by Eve Vawter
My millennial is 19 years old. I was 19 years old in 1988. This was basically during the golden years of music television and high-concept music videos. And for every awesome music video there were roughly 100 lame and absurd ones. So I made him watch seven of them, and here's what he had to say:
1. "Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car": Billy Ocean
"So in the beginning of this video, Mr. Ocean rolls up and asks a random group of people to get into his car. They all say 'Who, me?' Like, Billy Ocean stop fronting, your car isn't that big."
"This is the dopest car wash in history. He picks up ladies at the car wash. This is actually super efficient. Billy Ocean doesn't have time to do both, and now his car is clean and he has a lady."
"Oh no, Billy Ocean didn't roll his windows up and now he has a sexy lady fish in his car."
"Oh man, is this why his name is Billy Ocean? I never thought of that. The animation is Harlem Shuffle level. Is this a Spike Lee joint? Now they go to a drive-in that looks like Who Framed Roger Rabbit and now Billy Ocean is making everyone watch a music video starring Billy Ocean. But his white jacket is fresh as hell. Now I know why Big Boi is always namedropping Billy Ocean because Billy Ocean knows what's up."
2. "Hungry Eyes": Eric Carmen
"This is creepy already. Immediately creepy."
Me: "Wait you have never seen Dirty Dancing?"
Then CPS showed up and took my kid away.
"Is this about some white-collar dude fantasizing about cheating on his wife? Wait, is there a theme of music video dudes watching themselves on big screens in these videos? Wait, who are these people? What do they have to do with anything? I was so invested with the people in this relationship and now I have to deal with new people coming into the film?"
"As far as '80s power ballads go this is pretty strong. It rivals 'I Wanna Know What Love Is' by Foreigner but it's a toss up because both this and that video are shit."
3. "Wishing Well": Terence Trent D'Arby
"Mom, this is your jam you play this all the time but why is he a sheriff? He has authority of funk in your heart, that's why he's the sheriff."
4. "Wild, Wild West": The Escape Club
"This sounds like Costello's 'Pump It Up.' But it's the Costco version of Costello. OH MY GOD this is terrible. Like we had auditions for new members of the band and this Silent Hill monster walked in and we said, 'This is great — rehearsals start on Tuesday.' Oh no, oh no, there are more of them. These lady monsters. This is horrible. This is really scary."
5. "Nothin' But A Good Time": Poison
"Oh man, I just got back from work where I washed dishes why are you making me relive it? Hahahaha. 'I'm paying you to wash dishes, not rock!' That's the teenage struggle throughout time."
"Oh man, good thing there's a concert RIGHT there. This guy is definitely getting fired after going to a concert in the middle of his shift. How's the guy gonna pay for pizza and hair spray and sleeveless T-shirts if he loses his job? Did this guy just go through a portal into his own mind where this song plays the entire time? I think that's the plot of this video."
6. "Rocket 2 U": The Jets
"Yeah, we get it, it's the '80s, chill out. Wait does she live in a deleted scene from Edward Scissorhands?"
"Aww man it's a dude fridge. We gotta get back to the store — we're almost out of dudes."
"This is, I don't know... this is like what The Wiggles were up to when they were teens."
7. "Naughty Girls Need Love Too": Samantha Fox
"All these naughty boys were able to reign in their naughtiness enough to work on their dance routine. Wait, wait, wait, hold on — she said 'sex is something I just had.' Alright, thanks for letting us know! Good for you, you just had sex! Actually this beat is pretty fresh. But that dude has a ballet leotard on. How naughty is he really?"
"Alright, that's cool. I need to go listen to the new Desiiigner album."