The Disney Channel has perfected a four-part approach to tween marketing. Step A: Find a telegenic youth. Step B: Build her into a suburban superstar. Step C: Milk her until her udders are dry. Step D: Begin promoting her to a slightly older audience while introducing a similarly telegenic youth to the next generation of ten-year-olds. Like, for instance, Miley Cyrus, whose series, Hannah Montana, was cannily constructed to launch her as both a musical performer and a TV phenom: Hannah's a regular girl by day, a pop sensation by night. As for her songs, they're just as cleverly manipulative. Take "Who Said," which pretends to celebrate distinctiveness via the lines "I'm individual/I'm not like anyone," yet sounds indistinguishable from everything else rolling off the Disney Channel production line. That's because Cyrus, who'll be joined at this show by the Jonas Brothers, would compromise the process if she were unique. After all, she'll have to be replaced before long, and by conforming to a familiar type, she makes the inevitable transition a helluva lot easier. System über alles.
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