4 awful music videos that VH1 plays (unironically) all the time
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VH1 is like MTV’s younger, uglier, dumber, and less socially-capable brother – it follows MTV wherever it goes and tries to impress it by imitating it with an awkward level of enthusiasm that makes the entire spectacle uncomfortable for everyone.
Take, for instance, VH1’s dizzying roster of reality TV shows, which fall under a genre that VH1 calls “Celebreality”. Clearly attempting to capitalize on the success of MTV’s reality programming, VH1 has emulated the reality format but with a more aggressive tenor and an even broader interpretation of what constitutes “reality”. What’s worse, all of VH1’s reality shows spawn spin-offs, like a recursive virus vomiting bronzed, silicon-stuffed mutants all over the world’s TV screens every season.
At least VH1 plays music videos!, some people bristle. And that’s true: VH1 is still fundamentally a music channel, whereas MTV is now a channel dedicated to exposing economic inequality amongst teens: Teen Mom, Teen Mom 2, and 16 and Pregnant vs. Teen Cribs and My Super Sweet 16. But like its skewed sense of reality, VH1’s definition of music differs from what most of us might use if we were writing our own dictionaries. I’d file the definition they use in the ‘S’ section, somewhere between sheriff and shoe.
Unfortunately for me, the TVs at my gym are either hard-programmed onto VH1 or are having the worst conceivable programming piped into them by the gym’s management to punish me for air drying after showers. Regardless, I’m exposed to VH1 for far longer than I’d prefer to be every week, and I’ve started to notice that the same handful of terrible videos are played all the time without a hint of irony. Here are four of them.
4. Israel Kamakawiwoʻole – Somewhere Over the Rainbow
If I watched this without sound, I’d think it was a propaganda video for a cult in Hawaii that believes God is morbidly obese. While the singer’s voice is impressively beautiful, I don’t understand why anyone would ever make a music video for a cover song. That’s like buying a case for someone else’s trophy.
But what confuses me most about this video is why this guy is only wearing a shirt 1/100th of the time. If this is what Hawaii is like, I’m crossing it off my list of vacation destinations.
3. Ozzy Osbourne – The Ultimate Sin
I’m guessing this video was meant to be of a parody of the TV show Dallas, with J.R. Ewing’s character being turned into a clown-faced crack addict. I’ve never liked music videos that follow a plotline, so I especially dislike this one since it tries to follow six. I have so many questions after watching this video: Who is the mysterious lady that keeps materializing out of thin air? And if she can appear and disappear at will, why did she let herself get pushed into the pool at the end?
But the most burning question I’m left with after seeing this is: How can Ozzy Osbourne keep a straight face when he calls himself the “Prince of Darkness” after having pranced around on stage in a psychadelic one-piece spandex suit?
2. Tears for Fears – Shout
If androgyny was a sport, these guys would be gold-medalists. Watching this video makes me think “unisex” was a personality disorder in the 1980s.
Most music videos have some sort of theme; if I had to assign one to this video, it’d be “walking”. Or “desert”. Or “airplane”. This video is so artistically hollow that pretty much any one word chosen at random can sum it up. Which makes me wonder if the script for this video wasn’t just a random sentence constructed on the director’s refrigerator with word magnets.
1. Midi, Maxi & Efti – Bad Bad Boys
If you’ve ever wanted to see what the beginning stage of clinical depression looks like, just watch the first 30 seconds of this video. I’d suggest watching the whole thing, but I don’t think any human being is capable of listening to this for more than 2 minutes without falling asleep.
When I first saw this video, I thought the speed on the TV was broken. How did these women ever get a record contract? More importantly, how did they manage to get out of bed on the morning of the video shoot? I’ve seen mannequins more enthusiastic than these singers — modeling funeral wear.