The Spice Girls video is a bit like Hamlet

I’ve had a request – a request – to review the video for “Headlines (Friendship Never Ends)” – the new Spice Girls single. I don’t know why either, but I’m always happy to oblige friends…I should mention that Anna Pickard has done a good job of this already.

I should also confess that I don’t mind the Spice Girls at all. They had some catchy songs: I still think ‘two become one’ is pretty good. Please don’t stop talking to me. I should probably move on. Here is why I think the Spice Girls video is like Hamlet.

Video begins with the Girls walking into Enormous Room of Abandoned Stuff. Dark, musty and littered with photogenic bric-a-brac, it’s a place that only exists in music videos. The entrance is, in my view, important. In Hamlet he gets banished for a) killing old men a) being a brat, but when he secretly returns to Denmark he has the advantage of surprise. He can spy on his enemies, track their movements, plan his revenge. And then he blows it by throwing a hissy fit and jumping into a grave in front of everyone. It is the very definition of anti-climactic1. ‘Headlines’ is the same.

So the Girls enter Ikea Batman’s warehouse. In slow-motion, natch. They’re in beautiful dresses. They look elegant, mature. They used to be a massive pop force, and are now together again. Ok so the song isn’t all that hot, but the video can redeem it. Some class is needed. What’s the story?

This is the entire story of the video: the Girls stand in a room; some of them undress.

Well, Ginger does. Takes her about fifteen seconds. There she is looking good in sparkly red dress, and moments later she’s in a bra and up against a wall.

Lesser bloggers would need to take a moment out after that sentence. I shall push on.

They soon split off into little areas. Ginger has clearly been banished to a corner, so is all look: I has breasts and occasionally look: I has thighs. Posh stands around looking sultry for a while, then, suddenly, we cut to mid-lap-dance: she’s on a chair in her underwear, feeling herself up while gazing sidelong into the camera. Scary appears to have been replaced with Animatronic Girl devoid of personality. Sporty and Baby are clearly embarrassed by all this so wander off and, by virtue of actually being able to sing, retain their dignity.

And that’s it, really. Well-lit attractive women hovering about chez-lounges. Measuring it on the Take That Scale of Comebacks, it gets a Winehouse with Merit, slightly below an All Saints First Single. I hope they get their act together – I still think they’ve a certain kitsch charm.

  1. people have tried to tell me it’s very clever and moving. Having none of it. I like the play, but this bit is Just Rubbish []