Most of them never earn awareness from non-parents or anyone else outside the limited target demographic. Most are forgotten after they leave the air, usually after a few short seasons.
I could give you titles of examples, but they likely wouldn't ring any bells if they did, you might be offended and to be honest, I'm having trouble remembering them myself. Today, one cheesy, kid-oriented sitcom stands well above the competition: Disney Channel's "Hannah Montana".
You may already know that, though, because the show carries so much unprecedented recognition that its existence and success is planted firmly in the public's consciousness.
And that is the new Disney magic, the kind of wizardry that's been at the forefront of the company since Robert Iger became CEO in Content with little artistic worth gets embraced by children and families to unheard of degrees. The ensuing merchandise onslaught provides the Mouse financial stability, so who cares if the quality of the brand name takes a dive?
That would only be an issue if the people of America and around the globe weren't welcoming these loud fads with open arms and wallets. It's really not all bad. Pixar has secured dictionary placement under "genius", Disney's feature animation department appears to be taking strides since its mid-decade lows, Jerry Bruckheimer's less objectionable adventures offer family films a jolt of excitement, and there are even plans for the Muppets to make a grand scale return preferably without the company of Disney Channel stars.
But, this review looks at one of the studio's present favorite enterprises, the mundane, ill-conceived cable television program that introduced the world to Miley Cyrus, Hannah Montana, and the obnoxious franchise that's rendered both ubiquitous since That conveniently enables the pop star to lead a quiet, ordinary life as California student Miley Stewart.
With a blonde wig on, she's Hannah, a sold-out concert act and riot waiting to happen. Without, she's simply Miley, a down-to-earth brunette girl who doesn't quite fit into any of the school cliques the series hardly establishes. At no point does the sitcom ever overcome that lamebrained premise.
It's juvenile fantasy wrapped in accessibility, imagined by middle-aged men and lobbed at receptive tweenaged girls. That this demographic, on the cusp of applying to high school, is able to overlook the show's rampant idiocy is no testament to the show's producers, but a startling revelation of how lacking in discernment many of today's youths evidently are.
Miley's secret is safe with the rest of the regular cast. Cornball widowed father Robbie Ray Stewart country 1-hit wonder and Miley's real-life pa Billy Ray Cyrus always has something banal to say. He shows only a pinch of maturity above his teenaged kids, but his parenting style is one of the most reliable sources of comedy, nearly all of it the unintentional variety. Dad's partner in "B" storylines is his son Jackson Jason Earles , an oddball whose broad antics the show mistakenly believes are funny.
The firm belief of "Hannah Montana" creators in broad comedy can be traced back to popular past Disney Channel original series in whose mold it was built. The critical consensus seems to be that Disney was more relevant and potent with its single-camera film comedies from earlier this decade: Since the inexpensive "Raven", "Suite", and "Hannah" have garnered the network its highest ratings to date, the onus again falls on the public, who are getting more of the cheap rubbish they've bafflingly chosen to embrace.
Most of the time, our attentions lie with Hannah in her unassuming alter ego. Often by her side are two Seaview Middle School classmates why year-olds are still in middle school, I don't know: On occasion, an effort is made to reveal geeky quirks about the two buddies.
For the most part, though, despite the fine efforts of their performers, they're contrived confidants; mere extensions of Miley's agreeable and lightly sarcastic personality. The plots involving secrets, the opposite sex, gossip, rivalries, misunderstandings, and predicaments have all been told before and with far more realism and maturity.
To break up the shallow episode center, we cut to Dad and Jackson, who are occupied by no shortage of silly issues. It's fine that there is not a shred of realism on display, as sitcoms rarely possess much of this. But one never for a second believes that these are genuine family and friends hanging out in an occupied house. Even those who don't quite think about their television programming in such a way have to somehow recognize these are actors of modest skill and salary goofing around for the numerous cameras located around the flashy artificial sets.
This understanding tends to deflate the instances when the show tries to get serious or reveal a heart. At least, such moments are rare and offer respite from the standard shenanigans. The list of shortcomings could go on and on, while covering every aspect of the show. To make up for the white-bread core cast, nearly every guest star and recurring character lets the show and network tout their diversity cards.
