Saturday, July 25, 2009

My Life: So Hard!

Some days, it's really hard to write posts for this blog. You have to find something ridiculous that a tween star did, said, or wore recently; you have to look through Youtube for silly videos; you need to subject yourself to super over-produced pop music; you need to spend the time to find ludicrous pictures and then write jokes about them.

Other days, Zac Efron talks to the press, and makes everything really, really easy.

Zac Efron in Showbiz Spy, via Rachel:

"On a normal day," Efron told a British magazine, "I'm usually out of the shower and ready to go in a couple of minutes. I'm not a naturally groomed guy."

No kidding! Oh, do go on.

"Someone said to me that guys are trying to copy my hairstyle, but to be honest, this hairstyle is derived from laziness. I wake up and go -- that's it. There's no product in it, nothing.
"If you really want your hair to look good, just don't wash it for a day. That's my secret."

But Zef, we already know that! Please, give us something new to giggle at.

"In high school there were guys who were really tall, there were burly guys on the football team who looked like my dad -- and then there was me, who looked like a little kid. I was a late bloomer," he said.

Wait for it…

"I actually rocked a pubescent mustache for a while. It was so unattractive."


Click here for a Tweenage Wasteland exclusive picture of Zef's mustachioed years! Or a reasonable approximation there of, anyway.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

A Saturday Night Watching "Wizards on Deck With Hannah Montana"

So the thing is, my sister Rachel does not care about the Disney Channel or tween things. Really. That's why she was the one who initially talked me into watching HSM, and why she watched Camp Rock with us last summer, and why she not only Tivoed Princess Protection Program when I forgot to do it, but actually watched it. And why she TiVoed "Wizards on Deck With Hannah Montana" for me.

So now I am making her watch it! Fun times.

-Alex has dropped from 10 assignments behind to 14 assignments behind in science
Rachel: They only get one assignment a week?

-Justin: "It's ironic that the person who likes school the least…Has to go the most!"
Becky: I like that Gay Older Brother is kind of a dick.

- Parents: "We'll make you go and see all the fun they're having, and then you'll feel bad about yourself! … That's good parenting, right?"
Becky: It's still better than the mom on "The Suite Life."

-Justin: "Look, it's from the teen cruise contest I wrote an essay for!"
Rachel: "Watch while I casually exposit!"

Aboard the SS Tipton…
-Moseby: *is wearing shorts and knee socks*
Both of us: Aaaaaaah!

-Slightly Better Sprouse: *is wearing skinny jeans*
Both of us: Aaaaaaaaaaah!

-Alex: *casts a spell*
Becky: Did she just rhyme "here" with "here"? And why is that an elevator to take them to shore?

-Youngest Russo: "It's one of those clocks for people on to tell the time in their bodies!"
Rachel: Is he brain damaged? Like, actually?

-Slightly Worse Sprouse: "So I hear you're randomly taking people's blood pressure. I'm Zack."
Rachel: That is the best introduction ever.

-Alex: "Ashley Olsen. I can remember that. Ashley… Oh, no. Oh, well!"
Rachel: I think all the Russo children are brain dead!

-Justin: *spit takes*
-London: "That's how you know you're full!"
Rachel: There is no explanation for that line.

Becky: So basically, youngest Russo is just Zack Martin.
Rachel: But somehow dumber.

-Justin: "I'm gonna dump her."
-Alex: "Can I watch?"
-Justin: "I'm not. Going. To cry."
Rachel: Wow, he's a much better actor than this show really calls for.

-Justin: "Would you… Would you go out with a guy who worked in a sandwich shop, and wrote… Stories, and essays…"
Rachel: And fanfic, I'm guessing?

-Not!Tizz (Bailey): *wears horrible yellow pants*
Rachel: OW, MY EYES!

-SBS: *wears white skinny jeans*
Rachel: REALLY????

Rachel: Is it D-Hen's only job to walk around saying angry things? Because I will actually watch that show.

-Miley: *wears purple satin pants*
Rachel: How are EVERYONE'S PANTS worse than the last pair I saw?

-Justin: *takes his shirt off*
Becky: I find the fact that D-Hen is actually ripped really disconcerting.
-Justin: *is now covered in blue*
Rachel: You could just take off the latex suit.

-Justin: "This is Alex, I know my sister!"
-Moseby: "This is Zack, I know my hooligan!"
Becky: Awww, Zack is his hooligan.

-The show: *makes no sense*
Rachel: It's sort of like a middle school play.

