Oh Lady Gaga, I really wish I could like what you do. But I don’t. Actually, I’ll correct that. I sort of liked “Bad Romance,” but mostly because while the video tried to do a bit more than showcase a dance song, Lady Gaga’s pretentiousness didn’t overpower the whole. Trying to do something interesting with straight-up pop/dance music? Fine, I’m on board. Not knowing when testing limits slips into the bad type of absurdity? No good.
Mostly I just don’t like Lady Gaga because she tries too hard. While I heard good and shocked reviews of “Telephone” with Beyonce, after watching the entire video and wondering how I can travel back to 10:30 and do something else with my time, I just can’t get on board. Those nine and a half minutes are bad Skinemax, Thelma and Louise, and Kill Bill mashed together in a way that makes the whole enterprise seem like an excuse for costume changes and for Lady Gaga’s stylists to show what, exactly, they can do to her hair. And why isn’t anyone doing anything very interesting with Beyonce? Last time I checked, she was in the video, too. Oh yeah, and the women’s prison stuff? To me, it just seems exploitative. And yes, you can exploit yourself. Especially when several parts of your video appear to exist only to display your pasties.
While a music video is traditionally a showcase for a song, “Telephone” tries to go the Michael Jackson “Thriller” short movie route and ends up being too labored and gimmicky. Actually, if I could travel back in time, I would watch “Thriller” instead. The song, “Telephone,” is chopped up in odd ways that makes it so entirely secondary to the spectacle that it seems unnecessary. And I can’t be sure, but I think video version leaves out a verse. Or maybe I just think the radio version of the song goes on forever. With me, you never really know.
Yes, I know this is all about subversion and deconstruction and all that, but it comes off like a new grad student showing off the first bit of high theory she ever understood and ruining Thanksgiving for everyone.
But you don’t have to take my word for it. Watch and decide for yourself.
- Nice job making this a Virgin Mobile commercial, too. Because I didn’t need something else to roll my eyes at.
- I saw the fuss over MTV banning this. But they don’t show videos at a time of day when anyone’s awake to see them, so I’m not sure why that matters much.
- And Jai Rodriguez, what are you doing playing a reporter in a Lady Gaga/Beyonce video? Why aren’t you planning that Queer Eye reunion I’ve been dreaming of? I have no idea what Kyan’s been up to and frankly, I’m starting to worry.