Christmas Challenge: Hannah Montana

It’s the End of Jake as We Know of It

Ok, I may be stretching the rules here, since technically this episode aired in August. But it has a Christmas special, fake snow, a sleigh, a Mrs. Claus costume, and more — all of that screams Christmas to me.

Hannah — er, Miley, er, both — is doing a Christmas special. She’s pretty psyched about it (and a little nervous). She’s got guest stars lined up, including Sheryl Crow, and it’s all ready to go. But when her go-to guest star bails, she doesn’t know what to do. Until an idea strikes: Her boyfriend Jake can play the role!

There’s only one hitch. Jake’s been cheating on her, and Oliver and Lily know the truth. They’re a little too afraid to tell her the bad news, and even Lily’s best laid plans landed Jake on Miley’s doorstep, which just made things tougher. Will Hannah — er, Miley, er, both — find out the truth?

That answer is yes. A little boy hears Oliver and Lily calling Jake a cheater, and tells Hannah. What happens next is a fight between Hannah and Jake, all played out on air by Mrs. Claus and the little tyke Jake was portraying. Needless to say, Hannah didn’t handle the news well, and Christmas isn’t exactly merry.

To this day, I walk away from this episode wondering what the actor who played Jake did to Disney Channel to create this ending (has anyone seen or heard from him since?), but the last we see is him walking away in wee green suspenders.

Recommendation: Skip it. While it does have Christmas elements, it won’t make your day merry and bright.

Hannah Montana: The Next Robin Sparkles?

Earlier this week, I caught the final few minutes of The Hannah Montana Movie on Disney Channel. Now, I had seen the movie before. (Maybe I shouldn’t admit that), but I hadn’t seen it since Hannah Montana Forever signed off in January. So watching Miley tell all of Crowley Corner who she really was, only to don the wig again reminded me of when Miley Stewart really told the world — and the aftermath.

Well, loosely, the aftermath. There was a backlash of fans, and then she did one concert. Then…what? Nothing. She got an offer to do a movie, which she eventually turned down to go to college with Lily. Basically, she told Hannah Montana — and her singing career — good-bye. Miley Stewart was now only plain Jane Miley Stewart. I mean, not even her classmates at school knew who she was.

In other words, Miley became a former teen pop star. Sure, from time to time, she might’ve gotten recognized, but from that point on, Miley was just, well, Miley.

Now, I don’t want you to get confused here. I’m not talking about Miley Cyrus, taking off the wig and no longer doing a TV show. I’m talking the character Miley Stewart and her life without the blonde wig. It reminds me of a certainly other former teen popstar I know. That’s right, good ol’ Robin from How I Met Your Mother.

You’d think that the only thing HIMYM and the Disney Channel would have in common was the striking resemblance between Ted’s future son and Justin Russo on Wizards of Waverly Place. But no. As it turns out, Hannah could easily have been Robin in another life.

Yes, I may be basing this on little information, and no, I don’t think Miley Stewart will be anchoring the New York City news desk any time soon, but it is rather humorous. Two bubbly blondes in denim, poofy skirts, and sparkles dancing around to silly pop music. Ok, so sure, some of that music is catchy and might appear on my ipod, but still, it’s rather silly. But hey, who doesn’t want to go to the mall or do the ice cream freeze or put on your old blue jeans?

And you can only imagine that Miley would look back in embarrassment at certain times of her life as a celebrity. Sure, she had some good times, but there were some ridiculous ones, too. She may not have gone mall to mall to perform, but she did have a sweating attack on live television, a huge zit on a billboard, and a ridiculous brawl during an awards show. Hey, at least she didn’t share the same name as her doppelganger (I look to you, Robin).

In the meantime, it’s nice to think about the humiliating future ahead for Miley Stewart and we can always remember the good times. Just think. One day, she’ll look back at this video…

…and remember it like this one.

Hannah (and Miley) have left the building

HANNAH MONTANA: 4.13 “Wherever I Go” (series finale)

Well, it’s over. You’ll never see Hannah Montana or Miley Stewart again. Unless, of course, they make another movie, but they sure did wrap up the series pretty well that any movie would seem a little pointless. Except, of course, to make money, but that’s neither here nor there.

