Blurred Lines

Blurred lines by thebutterfly-d6dhs8a.jpg

Date Aired
July 14, 2013
Running Time
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Video for Daft Punk ft. Pharrell - "Get Lucky" (actually created by a fan, a "full-version" derived from an ad run on SNL)

Todd is sitting at the computer. His back is turned to us, but he is amazed

Pharrell: We've come too far to give up...

Todd: This is like the greatest thing I've ever heard! It's...this is the song I've been waiting for all year!

Todd (VO): There's no way this is gonna be a hit.

Todd: Could it? Oh please, oh please, oh please, oh please. [Exhales and starts praying] Dear God, I know we don't speak much, but if you can just grant me one favor. It's just...there's this really awesome song on the radio right now, and I don't know if you've heard it. It's got this funky 70s beat, and Pharrell's on it, and it's just really great, and I... Would you please, please, please make that song a #1 hit?

Shining light appears amidst choir of angels

God: I hear your prayer, my child.

3 weeks later

Todd is at the piano and lets out an exasperated sigh. He plays "Blurred Lines".

A pop song review

Todd: Okay. I guess that's my fault for not being clear.

Video for "Blurred Lines"
Pharrell: Everybody get up

Todd (VO): I mean, I guess I should've specified. I...I just didn't know there was this other song. No, seriously, what are the odds that there'd be two disco tracks featuring Pharrell on the charts? As I write this, "Get Lucky" is stranded at #2, which is...that's just wrong. The charts are never fair, but that's just wrong, man. I hadn't even heard this song a month ago, and now it's everywhere. What the hell happened?!

Robin Thicke: And that's why I'm gon' take a...
Robin, Pharrell, T.I.: Good girl
Robin: I know you want it
I know you want it
I know you want it

Todd (VO): Those of you who have lives and don't follow the charts as closely as I do, may be unfamiliar with Robin Thicke and probably assuming he's some kind of [album cover of Something Else] porn actor who started making music.

Todd: No, believe it or not, that's his real name.

Clip of "Shooter"
Robin: My hands up, my hands up

Todd (VO): He's actually the son of [headshot of...] Alan Thicke, the dad from [picture of the Seavers] Growing Pains, and yes, he does, in fact, look [shot of Robin] distressingly like his father.

Clip of "Sex Therapy"
Robin: It's your body, you can yell if you want to

Todd (VO): Now you wouldn't think someone who shares the same genetic material as [picture of Alan Thicke] this man would turn into some kind of sexy R&B crooner, know, you name your kid Robin Thicke, [album cover of Sex Therapy] that's the kind of music he makes.

Clip of "Lost Without U"
Robin: Lost without you

Todd (VO): I don't think he's a bad artist at all, but he's never really been able to make that real breakthrough. He's only ever notched one Top 20 hit before now. I guess maybe that's because he comes across as a poor man's Justin Timberlake, an impression not helped by the fact that his biggest hit now has him working with [brief clip of Justin Timberlake ft. T.I. - "My Love"] T.I. and working with [picture of Justin with...] Pharrell, know, for Christ's sakes...

Todd: wanna be Justin that badly, you might as well just start hosting SNL and not talking to other N*SYNC members.

Clips of T.I. and Pharrell

Todd (VO): The other two guys, you should know. T.I. is a very popular Atlanta rapper, Pharrell is a rapper and member of the Neptunes, probably the defining hip-hop producers of the 2000s.

Todd: None of these men have been heard from in, like, four years or more, except for [promo shot of T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle] one crappy reality show. But then, of course, this song happened.

Video for "Blurred Lines"

Todd (VO): "Blurred Lines" burst out of nowhere. It's topping the charts, it's making headlines, it's causing controversy, and since it is the new big controversial song, I feel like I should speak on it. And first and foremost...

Todd: ...this is what I want people to know about my opinion about this song. No, I don't think it's that bad.

Robin: If you can't hear what I'm trying to say

Todd (VO): In some ways, it's actually quite good. It's fun, it's funky, it's loose, it's upbeat, uses a pretty awesome sample of [brief clip of...] Marvin Gaye's "Gotta Give It Up", and, you know, I gotta give it up for "Gotta Give It Up". I can see why enough people would love it enough for it to top the charts.

Todd: BUT we've already got [brief clips of...] "Get Lucky". And for that matter, there's also Bruno Mars's charming retro R&B jam "Treasure". And in a world where we've already got that, Robin Thicke sits at the kids' table.

Todd (VO): The adult, R-rated kids' table.

Todd: But the kids' table nonetheless.

Todd (VO): Yes, the beat is good, and Pharrell goes, "woo!"

Pharrell: Woo!

Todd (VO): I like "woo!" I'll support "woo!" But the fun funkiness of the beat is where the list of good things about this song begins, and...

Todd: ...that's where it ends. There is nothing else going for it.

Todd (VO): Of course, a lot of the controversy is not about the song, it's about the video. A lot of people find it offensive.

Todd: I'm one of them. I find it offensive. I'm offended as a person who likes watching good videos, and...

