Overdone, Yet Somehow Half-Baked

I liked Taylor Swift’s music back when she was first getting popular (I guess around 2008 or so), but now that she has completely forsaken her country roots and started to venture into the trashy realm of pop, I lost interest in her. But that didn’t stop me from watching the music video for “Bad Blood,” which is horrendously popular (and I say “horrendously” because, like most current music videos, it really shouldn’t be as popular as it is).

The video starts off with scantily clad Taylor Swift and Selena Gomez beating the crap out of suited men in an office (guess that’s one way to shatter the glass ceiling… if any of it is left). Once all the men are defeated, Selena kicks Taylor out of a window in an act of betrayal, and the video starts, turning more and more into a mini action movie (full of the typical action movie clichés) as it progresses.

I was embarrassed that I managed to accurately name as many of the celebrities featured in the video as I did, and there were so many celebrity cameo appearances, it was like flipping through Us Weekly. The video struck me as a tremendous waste of money and time because the song it represents is weak and half-baked, musically and lyrically. The lyric “band aids don’t fix bullet holes” reminded me of this song, which was one good thing about “Bad Blood” — it pointed me back to music from the good old days of riot grrrl and shoegaze.

All of these overdone music videos for not-so-good songs make me think of how we are living in an “attention economy,” so this is only the tip of a very large iceberg. Movies, music videos, lyrics, and songs are only going to get crazier and more extreme in an effort to capture the last remaining shreds of our attention that haven’t already been grabbed by all the “shiny” out there. It got me thinking of Lady Gaga’s heyday (not too long ago) and how her videos were also huge productions, but they fit better with the music, and Gaga’s persona and voice matched up with the powerful imagery of the videos.

With all that said, I’m just glad that this video wasn’t as bad as “Anaconda.” Now that was a real train wreck.

4 thoughts on “Overdone, Yet Somehow Half-Baked

  1. Well, this blog post got me to watch the video all the way through, and I guess that’s something, since the times I’ve tried to watch it before I’ve always lost interest halfway through.

    Having watched it carefully (more or less), I can report that you’re right — the biggest problem is the song. I really like quite a few of the songs on 1989, but this one is not good. This is far from her wheelhouse, as a songwriter and, especially, as a singer.

    Outside of that, I also don’t like the video (of course, the only video I do like from the album is the one where she and that guy sing “Blank Space” in a car 🙂 ). For an action-movie video, there’s almost no actual action. It’s all character intros and posing. I mean, come on, I watch these kinds of movies. This is paltry stuff — but of course to actually do these kids of things you need real skills and months of training.

    It makes me nostalgic for Beyonce and Gaga in the “Telephone” video. That had some style. 🙂

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