-Zack: "Isn't there something you'd like to say to me? That rhymes with 'I'm … florry?'"
-Moseby: "You're flannoying?"
Rachel: I thought he was going to say, "You're a bad rhymer."

-Youngest Russo: "I'm never going to wash that cheek again."
Rachel: What, no "You've never washed that cheek before!" joke? How do you miss that beat?!

-"Hannah Montana" episode: *is unwatchably boring*
Becky: Why is the Hannah Montana episode so much less manic? And more dull?
-Suite Life characters: *all enter*
Becky: That actually improves things.
Rachel: Where did the Wizard kids go?

-Zack: "I've got chocolate shirtcake!"
-Hannah: "I don't like chocolate."
-Zack: "That's okay. I've got vanilla in my pants pocket…"

Rachel: Who's that other kid? … Wait, that's Oliver in a stupid wig. Why so many stupid wigs on this show?

Rachel: I like how it's clear Billy Ray just couldn't be bothered to go to the set to film and that's why all of his scenes are in bed.

-Not!Tizz: "Did you do this?"
-Cody: "Bailey, if this relationship doesn't have honesty, it doesn't have anything. … Yes, I did."
Rachel: See, it's funny because he's lying to his girlfriend.

Becky: Well… that was dull.
Rachel: Instead of going wacky, they tried for pathos. On "Hannah Montana."

In conclusion…

Rachel: So Slightly Better Sprouse is dead in the middle of his awkward phase, huh?
Becky: For five years now.

The end!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A fervent prayer

According to Just Jared Jr. (my faviest blog in the world, at least for tweeny things), Tizz has gotten a tattoo. But no one knows what it says! This here is our closest look at it so far:

please say Bet On It please say Bet On It PLEASE SAY BET ON IT

Friday, July 10, 2009

Princess Protection Program (Warning: exclamation points abound!)

So. The Princess Protection Program. How to describe this movie? Hmmm. Let's try this: the best thing about this movie is Demi Lovato's acting. Wow. But, to be fair, if you don't care about things like how monarchies function, or international relations, or government agencies, or basically anything remotely resembling the actuality of princesses (or, you know, plot) it's actually quite enjoyable! Once you accept that nothing makes any sense and just go with it, it's a sort of charming tale of the surprisingly likeable girls developing a friendship. And I actually kind of enjoyed it.

Okay, so here goes. We tune in on, miraculously, not the last day of school, but rather on Selena Gomez and her Creepy Pageant Baby Face, working at a bait shop in the Louisiana Bayou. She gives away some free bait to a guy named Donny, who I will be referring to as McDoucherson, because he is a ginormous douche. This is made apparent immediately: Selena gives him the bait because a) she is Totes In Love with him, but also because b) he agreed to give her a ride to school. Even though he doesn't know her name (it's Carter, because she's a tom boy, and tom boys always have boy names, see?). But McDoucherson's girlfriend, a bitchy Asian girl named Chelsea (no, really, Disney, you aren't subverting stereotypes by making every Asian character a villain) has her dress in McDoucherson's car, and won't move it to give Selena room, and McDoucherson shrugs and drives off EVEN THOUGH THEY HAD A DEAL. So they (along with Chelsea's nervous sidekick) speed off, and Selena calls them spoiled princesses, which is a wacky bit of foreshadowing because gosh! Soon she's going to have to deal with a real princess! Clever! Or, wait, the other thing, where it isn't clever, just awkward dialogue.

Anyway. Selena's dad has to go out on a mysterious mission for two days. He promises "it's a routine op" and he'll be fine.

MEANWHILE! In the small country of Costa Luna, Princess Demi Lovato is practicing for her coronation in a month. While she chatters with her swishy gay sidekick/dress designer Mr. Elagante, her mom exposits that since her husband passed away, only Demi can become queen of Costa Luna, or, as I will call it henceforth (based on the accents of everyone who appears in this scene), Fakeonia. So Demi might get in trouble, and someone named General Kane might try and attack her, but (gasp!) Selana's dad is there to protect her!

You know, because really, you hire the most body guards for the practice coronation, a month before the real event. But I guess that is when trouble happens, because right as a helpful old man in generic religious garb goes to place the tiara on Demi's head, gasp! The general shows up! And he throws a sword through the tiara and starts a food fight! That means he is totes the dictator now, and so Selana's dad grabs Demi and drags her off, because surely an American soldier kidnapping the princess of a sovereign nation won't be any kind of international incident. (Meanwhile, Mr. Elegante is dragged off by soldiers, and smirks a little bit, which is so very inappropriate, Disney Channel.) And even though Demi and Selena's dad take, like, 15 minutes to leave, and walk right in front of some enemy soldiers without anyone bothering them or trying to stop their helicopter from taking off, for some reason Demi's mom has to stay behind. But the general doesn't kill her (or even, as far as we see, imprison her -- he makes reference to it, but every time she shows up she's wearing a ball gown with her hair done, so that's some special prison Kane has, I guess). Because that's totally not something you want to do when you overthrow a country.

