Friday, December 21, 2012

Hunter Hayes – “Wanted”

  We start out with a quick, off-center image of Hunter, making us think that the cinematographer might be a wee bit drunk, then we cut to him sitting at a piano where the lyrics of the song are scribbled all over said piano. I can understand that some folks are a bit nervous when they perform and might forget things like words and the proper payment of income taxes, but seriously, what’s up with this Hooked On Phonics flashback tribute?

  And with that last sentence I immediately lose everyone that is under the age of 40. Oh well.

  We then get some more quick shots of I’m not sure what, with one of the black-and-white scenes being splashed with this dripping red color as Hunter stares at the camera. It’s probably meant to be artsy and such, but for some reason I think of the TV series Dexter. (This was probably not the intention of the art director, my bad.) Then the drunk cinematographer finally finds the focus button and we get a good profile of Hunter. His age is not clear, but I’m reminded of another TV series, Doogie Howser.

  Who is this child and why is he singing songs? Have I missed another important cultural moment while I was bingeing on bean dip and watching reruns of Buffy? Probably, it happens quite often. So I pause the video and google the doogie. Turns out that Hunter has been performing since the age of 5 and has released something like 74 albums. He’s now 21 and has done more with his life in roughly 15 seconds than most of us will ever do. Great. Another reminder that I didn’t listen to the right people when making important life decisions.

  My soul damaged, I push the “play” button again.

  Hunter continues playing the piano (another swipe at my useless list of personal skills) for a while, alternating with scenes where he’s just singing in a lovely voice (swipe number 2). Then we start getting shots of Hunter driving a motorcycle while a supermodel clings to him and allows her hair to be caressed by the wind in a manner that makes it clear she uses a much better conditioner than the rest of us do.

  Eventually we make our way back to the recording studio where they have all that helpful graffiti, where we learn that some of the important words in the song have been highlighted in red. I try to memorize these words in case Alex Trebek has a question for me, but snippets like “love” and “beautiful” and “sushi” don’t make any sense to me and I prepare myself for another failed test.

  Oh wait, now we have some images (still mostly in black-and-white) of some place where they have a chandelier and someone is doing something with what might be a calligraphy pen or a scalpel, not sure. We do seem to have a scroll of paper that is rolling off a desk where Hunter or the supermodel or a Franciscan monk appears to be sitting and scribbling, but the words that we can see have been drenched in more of that blood-red color, so I’m still not feeling completely safe in this environment.

  More of the graffiti piano, with a long-shot letting us know that there are also graffiti panels hanging around the room where Hunter is tickling the keys and reminding us that he has a marketable skill and we clearly do not. Then we focus on a blurry image of what might be Ally Sheedy back in the day when she was still perky and not doing lesbian art films. Oh wait, it’s not Ally, it’s the supermodel, and now we’re back to the motorcycle. Hunter and the supermodel (she really needs a name, let’s call her…Callie) are dashing about the streets of whatever town and looking really trendy on their two-wheeler.

  To make sure that we understand that Hunter and Callie are in love forever, Callie is clutching not only Hunter’s non-fat waist but also a rose that has been niftily colored-in with red by some low-paid worker in China or some other country where the peon workers are supposed to just do their job and not ask for things like better wages or free wi-fi. We have additional shots of Callie’s wind-blown locks in case you missed it the first time around that she has better hair than most of the planet.

  Next up is Hunter driving his chopper into a garage where the door is painted in stripes of black and red. Callie apparently runs off to do something important like hydrate her skin, because she disappears for a while as Hunter rolls out more scrolls of paper where he (or some assistant) has scribbled more of the lyrics. Then we head back to the graffiti recording studio where you never have to remember your lines because the furnishings act as cue cards.

  This is followed by an inexplicable series of shots where Callie, sitting in a café, appears to be sharing a latte and good bone structure with someone who is NOT Hunter. I don’t know what that mess is all about, but they sure seem to be having a good time and this montage threatens to derail whatever the producers intended. So we head back to the graffiti recording studio where Hunter is wailing and pounding the piano to remind us that Hunter is the star of this video and not some meaningless stud that Callie made nice with while picking out croissants in a neighborhood bistro.

  Hunter sings for a very long time, since the camera is currently on his face and not the competition, but we’re distracted by images of blood-red words falling out of the sky while he basically makes a woman out of the piano. (Got wood?) I understand that the redness is symbolic of love, but you should do a little more planning if you don’t want that redness to make things look like a video that would receive kudos from Jack the Ripper.

  Hunter doesn’t care about my input, and he probably shouldn’t, since MY greatest achievement in life has been simply avoiding arrest at just the right times. But still, dude, you’re coming off a little manic with the red thing and the words of the song flying around like Dorothy and Toto just landed. To be fair, Hunter really seems to be invested in his artistry, and he appears to be making all the proper facial expressions right on cue, so we might just have to blame the director or maybe one of those corporate people who don’t know squat about anything but have somehow been given a position of power. (Kind of like Donald Trump with that lame-ass “Apprentice” thing.)

  Then we have a long sequence where the blood-words continue to rain out of the sky while Hunter pounds the keys and emotes and reminds us of what it was like when we all still had a respectable amount of hair. Obviously, no one is listening to me or my suggestions. This is probably a wise choice in most countries.

  We finally get to a bit where the word “want” becomes the focus in all the red graffiti, along with a red carpet that appears to lead to Hunter and his piano. He winds down with the singing and the key-pounding, and then apparently wanders off to a place where gifted people sit on a couch and wait for their talent to be recognized and supermodels to make a decision about which boyfriend makes the best cup of coffee…

Click Here to Watch this Video on YouTube.

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