Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Britney's Videography: The 'Overprotected' Videos

Britney Spears 'Overprotected' # # # # #
Britney Spears 'Overprotected [Darkchild Remix]' # # # # #

For the fourth single from the Britney album, released two different music videos: one for the album version and one for the Darkchild remix, which proved to be the more popular of the two. In fact, the Darkchild remix has become so ingrained in me, I don't even remember seeing the original version's video until starting this project. Apparently I just have a really bad memory, but I think it's quite telling that the first 'Overprotected' video is utterly forgettable. The video begins by establishing the main theme of the song--Britney is grown up and ready to escape constant scrutiny and live her own life--as she leaves for an abandoned warehouse wearing quite possibly the coolest pair of blue sunglasses ever. The outfit is a stunner, but everything that follows becomes a mish-mash of random ideas and visuals that never quite come together. At one point, I thought the video was going to become Britney's 'Pleasure Principle,' an opportunity for her to show her worth as a solo dancer after the highs of 'Stronger'. Unfortunately, she only gets a couple of half-ass moves in before some background dancers invade her abandoned warehouse to perform a half-ass routine. And that's the major problem with the original video: everything is done half-ass, banking on Britney's star appeal to do all of the heavy lifting. Any positives that video has can be attributed to either her or the wardrobe, but she can't save a nothing video from being anything more than that.

The Darkchild remix of 'Overprotected' doesn't offer much more in terms of narrative than the original--it's Britney off having fun with her girlfriends--but its execution only highlights everything the first video did so poorly. The video starts with a parody newscast chastising Britney for what she was infamous for doing back in 2002: dressing provocatively. Britney, watching it with her girls, shrugs off the criticisms and prepares for her night on the town, wearing whatever the hell she wants. By framing the video in this way, the silly dancing and partying Britney and her girls partake in makes total sense. They don't want to be so damn protected so they are going out and celebrating their freedom, haters be damned. It is not a revolutionary idea, but it makes perfect sense for the video. Plus, the video looks about a hundred times better than the original. Since this is the "Darkchild" remix, I like that this video takes place at night and has a darker, more interesting look than the bland, tan-ness of the original. And I absolutely adore the limo set piece that transforms into a lighted disco dancefloor. It is because of sparks of imagination like this that the Darkchild video of 'Overprotected' stands heads above the original video.

Britney Spears - Overprotected (Darkchild Remix) by Schutzengerl1205

Previous installments: ...Baby One More Time | Sometimes | (You Drive Me) Crazy (The Stop Remix!) | From the Bottom of My Broken Heart | Born To Make You Happy | Oops!...I Did It Again | Lucky | Stronger | Don't Let Me Be the Last to Know | I'm a Slave 4 U | I'm Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman | Boys

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