Few things are more review-proof than a Disney musical. So I'm not surprised I didn't get anything to screen for "Teen Beach Movie" (8 p.m., Disney, TV-G). To be honest, I'm a little relieved.
Viewers in this desired
demographic, as well their
beleaguered parents, have
already been saturated by
marketing for "Teen Beach Movie." Not to mention plenty of chances to buy or download songs from the movie musical within a movie musical.
Set in the present day, "Teen Beach Movie" concerns a young girl, McKenzie (Maia Mitchell), who finds herself caught in the whirlwind of the production of a retro beach movie set in the surf-crazed 1960s. Make that the early 1960s, before things got rebellious, crazy and experimental and young people seemed to recoil from Disney's rather plastic view of reality.
McKenzie is not the only one apparently caught in a time warp. It seems current popular culture aimed at teens and tweens is trapped in a circular loop, forever repeating the safest period of post-rock pop history, the bland era between the end of rock's dangerous beginnings and the arrival of the British Invasion and the creative tumult that followed.
"Teen Beach Movie" reflects and celebrates a time when youth culture itself was defanged by adults. Chuck Berry went to prison, Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis fell into disgrace, Buddy Holly fell from the sky and Elvis was drafted into the Army. Record buyers were sold a bill of prefab heartthrobs like Pat Boone, Fabian, Frankie Avalon and
More than a half century later, Disney still won't mess with the formula. Like the singers from that era, today's teen talents come and go quickly -- often interchangeably. In an era dominated by retro culture like "American Idol," "The Voice" and "High School Musical," it's really the managers and the marketers who matter. Do movies like "Teen Beach Movie" really count as youth culture or merely marketing?
---"Teen Beach Movie" viewers can stick around for "Liv & Maddie" (9:45 p.m., Disney, TV-G), about identical twins reunited after Liv "retires" from her hit musical TV show. Not unlike the twin madness from the period discussed above, the era of the original "Parent Trap" (1961) and "The Patty Duke Show" (1963).
---A teen victim's reputation does not survive his autopsy on "Bones" (8 p.m., Fox, r, TV-14).
---FBI interference raises eyebrows on "The Following" (9 p.m., Fox, r, TV-14).
---Phil has a cash flow problem on "Warlocks Rising" (9 p.m., Discovery, TV-14).
---Meg and Ike collaborate on "Magic City" (9 p.m., Starz, TV-MA).
---Drivers of gas guzzlers come under fire on "Blue Bloods" (10 p.m., CBS, r, TV-14).
---A vintage Harley stars on "Philly Throttle" (10 p.m., Discovery, TV-14).
---A wedding party goes aloft in a leafy bed and breakfast on the season finale of "Treehouse Mas ters" (10 p.m., Animal Planet, TV-PG).
---Scorned females can be murder on the season premiere of "Deadly Women" (10 p.m., ID, TV-14).
The friendship between a Frenchman and an Austrian (Oskar Werner and Henri Serre) survives their affection for the same woman (Jeanne Moreau), and even World War I, in the 1961 New Wave drama "Jules and Jim" (10 p.m., TCM), directed by Francois Truffaut.
---Capture the flag on "Camp" (8 p.m., NBC, r, TV-14).
---An invention to ease the commute on "Shark Tank" (8 p.m., ABC, r, TV-PG)
---McGarrett recalls a fateful
mission on "Hawaii Five-0" (9 p.m., CBS, r, TV-14)
---Ciara, Dan Levy, Heather McDonald and Kurt Braunohler appear on "Chelsea Lately" (11 p.m., E!, r).
---Jay Leno welcomes Howie Mandel, Marisa Miller and Sara Bareilles on "The Tonight Show" (11:35 p.m., NBC).
---Michael C. Hall, Miranda Cosgrove and ZZ Ward appear on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" (11:35 p.m., ABC, r).
---Jeff Bridges, Stacy Keibler and Jesse and the Rippers visit "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon" (12:35 a.m., NBC).
---Craig Ferguson hosts Jane Lynch and the Goo Goo Dolls on "The Late Late Show" (12:35 a.m., CBS).
Kevin McDonough can be reached at email@example.com.