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Hannah Montana: Pop Star Profile

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As the very model of a Disney Channel series, Hannah Montana hits all the right notes. Fantasy fulfillment comes no more vicariously thrilling than the fabulous, chaotic life of Miley Stewart (Miley Cyrus, an ordinary high school student recently transplanted from Tennessee to tony Malibu, and who, unbeknownst by all except her two best friends, is actually the wildly popular pop sensation, Hannah Montana. To its credit, this thoughtfully compiled DVD is no mere slapdash of episodes. It contains the satisfying story arc that charts the hate-to-crushin' relationship between Miley and New Kid on School Jake Ryan (Cody Linley, an egotistical TV star, whose swooning popularity amongst teachers and students compels a jealous Miley to impulsively decide to reveal her secret identity. Her feelings for Jake change when Hannah guest stars on Jake's TV series. Dolly Parton guest stars in the episode, Good Golly, Miss Dolly as Miley's aunt, who encourages her to tell Jake her true feelings. People Who Use People is a madcap episode in which Hannah's attempt to make Jake jealous backfires when she unwittingly makes a date with an 11-year-old. Older viewers may cringe at the broad performances, ham-handed slapstick, lame jokes and stereotypical characterizations (must the school teachers be buffoons?). But some sneaky surreal bits and mildly edgy jokes (one at Frankie Muniz's expense) suggest punch drunk writers trying to amuse themselves. No matter. The down-home life lessons ("Being a teenager is harder than walking through a balloon store with a porcupine purse") will resonate with the target tween audience. A bonus segment featuring interviews with Miley Cyrus, family members and cast members provides the Pop Star Profile of this collection's title. Craig Butler, All Movie Guide