One Direction, the boy band with at least two members who look like 10-year-old Jodie Foster, are back with a moody new ballad and video called “You And I.” I assume it's about how sad they are to be lifting song titles from Lady Gaga. But honestly, watch this video. It's going for something. A feeling? I'm not sure, but it's weird and scary.
1. Niall's contemplation
Oh, acting. I did not know acting would be making a cameo in this video.
Niall kicks off this party by looking around in a sort-of-contemplative-but-mostly-dumbfounded way, and the camera pulls back to reveal he is dressed like Edie Sedgwick shopping at Zara. Mmm, moodz.
2. THAT FIRST MORPH.
Imagine if you looked down for a second, looked up, and suddenly you were a bearded person with too many feelings. That happened to Niall Horan today. That happened to all of us. This is the new “Thriller.”
3. Liam's beard situation
The fact is, the best two One Direction members are Liam and Zayn. We all know this. But I almost didn't even recognize Liam because he is doing a Joaquin Phoenix art installation here and confusing me with a scraggly bouquet of chin hairs and looking too much like late-stage Heath Ledger for my liking.
4. That time I realized this is the sad apocalyptic version of the best Britney video.
Where is this dock? What is this dock? It's like we're in a dystopian version of the Britney Spears “Sometimes” video. Or the “Summer Nights” segment of “Grease.” Or any sad moment in “To Gillian on her 37th Birthday.” Or worse: It's just some dock.
5. That time Louis Tomlinson decided he was Kevin Bacon now.
Louis Tomlinson is forever “the cute one” of One Direction, but man. That hair today. You don't wear that hair with those bedraggled mustache scraps without knowing you look like Kevin Bacon now. Simple science. Wouldn't have been surprised if Kyra Sedgwick jumped out from behind him with a poster of airtimes for “The Closer” on PAX.
6. The morph at 2:13 was achieved with MS Paint.
What in the name of non-morphs was that morph at 2:13? Yikes. That was such an awkward transition, I expected a spinning hourglass icon to appear next to Louis' head. Didn't we already perfect this move in Michael Jackson's “Black or White” video? John Landis throws his Pellegrino against the wall and laughs at this.
7. STOP. STOP IT WITH THE FREEZE FRAMES.
The video is definitely going for something when we see the five gents leaping and running into freeze frames of themselves all over the pier. But what? It would've been more impressive if they'd leapt into each other's freeze frames and proved that they're deeply connected and brotherly or something. But here, it's like they're trying to impress us with… where they're going to being walking next? “I'm moving to the left!” says Zayn. “Coming soon: I'll be on the right!” says Harry, arms giddily akimbo.
8. Louis' freeze frame looks like he is in the middle of an exorcism.
Look at that frame. That looks like J.C. Chasez falling into a black hole. Lance Bass and NASA almost made that happen in 2000, so I'm sensitive about this.
9. That magenta playground ball almost killed One Direction.
For some reason the video ends with the five chaps kicking around a playground ball. Then the ball is kicked high into the air and lands behind them. What if the ball landed and straight-up concussed Harry? Or Louis Tomlinson jumped into the ball, jazzy-freeze-frame style? There were options. Point is: All five members were almost killed by a magenta plaything. Shivers.