Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Note to the rest of the cast of HSM:

That is how you belt.

Shame we can't see any of the dancing, huh?

Monday, March 23, 2009

It's such a fun and natural sight

You might recall that when we watched Camp Rock, we were most disappointed in Alyson Stoner, who we love, and who was just as awful in that movie as everyone and everything else. But we do not blame Alyson, no. We realize that Camp Rock is a void of suckitude from which no talent can possibly escape. And to prove that Alyson is actually good at things when not surrounded by Jonii, we offer this:

Yes, it's for Space Buddies, a movie I would rather chew glass than watch. And yes, the choreography is fairly goofy (my favorite is the heel click towards the end). But Alyson is so adorable! And she is such a good dancer! (Before her stint on The Suite Life, she was best known as "the girl from the Missy Elliott videos.") And hey, she can actually sing pretty well, which I did not know!

Oh, Alyson. You're back in my heart. Aw, heck, you know you never really left.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Terms of ensearchment

Every so often we look through the search terms that have brought people to the Wasteland here. Usually these are questions, and so, being the kind soul that I am, I have decided to answer some of them for those hapless Googlers:

“selena gomez baby pictures”
Try anything taken within the past couple of days, and crop out everything but her face. You’ll get the general idea.

“why high school musical ryan kilt?”

“what is the worst thing about high school”
Man, how long do you have?

“does zach efron have freckles?”
If by “freckles,” you mean “toolish wool caps,” then yes!

“jason earles tank top”
Please, no. Unless this is a tank top you can purchase for ladies that has his face on it, in which case I would like twelve, please.

And, to the half-dozen or so search terms we get each week wondering if Ryan Evans is gay: yes. Yes, he is.

I hope you all feel edified!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Zac Efron Wool Cap Watch: 7 to Start

Really, Zac? A hat and a hood? Do you think that is NECESSARY?

Clearly, something must be done. And just having a whole category devoted to stupic pictures of Zac Efron isn't enough. So now, we here at Tweenage are proud to present The Zac Efron Wool Cap Watch.

If you look over to the right-hand sidebar, you'll see we've started compiling a list of Zef's various ill-advised wool caps. And these are just the ones we're sure are unique, though some of them he wears quite a bit. If you happen to know of one we missed, you are welcome to contribute! Feel free to leave us a comment with a link, or drop us an e-mail so we can add it.

Hoodie pic source

How so cute, children? HOW?

This picture was just too adorable not to post. I just want to pinch their widdle cheeks.

PS, Sandwich Boy, I'm fond of you, but please do not look to Zef for fashion cues. That way madness lies. And by "madness" in this context, I mean "toolishness."

From here.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

When you're a Jet you're the swingin'est thing

Vanity Fair just posted a series of photos celebrating the return of West Side Story to Broadway. It's a lovely photoshoot, pitch-perfect to the 1961 movie version, but Broadway isn't really our shtick here at Tweenage, no matter how many times I try to trick Becky into making it so. So why am I reposting this picture here?

Well, it's hard to see at this size and so I urge you to click on the picture and see it at full size (or check out the original photoshoot), but the blonde in the blue dress, dead center, is our beloved Tizz, and the goofily grinning Jet third from the right is our beloved (okay, my beloved - Becky doesn't care) Drake Bell. We've also got borderline-tweenish stars like Ben Barnes (Prince Caspian), Sean Faris (he starred in my guilty pleasure movie Yours, Mine, and Ours with Drake Bell and Miranda Cosgrove), Robert "RPattz" Pattinson (Twilight, poor thing), and Brittany Snow (Hairspray), plus Minka Kelly from our beloved (okay, Becky's beloved - I don't care) Friday Night Lights. So it's relevant! Or at least relevant enough to give me an excuse to post this pretty, pretty picture.

Image from Vanity Fair, obvs. Hat tip to Friend Mackenzie.

Monday, March 16, 2009


Warning: Spoilers below!

Here at Tweenage, we love Emily Osment, Phil Lewis, Jason Earles, and David Henrie (and can theoretically tolerate Moises Arias when he’s not playing the despicable Rico on Hannah Montana), so we were very excited about Dadnapped. We shouldn’t have been.