I went into the Hannah Montana finale with three predictions: that there would be a montage of clips, a duet with Billie Ray (probably during said clips), and a useless appearance by Oliver.

Well, I was kinda right. There was definitely a useless appearance by Oliver. There was a montage, though not of clips from the series as I thought. Instead, we had Miley and Lily both moving in their own opposite directions and then after it ended, a montage of photos from the show. And there was a duet, though not with Dad. Instead, did you notice that it was Emily Osment who got to sing the bittersweet song with Miley?

Overall, I must say, this episode, which I was sure going to be about Miley growing up and saying good-bye to Dad (you know, before I saw the trailers) was really an episode to finally let Emily Osment shine. I feel like she’s been underused in the past season, mainly just hanging out in the kitchen while events transpired around her. She’s always been fun in the series, so it was disappointing to see the change. Well, in last night’s finale, she certainly got her moment.

Miley (the character) was very much at her worst in this episode. Completely selfish with only one view in mind–her own. After all these years, I’d be just as hurt as Lily to see that Miley wouldn’t be honest with her, and when Lily let lose and yelled at her, well, she’s had it coming for years. She’s been a brat one too many times, and she deserved it.

Did I think Lily really just wanted to be invited to Paris? No. That seemed a little ridiculous (as did the project in general–who wants to work with Tom Cruise nowadays anyway?). But I guess that’s what the writers wanted, and in the end, it made sense that Lily just wanted to be asked. I was surprised that she later decided to go… Less because it was out of character for Lily but more so because I certainly wasn’t hoping that Disney Channel was telling all its viewers that there are more important–and fun–things to do than go to college and get an education. I can see it now: Admission rates plummet because Lily, Miley, and even Oliver (not including possibly Jackson) didn’t go to college on Hannah Montana.

But even after Lily came to her senses (ok, maybe Oliver wasn’t useless if he helped her come to her senses), Miley still didn’t quite get it. Why wouldn’t her dream be Lily’s, too? Why would she want Lily sitting on the sidelines of Miley’s life?

Honestly, the moment that Lily turned around, it was quite moving. I give props to Emily Osment, I seriously do, and I fully respected her at the end of the series. And, well, Miley…

She did turn it around and show up at Stanford for the happy ending. The only thing missing? Robbie Ray singing about his baby girl growing up.

A few other notes:

  • I’ve never been a fan of Rico, and I’m thrilled that the end of the series means I’ll see him even less–maybe not at all. But this episode he was actually not obnoxious, and he gave Jackson the job of every man’s dream: video game tester. Seriously. That’s the job of every man’s dream.
  • The suitcases hiding the kisses was kinda funny, I have to admit. I keep racking my brain because I’m sure that Disney has shown someone kiss on screen before, but I’m coming up with a blank. Not even on Wizards?
  • Um, how did Amber and Ashley get into Stanford? Especially when they proved that Ashley was an idiot?

And that’s that. So long, Hannah Montana–and Miley, too. What’d you think of the finale? Did it meet expectations? Will you miss the Hannah Montana crew?

Hannah Montana: Mamaw Issues

HANNAH MONTANA FOREVER: 4.12 “I Am Mamaw, Hear Me Roar!”

If you can believe it, we’ve reached the penultimate episode of Hannah Montana. Next week, we say good-bye for good.

But first, we have to say hello to Mamaw. I must say, when I saw the trailer for this episode, it really didn’t look appealing at all, and it looked very unfunny. And after watching it, I realized that it wasn’t very appealing at all, and it was very unfunny. Well, with the exception of the always-nice-to-have-around Lily, who basically called out Jackson on how idiotic he was to Sienna. Oh, and while I’m not the biggest John Crier fan, I did like having him there at the beginning of the episode (if you ignored the unfunny photo piece of it).

