Katy Perry dropped her “Swish Swish” video today and with the amount of ~stuff~ happening, I thought it was American Horror Story: Basketball.
The video takes the song’s central metaphor, stretches it into a painful 6 minutes and crams it full of celebrity cameos. A quick list from memory everyone who’s in “Swish Swish”: Molly Shannon, Terry Crews, the “Shooketh” viral video girl, the kid from Stranger Things, Gronk and the backpack kid from Perry’s dragtastic Saturday Night Live performance.
Like several of Katy Perry’s other videos, the video is a big budget ode to wasted potential and wasted money. Perry spends the equivalent of some developing countries annual GDPs on an overstuffed video that only quits being laborious when Nicki Minaj shows up for her windswept half-time performance.
When it comes to videos, Perry needs to take a cue from Coco Chanel and edit. Take off one gimmick. Cut a cameo. Minus a ~look~. Take away a costume. Subtract the cheese. Why did she need to dress up in half a dozen different outfits and crash people’s birthdays for “Birthday?” Why did she need to be prepared, boiled and consumed for “Bon Appetit”? Why did she unleash myriad racist tropes for “This Is How We Do”?
One of the video’s most cringe-worthy moments comes when Perry turns a failed attempt to shoot hoops and turns it into the #NickiMinajChallenge shooting star meme that gave her video co-star a truly viral moment. Cramming her video with viral stars like Christine “Shooketh” Sydelko shows that Perry followers meme culture, but the video’s overall forced feel bets on that virality being replicated. But, if Twitter is any indication, the effort was more cringe-y than shareworthy.
The only non-cringey part of the Swish Swish is when Nicki shows up and looks like a goddess pic.twitter.com/qI9HqWke2O
— jonny (@sharkpizza) August 24, 2017
My reaction to the Swish Swish video pic.twitter.com/WvosnmJgfG
— la bella vita (@drugproblem) August 24, 2017
Sure, plenty of her pop peers are guilty of the “more is more” aesthetic Lady Gaga, mostly but at least with them, all the ideas seem to be herded in the same general direction. Perry seems like she can’t seem to shepherd her ideas together into a unit, making her videos come off sloppy and aimless, which is sad given that she can command so much time and talent behind them.