Yesterday having casually made a Tweet to a friend of ours that we thought the new Saturdays video was ‘totally terrible’, we quickly received a grand total of six Tweets from enraged Saturdays fans telling us ‘no’ and/or calling us a bitch. Whilst we understand that Twitter, focussed on brevity and not geared towards detailed discussion, isn’t the correct tool from which to embark upon intelligent debate, nonetheless we wanted to explain to those five Saturdays fans (one of them was so irate he Tweeted us twice) why we expressed the opinion we did. Plus, we’re Popfools, and we like discussing and dissecting things like pop videos. It’s one of our raisons d’être.
The above gif, you may notice, is not of The Saturdays performing ‘Disco Love.’ No, instead it shows Girls Aloud performing ‘Something New.’ Without emphasising this point too much, The Saturdays are now the UK’s premier girlband and as such the material they produce, be it audio or visual, simply must be up to scratch. Take Girls Aloud’s ‘Something New’ video above. Instantly iconic; effortlessly fun, cool and stylish. Then take a look at the ‘Disco Love’ video.
Problems with The Camper Van scene.
Camper Vans have nothing to do with Disco. Why has the Camper Van gone up in smoke? (The girls driving the Camper Van into a time machine would have transformed the video into AMAZING. Girls Aloud know that ‘driving’ makes any video better. Alternatively, the Camper Van, having blown up, could magically and suddenly transport the girls to a disco.) If it’s the 1970s, which is when the Camper Van scene is set, then why does ‘Disco Love’ come on the radio when (presumably Frankie) changes the dial? Why do the girls not look ’70s’ styled at all? Why is Frankie sat down? (Yes – we know she is pregnant and they are trying to hide the baby bump – but what logical sense does it make in the context of the video? None – particularly as the other girls are all busy prancing around). The massive sense of ‘forced fun’ which consumes the whole scene ie. when Mollie picks up the screwdriver and starts singing into it pretending it is a microphone. Mollie either needs to significantly improve her acting skills, or not do things where you can tell she thinks she looks silly. (The reason she thinks she looks silly is because she does look silly). Also – why is Rochelle filing her nails? It makes her look bored. YOU’RE IN A MUSIC VIDEO ROCHELLE. And not one set in a beauty salon, where you wouldn’t look out of place doing so.
Problems with the Rollerdisco scene.
We more or less like this section. Quite why the 80s setting is used when Mollie sings ‘You take me back in time, to 1999’ is a mystery. Other than that the lighting is a bit ‘off.’ Do horrible looking neon lights really scream 80s to anyone? They make the girls look a bit washed out and the lighting just isn’t very aesthetically pleasing. We also think the video looks a bit ‘cheap’ in the 80s setting, particularly the overuse of slow-motion shots of the girls ‘skating’. Yet again, the ‘fun’ element of the video feels extremely forced.
We just can’t understand why it’s here, other than that one reference to 1999 in the lyrics of the song. It’s not a disco in any sense of the word, it’s not a rave, the 90s equivalent of the disco; instead it’s a generic club scene which, apart from quirky ’90s’ outfit choices, could belong to any upbeat pop video.
Yes, we get what the video was trying to achieve, showing the evolution of ‘disco’ through the decades. We just don’t feel it was executed at all well. Indeed, we would say the execution was piss poor, and a waste of the record label’s money. All 3 settings being an authentic ‘disco’ setting, with authentic styling to match, would have been far more successful. (We still can’t get over how un70s the 70s Saturdays look.) Better still would have been to just chuck all the budget at the 80s setting. The Rollerdisco provides a good pop music video as Jessica Simpson knows. Also, The Saturdays constantly emit a ‘Forced Fun’ feeling, which makes the video anything but fun to watch. A bit less fakery would go a long way. if that involves less Mollie singing into a screwdriver and Rochelle holding a nail file, then so be it. We would like to see much more choreography to make up for this. If Frankie can’t dance at the minute, use a double. It’s good enough for Britney… Also, Frankie’s only pregnant, it’s not a big deal. Don’t feel like you have to cover the bump up, Team Sats.
To balance it out here are the things we like about the video.
Camper Van scene.
Mollie doesn’t help Vanessa and Una fix the Camper Van and indeed looks really unconcerned that they’ve broken down. Instead she sits down and crimps her hair. This seems authentically ‘Mollie’. We also like the ‘concern’ shown by Una and Vanessa, after all they have just broken down! Indeed, Una is seen clutching tools. Well done Una. At the end of the section, Vanessa goes off in the boys’ car, leaving all the other Saturdays in the Camper Van. This feels authentically Vanessa.
The styling of the girls is amazing; although they do look absolutely terrible (ie hooker lips, massive hair) we’re assuming it’s intentional to poke fun at the 80s. At least the Rollerdisco setting sticks to the ‘disco’ theme of the song.
Vanessa’s hair. Mollie’s odd plastic outfit.
Conclusion: Whilst Tweeting it was ‘totally terrible’ may have been a slight over-exaggeration, we do think there are a lot of faults with the video in its present form, and there are a lot of ways we would have shot it differently to have made it better. We shall take away the ‘totally’ but we stand by the ‘terrible’.