Critiques Digital Storytelling

Blank Space Moms – Week 5 critique

For this week’s critique I am choosing to evaluate the YouTube video: Taylor Swift – “Blank Space” PARODY (Mom Version) created and uploaded to YouTube by user WhatsUpMoms.

This video is a short story of the life of a mother of (a) toddler(s). I chose this video because it directly relates to my focal theme “The experiences of a new mother”.  Although my child is still technically an infant, he will be moving to “toddlerdom” is less than two months.  I can already relate to some of what is told in this story: “I’m so tired and I thought: Oh my god, look at that face, you look like you’re so awake”, this is especially true for me on weekends when I want it to be nap time and he’s not tired and “Husband will be late from work”, even though we both work, I’m the one that picks up and drops off at daycare and we work as a team in the evenings (which is especially important with the dogs).

While looking through Lankshear and Knobel’s kinds of remixes I couldn’t decide on one that fit just right, so for the purpose of this critique I am choosing to classify this as a combination of ‘making music videos’ and ‘remixing music’.  The literacy dimensions I’m choosing to use as my basis for this critique are:

  • Writing new lyrics for certain sections of the remix
  • Logical connection between the song and the visual images
  • Public performance dimension

Writing new lyrics for certain sections of the remix

This song is a complete rewrite of the lyrics for the song “Blank Space” by Taylor Swift.  The writers did an excellent job of keeping with the original rhyming in the song and even alluded to the misinterpretation of the original song where the lyrics are “Long list of ex-lovers” and many people thought she was saying “Starbucks lovers”.  This is addressed in full at at the end of the video.  In the original song the mood starts off happy and then turns sour closer to the middle.  This parody does not mimic that, the video describes the struggle of mothers from the very beginning.

Logical connection between the song and the visual images

Instead of using images to tell their story, the moms film a whole new video.  This is a nice approach, however the video is a literal description of the song.  Some vague symbolism would have been a nice touch for some scenes.

 

Public performance dimension

The performers of this song and video are obviously very skilled at singing and performing in front of a camera.  After the song finishes they give the viewer a type of “backstage pass” into the recording of the song and making of the video.  It looks like they put a lot of effort into this story, and I’m sure it was especially hard with babies and toddlers!

 

Final Reflection

I really enjoyed this video, especially for the quick glimpse into what my life will be like soon.  I feel that they could have done more with symbolism.  The video was very literal to the song.

The song itself is great.  I think next time I go to Starbucks I’ll have them write Mom or Mommy on my cup!

About Lisa

5 comments

  1. I enjoyed this though it scares me away from the whole kid thing haha I hope the good times outweigh these moments in motherhood! I thought your explanations for each literacy dimension were fair and some symbolism would have been nice, however, the Starbucks thing could be symbolic of the misinterpretation of Taylor’s original lyrics?

    Also, kudos to you for working, raising a child AND in grad school. I don’t know how you do it! I

  2. Oh my gosh, I love this!! First of all, I love T-Swift and that song and second of all, I love mom parodies! Have you seen the Swagger Wagon? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ql-N3F1FhW4

    On a more serious note, I agree with your critique, they were very literal but did a nice job following the rhythm and flow of the song. I had to look up the lyrics because I always sang “Starbucks lovers” 🙂 Great find!

  3. This was an excellent remix choice for your theme Lisa. The lyrics and public performance were phenomenal, while I agree with you about the logical connection between song and visual images. I think it might have been nice to see more toddler melt downs. It would have also been fun to see what happens if she doesn’t get her latte. Nonetheless, it was a really well-done remix that I am sure many moms can relate to it. Thanks for sharing.

  4. I loved watching that video I thought it was too funny. I do not have any kids and I find it hard to imagine my life if I did have them. A dog is too much for me sometimes. I think this video was really well made but I am not quite sure why they made it. Good mash up though! That’s a fun way to make fun of so many peoples realities.

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