Guest stars are as over-the-top as the regulars, if not more so. For a perfect example, look no further than Francis Callier, who seems to think she's on "Raven" as sassy bodyguard Roxy. So too are the liberally-employed stunt doubles.
Speaking of guest stars and stunts, "Hannah" may not have network sweeps but it does dabble in stunt casting. It's not that the show is terrible so much as its success and current prominence in the Disney family is terribly undeserved.
Both of the previous ones the s' Australian "Five Mile Creek" and s' Canadian "Avonlea" never received a second release, nor did the more direct ancestor "Lizzie McGuire" which was dropped after a Volume 1 Box Set in Does "Hannah" have what it takes to keep coming to DVD in this way or is this a fluke? We certainly haven't seen the last of the less consumer-friendly 4-episode compilations Disney Channel shows usually get; new ones are scheduled for "Wizards of Waverly Place" and "Phineas and Ferb", plus the Mouse just announced a fifth one devoted to "Hannah" for release next March.
However, with the third season recently commenced and earning more headlines from another microcontroversy , a theatrical film due in April Hannah Montana: Jackson wants money from Dad.
Miley Get Your Gum Jackson immediately regrets buying a used car when he learns it's a "girl's" one. She's a Super Sneak There, they see Dad, with a companion requiring undercover investigation. Jackson has a love interest of his own in Olivia Rae'ven Larrymore Kelly , but his friend Cooper doesn't approve. Rather than admit she's embarrassed by Lily's antics as "Lola", Miley tries to hide the front page newspaper photo of her at the party. Jackson lets a student beautician Romi Dames have her way with his hair.
It's a Mannequin's World Also, Jackson struggles to keep a cake intact and bodyguard Roxy is overly protective of her client. Jackson offers to fix the kitchen sink for less than a plumber would charge.
Ooh, Ooh Itchy Woman Back home, Jackson and Dad try to catch a mouse in separate ways. O Say Can You After botching a national anthem performance, she seeks redemption on an unplugged show. Jackson battles a sweets addiction. I Meddled Again Rico subjects Jackson to embarrassing duties while introducing chicken wings at the surf shop. On the Road Again With Dad away on tour, Roxy keeps a very close watch on Miley and Jackson. Miley's own appearance concerns involve a giant zit on an acne cream billboard.
Needing a raise at work, Jackson reluctantly agrees to play the female assistant in Rico's magic act. The haughty photographer shooting Hannah played by Lisa Arch of "Cory in the House" has new significance following the Annie Leibovitz photo scandal.
New Kid In School Jackson and Dad wreck each other's car. More Than a Zombie To Me Robbie and Jackson engage in a war of pranks. Good Golly, Miss Dolly When a tape holding Miley's private declaration of love for Jake gets into his hands, Dolly leads the mission to retrieve it. Torn Between Two Hannahs Jackson and Robbie work to make their house more scary. People Who Use People Jackson encourages Robbie dating his teacher. Jackson learns that Dad has been letting him win in their basketball games.
This episode randomly ends with Hannah singing "Who Said" in concert. Debt It Be She and Jackson hatch a plan to cover the bill by selling off Hannah Montana's wardrobe. Oliver teams with Sarah Morgan York on a school project. Robbie and Jackson get snowed in at a strange motel with its odd manager guest Kenneth Mars. The Idol Side of Me Smells Like Teen Sellout Bad Moose Rising Meanwhile, Roxy tries to restore health in a sick Robbie Ray.
This design renders everything soft and blurry, and colors tend to be bright and garish. I understand these represent the series' humble beginnings, but really, you'd think Disney could take just a tiny bit of the franchise's billion dollar net worth to make "Hannah Montana" be a show about year-olds, not one that looks like year-olds shot it on their lunch hour with a younger sibling's Polaroid Pixie.
Sitcoms from the s look better than this. And I'm simply watching this on a standard inch television. I can only imagine how painful it'd be blown up on a larger screen. As far as sound goes, we get just two-channel stereo. You would think that a show about a music star, on which original popular songs regularly feature, that a 5.
Instead, the presentation seems needlessly short-sighted and probably is comparable to cable broadcast quality.