or April 20. Wait, maybe that would have been better.

I can’t quite understand the reasoning. Maybe they just feel like since they’re growing, some things have to change. Does anyone else remember the good ol’ days when people used to just evolve their music and not their personas?

What’s in a name? A rose by any other name would smell as sweet…

Perhaps like violets. Wait…no…

Demi Lovato: Single-handedly ruining royalty

PRINCESS PROTECTION PROGRAM

Yes. Yes, I did. I did watch Disney Channel’s original movie Princess Protection Program. And I must say this: I don’t think Selena Gomez can be in anything where she is not adorable.

Of course, she was being compared to Demi Lovato, who was horrendous, so then again, maybe Selena wasn’t as stellar as you’d think. But anyway, I did want to give Selena Gomez props. Because the rest of this post might be painful.

I’ll admit this openly. I’ve seen–repeatedly–The Princess Diaries and The Princess Diaries 2. Demi Lovato is no Anne Hathaway. In fact, Demi Lovato plays royalty the same way Summer Glau played Cameron in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles: as a robot. Of course, Summer Glau was supposed to be a robot.

You doubt me? Think about when she was bowling. She tossed the bowl down the lane, then stood there and watched with no expression as people cheered around her and the pins came down. Considering how interested she was in winning (she did ask, after all), you’d think she’d have some expression when the pins hit the floor.

Further, I felt like this was a very forced, yet stereotypical, way of playing a princess. Would you really imagine that today princesses don’t dress themselves? I mean, even Mia picked out her own clothes in The Princess Diaries 2, let alone put them on.

I must also say that the story itself was a bit weak. I mean, someone wants to take over the crown–a crown that a 16-year-old will take over in a month. Um, seriously? First, they’ll really  have her rule at 16? That’s a recipe for disaster, especially if she can’t even dress herself. Plus, once she flees, who’s to say that this guy wouldn’t just through a coup and take over? What’s the 16-year-old going to really do?

Moreover, the end. There wasn’t time to add five extra minutes to explain how Carter’s father knew to hop in that helicopter and save the day? And I certainly don’t want to analyze the real legal actions of claiming that he was being arrested internationally for kidnapping. She was willingly going with him, for one thing. Add in how complicated international relations are and the hows and whys and processes of actually arresting a visiting foreigner–yeah, it’s much more complicated than they showed.

A few other notes:

  • If you’re going to throw a sword at someone’s head, don’t miss. It’s much easier to hit the person in the head than to get it through the rings of a crown.
  • Why wouldn’t her mother just go with her? I guess that was to prevent the whole coup thing I mention above, but really, she ended up kidnapped and in prison anyway. What’s the difference?
  • Ok, so there’s a Princess Protection Program. Original premise for a movie, but really? There are that many princesses that need protection? Taking a quick glance at Yahoo Answers, it looks like there are only 28 monarchies left, so could a program really be run? Whether this is accurate or not, you’re really looking at the number of possible princesses that are in danger at one time. That can’t be all that high.
  • So they’re in Louisiana, right? I’m sorry, Disney. But Louisiana has an African American population of about 33.5%, and I think I saw one African American student at that school. Um, what?
  • Dear, Jamie Chung. I’m very sorry you had to go from Samurai Girl to this. And by the way, how old are you? You play 20-something a few years ago and 16 now? Wow.
  • Little red-headed squeaky girl: Sometimes your voice was high, annoying, and squeaky. Sometimes it wasn’t.
  • Did anyone else think that Rosie overreacted to the blackmail? I mean, she was going to hand over the crown (oh yeah, the pool scene made no sense), and then they would leave her alone about her secret. So why did she have to go back? That would helped nothing.

Overall, the movie was probably cute for a young audience. It did, overall, have a good, positive message. And I do ask that of the Disney Channel movies that I see. So that’s good.

But on a true level, it needed some work. And perhaps a better person than Demi Lovato. Disney, just because two people are best friends and they’re your new up-and-comer, that doesn’t mean you need to make them the poster child for any new project you do.

I thought you learned this with the failed TV show that is JONAS.

U Rock 2 Giveaway!

Who rocks? U rock!DemiSelena_115681_1777

It’s Raked’s first giveaway, and I hope you like it. Disney.com is doing a brand-new promotion, and you can be part of it.

So here’s the deal. Head on over to Disney.com, and you can submit your own music video set to songs by your favorite Disney singers. Think Selena Gomez, JoBros, and more. Or, just look below for the songs in question.

  • “One And The Same” by Demi Lovato and Selena Gomez
  • “Paranoid“ by Jonas Brothers
  • “Hey” by Mitchel Musso
  • “Ready to Rock” by Steve Rushton

These videos will be voted on by fans, and the most popular video finalists will win a “rock star experience” including a trip to Los Angeles, an in-studio “take over” at Radio Disney, a visit to the set of a Disney Channel show, and more. How do you win? Watch and vote for your favorite videos online or over your cell phone. Just text UROCK to DISNEY (347639).

The deadline to submit videos, though, is July 12, so get moving! Finalists will be announced on the 17th, and you have the rest of July to vote. Head on over to the official site to find out more, read any rules, see videos, and submit.

