I watch a lot of the Disney Channel. I'd like to say it's because I have a child but it's not. I mean, we watch Playhouse Disney together and that is not something I would typically watch without a 3 year old. Anyway, I like their sitcom shows because mostly they are fun and easy and make good background noise. But I've noticed that the main girl characters in several shows are not the best role models. For example, both Miley Stewart on Hannah Montana and Alex Russo on Wizards of Waverly Place and even Raven on That's So Raven are very selfish, immature, bratty girls. Now those shows are fairly talented supporting casts but the shows are mostly focused on the main girl. The main girl who exhibits no feelings of sympathy or empathy to her "friends," who doesn't seem to care when something bad happens to her friends and will only focus on how it effects her. Maybe this is a realistic portrait of girls today, but I sincerely hope not. I wonder why Disney chose to focus on such bratty children.
Let's take Miley for example. For the first couple of seasons the show was mostly about Hannah Montana and how having a double life as a pop star has effected her real life. Fine, that's what the show was pitch as and they obviously pulled it off since it became such a popular show. Once the show became a super hit and Miley Cyrus became a star in her own right, the show went for more Miley at home type of episodes. And in each one of them she does something stupid and makes Lily and Oliver join in and then chaos ensues, etc. Maybe it's less how the show is written and more how Miley delivers her lines, like she is entitled to mess with everyone's lives and heads and there are virtually no consequences for disobeying her father or continually treating her friends like they are less important.
And Alex on Wizards...I actually hate that character. Like so much I don't even watch that show. I know I'm not the target and am WAY too old to watch that show anyway, but still. I find Alex, of all the characters, the worst one. She can't stand to do anything for anyone for an unselfish reason. She treats her friend, Harper, like dirt and then acts like because she is pretty and magical it's ok. It's not! It is not ok and she has to be the worst role model of them all.
I do find that the ensemble shows, Sonny with a Chance, JONAS, Good Luck Charlie, have much more tolerable lead girls which seems like a much more conscious decisions. Now granted JONAS is actually about the girls, but the guys. However they seemed to have upgraded a bit on the new LA show so I'm counting it. I just really hope that with Hannah going off the air soon and hopefully (please!) Wizards ending within the next year or two that Disney can introduce a new girl show with much kinder and caring teenage girls.