Friday, May 20, 2011

Backup Dancers From Hell: The Fray - “Over My Head (Cable Car)”

We start out at some really fancy prep school, with little boys wearing jackets and ties (because that’s natural), sitting in a classroom and looking bored. Then a bell rings, which is apparently the “Pledge of Allegiance” bell, because they all hop out of their seats and place their hands over their hearts. But instead of a rousing bit of patriotism, we focus on one boy who is instead singing the opening lines of the song. (Based on his facial expressions, he really likes saying the word “everyone”.) And hey, he looks a little bit like a mini-version of the lead singer, Isaac. How cute.

Cut to Isaac, all growed up and sitting at a piano. He’s also singing the words to the song, which shouldn’t come as a big surprise, he being the lead singer and all. (I’m not sure if he still enjoys saying “everyone” because they cut away before he gets to it, which is a little disappointing and sad. Will we ever know?) Then the camera jumps around as people are either setting up for a concert or preparing to carry out an execution using an electric chair. Quick close-up of Isaac’s face indicating that he’s not real sure, either.

Back to the prep school, where Mini-Isaac is still wailing away at the song instead of swearing dedication to his national flag. Then we have shots of the band performing and everyone is really getting into it, followed by a scene in another classroom. The kids here seem to be a bit older, but they must not be very smart because the teacher had to write the lyrics to the song on the chalkboard. Then the kids all leave because they can’t be expected to learn more than two lines of the song in a single sitting.

Now Mini-Isaac is walking down a school hallway, still singing, and someone has helpfully written the lyrics in giant letters on the lockers. (We also get jump cuts between Mini-Isaac and Maxi-Isaac, lots of them, just in case you hadn’t noticed that, you know, it’s the same damn person.) Then we have a nice bridge where everybody is banging away on their instruments and nobody has to sing.

Next up is Mini-Isaac peeking into what might be a lunchroom, where four guys are sitting around a table while one of them is pouring an excessive amount of salt on his food. (He’s going to regret that in a few years.) Suddenly, all four of them turn to glare at Mini-Isaac, causing him to wet himself slightly and then run away. Salt Guy goes back to playing with his condiments.

More shots of the band playing. In case you didn’t previously know that Isaac can play the piano, you will now, because the producers insist on showing us his hands tickling the ivories about 400 times.

Speaking of, now we’re back at the school, in a big room where they might be holding auditions for something, or maybe it’s a bomb shelter and there’s been an issue. Anyway, we have a piano front and center, and Little Isaac comes scampering in with a sheet of music and prepares to play. He is joined by one of his buddies and they both seem very excited about making music together. Oh wait, two other guys join them, which instantly makes them a real band, because that’s all you need to start one these days, four people and at least one musical instrument.

But instead of getting to the playing, the four boys crack each other up and giggle at cartoon figures someone has scribbled on the music. Kids these days. They have such short attention spans. The camera pulls back to show that none of the other kids are really doing anything important, either, so maybe this is one of those “progressive” schools where they throw all the students into a big room, let them do whatever and call it “creative freedom”, then charge the parents 50-grand a semester.

Now we’re in another classroom, where the kids appear to be taking a test. (Although, because it’s a fancy prep school, the youngsters might just be working on their parents’ income tax returns. Those forms are much more critical when you actually have money.) Anyway, Diminutive Isaac apparently didn’t bother to study, and he’s trying to cheat off his neighbors, but both of them are the goody-goody type that get pinched faces and hunch over their paper if you even glance their way.

Cut to Mini-Isaac walking down a school staircase all by himself. We don’t know if he’s been caught cheating and has been kicked out, or just has no idea where his next classroom might be. Next thing you know, Mini has turned into Maxi, and the big version is now sitting on those stairs, singing, and showing us that he has some amazingly-long legs. Then the producers jump cut between the two, with Big Daddy wailing and Little Bit walking out a door.

Which apparently leads to an auditorium, where Bit wanders down the aisle to stand in front of the empty stage. Mini-Isaac starts singing the song, and imagines himself in a packed audience, watching his bigger version and his buddies rock the house with their world-dominating killer single, with everyone in the crowd on the verge of orgasm.

The music fades as Little Bit bops his head to this very excellent dream where he is worshiped just because he’s in a band. And people with a salt fixation can never make fun of him again….

Click Here to Watch the Video on YouTube.

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