But that’s not all. I’m having a giveaway to go with this promotion!

The Giveaway

I’ve got a prize pack that includes portable Disney speakers and a CD that includes the four songs included in the promotion. And I’m giving one of these to one of my lucky readers!

Here’s how you enter: Leave a comment telling me what Disney Channel show you would like to visit if you had the chance–and why. This is a required first entry into the giveaway. Don’t forget to leave an email address so I can get back in touch with you.

Want more entries? Here’s how you can get more.

  • Tweet about this giveaway, and come back here to tell me.
  • Blog about this giveaway and share the link in the comments below.

Please note that you need to come back and comment for each additional entry or else I won’t know to count you more than once!

I’ll be choosing ONE random winner for the prize pack giveaway on July 12–the same day video submission closes–so start commenting!

HSM goes preggo!

BONES: 4.16 “The Salt in the Wounds”

Ok, ok. No, High School Musical did not go preggo, but how can you resist such a heading when a certain Monique Coleman (Taylor from the HSM movies) shows up pregnant? Not only that, but her baby daddy is another Disney Channel brat?

So last night’s episode sounded very familiar. A pregnancy pact in high school? Where did I last hear that? Oh yeah: The Gloucester High School pregnancy pact! Of course!

Talk about ripped from the headlines. At least a murder wasn’t involved.

The murder itself was a little convoluded. By the end, I had some trouble connecting the dots. But I did enjoy seeing Angela and Sweets try to be a married couple. I think we’ve learned never to have them do that again.

Speaking of Angela, what’d we think about her relationshippal status change this week? I really want to see her and Hodges back together, but sadly, I dont’ think it will be happening any time soon. I’m glad they hooked up, though; my first question when they dashed off together was, why would you want to see your ex-fiance right after you got dumped?

Her reaction to Bones’ agreement, though, was different. She was really disturbed that Bones, who is less emotional than a pile of bricks (yes, I’m using the bricks analogy a lot lately), agreed that Angela was living her life correctly. This was a wakeup call for Angela, who might not want to be as detached as Bones. I wonder if we’ll be seeing a different Angela–or maybe just a morphing Angela–from here on out.

I must say one other shout-out to the new intern this week. I thoroughly enjoyed him, though I thought Bones’ treatise on his religious practices was unnecessary.

The best part of the episode, though, was Booth’s chat with the father of four to-be babies. It was really a wakeup call to this kid, and you know, it really needed to be said. Not just to him, but to many kids out there. Not that I think he was trying to be Mr. After School Special to the viewing audience, but it really did hit home. This kid had no idea what he had done and how his future could be changed.

Plus, perhaps it’s something we’ll be looking into in the future. Foreshadowing baby daddies and such. I’m not spoiling here. I’m speculating.

I can’t spoil when the spoilers I hear are vague!

Money: It’s what she wants

HANNAH MONTANA: 3.04 “You Never Give Me My Money”

So you’re right. I haven’t been keeping up with the new episodes of Hannah Montana. To be honest, I try to stay away from Disney Channel these days. It seems like I”ve seen everything that it has to offer as of late, and honestly, Miley Cyrus is bugging the crap out of me lately. It’s like with chopping off her Hannah hair, she chopped off any of her acting skills and likability.

Anyway, bored on a Saturday evening, I caught an episode of Hannah I haven’t seen. This time, Miley wants more money and somehow forgot that it comes with more responsibility. Of course, she thinks responsibility is just a test from her dad, forgetting that, oh, no, that’s just daily life.

So of course there are antics. I mean, she rips a Hannah wig off a young girl’s head to try to get free samples of makeup. Somehow I don’t even think desperate Miley would make this mistake. Plus, once she leaps into the open vat of powder, her hair looks strikingly light–in fact, much like Hannah Montana. Has no one noticed?

Speaking of, did anyone notice that Miley and Lily actually yelled on Miley’s backyard that Miley was Hannah Montana? I mean, I’m sorry, but is this not a secret anymore? They certainly aren’t treating it like one.

Anyway, I guess the episode did better than my expectations. When I read the description, I thought it would be another episode about how Miley gets money and spends it uncontrollably. I was insanely happy to see that Miley pointed out the previous episode when she did this with the credit card and countered that problem head on. And comparably, at least it was tame. Her wacky antic didn’t involve sticking a fork in her cavity filling, after all.

The highlights of the episode were in the characters Robbie Ray and Oliver, in my opinion. This show has always let characters on the sidelines shine with one-liners. I’m a fan of puns, so Robbie Ray’s egg puns stole my heart, even if they were predictable at times. As for Oliver, any time he expands on how he needs guy friends and is in excrutiating pain over the time Miley and Lily spend on girl matters is entertaining to me. His response to kitten checks? Priceless.

Overall, not a bad episode, but not stellar. I’m still a bigger fan of season 2, the years before Miley became so self-absorbed that she’s repulsive to watch. See above re: likability.

Miley Cyrus is evil.

Sometimes I love E!. The main reason is because while E! reports on the tween stuff (as I do sometimes), they really don’t take themselves too seriously. And neither do their readers.

