Friday, January 18, 2013

Jessie J, B.o.B – “Price Tag”

  We start out with a teddy bear sitting all alone on an empty stage. One of his eyes is missing and one of his arms is lying to the side, which is not a good development, so there must have been a rumble over a honey pot or something. The camera zooms in so we can see how sad it really is, then the camera pulls back out and we have a petite, sad little girl sitting next to what we now realize is a giant bear. Where did the girl come from? Why is everyone unhappy? Is this going to be another horror movie about demonic children who do horrible things because they didn’t get the right attention at the right time?

  I guess not, because the music starts and the little girl runs behind the giant bear and comes out on the other side as the full-grown Jessie. (I guess the bear has a magic portal back there. Who knew?) We cut to somewhere else where Jessie, now wearing an all-black outfit, proceeds to give a short presentation on the Home Shopping Network involving dolls. These things look a bit voodoo in nature, so there might be something Jessie should probably share about an incident in New Orleans.

  I guess the dolls sell out really quickly, because we cut back to original Jessie, with an outfit that clearly lets you know where her breasts are located. She’s sitting in between the bear’s legs, because that’s not provocative at all, and sings a bit. The bear continues to look sad, so this bit of business might not be on his bucket list.

  Then we have the first of several montages, this one involving Bear Jessie giving a concert from the bear’s crotch and Black Jessie running about and waving props that indicate key words in the songs. (It does appear that Black Jessie may not be aware that pants actually came with her outfit, but her golden shoes and designer nail polish more than make up for this oversight.) There’s a brief bit where we see three men just standing there without any obvious purpose. (Maybe they’re from Child Protective Services, inquiring about what happened to the little girl in the opening scene?)

  Oh wait, Jessie managed to slip into yet another outfit while we were checking out the Three Strange Men, and this one is also black, so we might have to come up with different names for our Jessie Girls. In the meantime, we keep getting shots of Original Black Jessie standing near a road sign and trying to determine the way to San Jose.  New Black Jessie doesn’t know the answer, so she just boogies a bit in her snug outfit until we think of a better question. After all, if you dance and smile enough, you’ll forget that your teddy bear doesn’t have an arm.

  Whoops, we’ve got a new Jessie, this one mucking about under a tree that grows money, so apparently such a thing really does exist, the rest of us just haven’t found the right travel agent. Windfall Jessie is very perky, bopping about and quite satisfied, which I guess we all would be if we could just walk out into the backyard and pluck the rent payment off a branch. (And Windfall Jessie is actually wearing pants, so things are really working out for her.)

  And we have another montage, with visits to all of the Jessie Girls that we know and love. Windfall Jessie gets the most exposure during this time, but that’s just how things roll when you have lots of extra cash. Just ask any of the Kardashians. And Jessie’s highly-lacquered fingernails get second billing, because we get to see a lot of those things as well. But with that much nail polish being waved around, you need to be careful about accidental chipping, because a chunk of that flying through the air could take an eye out. (Hey, is that what happened to the bear? Poor guy.)

  Okay, new Jessie, this one in the form of a ballerina in a music box. Jessie’s gone blond for this bit, but you don’t really notice at first because her tutu has enough material to completely wrap a school bus. But she certainly has the part down, looking quite elegant as she twirls around and pretends that there’s not a metal rod running from her hiney down into the gears of the music box. (She probably had to take special classes for realism on that angle.)

  We have a quick segment, during the part where one of the Jessies is singing about music back in the day when we didn’t have “video ho’s” and such, where Jessie and a couple of her trashier friends demonstrate how nasty those Nickis and Fergies of today look. But during the midst of her political statement, when Jessie grabs her crotch as a demonstration? It’s pretty hot, and probably helps explain why this video has 250 million hits on YouTube. It’s a fine line to walk, eh Jessie? But hey, you’ve got the pipes, and that impression lasts way longer than a g-string imprint.

  Next up we have Marionette Jessie, with her and two of her friends attached to strings that manipulate their moves, followed by scenes where Marionette Jessie is forced to ride a tricycle that is too small for her. (I can’t speak for Jessie on the political undertones of that, but I’ll just take it to be a slam at the record executives with their heads up their collective magic portals.)

  And we have another montage (well, really, videos these days are basically one huge montage), this one featuring the marionettes, both of the Black Jessies, Tricycle Jessie, nail polish, the kitchen sink, and the introduction of B.o.B, reminding us that this is one of those “featuring” songs where artists who have never even spoken to one another before now decide they can’t live unless they do a duet. (With “duet” usually meaning two separate personalities and styles are slammed together in a song, and the artists never actually see each other during production. More marionette strings.)

  Anyway, B.o.B struts on the minimalist stage, performing next to one of those old-school cars that looks like it’s been rode hard and put up wet. (I have no idea what kind of car, I’m not one of those people who can see something coming down the highway and yell out the make, model and year and then have a small orgasm. It’s a car, beat-up. End of my knowledge base.)

  B.o.B has something to say about six-strings and half-stacks and garages and an upcoming trip to Mars.
Not really sure about all that, but then he gets to a nice bit about doing the music for the love of it and not the bling and suddenly I’ve got my lighter in the air. (Which impressed nobody else in the house and I quickly put it down, but still.) Then he goes into a sequence where he dances next to giant-size replicas of those little plastic army guys we played with as a kid until we lost all of them in the seat cushions on the couch.

  Cue a fancy, big-ass dollhouse, which opens up to reveal Jessie squished inside of it, still not wearing pants. (What has she got against those things?) There’s very little room for her to move, but Jessie is a trooper and manages to pull off some nice dance moves even though she can only squirm about one inch in any direction.

  And this kicks off the final montage, with B.o.B initially dancing with Jessie for a while (proving that they actually met), but then he walks away and returns to his record label. But the rest of the Jessies are still with us, along with some new friends like (maybe) Jessie with some kind of diamond-encrusted lipstick and one of the sidekick marionettes who clearly needs some frizz-control products for her hair. Everyone seems very happy that we’ve dispensed with the softball criticisms of the music industry and now we can all relax.

  Big Jessie gets to dance with Little Jessie from the first scene (proving she’s just fine, so those Child Protective Services people can stick it). Bear Jessie gets to sit in a giant chair and show us some serious red strappy pumps on her feet, the marionettes have a much better attitude, and Money-Tree Jessie gets to lay on the floor and look at one of her legs that has been disassociated from her body. (Okay, that last bit returns us to horror-movie territory, and I don’t want to spoil the mood by asking questions about it, so let’s just look the other way and keep dancing. Even if Money-Tree can’t do that anymore.)

  Oh wait, I lied, Money can still get her groove on, in another scene where she’s back by the tree and tearing up the currency fruit, because she don’t need no bling when she can just sing. The CPS guys are doing a line dance, Tricycle Jessie has upped her status to moto-cross clearance and is whizzing about, and even B.o.B shows up here and there for this closing number, proving that some people really do mean it when they say they want to work together. (Unlike the Republicans in the House of Representatives.)

  The song rolls to an end with all of the Jessie Girls and their friends doing the “aaahhhhh” final bit of the lyrics, which is actually quite nice as a song closer and a video wind-down, and then Squished Jessie smiles at us as she pulls the front of her dollhouse closed…

Click Here to Watch this Video on YouTube.

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