Todd (VO): ...this has to be the cheapest, ugliest music video made since, like, 1982.

Todd: Like, here's my idea for a video.

Todd (VO): All three of you guys just stand there, and we'll have some models and they'll just stand there, or maybe they'll...they'll walk by. It'll be a tour de force of choreography and filmmaking. Oh, and just to put the cherry on top of this work of genius, why don't we slap a big, ugly Twitter hashtag all over it in big red letters...constantly. Just a masterpiece of brilliantly composed aesthetics. This is probably the most [album cover of's #willpower and single cover of Mariah Carey ft. Miguel - "#Beautiful"] blatant of the way pop singers try to trick people into promoting them on Twitter. Personally, I can think of many other things that would trend before #blurredlines, based on this video, like maybe, I don't know, [in giant red letters...] #LAZY or #STUPID or #WHY AM I NOT LISTENING TO DAFT PUNK GODDAMMIT I COULD ACTUALLY BE LISTENING TO SOMETHING GOOD INSTEAD... [...OF THIS GEORGE MICHAEL WANNABE THICKE YEAH RIGHT MORE LIKE THICK-HEADED THIS GUY IS A GROWING PAIN IN THE ASS DID YOU ONLY HAVE A BUDGET OF $3.50 FOR THIS VIDEO TRY HARDER]

Todd: [stopping halfway through] Okay, I'll stop. I promise I'll stop with the Daft Punk comparisons. The point is, this video sucks.

Clip of unrated video - although it has censor bars

Todd (VO): There's also an alternate video where the models are topless. Like, seriously, just full-on topless. Why they thought this was a good idea, I don't know because it actually makes it substantially less sexy, not more.

Todd: Like, I don't care how hot they are or how naked they get. Boredom is a turn-off.

Todd (VO): And for me, I can't get past how these girls have the dead-eyed, vacant expression of strippers who know they're not gonna get tipped. The girls in the old [brief clip of "Addicted to Love" by...] Robert Palmer videos looked like they were high on speed compared to these ladies. At least when they had their clothes on, I could imagine they were having a good time that would, you know, eventually lead to actual sex. But if they're already naked and still standing there wondering what to do, well...well, shit, we've already hit the end of the line. This is as good as it gets.

Todd: [flat] Woo.

Robin: Yeah...

Todd: Truly the work of a poet.

Todd (VO): I...I'm sure that in retrospect, if Robin Thicke wanted to avoid controversy, he probably shouldn't have actually put naked, unhappy-looking women in his video because...

Todd: ...this song...its lyrics...they're a...they're a little... (#RAPEY) Yeah. Yeah.

Robin, Pharrell, T.I.: I hate these blurred lines

Todd (VO): Like, I don't know what to tell you. The "blurred line" they're talking about appears to be the line between consensual and non. [Huffington Post article: "'Blurred Lines' Tops Billboard Again Despite 'Rapey' Criticism Of Robin Thicke Song"] And that's not just me saying it either. In fact, if you do a Twitter hashtag search for #rapey, you get a lot of results of people talking about this song.

Todd: Well, Robin Thicke does not agree. [The New Age Online article: "Robin Thicke calls 'Blurred Lines' criticism 'ridiculous'] He thinks that's ridiculous.

Todd (VO): It's just an innocent, silly song where Robin Thicke and his buddies get their mack on at a club.

Todd: Is it? Am I just way off? Well, let's see. For comparison's sake, I'm gonna play this song, and then I'll play a song that's literally, explicitly meant to be from the point of view of a rapist.

Robin, Pharrell, T.I.: I hate these blurred lines
Robin: I know you want it
I know you want it
Intercut with Stone Temple Pilots - "Sex Type Thing"
Scott Weiland: I know you want what's on my mind
I know you like what's on my mind
I know it eats you up
Robin: Do it like it hurt, like it hurt
Scott: You wouldn't want me have to hurt you too, hurt you too?

Todd (VO): See? See? You see that?

Todd: This...this is not coming from nowhere.

Todd (VO): Okay, obviously, that's not what they intended, but that is the way it does come across.

Todd: Okay, let me try and be fair here. Let me give them the benefit of the doubt.

Todd (VO): Let's say you're at a club, trying to see if a girl wants to go home with you, and [image of screen going from green to red. The green side is labelled, "she want the d," and the red side is labelled, "she no want the d"] let's just agree that there's a [arrow points to...] fuzzy region in the middle here that could go either way. From what I can tell, listening to this song, Robin Thicke is somewhere over here. [Picture of Robin in black area way to the right of the red "she no want the d" area] Can't say the lines seem all that blurry in this case...

Todd: ...cause they seem to be pretty well-defined.

Robin: Okay now he was close, tried to domesticate you

Todd (VO): His seduction technique is telling the girl that she's not Little Miss Goody-Goody like her last boyfriend tried to tell her she is. No, she's secretly a bad girl.

Robin: But you're an animal, baby it's in your nature

Todd (VO): The thing is...she's clearly not an animal or a bad girl or whatever, because if it were remotely true...

Todd: would not have to be trying this hard!

