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Hanging out at ‘The American Mall’

Crush: Hollywood’s Next Generation

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MTV's musical soulmates Joey (Rob Mayes) and Ally (Nina Dobrev) - Fred Hayes/MTV

A couple of weekends ago I attended the red carpet premiere of MTV's "The American Mall," a TV movie musical from the creators of "High School Musical" that's supposed to be a more "mature" version of Disney's wildly popular franchise.

Set entirely at a typical mall that's always been the ultimate hangout for teens, "The American Mall" tells the story of Ally (Nina Dobrev), an aspiring musician who helps run her mom's music shop. It's at the mall that she meets her musical soulmate Joey (Rob Mayes), a wannabe rocker moonlighting as the mall's night janitor to try to earn enough money to buy back the band equipment he has lost, and her arch-nemesis Madison (Autumn Reeser), the mall owner's spoiled daughter who is determined to get what she wants even if it means ruining Ally and Joey's musical dreams. Get a sneak peek of the movie below:

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While this ain't no "High School Musical" (nothing can and will ever top "HSM"), I enjoyed the movie's singing, dancing, and overall moral message of never selling out and always remaining true to yourself. Besides Neil Haskell ("SYTYCD" Season 3), I also spotted Russian breakdancer Gev and the always cheesin' Thayne from this season of "So You Think You Can Dance" in a scene or two. Too bad their cameos are so fast that if you blink, you might miss it. But the two faces that you see the most -- Nina Dobrev and Rob Mayes -- are even more gorgeous in person than onscreen. Check out photos from red carpet premiere and see what the stars of this new teen musical had to say about their trip to "The American Mall."

My prediction: This will be a HUGE hit for MTV! Who doesn't like to see good-looking teens singing and dancing about love?

"The American Mall" premieres Monday, August 11 at 9 p.m. on MTV. 

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