HANNAH MONTANA: THE FINAL SEASON
MOVIE: *** (out of 5)
DVD EXPERIENCE: ***1/2 (out of 5)
BY KEVIN CARR
WHAT IT’S ABOUT
The fourth season of the wildly popular Disney Channel series brings the saga of Hannah Montana to a close. Miley Stewart reveals to the world that she is, indeed, Hannah Montana, and she deals with a backlash of parents and the entertainment press. Additionally, she has to deal with the drama of what she’s going to do after school and stay close to her BFF Lily, as well as how to juggle famous boyfriends. The series comes to a close in the much publicized finale.
WHAT I LIKED
I say to heck with all the Hannah Montana haters out there. This was a darn cute show for its run. It’s from the Disney Channel, after all, which has always produced relatively low-budget pop entertainment for tweens. I’ve enjoyed watching it over the years. Sure, it’s overacted, and it’s cheesy, but it’s a cute, wholesome show for the family to watch.
This final season was handled quite well. In particular, it was refreshing to see the big reveal of who Hannah Montana really is. Were we honestly expecting this to go on forever?
The real-life drama behind “Hannah Montana” spills into the show quite a bit in this final season, giving Miley Cyrus and her dad a chance to vent about the overzealous fans and all the haters out there. This fourth season becomes rather meta, which is something that I do enjoy if it’s not taken too far. Here, they go just far enough, driving home the fact that Miley Cyrus (like her on-screen counterpart) is just a teenage girl and not really an immortal superstar.
Where the first three seasons (and, admittedly, the start of this fourth season) deal mostly with the secret identity issue, which tends to get old, the last half of this season gets interesting. Disney and the Cyruses knew the show was coming to an end, so they were afforded the luxury of wrapping things up, and that was nice. It offered something a little more in terms of story and character, and it was decidedly different from the first three seasons.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
Aside from the general foibles of a Disney Channel show (somewhat low-brow writing, cheesy elements and some shots of really bad acting), there’s not a whole lot to dislike from the perspective of a “Hannah Montana” season.
The biggest problems that crept into my thoughts on this season were more of the behind-the-scenes drama we saw played out in the tabloids, with Miley Cyrus toking on a bong (yes, yes, it was legal, but it was still a stupid thing to do) and the divorce of her parents. This turn into the tabloids taints the wholesomeness of the show, and it didn’t help to have Miley Cyrus try to defend herself on “Saturday Night Live,” which came across as pathetic.
But it is a far cry from former Disney star Lindsay Lohan. Miley Cyrus is a teenage girl, after all, and no one ever accused that demographic of being reasonable, rational and restrained. I just hope for her sake, she weathers her post-awkward years and doesn’t end up as the female Leif Garrett of the future.
The special box set of “Hannah Montana: The Final Season” comes with a special 28-page memory booklet featuring a slew of neat things for the fans, including a look back at guest stars, a fold-out fashion spread, cast quotes, a time capsule and a tribute to the blonde Hannah wig.
On the discs, you’ll find an alternate ending to the season finale, cast good-byes and original auditions (which is probably the most entertaining element of the whole shebang).
WHO’S GOING TO LIKE THIS MOVIE
Tweens who grew up with the series.