Dadnapped is about a girl (Emily) whose horrible father is a hugely famous writer, best known for a series of books about a teen James Bond character named Trip Zoome. Yeah, I know. This wasn’t terribly clear in the movie, but apparently the horrible father used to be a dentist? And Trip…is also one? Maybe? So his catchphrase is “Floss!” which…is idiotic.

Anyway, Emily and her (divorced) horrible dad are going off on a camping trip that Emily has been stoked for for weeks, but in Horrible Dad’s life, Trip comes first, so they have to stop at a Trip Zoome convention before the camping can begin. Horrible Dad brings a life-sized cardboard cutout of Trip on the trip (ha!) with them (and are these movies, too? Who is this boy who is the face of Trip Zoome? It’s not clear), and Emily is so frustrated with Trip’s place in her father’s heart that she has conversations with the cardboard cutout, which becomes sassier and less tied to its cardboard identity as the movie goes on. I actually thought this was a really interesting, ambitious concept, but everyone else in the room hated it (I’m also the only one who liked the movie’s title). It’s okay. There’ll be plenty of things we all agreed to hate together later.

So there’s this contest at the convention: whoever creates a Trip gadget with the most accuracy wins a cameo in the next Trip book. This is basically an excuse for all the lunatics at the convention to engage in a lot of insane slapstick stunts while Emily rolls her eyes. Man, people who read are so weird and nerdy! But the people who take it way too far are David Henrie, his little brother Moises, and their wacky black friend who doesn’t do anything, because that is how DCOMs roll. They actually kidnap Horrible Dad, which is a problem for Phil Lewis and his inexplicably white brother, the Poor Man’s Janitor from Scrubs, because they also want to kidnap Horrible Dad.

Emily takes off to rescue Horrible Dad with the help of Jason Earles, the hotel manager, and let me just say, Disney, that if you want to maintain the illusion that Jason Earles is a teenager and not 30something so that he can keep playing Jackson on Hannah Montana, you can’t also use him in movies where he plays a grownup. Like, we were all aware watching this movie that the man is not seventeen and is in fact old as the hills, but it was still unsettling. It’s gonna weird kids out.

So Emily and Jason Earles, and Phil Lewis and the PMJFS, are trailing D-Hen, Moises, and Wacky Black Friend, while Horrible Dad tries to convince them to let him go back to the con. They refuse, because they think that the more they torture Horrible Dad, the more likely he is to put them in his book. There is something wrong with their brains. Then he points out that all the Trip Zoome books they’re using as reference are overdue library books, and they are shocked - shocked! - to discover that library books can be overdue and they can charge you fines. Even though at least D-Hen is, like, 17. And wouldn’t diehard Trip fans own the books, anyway?

So they rush off to the library to return the books (oh noes, a nickel-a-day fine, their kryptonite!), and Horrible Dad decides to show them a Trip trick instead of, you know, returning to the convention or assuring his daughter that he’s all right. They cut out the inside of a book (because libraries want you to pay fines for late books, but they’re totally cool with you destroying the books inside the library) and place a mousetrap (no, I don’t know where they got it from) inside it, rigged with some blue goo, with Horrible Dad explaining that the next librarian who opens it will get a nasty surprise. It was at this point that Becky’s sister Rachel reminded us that librarians and dentists have been feuding for centuries, so this totally made sense.

Emily enters the library, sees them putting the book on the shelf and then hiding (because they apparently believe that out of all of the books in the entire library, a librarian will chose that one to open right away), and rather than go get her stupid dad and return to the convention, she decides to open the book – and gets a faceful of blue goo. Horrible Dad laughs his ass off, because he’s horrible. It’s cool, though, the minute she walks out of the library the goo is gone.

Horrible Dad follows her out, and this is where Phil Lewis and the PMJFS make their play, forcing Horrible Dad into their van by threatening him with a stapler. Seriously, a stapler. Emily, loath to lose her dad again, sticks her wrist in the cuffs they’re putting on him, handcuffing them together. (Which hand is handcuffed to which, whether they’re handcuffed together or separately, and whether they’re handcuffed at all will not be remotely consistent for the rest of the movie. Just FYI.) Then they both get into the van, despite the fact that their kidnappers can do no more than yell “Get in the van!” and wave a stapler at them.