Speaking of, here’s my question: Why couldn’t they just take the picture for her at home? Why couldn’t Miley really fight to say, ok, guys, let me take this one first? It really didn’t make any sense, and it really just made Mamaw look whiny and rude.

Then you add in the high tea situation. Mamaw was, again, forceful, and just annoying. I understand Miley’s side–and I saw that the fans really weren’t hearing any of it–but again, why couldn’t she ask the people at the restaurant to give her a private table? She’s Miley Stewart, after all!

All this was really rooted in Mamaw’s own deep-seated issues, where she felt hurt by the lack of attention by her own son when he got famous. Ok, so that all made sense. But with an already lackluster episode where Mamaw was just ticking me off scene by scene, I really didn’t care. Plus, Miley’s “feel better” speech really didn’t rustle up the tear ducts in any way, so I don’t really see why it was so meaningful for Mamaw.

In the end, I just felt bad that Kelly Ripa had to guest star in this episode. Though I do commend her push-ups.

Overall, this seemed like a waste of an episode. I was hoping Miley’s graduation would really be a more featured part, really letting her have her father/daughter “growing up” moment that I’m sure we’ll see some of in the next episode, the series finale. I don’t know why they felt having Mamaw back on the show would really make people watch, and I think this could have easily been one that I would have skipped.

For a lead-in to the series finale, I give it one of Mamaw’s raspberries.

2010 Awards, Part 2

Alright. So you saw the first set, now let’s move on to more! More awards and more reader picks. Once again, if the award has an asterisk, it’s a Reader Pick, with or without my explanation. If they added one, it’s there! If they didn’t, well, that just leaves me to give a reason <malicious laugh>.

So here we go!

The 2010 Awards!
Part 2

Best Guy in a Suit: Neal Caffrey, White Collar. Step aside, Barney. There’s someone else suiting up now, and damn, he looks good.

Best Woman in Heels: Maura Isles, Rizzoli & Isles. This woman sure gets a lot done in four-inch heels and a pressed dress, even when dealing with dead bodies.

* Most Wasted Potential: Glee. It’s true. For a show with a huge fanbase and mad props for creating a new TV genre, they lost their way by focusing on huge guest stars and a big production instead of a cohesive storyline.

Least Necessary Procedural: Law & Order: CSI edition. Oh, is that not a real show? I thought it was. It’s on every night for two hours at least, right? And it airs on every network? Wait, these aren’t all the same show?

Most Ridiculous Premise for a Procedural: Castle. Ok, I know you fans out there must like it, but the idea that a successful novelist gets to spend his time on all these huge cases as a partner of a detective is rather incredible.

Worst Show We’re All Watching: The Office. Where did the funny go? It’s run its course, but we all still watch it. And most of us don’t know why.

Didn’t I Used to Be an Important Character? Award: Alaric, The Vampire Diaries. Well, it’s true, right? Now he’s arm candy, and occasionally says something smart from a book.

Best Vampire Teeth: The Vampire Diaries. With the eyes and the subtle teeth, yes, the vamps in TVD certainly get the prize.

Worst Vampire Teeth: True Blood. I haven’t tried to watch this series, solely because these teeth are so bad and look so fake. Plus, I hear they make a sound when they come out.

Read more after the jump! Continue reading

2010 Awards, Part 1

Ok, guys, we’re nearing 2011. That means it’s time to honor those best and worsts of 2010. With the help our readers, I present to you the first part of the 2010 Awards here on Raked.

As you can see, we’ve got a good mix of reader nominations (marked by an asterisk*) and my own. For the most part, I tried to keep the reader’s reasoning with the award, but if nothing was there (or if I have my own thoughts), I did add a little myself. Keep in mind that this is just for 2010, shows that aired during that time period. Unfortunately, that put some good shows out of the running that might’ve ended before the cutoff last year–but it also gave us a good selection of bad shows to destroy, too.

So without further ado…

The 2010 Awards!
Part 1

Best Use of an Underused Character: Caroline, The Vampire Diaries. Caroline was a pathetic, superficial, shallow sidekick in last season’s Vampire Diaries. Now she’s a badass vampire who’s gained confidence–and screen time. Definitely worth the transition.