Robin, Pharrell, T.I.: I hate these blurred lines

Todd (VO): If you were flirting and it had any chance of going anywhere, you wouldn't be angry at blurred lines! The line's only blurry because you're too drunk to see straight, or you'd notice she's just not that into you!

Robin: You don't need no papers
That man is not your maker

Todd: Don't let that guy tell you who you are, let me tell you who you are. [Mimes jacking off]

Robin: Hey hey hey...

Todd (VO): You know, maybe calling Robin Thicke a rapist is going too far, but...yeah, he still sounds like a creeper with a very poor understanding of the boundaries.

Robin: Baby it's in your nature
Just let me liberate you

Todd: Yeah, see, you going down on my knob, is me liberating you. That's what liberate means, right? (lib*er*ate (v): to set free, as from imprisonment or bondage) Oh, really? [chuckling] I was way off. See, what I meant was please let me bang you.

T.I.: One thing I ask of you
Let me be the one you back that ass to

Todd (VO): It's a shame that T.I. is on this because...

Todd: ...he's a guy who respectfully understands that no means no.

Clip of "My Love"
T.I.: You don't come, I ain't gonna die
Hold up, what you mean, you can't go why?
Well, baby it's obvious that I ain't your guy
Ain't gon' lie, I feel your space
But forget your face, I swear I will

Todd: Okay, maybe more butthurt than respectful, but's an understanding nonetheless.

Todd (VO): Now I've put forth this theory before, but I get the feeling that famous guys like Robin Thicke don't actually have to develop any game because girls flock to celebrities anyway.

Todd: So he can say things like this to them...

Robin, Pharrell, T.I.: You the hottest bitch in this place

Todd: ...and they don't get insulted. That's a hell of a qualifier too. "In this place."

Clip of Flight of the Conchords - "The Most Beautiful Girl in the Room"
Jemaine Clement: Looking 'round the room
I can tell that you
Are the most beautiful girl in the room

Todd (VO): Quite frankly, there's not much else I like about this song either. It's formless, shapeless, it doesn't really have a chorus or anything, it just monotonously rides that one admittedly pretty awesome groove. T.I. has a guest verse, and I can't tell you the slightest thing about it because it just kind of fades and mushes into everything else. Even getting away from the gross parts, it's still pretty dumb.

Robin: Baby can you breathe? I got this from Jamaica
It always works for me Dakota to Decatur, uh huh

Todd: Yeah, pot does generally work the same, no matter your geographical location, yes. [Map of Midwest with arrow pointing to Decatur...] Also, Decatur's in Illinois—that's [...then pointing to Dakotas] not very far from the Dakotas. Not really that impressive. I guess he could mean [Wikipedia entry for Decatur] one of the other Decaturs in America, but I don't know why you wanna be in any of those places. Baby, I'll take you everywhere, from [pictures of couple living in a trailer and run-down playground] Hickville to nowhere.

Robin: I feel so lucky
Hey, hey, hey
You wanna hug me
Hey, hey, hey
What rhymes with hug me?
Hey, hey, hey

Todd: Okay, can we get a ruling on that?

Robin: What rhymes with hug me?

Todd (VO): Clever or stupid? Judges?

Todd: Let's say it's on that blurred line between the two.

Todd (VO): And what does rhyme with "hug me"? I'm gonna guess he probably means "fuck me"?

Todd: Yeah, that doesn't really rhyme with "hug me". [Hits buzzer: #NOT A RHYME]

Todd (VO): So, since that doesn't rhyme with "hug me", what does? Bug me, mug...

Todd: How about "drug me"? That fits the tone of this song.

Clip from Family Guy - "Stuck Together, Torn Apart"
Quagmire: Waiter, martini and a roofie colada.

Todd (VO): And the tone of the song is off too. It actively fights what they're going for. I read an interview with them where they said they intentionally decided to go over the top with it because, you know, in real life, they're three happily married men, which probably explains how the song ended up so bro-ey and...unconcerned with the females' thoughts, let's say.

Todd: But if the message of the song is, "you know you're a bad girl, there's an animal in you itching to get out," well, that's kinda like a dark, sinister kind of sentiment, right?

Todd (VO): It should be at least a little dark, but it's not. It's a beer-in-the-air party anthem, like...

Todd: [raising the roof] Woo-ooh-ooh, woo-ooh-ooh, [pointing the finger] you wanna be bad. I can tell, you're an animal. Woo-hoo-hoo-, woo-hoo-hoo.

Todd (VO): Still, you know, woo. I get woo. Among other things, the blurred line of the song also appears to be between being good and being crap. Like I said, that line gets a lot sharper when you've got much better 70s throwbacks to compare it to.

Todd: So...verdict? (#MEDIOCRE) Yeah, that sounds right. Anything else? (#WANNA GET LUNCH?) Yeah, sure. (#SUBWAY OK?) Yeah, that's fine. I'm #Todd In The Shadows, and I'm out.

Gets up and leaves

Video ends

Closing tag song: Jethro Tull - "Thick as a Brick"

"Blurred Lines" is owned by Star Trak LLC
This video is owned by me

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