Jan 8, 2013

Hannah Montana and the Real Daniel Booko

Hannah Montana (2006-2011) was very good at gay subtexts, like many teencoms on the Disney Channel (check out Wizards of Waverly Place or Even Stevens).  And very good at beefcake.  So I wasn't surprised at the episode where everyone wonders why Hannah is always hanging out with Jackson (Jason Earles, who went on to play the gay-vague Rudy on Kickin' It).

He's actually the brother of her alter ego Miley Stuart, but admitting that would give the secret away, so they pretend to be dating.  Jackson goes on a talk show and proclaims “I love Hannah!” while jumping on a couch, parodying Tom Cruise’s well-publicized exploit on the Oprah Winfrey Show, and inviting parallel speculation about his sexual identity.  He then fuels speculation by admitting that he can't continue the charade anymore; he loves Hannah “like a sister.”

And I wasn't surprised when Jackson got a boyfriend.  "Hanging out" with Hannah after one of her concerts, Jackson meets Stavros (Daniel Booko), who loves another female celebrity "like a sister."  Stavros leers at him, says “awesome” in appreciation of his beauty, and bluntly asks him out.  A subsequent montage shows the boys delighted in each other’s company and ignoring the pop star Hannah.  But Stavros turns out to be shallow, and drops Jackson when a better opportunity arises.

But I was surprised that Stavros never took his shirt off -- unusual for a guest star on Hannah Montana.  I soon found out why.  If Stavros displayed this physique while aggressively courting Jackson, if Jackson got a silly grin on his face while gazing at this physique, the subtext would become text, it would be impossible to hide the attraction under the guise of friendship.








29-year old Daniel Booko, a minister's son from Three Rivers, Michigan,  played the friend of Maddie's boyfriend on The Suite Life of Zack and Codya dumb lunk hired to take his shirt off on ICarly, and a champion skater on Kickin' It.  

Outside of the teencom circuit, he has an impressive range of projects, from teen sex comedy to horror to adventure, most recently in the Jersey Shore spoof Jersey Shore Shark Attack (2012) and Christmas Wedding Date (2012).  Surprisingly, his characters almost never gets the girl.





But he did get a boy, playing a gay character on The O.C. 

No word on whether he's gay or a gay ally in real life, but he talks about the kind of girls he likes in this interview.