* Best Animation: Community’s stop motion Christmas special. Can’t argue with this reader’s pick. A mixing of humbugs, humor, song, and creativity provided us with one great holiday treat.

* Best Leave of Absence: Olivia Wilde, House. I’ll leave this explanation to our reader: “I call this the best because she is left to do some awesome scifi movies [Tron Legacy, Cowboys and Aliens, Now aka im.mortal], and also it allowed Amber Tamblyn to take her spot for a bit.” As for me, I second this, if only to get Amber Tamblyn back on TV.

Best Badass I Should Be Watching: Nikita, Nikita. I’ve heard good things, and the commercials are really tempting. Why am I not watching? I have no reason.

* Best Zombies: The Walking Dead. A reader’s pick, and to be fair, I can’t help but agree. But in the interest of complete transparency, I also don’t know what other shows had zombies this year. 😉

* Best Guest Star: Gwyneth Paltrow, Glee. As much as I’m tired of hearing about her, I can’t deny that people loved Gwyneth on Glee.

Read more awards after the jump! Continue reading

Five People to See Less of in 2011

Now that we’re coming to the end of 2010, it’s time to start looking back on the year that’s passed and the year to come. Here on Raked, we’ll be doing a few top ten lists and awards for the year, but first up, how about noting the top ten people on our minds? In two posts, we’ll hear the Top Five People We Want to See More of in 2011 and the Top Five People We Want to See Less of in 2011.

Let’s get the bad news out of the way first.

Five People We Want to See Less of in 2011

Lea Michele – She may be the new Barbara Streisand with the nose and voice, but she’s certainly not impressing me. Michele is incredibly overexposed since Glee has won a popularity contest as of late. Sure, she’s got a great voice, but with her diva action on screen and off, I’m a bit tired of her. (I’m also tired of seeing her half naked. Just sayin’.)

Gwyneth Paltrow – Choice number two also has overexposure to blame. From her appearance on Glee (which I hear was decent) to her brand-new movie, Paltrow is everywhere, especially where I spend my time the most: the internet. I’m tired of Paltrow headlines and commercials, so let’s just move on. I’m tired of hearing about her comeback. (Sadly, my request might not be granted, what with rumors that she’ll be returning to Glee.)

Steve Carell – I get it. He’s leaving The Office. Can he get gone already? He hasn’t been funny on the show for quite a while (in fact, most of the cast hasn’t), and I don’t understand why people are upset he’ll be gone. I hope he takes a break from my viewing for a while (and takes the rest of the show with him).

Miley Cyrus – Is it just me, or is Hannah Montana Forever just dragging on? Yes, it’s funny that I’m commenting on someone who’s the star of a show that I’m way too old to be watching, but between her presence on the Disney Channel and her misadventures reported on the web, I’m fine with seeing less of her in 2011. In fact, let’s add a few other tween brats to this list, including Victoria Justice (her song sucks), the entire casts of Sonny with a Chance and Step It Up, and any other Disney star who has released a music video on the Disney Channel in the last two months. Oh, and Oliver and Rico, of course.

Jim Parsons – Great as the weirdo roommate on Big Bang, but the minute Sheldon fell into the spotlight, he became overexposed and annoying. The funny went right out the window. But the fans still obsess about him. I’m not entirely turned off from Parsons, but I sure am getting there. If I see less of him in 2011, well, not only would it alleviate some frustration on my end, but it just improve The Big Bang Theory. He should always remain the annoying, quirky sidekick.

I didn’t even touch on reality TV “stars,” so I’m sure there are a lot more we can identify. Maybe that’s another top ten list…

What about you? Who do you want to see less of the in the coming year? Let me know in the comments.

*images from Yahoo! TV and Zap2It

You’re a liar, Hannah Montana!

