Hannah Montana

If you thought Miley Cyrus’ display of tongue-wagging, eyebrow-raising, clothing-optional performances was one of the greatest acts of all time, you were wrong.

In an extended interview for her MTV documentary “Miley: The Movement,” the former “Hannah Montana” star admitted that she has chosen to walk away from acting to pursue her music career.

“I thought after my show, I was gonna act,” Cyrus said. “I did one movie and I came back and said, ‘I’m never doing that again. I’m going to do music for the rest of my life.’”

The comprehensive documentary, which aired Oct. 6, showed a different side of Cyrus, who we have come to know through her hair chopping, hammer licking and twerking.

The last movie Cyrus appeared in was “So Undercover,” which featured Jeremy Piven and Cyrus’ friend Kelly Osbourne. Despite earning $2.1 million in oversea box offices, the movie proved to be a dud in the United States. “So Undercover” was scheduled to be released in theaters in October of 2011, but was later moved to go straight to DVD in February 2013.

Since stepping out of the “Hannah Montana” spotlight, which spanned her childhood, Cyrus has been able to reinvent her image. Her new album Bangerz, which releases Oct. 8, is giving Cyrus the chance to break out of the Disney darling phase and step into the chaotic, and at times racy, scene of a wild child.

“I’m starting as a new artist,” said the “We Can’t Stop” singer. 

Cyrus, who recently called it quits with Australian fiance Liam Hemsworth, has decided to devote all of her time to promoting Bangerz, which has already given her a No. 1 song, “Wrecking Ball,” the second single off her album.

“I’m gonna sleep when I’m dead,” she said, “’cause right now, this isn’t the time to be worried about how many hours of sleep you can get or how much you can hang out.”

At just 20 years young, Cyrus has plenty of time to dedicate to music. And as we have seen with her new persona, Cyrus is sure to have us asking, “What will she do next?”

Photo Credit: The Associated Press

Bangerz is the guilty pleasure you hide from your loved ones and sneak off to your dorm room to indulge in. Miley Cyrus has produced pure musical crack that is so wrong it feels right.

Bangerz is a bipolar mix of self-aware, wild child anthems and helpless heartbreak, hitting the highs and lows of the 20-something life. The “short hair, don’t care” attitude of “SMS (Bangerz)” and “Love, Money, Party” clash with the familiar pain of failed love in “Wrecking Ball” and “Maybe You’re Right.”

“We Can’t Stop” and “Wrecking Ball” are the obvious singles on Bangerz. They are the only songs on the record with any genuine broad appeal. Southern hip-hop permeates the album and Cyrus even tries her hand at some rapping — she mentions an orangutan; it is not her finest lyrical hour.

Bangerz is not deep by any stretch of the imagination. Lyrics discuss discovering suspect text messages and preferring a vibrator to a boyfriend, but was anyone really expecting the next “Peace Train” from the woman who performed “Party in the U.S.A.”? “FU” has Cyrus belting it out like some of the great lady singers, and for good reason.

Her recent VMA performance got tongues wagging, for better or worse, in anticipation of the pop star’s fourth studio album. Bangerz fulfills Cyrus’ evolution from the obnoxious, double-lifed hillbilly Hannah Montana to ratchet Miley 2.0, grill and tiny peroxide buns included.

Those who are shocked by her transformation must not know much about 20-somethings. The “me generation” has a bizarre, self-aware wildness that Cyrus brings to the public eye. The revival of the “Pretty Woman” hooker dress, crop tops and super-stacked platform shoes joined with the “I know I look crazy, but I don’t care” attitude create a controlled rebellion of confidence and independence.

Cyrus wears red carpet outfits that could have been easily knocked off years ago through Forever 21 and GoJane. One would witness more risque dancing Thursday night on Sixth Street. 

Frankly, Cyrus has garnered most of this criticism because her new persona is not sexy. Rewind to the VMAs – shots of Cyrus playing with long hair she obviously does not have and sticking out that infamous tongue while emerging from a teddy bear. It’s weird, it’s goofy and it’s in no way sensual. 

Pop princesses like Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera have “grown up” through revealing performances. Remember Spears’ nude and crystal bodysuit at the 2000 VMAs? It was scandalous, yet acceptable because she was sexually appealing.

