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.

It’s not just for kiddies anymore

Hannah Montana: 2.7 My Best Friend’s Boyfriend

Rarely do I sit, watch, and appreciate Disney Channel shows. Not to say I don’t watch them. There are a handful of shows that I watch with fair consistency just because nothing else is on or it makes for great background noise. I chuckle. I sigh. It’s a weakness on my part, but what can I say? It’s something I picked up in college.

I realize that it would seem I’m too old to watch shows like Hannah Montana, but from what the episode above indicated, I’m not. Not only was this episode surprisingly funny, but it made references to shows the 6-14-year-old crowd just might not watch.

First, let me cover the plot. While relatively predictable–especially on the Disney Channel–there were a few moments of freshness that stood out. Like many other shows throughout history, this episode had the usual supporting character’s (this time Lily) first boyfriend. Jealousies ensue, and just as the love-stricken pup realizes our protagonist’s disapproval (Miley), our main character finds that the boyfriend’s a jerk, cheating with another girl.

The plotline’s not fresh. Beyond our many television favorites, Disney Channel itself has used the storyline in That’s So Raven, where Chelsie finds her dream boy and Raven finds him cheating. However, Hannah does leave some room for twists.

The jealousy’s predictable; the habits are not. We see Lily on the phone having the typical “No, you hang up” dispute (see Friends season 2 re: Julie and Ross) but before the predictable grab of the cell phone, Miley calls in Lily’s cell phone call waiting to tell her to hang up before hanging it up for her. As for canceling a girls’ night, Lily changes it to a double date, adding the first date horror stories (pardon the pun as they watch a horror movie). I give kudos to trying to adding a couple new features so my audible, “Oh, now this will happen” to my roommate makes me seem a little silly.

We enter another wave of predictability when Miley informs Lily of the boyfriend’s infidelity, but again, the girl sides with the boy, and the friend’s in the cold. Enter Hannah for a fresh turn. Kudos on using the show’s theme to its advantage. While it was still a bit weak (and I still don’t believe that the boyfriend wouldn’t recognize Lily in a wig), it’s appreciated.

But how is this beyond the scope of children? First, we have the quip by Billy Ray Cyrus, who frankly I think takes the entire series a few steps further on the humor meter. Miley makes a wisecrack about how her dad is crabby since there’s no car races going on, and he makes a crack about how now there are only those dance shows on–a cute quip when you realize that Billy Ray himself was recently on (and booted from) the recent season of Dancing with the Stars.

Beyond that, there was a great cameo appearance by Larry David, creator of Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm–two shows I can almost guarantee most child viewers haven’t seen or appreciated. Few children would even recognize this man, thinking he was just another old bald man. But no, here on Hannah, he was trying to get a table, only to have Hannah herself come in and steal the spotlight. She’s brought in a table, while Larry and his two daughters look shocked and bored respectively. One more insult to shame, when Larry is identified with his celebrity status, his daughter bluntly tells him, “Just face it. Hannah’s bigger than you.” What adult wouldn’t appreciate that little quip?

So who’s it for? Is Disney trying to move away from just the kids and pre-teens? With High School Musical, I supposed it’s made its mark on the charts, and with the many explosive new celebs, I suppose it’s a breeding ground for new talent (“talent” being rather a loose term in some cases, but think Hilary, Lindsay, Shia, etc.) But who other than television-obsessed 24-year-olds watch the station besides children and pre-teens? Parents? Larry must be aiming for someone. Perhaps this is worth looking into: Just who is Disney scouting these days?