Note to self: start working on that "Become Empress of Everything" plan a bit more seriously, because you are smarter than this villain, and apparently, no one will try to stop you. Not as long as you throw chocolate sauce on people, anyway, I guess.

Here's the weird thing, though; Demi actually kind of pulls of scared and sad but still dignified and trying to hold her shit together in this scene. Which isn't "generically happy" and thus much more complex than anything she has ever conveyed before. Go, Demi?

So Selena's dad takes Demi to a top-secret facility, which is the headquarters of the Princess Protection Program, where they do nothing but hide exiled princesses. (Apparently, there are 29 princesses currently being protected, because this whole "throw your sword through a tiara and stage a coup" thing is pretty common, I guess. And there are, like, 15 princesses wandering around trying on new clothes and such in the background.) They give Demi a makeover so she'll look like a normal girl, which involves trimming her bangs a little and unbraiding her hair.

This is also the scene where it becomes clear that whoever wrote the movie confused "regal" with "robotic" dialogue, because Demi isn't allowed to use any contractions. Her delivery is dead flat most of the time, but that's at least as much the dialogue's fault as it is hers, but it makes her sound more like Summer Glau Terminator character than anything else. Anyway, they send her off with Selena's dad to go into hiding… Disguised as Selena's cousin! Wacky!

Back on the bayou, Selena chatters with her bus driver, who's the prostitute from My Name Is Earl, which is mildly disconcerting. She and Demi run into each other and it's wacky hijinks! Selena doesn't want to share her room! Demi is afraid of lizards! Selena's a tom boy! Demi wears dresses! It's like the odd couple, but really stupid!

So without bothering to enroll or anything, Demi now goes to Selena's school. They get off the bus and meet Zach from Sky High, who continues with his traditional role of being That Kind of Tall Guy, who is, for some reason, filming Selena (and I guess some other girls) because of homecoming? Okay. McDoucherson is a douche to Demi until he discerns that she's hot, and Demi sticks out like a sore thumb because she speaks French in French class. (Fair enough; I took high school French and never actually learned a word. On the other hand, even I can tell that her accent is terrible.) But for all people are totally mean to her because she does crazy things like use a napkin and a fork when she eats her hamburger, the dudes all think she's hot, so Chelsea decides she is competition that must be taken down. Some teacher announces that it's time to nominate girls for Homecoming Queen, to narrow it down to three -- the Princesses, if you will, GET IT??? -- with the final winner announced at the dance. Demi totally humiliates Selena by nominating her, not realizing that she's a tom boy, and everyone laughs. Because tom boys don't like dresses so they can't be Homecoming Princess because that would be ridiculous! Next thing you know, basketball players will be singing, or baking! Smart girls will pop'n'lock! Stoners will play the cello! Flamey drama boys will play baseball! Okay, I'll stop.

Demi remains plucky and upbeat even though Selena dislikes her; Selena agrees to try and be nice to her for her dad's sake. But Selena plays a mean trick on her by making her, um, count worms. So basically, Selena is playing the same character she always plays -- bitchy -- and Demi is… Again, surprisingly decent. It's a variant on her standard "look how nice I am! Please like me!" girl, but with a bit more, I can't believe I'm typing this, depth. And she's kind of… empathetic. And if you squint hard enough, you can see both characters' motivations. Demi and Selena play off each other pretty well. I kind of, like… Almost care about them and stuff. Girls fighting but then banding together to help each other out and becoming BFFs! It warms my cold, dead heart! Even though it's ludicrously bad.

Anyway, Demi and Selena finally make peace, so Selena takes Demi bowling. At the bowling alley, Zach from Sky High is adorable and tall, and McDoucherson is a douche. Demi turns out to be great at bowling, and all the boys think she's hot, and Selena is frustrated because her dad and McDoucherson and Zach from Sky High all suddenly like Demi best. But of course, and all the girls hate Demi because the boys like her (because girls only care about what boys think and consider one another strictly in terms of competition, you see) so they decide to prank her so she'll be humiliated and no one will vote for her for Homecoming Princess. Naturally, they start by pretending to be her friend (because girls are mean and scheming and are never actually really friends with each other; on a related note I AM SO FULL OF HATE FROM THIS PART OF THE PLOT. Well, "plot." WHATEVER, HATE.).

