Between the “Mr.Mr.” music video delay and the early album leak, Girls’ Generation’s comeback has been a total mess so far, but it hasn’t bothered me until now. Why would it? As I pointed out in my “Mr.Mr.” single review, the song is totally spectacular and continues Girls’ Generation’s unspoiled seven-year streak of perfect pop hits. And while the behind-the-scenes issues seem to have severely hurt the Divine Nine as far as promo and sales go, it was a non-factor to me as long as the product was good, which it was. But now the “Mr.Mr.” MV is out, and now I am a little bothered.
Conceptually “Mr.Mr.” hits all the right spots, just as I knew it would the moment the Grindhouse cover art came out. It’s over-stylized B-movie trash that looks like SNSD took Planet Terror and coated it in lurid fuschias and glitter. It’s obvious in the most perfectly garish way, with the girls taking the song’s lyrics way too literally by playing doctor and giving a guy a bejwelled heart transplant. Cheap and intentionally misplaced cuts of the Divine Nine dancing in the hospital’s parking lot only add to the amazingly shlocky Grindhouse feel.
Yes it’s bad, it’s gaudy, and it’s awkward, but that’s the point — one I that I think will probably be lost on a lot of younger K-pop fans who get their life to Disney’s Frozen rather than Tarantino and low budget pulp-horror fare.
The mistake that “Mr.Mr.” makes –and it’s one that’s big enough to derail the entire video– is that there’s virtually NO DANCING. The whole fucking point of the song is that it’s a throwback to vintage Janet Jackson and early MTV while serving you modern ARTPOP electro realness — and that means that you’re supposed to have choreography! Lots of it!
If there was EVER a time for SM Entertainment to do a generic dance-in-a-box music video, it would be now.
The only time we ever see any real choreography is during the breakdown (which, might I add, The Underdogs jammed in specifically for the purpose of a music video dance break), but even then the video cuts away and doesn’t deliver the whole show.
I was looking for Paula and Janet at the 1990 American Music Awards, and what I got was some flawless Grindhouse tribute — which would’ve been amazing if it wasn’t so completely unfitting for the song.
What makes this even more frustrating is that it’s the exact kind of music video that I’ve been waiting for f(x) to do for one of their more left-field hits like “Pinocchio.” SM Entertainment is the best agency in K-pop, but sometimes it’s like they have absolutely zero understanding of their artists.
How the fuck are you gonna push f(x) as some hip avant-garde pop act then make all their music videos formulaic dance-and-strut fashion shows, then give Girls’ Generation some top forty banger that sounds like it was created solely to highlight the group’s choreography and then go film some glam bubblegum version of The Blob to go with it?
So many conflicting feelings right now.