Oh, Sweet Niblets!
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A couple of days ago on Twitter, Brent Spiner tweeted that his favourite show on television was ‘I Carly’. (Yes, Brent Spiner is on Twitter. Levar Burton talked him into it.) His follow up comment was something to the effect of better writing than anything on network television, and I completely agree with that. But for me, there’s another show that gives it a run for the money in entertainment value, and that’s ‘Hannah Montana.’
The show is fun and doesn’t take itself too seriously, sprinkled with pop culture references and real issues, and with the occasional fish fight thrown in just to give us a little taste of the absurd. The actors don’t necessarily take themselves seriously either – I’m remembering an episode with Billy-Ray’s "achy breaky back". Yes, as the world knows, Hannah is actually Miley Cyrus, daughter of Billy-Ray Cyrus (and if that was like spoiling the Yoda-Grover connection for you, I’m sorry). Sure, it’s simplistic (it’s a sitcom, after all) and there are stereotypes involved, but the writers play on them and if you can find a show without stereotypes, I’ll be impressed and immediately start watching it. Well, probably only if it’s a genre show.
I’m completely willing to accept that part of my liking the show may be just because I watch it with my kids and they like it. That’s okay, but it’s more than a Dad thing. I may be getting older – not "Hey you kids, get off of my lawn!" old, but Paleoboy is ten now so I’m not a kid anymore – but I still think of myself as young. I’m fairly open (and eclectic) musically, and I find Hannah/Miley’s music more than palatable. If you listen to the lyrics (important, because in a fundamental way, the lyrics are the song), the messages are positive, often about family, friends, and making your own choices. Okay, yes, there are some of the usual teenagey things, too, but the fact that it’s not just teenagey stuff is the point to be made. The music gets mixed in with the show, not always with the original intent of the song but always in a way that makes sense or even adds to the story.
Object if you will, but I like Hannah Montana.
So when my youngest daughter, about to turn six, told us she wanted a Hannah Montana themed birthday party, I had none of the issues I might have had with other themes, Disney or otherwise, (not that they would have mattered much as I’d like my daughter to be happy and she is only six). We’ve done theme parties in the past with the Pink Princess and her older siblings, but they’re usually more vague: Fairy Princess, Superheroes, that sort of thing. Some downloadable posters, foil-covered cardboard stars, a disco ball, and a couple of funky fiber-optic lighting things and we had a party fit for a group of budding young pop stars in long, blonde wigs. An endless loop of Hannah Montana in the background, crafts, cake, and presents. The party was this afternoon. Things went very well.
And I got to hear my favourite Hannah song twice. ‘ Life’s What You Make It’, if you’re interested.
Would I go to a Hannah Montana concert? Not by myself. That would be kind of creepy, don’t you think? But I’d absolutely take my daughters, and my son if he wanted to be seen there.