When Selena angrily tells Demi she should go get a job, Demi does so. Chelsea gets Demi hired at her father's frozen yogurt restaurant, where she is immediately put on duty, as the only one working, and she's never been trained, and OH MY GOD HAS NO ONE AT DISNEY EVER WORKED A JOB OF ANY KIND, EVER? Chelsea calls everyone to laugh at her and has some dude sabotage the machine, so the customers are mad and there's frozen yogurt everywhere! Heck, you could overthrow a small country that way! Selena comes to save the day, but not before Demi is humiliated, and Demi's moment of wounded dignity is actually… Surprisingly good (I know I keep saying that, but I keep being surprised). But the plan has backfired, because everyone thought Demi was pretty cool about the whole thing, so Chelsea starts scheming again.

Meanwhile, in Fakeonia! The General has an evil scheme to marry Demi's mom, but not for real, just to make sure Demi finds out about it. See, that'll lure Demi back into the country, so the General can then, um, exile her. Awesome plan, dude.

At school the next day, the three princesses are announced: Chelsea, Demi, and Selena! Because, see, Chelsea's plan backfired again! She told everyone to vote for Selena, not Demi, but instead they voted for Selena and Demi! ZOMG! And then McDoucherson asks out Demi. And, in a pretty awesome moment, she shuts him down flat. ("Oh. It is very kind of you to ask. But no. Excuse me.")

Selena is sad because McDoucherson doesn't like her, so Demi decides to make her feel like a princess by having her… Volunteer to read to children? Um, sure. Oh, and then they go on a wacky shopping trip! I liked this sequence better when it was in A Cinderella Story, but eventually they find perfect dresses for themselves. But at this point, Chelsea's nervous sidekick runs across a Spanish-language magazine with Demi on the cover, for some reason. And she immediately figures out that Demi is a princess! Like, she immediately figures it out without opening the magazine or reading the article or anything. Meanwhile, Selena's dad finds out about the General's evil plan, and Chelsea bosses around some nerdy girl we've never seen before. Nervous sidekick tells her about Demi. Chelsea then goes to blackmail Demi, but instead, just throws their dresses on some gravel. OH NOES, NOT GRAVEL! I mean, to be fair, there's a mud puddle, too, but on the other hand, they are on the freaking bayou and there is an enormous, muddy, algae-covered lake two feet away. The upshot is, how will Demi and Selena go to the dance if there is gravel on their dresses???

Somewhere around here, Demi finds out about her mother's fake marriage, and wants to go back to Fakeonia, but Selena makes her promise to stay through homecoming and hatches a wacky scheme. It mostly seems to involve calling Mr. Elegante and having him make them new dresses, and then giving makeovers to the various nerdy girls who've been wandering around in the background.

And then comes homecoming. Selena's big plan involves everyone wearing masks, except for when they're not, which is about 90% of the time. And so a long line of now-pretty, made-over nerdy girls walk past the boys, who of course are so captivated that no one notices when Chelsea's dress gets caught in a car and she starts screaming and her dress rips and she falls on the ground, LOL! (See, it's funny because boys only care about hot girls, and will totally ignore everything else when they see one, get it?) Inside, Selena dances with some freshman and McDoucherson walks over to her and asks her out. She shuts him down, because hey! He's a total douche! She points out to him that he only is asking her out because she's hot all dressed up -- but she's still the same tom boy she always was, and she's proud of who she is, and she deserves better than someone who can't even remember her name. I mean this non-sarcastically: It is AWESOME. And of course, in the bathroom, Chelsea continues her slow descent into madness, as her nervous sidekick finally ditches her. Chelsea runs outside and smack into, gasp, the general! He heads inside and kidnaps a now-re-bemasked Selena, mistaking her for Demi; thirty seconds later, Demi wins Homecoming Queen and goes up on stage. Good thing that dude doesn't look back, I guess. Also a good thing that everyone at the school was down with voting for a girl who doesn't even go there.

Demi gives a speech, with the camera right up her nose, but Selena is too busy being kidnapped to listen. Realizing Selena has vanished, Demi goes searching, but is interrupted by Chelsea, who freaks out and demands the homecoming crown, then falls in a pool. As you do when you're the villainess in a DCOM, I guess. Demi sees Selena and runs up to stop her, the general grabs Demi instead, and opens the door to his helicopter. But Selena's dad jumps out and accuses him of kidnapping! It's a sting! Except then he lectures Selena about doing something super dangerous, even though he had to have been in on it, so… huh? It's kind of the least climactic ending ever; no one actually gets kidnapped or even especially menaced, no one gets shot, and the villain goes without putting up a fight. Demi gives the crown to Selena, but a bedraggled Chelsea runs over and demands it. Selena laughs it off, because… Wacky!

