Hannah Montana is on in our house more than I care to acknowledge, but such is life when your wife, er, I mean, your seven-year-old is a manic Disney Channel fan. It’s actually a pretty funny show, although it doesn’t hold a candle to Cory in the House. (You just can’t beat White House chase scenes with Benny Hill-style music.)
But this show could not have turned the now-besieged Miley Cyrus into a teen-pop phenomenon, and thus a “role model” if viewers of the show – and I mainly mean parents – could keep the whole thing in perspective.
Fifteen-year-old Miley is catching heat for posing in some rather suggestive photos by celebrity photographer Annie Leibovitz, including one in which she is topless but covering herself with a sheet.
Yeah, I said she’s 15. What do you think will happen when her father, erstwhile mullet legend Billy Ray Cyrus, finds out? Oh yeah, that’s right. He was there for the photo shoot. He was even in a couple of the photos. That’s one American parent who’s not beside himself over it. Unfortunately, he might be the only one.
Miley is all the rage because her TV show is all the rage, and it has created a persona so powerful that it inspired parents on her recent concert tour to pay scalpers upwards of $2,000 for tickets. Supposedly, kids can’t get enough of Miley. Then again, maybe it’s that parents are so bought into her G-rated image that it’s they who can’t get enough.
It’s true, it appears, that if you watch TV long enough you will perceive fantasy and reality turning each other inside out.
Here’s the premise, if you’re uninitiated: The character Miley Stewart, still a year or two short of her driver’s license, is an ordinary kid by day, but lives the secret identity of pop star Hannah Montana by night. This is all managed by her dad Robby Ray (played by the ubiquitous Billy Ray), and only a tiny number of people know Miley’s secret – school chums Lily and Oliver, brother Jackson, her grandmother, “Aunt Dolly,” on-again, off-again boyfriend Jake, redneck Uncle Earl . . . Come to think of it, who doesn’t know she’s Hannah Montana?
Well there’s always that annoying social studies teacher who lives in his mother’s basement.