We last got to enjoy the post about how to tell the Jonas Brothers apart. And now? Who’s evil?

The answer: Miley Cyrus.

For the full article, go here, but here’s basically what I grabbed from the site.

My best friend and I are arguing over who is more evil. The categories are the Jonas Brothers, Zach Efron, Miley Cyrus, or Twilight. So who do you think is more evil?
—Amelia

Technically, dear, the term would be most evil. If the contest were pared down to, say, Miley Cyrus vs. Twilight—which it should be—then the term would be more evil.

Now, the analysis: As much as you may despise the Jonas Brothers, they really do try to be nice, and they love them some Jesus, and they clean up before every public appearance, and they put on ties, and they say terribly sweet things to reporters. Let’s leave them to their treacle.

Zac Efron, meanwhile, never really says anything, so we have nothing to nail him on.

That leaves Miley Cyrus and the sparkling vampires…

The vampires, while irksome, do not technically exist, except in the febrile minds of the nation’s teenage girls. That leaves us with Cyrus, who talks way too loud and tells the same story over and over about how she used to run a one-kid cleaning service.

Evil.

In a competition among Zac Efron (who coined the phrase Zefron, by the way?), Miley, the JoBros, and Twilight, Miley wins–er, loses.

Not that I really think she is. I mean, she doesn’t eat live deer or kill people like the vampires in Twilight (come on, there were bad vampires, too), but she did make fun of Demi Lovato’s teeth once. And she allows herself to wear the terrible new ensembles for Hannah Montana (character, not show) since the haircut makeover. Maybe they’re right.

But I still vote vampires.

Highlights of the post:

  • “As much as you may despise the Jonas Brothers, they really do try to be nice, and they love them some Jesus…and they put on ties…”
  • “The vampires, while irksome, do not technically exist, except in the febrile minds of the nation’s teenage girls.”
  • The correction in grammar between “more” and “most.”

I must admit, I don’t know what they have against Zac Efron. I mean, he tends to stay out of the spotlight compared to the other Disney kids. At least in what I read.

Just a random update

On such a murky Monday morning (which is not true, the sun is shining, and while it snowed this morning, it has stopped now), I’ve stopped to post random things on my blog. Why? Because it’s mine.

Muah-ah-ah-ha.

Just kidding. No, it’s actually just to inform you that I didn’t catch Desperate Housewives last night in favor of the Golden Globes. Which I TiVoed. By the way, that’s the best way to watch it. You can fast forward through all those speeches by people that you don’t know about movies that you never heard of (sorry, Best Foreign Film). But I plan to catch up on DH by way of the internet (rock on, internet), and I hope to have a review up tonight, tomorrow, or the next day. Maybe Tuesday. I don’t think much is on on Tuesday except maybe Scrubs. Let me know if I’m wrong.

Anyway, but it seems like that can’t make a long enough post, so let’s discuss Disney.

Is it just me or is Disney only making pop stars now? Ok, that seems like an obvious statement, but let’s look back.

This all started with Hilary Duff. She was an actress–had her own series. And then, wonder of wonders, miracle of miracles, SHE COULD SING! And they had her sing, in one episode. And then a movie. But it wasn’t like they were making a career out of it.

Well, Hilary wanted to make a career out of it, so they did. And it was successful!

So then they thought, what if other people could sing? So they gave it a shot: Christy Carlson Romano–yes! But instead of pop, she went on to Broadway. LaLaine–eh, she had a single on Disney Channel alone. Then went on to Buffy (for a short stint). And Raven–crap, apparently they thought she could sing when I disagreed.

But look: Raven wasn’t automatically a pop star. They cast her in a TV movie: The Cheetah Girls. And then they broke out with pop once that became popular.

But there were others, you know. What about Shia LeBeouf? He was from Disney and he didn’t sing. But no one mentions him. Why? He’s not a pop star. He’s just *gasp* an actor.

But now, everyone on the Disney Channel sings, either on Radio Disney and in commercials or on the radio. It’s almost like a requirement that they must sing. Even those stupid kids on As the Bell Rings are starting to sing. Why, people. Why why why?

There’s like this cookie-cutter mold that each person on the Disney Channel must fit into now. True the High School Musical franchise somehow made it big, so I understand why Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens would then have singing careers. But the rest of them? Really?

Camp Rock was just horrible, but since it had the Jonas Brothers–who Disney basically built, by the way–it somehow is considered popular. At least all the merchandise would think so.

So which comes first? The pop star or the Disney star? Is there a difference anymore? All the up-and-comers that aren’t Dakota Fanning are from Disney–which means all the up-and-comers are overdone and annoying.

Anyway, just a thought. An annoying thought. I just wish that we’d have more good actors out there. It seems like raising these people in this fashion seems to be raising bad actors–look at Miley Cyrus for goodness’ sake! Since her popularity has grown, so has her overacting. Priorities are shifting.

And I know you all are going to mention Lindsay Lohan, but I still don’t consider her to really be a Disney Channel star. She was in one TV movie, but everything else was outside the channel itself.

I don’t know if I came to a conclusion, but maybe you all can come up with some if I haven’t.