Phil Lewis and the PMJFS’s brilliant plan? The PMJFS has written a terrible book, and they want Horrible Dad to edit/ghost write it. At gunstaplerpoint. Yes. I’ll just let you mull over that stupidity for a moment.

Meanwhile, D-Hen, Moises, and Wacky Black Friend try to rescue them, but their van breaks, I forget why. But Emily leaves a clue for them in a gas station restroom – a page from a Trip Zoome book, with the word “presidential” circled in lip gloss. They’re going back to the hotel, where they’re staying in the Presidential Suite. Because the best place to hide a famous author is in a hotel hosting a convention of his fans. Yep.

As they travel around with their incompetent kidnappers, Emily and Horrible Dad have it out. She asks why he’s never put her in any of his books, which is the wrong question to ask, but whatever (try “Why don’t you ever have time for me?” or “Why is your career more important than your own daughter?” or “How can you possibly be so horrible, Horrible Dad?”). He tells her that the characters in his books are nothing like her – they’re dynamic, accomplished, interesting people. He actually says this! And doesn’t know why she starts crying! Then he’s pretty much shocked that she knows how to read. So horrible, Horrible Dad! Emily accuses him of not knowing anything about her, yelling at him that he doesn't even know she won a local writing contest. He gets all proud and asks her, "You like writing? You won a contest?" but, crying angrily, she says, "Two years in a row, Dad." An actual well-written, well-acted emotional moment! Good job, Ems!

It turns out that Jason Earles is part of this whole plan. Shocker! (Not really.) Also, his private suite is pretty much the gayest Disney Channel living quarters since Cody moved into the closet on The Suite Life. Shocker! (Still not really.) He doesn’t give a shit about the PMJFS’s book, of course; he just wants a manuscript by Horrible Dad that he can market as Horrible Dad’s last book – after he kills Horrible Dad. Of course, it would make much more sense to simply steal the next Trip Zoome manuscript, but this is the Disney Channel.

Somehow, possibly through telepathy, Emily has conveyed some Triptastic (yes, they use that word) plot to D-Hen that involves…all of the fans dressing up weird and filling squirt guns with goo? Jason locks her in the bathroom, so she uses various bathroom supplies to write a giant Z on the shower curtain and hangs it out the window, which is somehow the signal, even though she didn’t know she’d be locked in the bathroom. The fans start yelling, and when Jason sticks his head out the window, they all shoot him with the most powerful squirt guns in the world and cover him with goo.

Of course, this means that the kidnappers have to flee the hotel, because goo! They grab Horrible Dad and Emily, but every time they try to exit, fans squirt them with more goo! Including Horrible Dad and Emily, because the fans aren’t terribly discriminating! Finally, Jason has been squirted with so much goo that he gives up. No, I don’t understand it either.

Also, somewhere in here Horrible Dad tells Emily that Trip Zoome is based on her. Even though he already explicitly stated that she is not in his books because she is boring to him. NO, I DON’T UNDERSTAND IT EITHER.

Back at the convention, Horrible Dad awards D-Hen, Moises, and Wacky Black Friend the prize. D-Hen and Emily exchange numbers, and Emily and Horrible Dad head off to go camping. Hooray!

I read a lot about good production values on this movie, and you know, they were pretty good. And the acting wasn’t bad, especially since they cherry-picked almost all of the better actors of their flagship shows. And the basic premise of "bad father learns to be less bad, and gets to know his daughter via wacky hijinks" is pretty solid. But it fell down in execution pretty badly. Nothing could save the utterly brain-numbing nonsense of the plot, not even Emily Osment’s kicky red coat and frequent eye-rolling.

So in conclusion: D-Hen and Emily, it’s a good thing you’re cute.

Image from the superlative Emily Osment World.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Think Long and Hard...

Odd trend spotted in recent kidcoms: the prevalence of brothers who are either coded strongly as gay (Cody Martin, Josh Nichols, Justin Russo) or who end up in weirdly homoerotic situations (Jackson Stewart, Spencer Shay). Jess has promised to someday write a thoughtful post on the matter, but in the mean time, we've put up a brand new poll. So: look to the right-hand sidebar, and pick your favorite kidcom gay brother. (Those of you on the LJ feed will need to mosey on over to the actual blog for this, of course.)