The new Cyrus has reached sexual saturation to the point where she isn’t the mainstream idea of “hot” anymore. On the track “4 x 4,” Cyrus sings “Driving so fast ‘bout to piss on myself,” which, by most standards, is not sexy. Throw in Cyrus’s guttural Southern accent and you have one big boner-kill.

Bangerz reinforces that there really is room in the pop world for the weird chick in a fuzzy costume and creepers, even among the barely-legal, crystal bikinis and long blonde hair. 

Cyrus is transforming into a true force to be reckoned with. She doesn’t give a flying fig and neither should anyone else. Hey, she’s just being Miley.

TV Tuesday

Scan the schedule of any kid-centric TV channel these days and it’s impossible to overlook a distressing theme: shows depict young teenagers living glamorous celebrity lives.

Shows such as Nickelodeon’s “Victorious” and “Big Time Rush” feature their young teen stars reveling in their newfound wealth and international stardom. The channels’ millions of young viewers are consuming these images at an alarming rate, learning a damaging lesson: The materialistic celebrity life is not just something to admire, but something to strive for.

This trend seems to have been sparked by the massive popularity of Disney Channel’s 2006 series “Hannah Montana,” starring Miley Cyrus as a country girl living in Los Angeles, trying to handle the pressure of fame of her secret, wig-wearing rock-star alter ego.

“Hannah Montana,” in addition to being incredibly popular, is also still incredibly influential, despite the fact the show aired its final episode last January. Following the show’s explosive rise — “Hannah Montana” ended with 6.2 millions viewers watching the series finale according to TV by the Numbers — both Disney and rival channel Nickelodeon began to follow up on the kids-as-celebrities trend.

In addition to “Hannah Montana,” Disney also aired “Jonas L.A.” starring teen idols The Jonas Brothers as secret agents masquerading as rock stars, and “Sonny with a Chance” with Demi Lovato as a young actress who lands a place on her favorite sketch comedy show.

Nickelodeon shot back with its own kid-celebrity programming with “iCarly,” about a girl who stars in her own popular internet show, and “Big Time Rush,” which follows an up-and-coming boy band trying to make it big in Hollywood and enjoying all the perks of fame.

All the kids depicted on Disney’s and Nickelodeon’s various celebrity-centric programs are teenagers, but the shows are marketed toward adolescents and preteens — a period when most kids are deciding if they want to be an astronaut, a chef, a doctor or even a celebrity.

By creating these fantastical, wish-fulfillment situations in which fictional teenagers maintain glamorous Hollywood lives while also doing “normal” teenage things, kids’ channels are promoting a false image of fame to kids. Stardom is depicted as fun and unpredictably exciting. It’s easy to imagine that young television audiences see the celebrity life as not only entertaining to watch on TV, but as a goal that they can (and should) achieve.

To be fair, most of these shows make a point to demonstrate the drawbacks of fame and the importance of remaining grounded with the support of friends and family. That doesn’t make the image of a young, wealthy teen living the celebrity life, going to exclusive parties and being worshipped by a crowd of screaming fans any less bewitching to Disney’s and Nickelodeon’s hordes of young viewers.

Shows like “Hannah Montana” and “Big Time Rush” aren’t exactly quality programming. They’re unrelentingly loud, obnoxious and painfully unfunny, which “Saturday Night Live” parodied last weekend in a sketch entitled “Disney Channel Acting School,” featuring former Disney star Miley Cyrus herself.

The Disney Channel and Nickelodeon aren’t looking to make masterpieces. They simply follow the grating, cringe-worthy “Hannah Montana” formula that has made them so much money in the past few years.

Maybe it’s just the nostalgia talking, but the scarcity of quality programming for kids is all the more obvious when compared to the live-action shows that Nickelodeon aired just 10 or 15 years ago, many of which were reasonably well-written, creative and quirky as well as being entertaining for kids. Think “Clarissa Explains It All,” “The Adventures of Pete and Pete” and “The Secret World of Alex Mack.” With ratings at an all-time high, perhaps it’s too optimistic to hope that these channels will abandon their obsession with child fame and return to form anytime soon.