Season 1, Episode 2
Date of airing: March 31, 2006 (Disney Channel)
Nielsen ratings information: 1.731 million viewers with Kids 6-11, 1.628 million viewers with Tweens 9-14, 0.901 million viewers with Tweens 12-17
If Oliver would have been this obsessed about Hannah Montana and continued to follow her like a creep, then I would have considered this to be a show created and written by Dan Schneider, minus all the foot fetish stuff. Oliver was the worst character of all during this episode, and it’s interesting to note that a character like him would not make it through network notes 13 years later — a guy following a woman from point A to point B and continuously telling her that he loves her and that they will be together, even though she is not interested and even says “No” a few times? Oliver would have had his first restraining order and he is only in middle school at the moment. Thank the heavens that Miley told him she is Hannah Montana, or else the story of an obsessive Oliver Oken would have continued and that would have been the worst.
It’s Oliver who made this episode anything but entertaining, and it’s his obsession that had do more than just roll my eyes. It’s also the character as a whole in this episode that proved HANNAH MONTANA has stepped out of the realm of timely television shows, showcasing that it has been produced and aired in an era that never saw the rise of #MeToo coming, let alone brought fear into certain Hollywood writers, producers and executives who thought they will always get away with the crap they have been pulling behind closed doors, and are still pulling. This episode could almost be a prime example and important chapter in a dissertation that deals with #MeToo in Hollywood, and the differences of stories and character traits before and after Harvey Weinstein opened the floodgates. It does make me interested in what the writers room was thinking about the episode when they broke it, and whether or not there were some worried faces and voices within the writing or production team. But this episode was written by a man, so we can assume Michael Poryes did not think about how awful Oliver’s behavior was.
That being said, Oliver knows about Miley’s biggest secret now — two episodes of the show exist now, and two of Miley’s best friends have come to learn about her greatest secret. Of course those two friends are perfect and would never spill said big secret, because we can’t have that, even though it might be an interesting story every once in a while. I would even go so far to say that the writers missed a chance to have Miley be scared about her career and normal life as Miley Stewart, when Oliver knows. The boy might be certifiably crazily obsessed with Hannah Montana, but I feared he would sing like a canary in school when he knows who Hannah Montana really is. And with two people knowing Miley’s secret, the chances that someone else at school will know are now 200 percent. But this is a Disney Channel show, and teenage characters are supposed to trust their teenage friends, so consider it a promise that neither Lilly nor Oliver will ever think about telling the whole school that Miley is Hannah Montana, sort of like how Ned told the whole class during PE that Peter Parker knows Spider-Man. Dick move, Ned, dick move.
The B story was okay. Jackson has a girly car and he didn’t like it, because he is too manly to be a girl, even though he dressed in girl’s clothes in the series opener. Two episodes in and the show is already defying some of the continuity it established for the sake of a joke. Besides that, I really don’t know what the problem with the “girly car” was. Is it cheap? Does it drive? If the answer to those questions is “Yes,” then Jackson should not be worried about anything else. The kid has a car, nothing can bring that feeling of having a car down.