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OPINION: ‘5 guys stand in a place and sing soulfully’… aka every BSB music video concept ever?

by | Aug 20, 2014 | Backstreet Boys, Boy Bands, Opinion | 0 comments

The Backstreet Boys have always had this uncanny ability to create absolutely boring music videos. There are, of course, exceptions to this rule (Just Want You to Know, Everybody, Larger Than Life, and Show Me The Meaning), but over all their videos are kinda — dare I say it? — boring.

Or else just plain weird as hell.

I mean, yes, I loved shirtless Brian in Show’em What You’re Made Of as much as the next girl, that’s for sure. It was great finally getting to see those hidden muscles… but the video could’ve had more than JUST Brian’s abs and Nick’s reaching hands. Maybe a storyline? Maybe something besides: “5 guys stand in a place and sing soulfully”? Whether the environment is deserts (Incomplete, More Than That), beaches (Inconsolable, Anywhere For You), parks (QPGWMH, We’ve Got It Going On, Drowning), fields (In A World Like This, Helpless When She Smiles), mountains (European version of I’ll Never Break Your Heart), mysterious futuristic interiors (American I’ll Never Break Your Heart, All I Have To Give, Get Down), warehouses (As Long As You Love Me, parts of The Call, which also went down in a post-zombie-apocalypse grocery store, bee-tee-dubs), or airports (I Want it That Way, of course). Even when they aren’t literally just standing around, and we finally get some action, there’s kind of this “…uh…” sort of unexplainable weirdness to it (Straight Through My Heart, I Still) and don’t even get me started on the panda-skunk-what-the-hell-news of It’s Christmas Time Again.

I mean they’re hot, yeah, but couldn’t they be hot, like, I dunno, doing something cool?

For a while I secretly harbored the suspicion that the blame befell specifically to Howito. As a fan fic writer, we all know that when you’re in a bind for who to blame in the Backstreet World for a malady, your go-to is always Howie. I think it’s because he kind of lurks in the background of storylines like the perp always does in a Nancy Drew book: close enough that he’s right under your nose and you’d never suspect the sweet man who always snoozes quietly in the chair in the corner of the room.

But then AJ’s video for Teenage Wildlife came out with all those people in the animal costumes humping each other in the club and break dancing chipmunks and a lion taking a pee and for a short time Howito’s name was cleared. All that time, I chuckled, as I wholly changed my stand to ‘tsk tsk tsk’ at AJ, and Howie was totally innocent!

Then we had 100 Kisses and I was like aw shit, it IS Howito after all. They had to share the blame between them for certain once my eyes had drank in the confusing mindfuckery that was that scene in the laundromat. I’ve done a lot of laundry in public spaces like that and never once have I ever, ever seen anyone break into dance like that. Like, ever.

I often wondered at times how AJ and Howie managed to get Brian, Nick and Kevin to agree to such weirdness as what their collections of videos contain. I mean, why the hell didn’t Kevin give them the dirty brow and put an end to it? “No guys, we should probably do something more interesting than standing in a windstorm in front of an abandoned gas station,” he could’ve said. Or, “Why are we all standing around an empty bathroom with skewed coloration so we look like Smurfs exactly?” But no.

And then I saw the short film Unwound, where Kevin plays a guy named Adam that makes a mix tape for his crazy ass girlfriend. My suspicions were raised then, but I didn’t completely lay blame until The Cassarole Club came about. Suddenly I had a three-way tie going on.

Surely, I told myself, Nick and Brian were just victims in all this. My beloved Frick & Frack had to be innocent.

Well folks, I’m here to tell you I officially have a foursome. I mean Nick’s video connecting skills had been called into question back when I realized that Just One Kiss was essentially the updated version of the I Got You music video except on a lower budget. This was forgivable only because, well, he’s really hot in a white shirt on the beach and stuff. And also he came up with the concepts for the videos that actually weren’t basically the five of them standing around singing. Obviously the redux of I Got You was, like, ironic or something, or just to be like “hey world, I lost a shit ton of weight since you saw me solo last!” Even when the kind of weirdness that was the Burning Up video released I looked the other way because of that damn tie (it was very distracting). But with this, the latest BSB videographic release, One More Time, I just can’t keep making excuses for the boy.

I spent a good part of the video worrying that Nick would tilt his just-cut hair a little too close to Jordan and the sharpness of it would slice Jordan up julienne style like one of those machines you can get at Bed, Bath & Beyond to make french fries with. As it is, I’m concerned because of all the feathers… Back when Nick and Jordan were filming the video, one of them posted a picture of them with an emu. I don’t recall seeing an emu in the video. Just a girl rolling around on a bed covered with feathers. Maybe Nick leaned to close to the emu with his sharp hair?

Poor Emu. I guess PETA should’ve been on hand for the filming.

I mean after seeing all the pictures, I kind of was looking forward to the One More Time video. I was convinced we were going to get a video with Nick and Jordan with really slick dance moves and like this interesting storyline about this rampaging emu or something. Or at least an awesome shot where Nick slides in Risky Business style.

Hmm. Maybe he should pivot, just so everyone’s happy. Since there’s no sliding and all.

I did enjoy that one shot of Nick playing air guitar on his crotch though. If there’d been more of that I might’ve gotten distracted enough to let Nick escape the blame of video wreckage yet again.

So I guess my conclusion is that Brian alone has amnesty from the blame of the lack of good BSB videos. And that’s overlooking the melodrama of the Welcome Home (You) video (and the weird placement of that parenthesis in the title also). But give it time, I hear he’s thinking about making another solo venture soon, so maybe we’ll get some incriminating video footage then, just so it’s a nice equilateral blame game going on in BSB land.

And don’t get me wrong, either, as much as I think the videos kind of suck, I watch the crap out of them all the time. Why? Because… because… I love them! As much as I’m complaining… I really do love the stupid videos. I mean, whether the Boys actually do anything interesting in them or not they look freaking hot doing nothing or running up hills or jumping out windows or sitting on bus stop benches looking all heartachey… I just wish there were more blow-your-mind video stories that were more relevant to the songs, and more credible artistically. Every time a new BSB video happens I’m overcome with mixed emotions, like will it suck this time? Will they do more than stand around singing? And then I’m equally torn between the sexiness and the lack of story.

It’s a good thing they’re pretty. *smh*