HANNAH MONTANA: 4.12 “Kiss It All Goodbye”

As a slight side note, I’m not sure how this title for the episode really fits with the content. It fits with Miley’s final song, sure, but as for the actual episode, well…

I think if Miley had found her happy ending after the big reveal a few weeks ago, we’d all be complaining that this wasn’t a realistic show at all, even in our already suspended sense of disbelief. I personally liked that Miley was attacked for being a liar. I could entirely see a mother asking how she’s supposed to teach a child how to not lie when her biggest role model was, in fact, a big fat liar (see my previous post, “What they SHOULD have asked”). That being said, having only two callers attack her didn’t give me the real feeling that everyone hated her. I could see them adding a few more seconds of footage in, just showing Miley’s crumbling expression while voiceovers of caller after caller asked her accusing questions.

I would have also liked to see more of the press, and I hope that they’ll continue to show Miley looking ridiculous in the media so it’s not an easy ride for her. After all, if it were easy, why would there be Hannah to begin with?

Overall, an ok episode. You know, I can’t quite think of anything particularly humorous in the episode, so I supposed that’s a failure on some terms. If the show’s not all that funny, will it really grab the kids’ attention anymore? In fact, should I really be writing an analytical review of a show like this? Analyzing other ways they could really show people hating Miley? Is that the kind of show this really is?

Bah, enough of that. Let’s move on to Rico.

As much as I dislike anything Rico-related, I must say, I actually enjoyed seeing Rico’s mental breakdown for not realizing that Miley was Hannah. Perhaps it’s because he wasn’t trying to be obnoxious. He was out of his element. But it was quite nice to see the softer side. Considering that he really was the closest one to figuring it out (think of the episode with the Bone Dance) and he was the one who saw both Hannah and Lola (tennis match episode), and he prides himself as being a genius, of course he would take it to heart.

But Jackson’s way of revealing that he wasn’t the only one fooled? Fantastic. Considering that Rico always has his gospel choir with him now, it was great to see the solo act to help him out. Nice.

Also, how has no one asked about Robbie Ray yet? He was the weak link of the entire facade. He always said that he was Hannah’s dad, and yet, people knew Miley’s dad, Robbie Ray, was a former musician. Can someone open this one up to the public so we can all have a “Duh!” moment? That fake mustache wasn’t fooling anyone.

Finally, if you haven’t realized it yet, we’re transitioning. From Hannah to Miley in show and music. That final song was no Hannah. I hope the kiddies still liked it, flying hair and all.

P.S. – I still don’t believe that Miley would have gotten into Stanford. She claims her grades were great. But we had multiple episodes where her grades just weren’t cutting it. Where did this come from?

Hannah Montana: What they SHOULD have asked

HANNAH MONTANA: 4.11 “Can You See the Real Me?”

After the last new episode of Hannah Montana, I didn’t really know where the show would be going. After all, Miley revealed herself to be Hannah. I guess the writers didn’t really know where to go after that either, because instead of plot, we got a clip show, disguised as Miley’s first interview since coming out.

Don’t get me wrong. As far as clip shows go, this was a creative way to do it. And it was kinda fun seeing some of the clips again and going, hey, I remember that episode. (Though, really, I was more excited that there were some episodes I didn’t recognize. Not because that means there’s more Hannah to see, but because next time my husband makes fun of me for watching endless reruns, I can rightfully say that, no, I haven’t seen them all a million times already. Just some.)

The interview itself, well, I’m curious to know how they structured that. Clearly, the questions were scripted and some of Miley’s answers were, too. But the writers must’ve given her some freedom to answer some questions as she wanted, just as long as she landed on the right segue, because some of her answers just seemed cobbled together, like when she was trying to discuss how her friends and family kept her grounded.

The writers clearly wanted Miley Stewart’s words to echo the feelings of Miley Cyrus as she says good-bye to the series and Hannah concerts. Whether it was reflective of real life, well, I don’t know.

Really, there’s not much to write about the show, since the vast majority, we’ve already seen. So let’s have a little fun.

