There is nothing redeeming for the show and sad, probably bordering on creepy, that an adult would even be giving it much thought. But here’s the thing: That annoying Hannah Montanna show actually brings up a handfull of questions about idenity, metafiction, and post modernity.
For those who don’t know about the show: It’s about a fictitious teen aged singer whose stage name is Hannah Montanna. Apparently the stress and travails of being famous become too much for her; she assumes the identity of an ordinary kid and wants to keep her life as a famous rock star secret.
For those who don’t know about the nature of identity, metafiction, and post modernity:
A major branch of philosophy is concerned with questions of who we really are… metafiction is when a fictional work is aware of the fact that it’s fictional, or plays with this in some way; post modern fiction is interested in issues of identity and often engages in metafiction.
So where do these two connect? Of course there are the obvious thematic elements of reinventing one self, the private vs public self, etc. But there’s stuff much more overt.
For example, the fictious singer– Hannah Montanna– does real-world concerts and releases C.D.’s under that fictious name. Of course, it’s the actress playing that role. But it’s as if the audience is pulled into the world of Hannah Montanna, where she is in fact a real pop star… It connects the concert with the show, in some way… It’s not unlike the scenes in Phantom of The Opera which take place in the Opera House… the audiance is of course the audiance, but they are also invited into playing the roles of the audiance in the performance going on within the narrative. In Hannah Montanna, the audiance is simultanously playing the role of a fictitious audiance and actually being an audience.
The duality of famous vs not famous and real vs fictional takes a few other twists if we step back a bit. First off, the role of the singers dad is played by a real-life country singer. On the show, he is not famous. On the other hand, the actress playing Hannah had no particular notieriety before the show.
In short: there was this ‘tween, who was not famous. She took on the role of a person who was famous. This famous character decided to take on the role of a person who was not famous. The role of her father was taken on by a person who was, in fact, famous before the show began. However, the role he is playing is the role of a person who is not famous.
Wow… Kind of dizzying for entertainment aimed at ‘tweens.