And yes, I apologize for the entry title.

Speaking of polls, our previous (which is your favorite "Troy is having a nervous breakdown" song?) has concluded, with Bet On It juuuuust edging out Scream, 47 votes to 44, both rating much higher than Get'Cha Head in the Game and its inappropriate apostrophe.

Oh, yes, Vanessa. Let's.

So I just caught the trailer for Bandslam, the new movie starring Vanessa Hudgens and Aly Michalka, of Aly & AJ/Phil of the Future fame:

Is there anything funnier than seeing Vanessa Hudgens yell "Let's. Start. SHREDDING!"?

Possibly only seeing her "rock out" on a Bread song. A Bread song that was also covered by Nsync.

Oh, wait, there's a third option! How about seeing her pretend to play the guitar? That's pretty good, too.

In conclusion: poor Lisa Kudrow. Lady, you've got Friends money! You don't need this crap!

Of course, I am totally seeing this movie the minute it hits theaters. Shut up.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

I can't help but smile

Official cover for "So Close," Jennette McCurdy's new single

My deep and true love of Jennette McCurdy is well documented, so you can imagine that I was quite excited when Becky told me she was releasing a single today. Jennette is hands-down the best actor on iCarly, and "iDream of Dance" made it clear that she is also a fantastic, trained dancer. (She's also a figure skater and a versatile writer, not to mention deeply adorable, but let's stick with showbiz for now.) Could she possibly be a triple threat? Could my musical-loving heart take such glory?

The single, "So Close," is out, and the answers to those questions are YES, SHE TOTALLY IS and YES, BUT JUST BARELY.

I'm not linking to a YouTube video because I want you to go to iTunes or the music emporium of your choice and buy it, but if you must sample the goods, it's there. Holy cats, gang. Jennette can belt. No twittery songbird here! She really gets a strong, full sound in there, but unlike some of her cohort who just yell across the song and call it music (I'm looking at you, Demi), she knows when to ease off a bit and give the song some variation and emotion. On top of that, it's a really fun, strummy country jamboree than had me and my roommate bouncing all over the apartment. Always a good sign!

Seriously, someone sign this girl up for Broadway. And a movie musical with Lucas Grabeel (omgtooexcitingtoevendiscuss!). I will say again what I've said at least a dozen times in the past 24 hours: Jennette McCurdy is my hero. I want to be her when I grow down.

Monday, March 9, 2009

My, My, My, My Mitchel

The cover of Mitchel Musso's upcoming album:

Ally Sheedy in The Breakfast Club:

Don't worry, Sandwich Boy, I'm sure you can find a nice jock to take you to prom.

[Mitchel pic source; Ally Sheedy pic source. Largely unrelated, give yourself a pat on the pack if you know the post title reference.]

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Mitchel Musso, Sandwich Boy

We’re down with Mitchel Musso here at Tweenage. He just seems to be some guy, like maybe Hannah Montana was originally conceived, pitched, and written with only one best friend for Miley, and it was only when they started filming that they realized that they’d forgotten to give her the Disney-mandated best friends of each gender, and Mitchel happened to be on the set, delivering sandwiches for the local deli or something, and got the job. I can see it now: the cast and crew in a panic, scripts flying everywhere, Billy Ray clinging to his own hair for comfort. Mitchel pulls up on his motorized scooter, possibly wearing a visor that says “Musso’s Meats” or something.

Producer: Dammit, how could you let this happen? You know what Walt said before they froze him! Every Disney Channel show protagonist must have a best friend of each gender! Hilary Duff got it, Shia LaBeouf got it, why don’t you get it?

Mitchel: Sandwich delivery!

Writer: I’m sorry! I don’t know how this happened! Please stop hitting me!

Mitchel: I got turkey, I got cheese, I got what looks like chicken parm…

Producer: I will hit you until you find me a twelve-year-old boy of inoffensive charm! Preferably goofy-looking!