Let’s be honest. The interviewer, Robin, really wanted a fluff piece. Any other journalist would want the real answers. Like some of the ones below, all based on events in Miley and Hannah’s lives:

  • So if you were Hannah this entire time, how do you explain dating Jackson a few years ago, and his declaration of his love for you. Are you a proponent of incest?
  • All this explains to some degree the relationship you both had with famous actor Jake Ryan. In fact, many remember the humiliating moment when you showed up with Jake at a premiere even, unshaven and in a swan dress. Who is the real you? Or is this Miley we’re seeing here even a facade?
  • Let’s discuss your friend Oliver, who won a singing contest singing one of your songs, at which you were a judge. Was that rigged? Did you coach him?
  • Hannah Montana has her own drivers’ license. Can you explain how you got that, if indeed Hannah Montana wasn’t ever a real person? Did you forge documents?
  • Basically, what you’ve told the world is that you lied to them for the last six years. How do you think your fans will feel about having their biggest role model be a liar, especially since you lied to them? (Actually, I think we might get to this in the next episode, if the promo was right.)

Those are just a few. What else would you add to put Hannah in the hotseat?

Bye-Bye, Hannah Montana (and Lola, too)

HANNAH MONTANA FOREVER: 4.09 “I’ll Always Remember You”

Well, if you didn’t know this was coming, you must’ve missed the news that this was the last season of Hannah Montana. At some point this season, Hannah would have to disappear, and Miley would have to step up into the spotlight. It’s a little early, as there are some more episodes left this season (take a look here), but it was the episode, and it was certainly a biggie. This isn’t the end of the show, but it was the end of Hannah.

I’m glad it was Miley’s choice to reveal herself. There were a lot of instances where Miley almost got discovered–or Hannah almost got discovered–so in a season where Miley was growing up, it was only right for her to grow out of the blonde persona and become the woman that she really was, at the loss of the icon (and Lola).

Now, I will say, the good-bye scene between Miley and Hannah certainly was a bit cheesy, though I suppose necessary. Personally, the fact that Miley was letting Lily jeopardize her future was ridiculous, and while Jesse’s infamy may fade, it wasn’t fair to him either. For a character like Miley, who’s always twisted things her way, it was needed, even if we had a moment where she was again talking to herself (much like she talked to herself after Blue Jeans turned into Miley in “Miley Says Good-bye?”). And, of course, the flashback moments were necessary to get the heartstrings successfully pulled, but sitting side by side with Hannah as she came out of the closet was a little over the top. But since my heart was already pulled in so many directions, Miley’s mouthing “thank you” was a good moment.

I only wish Lily had been able to have the same moment. We start at the start of the episode with her trying to convince Miley that it was important to tell people that Lily is Lola, only to discover the people really didn’t care. While Lily wasn’t Lola as long as Miley was Hannah, the moment she took off her wig during Miley’s final song and looked wistfully at those pink strands were the moments that I almost felt moisture in my eyes.

Will Miley’s world ever be the same? Well, I guess we really don’t know. I doubt it will be, and since there are episodes to come, I’m sure we’ll hear a lot about whether Miley thinks she really did make the right decision. My real question is whether she really will get into Stanford (personally, I was surprised that either she or Lily even applied there; I never thought Miley focused on grades, especially after the biology/Bone Dance episode where she just aimed to get a B) and how people are going to react to who Miley really is.

Personally, I would have made this the series finale. These questions aren’t ones that necessarily need to be answered, and I think people could imagine what Miley’s future would be–good or bad, as they’d prefer. But I suppose we’ll see in the months to come. But in the meantime, I guess we’ve said good-bye to Hannah Montana.

And on the bright side, to that awful fake mustache of Robbie Ray’s, too. I mean, really. How did people not see through that?

Oh, and as a side note: Sienna, Rico, and Jackson’s songs were all horrible and potentially ruined the episode. I know we needed comedic relief, but Robbie Ray’s one-liners really did the job. Those just needed to go. Every last one of them.

Also, how desperate is Jay Leno? Clearly, this was his publicist’s attempt to get him on the good side of viewers again. If you grab the kiddies, you get everyone else, right? Eek. Too bad it wasn’t Conan. Now that would have been something to see.