Saturday, May 18, 2024

Taylor Swift: Infomercial Touts New Single, “You’re So Vain” for Idiots


Taylor Swift is now the cheesiest performer in current pop music, which is a hard distinction considering what’s out there. Her new single is actually called “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together”– the latest chapter in her series of songs about dating a famous actor or singer and then breaking up with him. It’s artless and stupid, a novelty song you’d perform at the end of a drunken bar set.

To make things worse, she’s made a 30 minute professional scripted and lit infomercial to launch the single and its upcoming album, called “Red.” I guess she has zero pretensions about being a serious “artist.” The infomercial is filmed in front a “spontaneously excited” audience of “fans.” who “randomly” have appeared on a set. So, it’s over: giving Taylor Swift Grammy awards at 19 was the worst thing ever.

The funniest part of the infomercial, I think, comes at 18:00 when she points to her head with each index finger to demonstrate the phrase “in my mind.” Someone must have told her where it was, or used to be. Or could be.

She’s ready for the move now into the Martha Stewart world, which will mean billions of dollars. She’s already licensing a few products, but you can tell where management is going to take her. The sad part of course is that it happened so fast. Usually you do the artist thing first, build a reputation and some creds, then clip over into perfume, makeup lines, and home decor. Taylor has just done it very Swiftly. She even has a Kennedy boyfriend, four years younger. The tabloids say Ethel Kennedy saw something in her. What she saw was “money” and a common preference for cynical exploitation. Why else would you pimp out your grandson there months after his mother commits suicide in a public way?

Oh yeah, that song: it’s utter crap. Try to imagine as you watch this video, real female singer songwriters–from Joni Mitchell to Chrissie Hynde to Fiona Apple–describe their songs this way in a commercial. The song is without poetry, imagery, or any real writing. It’s just junk. Doesn’t she have two dozen songs like this? Who cares who she dated? This is “You’re So Vain” for idiots. If only Robert Altman were alive. Taylor Swift would his next movie heroine.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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