Mitchel: This one says no onions. Who had the no onions?

Writer: But where am I supposed to…hey. How about that kid?

Mitchel: Man, if no one claims this, I’m just gonna eat it.

Producer: The kid with the weird hair?

Writer: Yeah. No one on the show has weird hair yet. Well, except Billy Ray.

Billy Ray: *sobs*

Mitchel: Pastrami on rye! I got pastrami on rye!

Producer: Hey, kid!

Mitchel: Yeah?

Producer: You want to be on TV?

Mitchel: …with the pastrami on rye?

Producer: Sure, whatever.

Mitchel: Um, okay.

And a star was born!

(Courtesy of my baby sister, this mental image: “Who ordered the sub with olives?” “Olives…olives…Oliver! Poryes, you magnificent bastard, you’ve done it again!”*)

My extremely long-winded point is that basically, he’s just a dude, albeit a dude with hair that pretty much defies description. And he does have a sort of goofy-looking inoffensive charm, and he’s not actually a bad actor or singer. And his blog, Moments with Mitchel, is simultaneously the most adorable and most hilarious thing I have ever read (he signs every post with an inexplicably hyphenated all-caps “PEACE-OUT!” and I just want to give him a cookie and tell him he did good on the internets).

But since almost every post we do here includes an embedded YouTube video or a stupid picture of Zac Efron, and stupid pictures of Zac Efron, while hilarious, are irrelevant here, I must share with you Mitchel’s new music video:

I have a post planned on the actual subject matter of the song, so let’s leave that aside for now. And I am still at a loss to explain or define Mitchel’s hair (suggestions are welcome!), so we’ll leave that aside as well.

But Mitchel. Honey bunch sweetie pie. You are not a rock star! Don’t feel bad, I say that to Miley all the time (Pop star =/ rock star, Cyrus. Learn it, live it.). But dude, lighten up, remove the ludicrous neckerchief and boots, and stop throwing up the horns!

I will say that I do like that the Television Nerd Who Actually Looks More Like a Williamsburg Hipster Girl gets the various high school clich├ęs around her to smile by just being her goofy self. And then gets to…stand with Mitchel in his stumpifying boots (Mitchel! The Fug Girls are not happy with you!) while they all…um, resolutely face a…thing? Whatever, it’s basically cute.

But Mitchel, I like you so much more when you seem like you’re in on the joke. And here (and, tragically, here), you really, really don’t.

(Also, I know it’s been done before, but that blank white set reminds me of nothing so much as JC Chasez’s indescribably hysterical “All Day Long I Dream About Sex (With You)” video, which I never want to think about in the context of Mitchel Musso ever again.)

*Michael Poryes, co-creator of Hannah Montana. Yes, I looked up the show’s creator to make that joke. That is the kind of dedication you can expect here at Tweenage Wasteland.

Friday, March 6, 2009

If I never see the Sprouse brothers sucking yogurt again, it will be too soon

1. So, like, when did the Sprouses' voices change? Because I'm not okay with it. It throws off my whole view of the world!

2. Horrified and intrigued by these vocal variations, I YouTubed a random episode of The Suite Life on Deck, which I have never seen, and linked Becky to it. Now, we've tried to make it clear before on this blog that we are not, in fact, the same person, but I'm suddenly afraid that might be a big lie.

Jess: I just put on an episode of Suite Life on Deck to see if their voices have changed there too
Jess: And Cody is GAYING IT UP. I know you are shocked.
Jess: "Don't worry, I went with the musk hand sanitizer."
Becky: well, he is reeeeally gay
Becky: wow, their dad is inappropriate
Jess: Isn't he the grossest?
Becky: aaand Carrie is wicked inappropriate, too
Jess: Hee, I was just about to say!
Jess: Oh, Moseby.
Becky: awww, Moseby
Becky: aww, London!
Jess: AHAHAHA "What size pony do you ride?"
Becky: "I'll give you the best birthday ever! ... What size pony do you ride?"
Becky: " the way, you're the only one who accepts them."
Jess: HEE
Becky: are they planning to drive that around...the...boat?
Jess: Why did their father buy them a tiny car TO DRIVE ON A BOAT
Jess: We are freaks
Becky: braintwinny freaks!
Jess: I will not be watching any more of this episode, btw
Jess: It is dreadful
Becky: nor will I!
Jess: My whole brain just keeps screaming "BUT THEY'RE ON A BOAT"
Becky: WHY are they on a BOAT?

