My friend Mitch is obsessed with Britney Spears — so much so that during a dinner party at my apartment on Saturday night, he kept hijacking my computer to play her new video for "Piece of Me" and try to convince everyone in attendance that the oft-maligned diva is not only looking "fabu," but is poised for global domination in 2008. What’s more, Mitch informed me that if I didn’t blog about "Piece of Me" first thing Monday morning, there would be dire consequences…something about me winding up unconscious behind a dumpster. (Thus, I cannot once again choose to write about soft tacos instead of Britney.)
The good news for Mitch (and Britney) is that the "Piece of Me" clip, which premiered on 20/20 (news!) Friday night, is a vast improvement over the lethargic pole dancing of "Gimme More." That said, Britney’s latest choreography doesn’t involve much more than raising her hands over her head and swaying her hips; Paula Abdul burned more calories during warmup in her heyday. What’s more, the video concept — Britney engages in playful/depressing cat-and-mouse game with the paparazzi — has been on the menu in newspapers and magazines, on TV, and in the gossip blogs for what seems like an eternity. It’s the music-video equivalent of reheating a gigantic Tupperware container of mediocre pasta for breakfast, lunch, and dinner — every day for a month. After a while, your stomach gurgles with an awesome cry of protest: "Enough!" Also, there’s that matter of Britney rhyming the words "scene," "Philippines," and "magazine."
Anyhow, Mitch says my negative response is just a matter of me seeing what I want to see, and ultimately confirming my own negative preconceptions. To which I say, there isn’t a video on YouTube that couldn’t pass as entertaining after a bottle and a half of sauvignon blanc. Clearly, we’re deadlocked. It’s up to you to settle our debate about the merits of "Piece of Me" in the comments section below.