This is probably the most energetic song about a crash that’s ever been written. Of course, the song is actually about a relationship that’s a lot like a car crash. The important thing is that Gwen Stefani’s a natural-born star, even when she’s dressed like someone who just broke out of prison. This is a fun song to sing and dance along too. Just don’t drive while listening to it, for obvious reasons.
This song was written by Linda Perry, who writes songs for everyone. She probably wrote a song while you were reading this post. Ariana Grande will probably record it next week and everyone will describe it as being “her most personal song yet!”
Every January, I list my favorite songs of the previous year and, every January, I include the same disclaimer. My favorite songs are not necessarily the favorite songs of any of the other writers here at the Shattered Lens.
Gwen Stefani goes back to high school and, let’s be honest, I think she’s the only 50-something out there who could pull this off. I’m guessing that she’s some sort of spirit of eternal youth and freedom in this video which, again, is probably something that only Gwen could have pulled off.
Let’s just admit that the Super Bowl was weird this year.
I’m not talking about the game. To be honest, I could really hardly care less about the game. When it comes to winners and losers, I’m one of those people who wishes that both teams could win. I think the coach of the winning team should let the losing team score a touchdown so that no one’s feelings get hurt. I worry about concussions, broken ankles, and compound fractures. I can handle some of the most graphic zombie films ever made but football just freaks me the fug out.
Instead, I’m one of those people who watches for the commercials and this year, the commercials were odd. I guess that’s to be understood, all things considered. But even when you take into account the pandemic and the general sappiness of modern American culture, the commercials felt weak. There were a lot of inspirational commercials. Bruce Springsteen gave a two-minute monologue about America while sitting in a jeep. There was a Ford commercial about how we’re all in this together or something like that. The beer commercials were less surly and more cringey this year. There were a lot of commercials with celebrities where the whole joke seemed to be, “Hey, look! A celebrity!”
Anyway, with all that in mind — here are 6 commercials that I did enjoy. I don’t know if it’s right for me to say that any of these really qualify as a “favorite” because I really didn’t have any favorites this year. But, the important thing is that I enjoyed the commercials below.
6) Edgar Scissorhands — Cadillac
I guess Edward is dead or something? Because Edward’s definitely not in this commercial. I can only assume that he died or he moved to Paris and was later judged to be too problematic to be invited back to appear with his son. Well, regardless, this is a cute commercial. I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s a good commercial because people are going to remember Edgar on the bus more than they’re going to remember the Cadillac but still, it was nice.
5) Adam Levine Sets Up Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton — T-Mobile
But if not for the spotty network, Gwen and Blake never would have gotten together! Oh well. What matters is that Gwen and Blake are a cute couple.
4) Jason Alexander Hoodie — Tide
This was actually kind of a disturbing commercial but then again, I like the idea of clothing that screams at you.
3) Doritos — Flat Matthew McConaughey
It was weird enough to work.
2) Alexa — Michael B. Jordan
It was sexy enough to work.
This made my night. This ad was short. It wasn’t pretentious. It didn’t pretend that it was going to bring America together. It didn’t feature Bruce Springsteen doing his Kerouac imitation. Instead, it popped up for five seconds, it freaked a lot of people out, and it kind of gave the finger to the whole silly culture that’s sprung up around Super Bowl advertising. That was brilliant. (Considering that Reddit has now become the favorite scapegoat of the establishment, I applaud them for raising their profile as opposed to just meekly waiting for the storm to pass.)
Reddit wins the night! And, just in case the above video gets taken off of YouTube for some reason, here’s the ad:
I ain’t no hollaback girl …. I ain’t no hollaback girl ….
Oh wait, wrong Gwen Stafani song. This one’s Cool too, though. In fact, that’s the name of the song! It’s all about how Gwen used to date this guy but they broke up but they’re still cool, as in they’re still friends. In this video, Gwen proves just how cool she is by inviting her ex and his now lover to her Italian villa.
This video was filmed at Lake Como, Italy and the main reason I like it is because I like Italy and watching a video like this reminds me of how much I want to go back and visit Italy. That was kind of the plan for the second half of this year but then the COVID-19 panic hit and upended everything.
By the way, are we still doing the quarantine thing? It’s hard to keep track. I know that two weeks ago, people were threatening to throw me up against the wall for wanting to go outside. Now, they want to do the same thing because I don’t want to go out. Personally, I just want to know that I can safely travel to Italy.
Anyway, enjoy this video and hopefully, we’ll all get to travel again at some point in the near future!
This may not be one of Gwen’s more popular videos but I like it because, like her in this video, I’m usually up at 4 in the morning.
Of course, in the video, Gwen’s up at four in the morning and looking totally put together because she’s waiting for her lover to return. They’ve had a fight. He’s left her. And now, she can’t sleep. Not even going for a drive through the early morning darkness helps.
Myself, when I’m up at 4 in the morning, it’s mostly because I got wrapped up either reading or watching something and, for whatever reason, I lost track of time. Usually, around two, I always say, “I really should get some sleep …. but let’s see what’s on TCM!” If it turns out to be a classic film noir or an old horror movie, there’s no way I’m going to sleep.
Even worse is when I’m trying to turn off my TV but I accidentally click the button for Netflix instead and, before you know it, I’m watching old episodes of Degrassi: The Next Class. Then suddenly, I’ll realize that it’s not five in the morning and I’ve spent an hour yelling, “No, Maya! Zig’s no good for you!” at the TV. That’s happened more times than I want to admit.
Much like Gwen, I usually react to discovering that I’ve stayed up too late by walking around the house. Usually, I end up accidentally kicking a wall while barefoot or tripping over a stair. Once I wandered out in the backyard and somehow managed to lock myself out of the house. Of course, I was only wearing my beloved Pirates t-shirt and it was like 21 degrees outside so I quickly came to regret not getting to bed at two.
So, my point is, I like this video because I can relate to it. In fact, I’ll probably think about it a few hours from now, when I realize that it’s 4 a.m. and I’m still awake.
There’s a lot of reasons why this video works but really, it all comes down to charisma and chemistry. Gwen and Blake look like they should be celebrating Christmas together and, when you watch, you want to celebrate with them. This video was directed by Sophie Muller, who has directed over 230 videos since the late 80s!