Recently, Taylor Swift premiered her new star-packed, action-studded video for her anti-Katy Perry anthem “Bad Blood.” Here’s what Tusk writers Lizzy Acker, Tom Batten, Savannah Camplin, Alani Foxall, and Nate Waggoner thought of it.
ALANI: I really like that the premise is based on T-Swift’s character getting beat out by a competitor and her sense of entitlement being shaken up. This song totally contradicts “Shake It Off” and the public should not let this slide.
TOM: Shaking it off is for people that don’t have access to swords and Cindy Crawford.
SAVANNAH: That hair swoop after she knocks the last dude out with a brief case is to die for. I will probably spend hours in front of the mirror practicing my hair swooping.
NATE: Recently I’ve decided it’s good for my mental health to go see dumb action movies in theaters. So far I’ve only seen , but it did the trick at the time. I’m really intrigued by the fact that the first scene of “Bad Blood” is almost identical to one of the first scenes in — Taylor, like The Rock in the movie, fights somebody in an overwhelmingly gray office space, then gets put through a window and lands on the roof of a car. I wonder if Joseph Kahn, who has also directed that Power/Rangers short film and a bunch of music videos since the ’90s, got his hands on the storyboards or if that’s more of an action movie convention than I realize, or what.
LIZZY: I have questions about the backstory here. What happens in the daytime in this office? Do they have one of those K-cup coffee machines? Do they know those are really bad for the environment?
SAVANNAH: Is Kendrick like the Charlie of Victoria’s Secret Angels?
NATE: I have to wonder how Kendrick is feeling on the set of something like this, but Taylor and Kendrick have some stuff in common: she’s a feminist whose brand of feminism is maybe too white person-y; he’s a black power hero whose work can be kind of sexist at times. They both love having beefs. Why not add Azealia Banks for a representational trifecta of beef-havers?
TOM: I think Kendrick Lamar working on this song is his version of Nate seeing action movies for his health.
ALANI: T-Swift breaks through a brick wall AKA YOUR MISCONCEPTIONS OF HER.
SAVANNAH: Please more T-Swift with knives.
ALANI: Imagine the group text she initiated with the celebrities in this video: “Hey gurlz be in my music video it’ll be like a mean slumber party and you can pretend to sing my song! [12 smiling purple devil emojis]”
SAVANNAH: I imagine making this being exactly like when my friends and I would make music videos with our parents camcorders in high school, except for with an unlimited budget and less acne.
TOM: I really hope K-Perr (new nickname for Katy Perry I’m trying to get going, pronounced like Caper) makes a response video starring her own coterie of pals… Demi Lovato as Supa Puncha, Karen O as Nail-Z, Heather Locklear as Miss Friggy.
ALANI: I could’ve lived my entire life without Lena Dunham lip-synching Kendrick Lamar. Is she playing the role of Welvin’s lunch date?
TOM: Lena Dunham smoking that cigar is a million times dumber than that lame vanity music video Marnie made on Girls.
NATE: Her name is Lucky Fiori, so is she, like, in the mob? What is anyone’s deal in this thing?
LIZZY: Where are these names coming from at ALL? Did Tay-Tay just put letters in a random number generator? Is this some sort of deep code only Native American World War II code breakers can decipher?
SAVANNAH: I read via Twitter that Hayley Williams named her character Crimson Curse after her period because “nothing is as brutal as a period.” As for the rest of the names, WTF? Especially “Homeslice”.
TOM: If I had millions of dollars I would fund a parody of this video starring all of Swift’s high profile ex-boyfriends. Just to enrich and further develop the mythology she’s hinting at here.
LIZZY: Lena Dunham does look a lot like Jake Gyllenhaal. I will help you with the Kickstarter for that video Tom. I feel like it wouldn’t be too expensive to get John Mayer anyway.
TOM: Yeah John Mayer would do it for pizza.
LIZZY: The blond women in her pack represent the labor movement, if I’m not mistaken.
TOM: This video drives me crazy because it’s dumb but never really dumb, bad but never terrible.
NATE: It’s maddening. The more I watch it, the less there is to it. There aren’t even that many flaws to make fun of, which should be the last resort, it’s just kind of insipid and childish. But then, that’s too harsh, because it’s a pretty good song and Swift brings a charisma to the premise that other performers wouldn’t. So do Lamar and Dunham (although Mariska Hargitay and Selena Gomez are pretty much phoning it in). Like, it’s so audacious and ambitious and pointless that it should either be your favorite thing ever or totally infuriating, but it’s neither of those things. I guess maybe the problem I have with it is it’s using all this talent and money to make something so petty seem cool and exciting. How do we wrap this up?
TOM: Yeah I do like the song. Insipid is about right for the video, though. Like, who is this for? Is this proving Simon Pegg’s recent assertion about nerd shit ruining the world to be correct, by the way? Maybe we should end this the same way the video ends, by cockily strutting off having accomplished precious little.
SAVANNAH: I’ve watched this video so many times I can no longer determine if it is good or bad. It is just a part of me. Wait! Isn’t that a K-Perr song?!