And then, back in Fakeonia, everyone is happy and Demi is crowned. The end. So, in conclusion: it turns out princesses aren't just spoiled and superficial after all! They're actually nice and generous and hard working, and totally deserving of your love and respect! But if someone calls you a princess, it's totally an insult.

In closing, have Demi and Selena's music video. At your own risk, though. I am much more favorably disposed towards them as actresses than I was before watching the movie,* but that good will doesn't extend to their singing.

* Well, mostly towards Demi; I already enjoyed Selena quite a bit.

Image source.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

It's like bringing sexy back, except not. With a sandwich.

Jess: So apparently Mitchel Musso is legal today. You gonna go for that? I know you want to.
Becky: Ooooh, Mitchel.
Jess: With his pointy face and his Ally Sheedy hair...
Becky: You know, I appreciate that he's making awkward cool again.
Jess: Okay, I'm gonna go blog that now.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Bonnie: Right!

The Harry Potter kids count as tween stars, right? Well, I say they do.

I can remember when the trio was first cast, staring at these kids and gaping at how unbelievably young they looked. I mean, look at their little faces:

But they're growing up! Every time I pass a Half-Blood Prince poster I am startled by the sudden appearance of Man Felton. I'm still trying to get used to Man Radcliffe and Emma, who doesn't look like a grown-up quite yet but is maturing gracefully into a lovely older teen and proudly taking on the role of the one who always looks nicely put together while everyone else schlubs out confusedly. (Rupert, meanwhile, simply grows more Ruperty. This year he is Rupertier than ever.)

And, because Ginny is my favorite (no letters, please), I have paid especially close attention to Bonnie Wright, which is why I was especially disappointed in this:

OH BONNIE HONEY NO. A bagged-out long-sleeved black shirt, ill-fitting dark jeans, and inexplicably sandals? A necklace that adds nothing, plum lipstick, and a ponytail that makes me suspect you were actually jogging five minutes ago? You can do better! (So can Jessie Cave on the left there, but I don't actually have the strength to tackle that one.) She looks like me, circa 1999, on a drizzly April day when I had no clean clothing and a math test first period, but I had the excuse that it was 1999 and I wasn't attending a film premiere or whatever they're attending here. I can't help feeling like Emma is looking directly at me with that tired expression, saying "I know, Jess, I know. I tried to tell them! Stylists! Tailors!" Emma understands me.

So, of course, I was thrilled to see this:

OH BONNIE HONEY YES. This picture is ten miles of leg and ten miles of hair and ten miles of sass. I love it.

But the truly embarrassing thing is that as soon as I saw this picture, I actually said - out loud! - "See? You're such a pretty girl!"

So apparently, because I've watched her grow up, I think I am her mom.

In which case, I should probably tell her to stay away from Man Felton. That kid looks like trouble.*

*Not a commentary on Draco/Ginny, seriously, NO LETTERS I MEAN IT.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

"The Gay One"

Towleroad: The old joke is that absolutely every boy band has one gay member--

Nathaniel: [Laughs] Some have two!

So when Jess and I did our write up of V Factory, we were basically joking about Nathaniel being The Gay One. It's definitely an archetype, particularly in the post-Lance era, but we were basically saying that with absolutely nothing to back it up. (See also Thomas of Varsity Fanclub.)

But, turns out, we were right! We hadn't seen this interview yet, or reference to it on the official site or on the fansite we checked out, but sure 'nuff Nathaniel Flatt is gay and out.

Jess said awhile ago of 90s boyband Boyzone that it was kind of cool that, in their reunion, they had their The Gay One singing his ballad to a dude, but, "I mean, it's less groundbreaking than it would be if an up-and-coming boy band did it, but there are no up-and-coming boy bands (more's the pity, and no, the Jonas Brothers do not count), so I'll take what I can get." Well, now we've got an Official Boy Band Watch on officially, and we've got an up-and-coming group with an out member.

And yes, it remains pretty awesome. Here's that link again. Nathaniel definitely makes a good showing for himself, and is both charming and insightful, so thumbs up for him and for V Factory.

Also, turns out he may just be doubling up archetypes as The Hot One.