With its relentlessly inescapable melody and questionably misogynistic (also: NSFW) video, Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" is clearly destined for YouTube parody heaven. By now, it has dozens of spin-offs—some more ill-advised than others. Many play with the gender objectification question raised by the initial video, while others are just, well, yeah. Here's a quick guide to what's out there.
"Sexy Boys Parody," by Mod Carousel Lauded by Jezebel as "fucking awesome," this parody by Seattle boylesque troupe Mod Carousel has been hogging much of the attention as of late. And it's good! By reversing the gender roles in the video, Mod Carousel cleverly reveals just how strange and rare it is to see men in positions of vulnerability in a music video—and doesn't resort to cheaply ridiculing masculine bodies to make the point. (As the makers bemoaned, "It's our opinion that most attempts to show female objectification in the media by swapping the genders serve more to ridicule the male body than to highlight the extent to which women get objectified and do everyone a disservice.") Plus, Mod Carousel replaced the vocals and fittingly tweaked some of the lyrics, also replacing the "Robin Thicke Has A Big D" balloons with a message reading "R Balloons Sex."
"Wrinkly Lines," by Craic Box As its title suggests, this parody finds comedy sketch show Craic Box replacing Robin Thicke's scantily clad models with (clothed) elderly women, except it doesn't use real elderly women, because grandma was busy or something, probably. With lyrical gems like "I'm pretty sure you're deaf / I'm pretty sure you're blind" and "My hip is plastic" and occasional cameos by a bored-looking golden retriever, it's a real whopper.
"Blurred Lines," by Fifi and Jules Turns out Mod Carousel wasn't the first to latch onto the gender reversal idea—Australian radio show Fifi and Jules had them beat by about two months. Unfortunately. With a burly, hairy-chested costar and jokes about a "sweaty manwich" and "flabby man-meat," the clip falls into the trap of self-mockery.
"Bill Clinton Singing Blurred Lines," by baracksdubs Remember autotune videos? And how they never go away? This one doesn't spoof the video, but it does find the 42nd president inadvertently mouthing lines like "Tried to domesticate you / But you're an animal," so hey! And yes, it is aware of the links between the lyrics and the president in question: "the womanizer of womanizers sings the other song of the summer," reads the YouTube blurb.
"Jimmy Kimmel and Guillermo in 'Blurred Lines,'" by Jimmy Kimmel Live No nudity this time around, since it aired on Kimmel, but this quick spoof finds the talk show host himself getting in Pharrell's way, with more balloon gags to boot. Higher budget, obviously, and good for a laugh.
"Blurred Vines," by Jordan Vineyard and Winery The upscale "Blurred Lines" parody you didn't know you needed keeps the vocals the same but finds a group of well-dressed wine-drinkers cavorting around a vineyard, pool, and fancy restaurant. It's almost like it's an advertisement or something!
"Cougars," by Fitzy and Wippa Just skip this one. Seriously, pretend I never embedded it.
"Game Time," by RMA Productions, with music recreated by Dominic Muller We've got a winner! The kid-friendly Nintendo-themed parody mines total Weird Al territory, with lines like "Pick out a cool controller" and ample Mario Kart costumes.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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