As I’m writing this, I just realized both their names are Justin. That was totally a coincidence, to be clear. I don’t troll around looking for similar videos from artists with the same first name.
Since I have to stay up on my teen popular culture (I’ll say it’s because I just started doing social media for a teen magazine and want to work in the teen market, but I may secretly enjoy teen culture.), I watched Justin Bieber’s new video for “Boyfriend” Thursday night. I’m going to ignore the fact that the intro made me think my computer couldn’t handle all the teen idol gushing off of the Biebs and turned off, when it was actually just some sort of editing effect. Aside from the fact that the girl in video looks extremely uncomfortable (Was Selena on set or something?) and isn’t into him at all, I was instantly reminded of Justin Timberlake’s first solo music video for “Like I Love You.” J.T. chose a lead in the video who could at least pretend to find him attractive and wasn’t always looking off camera (I swear Selena must have been on the set.), but the whole let’s-dance-in-a-crowded-parking-lot-while-we-try-to-pick-up-a-girl scene took me back a while. They also both do a lot of foot movements and wiggle their shoulders, which I guess is supposed to be sexy. Honestly, it just makes me think they’re shaking a mosquito off or something.
Of course, Justin Bieber’s is exclusively in a parking lot, as he stars into the dead eyes of his lady love. (Sorry, but I just can’t get over how long he made us wait just to see some girl who acts like he had bad breath or something.) J.T. branches out a bit, using some sort of stage and dancing around in leather pants. And can we please not ignore Timberlake’s crotchet hat and the fact that he’s wearing 7-11 shirt at a 7-11! Why did we allow celebrities to dress like this and say nothing? Past fashion critics, you should’ve done better.
I don’t know what you think, but it seems to me that Bieber is using some past inspiration. With J.T.’s track record, it’s a good move. I just wish Mr. Timberlake would do something musical again. Why do we let Jessica Biel stick around if she’s not even encouraging him to get back in the studio? Jess, you have the power to put an end to his hiatus!
Did I mention I like both of these songs? Because I do. Watch and listen, guys. And let me know if there are any other parking lot pick-up videos from pseudo R&B/Pop artists that I should be aware of.
“Boyfriend” by Justin Bieber
“Like I Love You” by Justin Timberlake
Update [5.4.12 at 9:36 p.m.]: MTV Style compared this video to N*Sync’s “Girlfriend” and I definitely see the similarity there, too.
“Girlfriend” by N*Sync