So apparently we are one entity, split among two bodies for purposes unknown. At least when it comes to the Sprouse twins.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Who would've thought that a girl like me would double as a superstar?

I just realized I never got around to reviewing the latest Miley Cyrus album, Breakout. Whoopsies! Since it’s way too late to be anything like a timely review, I’m going to do a retrospective instead and review the first Hannah Montana soundtrack. We shall follow in later posts with Hannah Montana 2: Meet Miley Cyrus and Breakout, and, eventually, the inevitable Hannah Montana 3 and the movie soundtrack (omg how excited are you?)!!!

Now, the thing I like most about Miley is her voice. She has power and range and pitch, which is, sadly, more than you can say for most of the other Disney girls churning out albums. But she also has a very distinctive voice. Most of her peers have variations on a chirpy, squeaky soprano (Vanessa Hudgens, Emily Osment, Selena Gomez, Miranda Cosgrove, Aly and AJ, and Tizz, to name a few). Some do it better than others, but it’s a very definite and omnipresent type.

But Miley doesn’t sound like that. And it's not just that her voice is richer and more mature, although it is both of those things. It’s…smoky with a metallic tang; it’s coppery. I considered likening it to scraping charred barbecue sauce off a hot grill with your teeth, but I thought “coppery” sounded nicer. (I swear, the whole barbecue sauce thing is a compliment.)

The point is, regardless of the stupidity of any particular song (and she has sung some real clunkers in her time, let me tell you), I enjoy the experience of listening to her. And though her voice wasn’t as strong on this first album as it would eventually grow to be, it’s still leaps and bounds ahead of the competitors’.

So let’s get to the music itself. First off, there’s the triumvirate of songs about her double life: “The Best of Both Worlds,” “Just Like You,” and “The Other Side of Me.” These are all, essentially, the same song: “It’s really you but no one ever discovers/ So what you see is only half the story, there’s another side of me/ I’m just like anybody else, can’t you tell?” I mean, they’re all pretty good songs, so I’ve got no beef with the repetition of the theme. The only thing worth noting is that I can’t hear “The Best of Both Worlds” without picturing the opening credits to the show. It’s barely a song to me anymore. It’s just a Pavlovian cue for poorly-acted shenanigans.

I also enjoy the Girl Power diptych, “Who Said” and “I Got Nerve.” I do prefer the former, as “I Got Nerve” kind of doesn’t make any sense (“Electrified/ I’m on a wire/ Getting together and we’re on fire…Don’t close/ Your mind/ The words I use are open.” What?). And I love the slightly bizarre choice in “Who Said” of “Who said I can’t be Superman?” instead of “Supergirl,” not to mention the presidential aspirations and “every girl has a choice.” It’s a fun, bouncy song that makes me want to dance, with a good message to boot. A+!

I’m glad that there is only one Miley-sung song that could really be classified as a love song, considering that a) Miley was tiny when she recorded these, and b) the target audience is eight. That said, “If We Were a Movie” is definitely my favorite song on the album, and one of my favorite Miley songs, period. I love the rollicking rhythm to it, but I also have a lifelong weakness for the “girl in love with best guy friend” trope. Too much Some Kind of Wonderful at a formative age, I guess. (Second favorite: “This Is The Life.” The mellow beat and delivery pleases me.)

“Pumping Up the Party” bores me to tears. And I never listen to the non-Miley songs on this album, except now that I’m reviewing it. Listening to them now, I think I made the right choice to completely ignore them, especially since one of them is by Jesse McCartney, and you know how I feel about him. And finally, “I Learned From You,” the Miley/Billy Ray duet, is deeply cheesy, but as deeply cheesy power ballads go, it’s not bad.

Final verdict? The contents of the album are decent bubblegum pop, but nothing to write home about. The only thing that makes this album extraordinary is Miley’s voice, which wouldn’t be used to its full potential for another year. Stay tuned!