Is Britney Spears a Science Fiction Fan or What?

Full disclosure: I hang out with a lot of women, to the point of often being the only man there, and the kind of soirée I'm about to describe probably doesn't happen to more gender-balanced groups.

So we're in my living room, just chatting after some kind of board game event, and we decide to put some music on. Instead of running some playlist through my terrible laptop speakers, we opt for YouTube on my TV. "What do you want to listen to?" Someone shouts out "Some Britney Spears!" and we're off... For the next couple of hours, it's wall-to-wall Britney videos, and I'm even hearing songs I've never heard before (but the girls know all the lyrics and where they were the first time they heard them, of course). And a... pattern emerges.

At least 50% of those videos are essentially science fiction.

Britney sings and dances her way through postapocalyptic dystopias, digital clubs, and Buck Rogers imagery. She wears shiny latex and tattered cyberpunk rocker duds. How many end with the whole thing being a dream like some kind of Twilight Zone episode or Silver Age comic book story? And it's more than the same couple directors making her videos, it's a whole aesthetic. Or else she wouldn't be doing photo shoots like the one pictured above, where she has her own phaser! I should have known something was up when Doctor Who used "Toxic" to score a space station spinning at the end of the world (the video itself is more of a crazy superspy fantasy with SF fashions).

What are Britney's MOST sci-fi videos? I attempt a Top 5...
Till the World Ends: Though the song is about dancing non-stop to forget your troubles, in Britney's world, it's got to be happening underground as a devastating meteor shower destroys the city above. A new society will be born from the ashes of the old, and the DJ is ready for it with his holographic console.
I Wanna Go: Part of Britney's "F--- you, media!" phase, this video presents us with Terminator paparazzi and Britney escaping with a boyfriend who - rip his shirt off - turns out to be a robot himself! Our heroine does her best to destroy these mechanical monsters by whipping her microphone at them, but she eventually has to wake up from this nightmare and finds herself back in a press conference.
Oops!...I Did It Again: Famous for its red latex suit, we tend to forget this Barbarelicious video takes place on Mars, and that our first astronaut on the Red Planet is the focus of Britney's mind/heart games. Attended by similarly space-suited dancers and Mad Max extras, she's some kind of siren from space lulling the unwary space traveler into danger.
Break the Ice: Apparently Britney's own idea - which supports my thesis - her Toxic persona gets the anime treatment and goes up against a cybernetic crime lord who's keeping cloned versions of her in cryogenic storage. The whole thing has to blow in what is probably Britney's most action-packed vid.
Kill the Lights: And we end on another paparazzi take-down video, with an animated Britney finding herself on an alien planet where plants are flash bulbs, and she must take to the skies on a hoverboard while photographers, some of them in Blade Runnerish flying cars, try to gets snaps of her.

So you tell me. Britney Spears... SF fan or just puppet of some dementedly geeky image consultant?

4 comments:

Unknown said...

I'd never thought about it...but you've convinced me...and made me kill a few minutes at work going to YouTube to watch the videos again, lol

Brendoon said...

Hmm. Interesting discovery.
Surely she won't be the only one, though I can only think of a few...
Will Smith had a Sci-fi thing happening once or twice.
I remember seeing (only once, mind you) a sci-fi vid by some Boy Band from Britney's Era, the lyric hook is still in my head "you make it larger than life" I think the line was.
I'm not sure "Calling Elvis" counts with its Thunderbirds cameos, but I DO recall a 70's Tom Petty vid which was very post-apocalyptic, strangely the vid was completely unrelated to the song. ("You got Lucky Babe,"it may have been)

Off the mainstream I think a good Prog concept album does sci-fi really nicely. I bought a couple of Novels by a recent author and discovered he also did some pretty good albums adapted from 'em... Hmm, where was he... http://markrhealy.com/ I particularly liked the adaptation of the second one down the page, though I'd read the novel the top one was based on. (synthetic human wandering the earth after life is wiped out)
I believe Michael Moorcock did some adaptations of his books (With Blue Oyster Cult?) Haven't heard 'em though and prob'ly never will.

Toby'c said...

"I remember seeing (only once, mind you) a sci-fi vid by some Boy Band from Britney's Era, the lyric hook is still in my head "you make it larger than life" I think the line was."
For the record, it was the Backstreet Boys and the line was "That makes you larger than life," directed at their fanbase.

Brendoon said...

Thank TC! It must have been a catchy one, considering I only saw it once and *mostly* remembered that main hook! I was one of those bitter gits who thought "if its in the charts it must be rubbish." Got past all that now, but it irreversibly "olded" me.

 

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