TV

Justin Bieber Teases Hilariously Cringey YouTube Series, "Seasons"

The Biebs overcomes years of mild inconveniences, returning to the stage in his brilliant, insulting new trailer.

Are you a Justin Bieber fan? Cool! He think's you're an easily manipulated idiot.

Today, Justin released the trailer for his upcoming docuseries, Seasons, on his official YouTube account. It's intimate, emotional, inspiring, and it's also overt propaganda designed to manufacture relevance and public support for a fading pop star-turned-meme. Every aspect of the trailer wants you to see Bieber as a victim, from the cliché, sad piano underpinning the first 40 seconds to the laughably melodramatic testimonial clips from "concerned" friends and family. It's unintentionally pretty funny, but also gross.

Justin Bieber: Seasons | Official Trailer Ft. Yummy | YouTube Originals www.youtube.com

While no details are given in the video regarding the hardship Bieber has been going through, we do get dramatic shots of him moping in various locations. The classic rule of filmmaking: Show don't tell. Here we can actually see Justin grappling with his inner turmoil and heroically overcoming his trials and tribulations.

Justin Bieber sad in the desert Justin Bieber searching his basketball shorts for hope, unable to find it under wads of cash.

You can tell he is really sad here, because the footage is in black and white. Plus, he is in the desert, completely alone (with the exception of the massive film crew and catered food outside the shot). Just like Jesus, JB is confronting demons, like how "coffee [used to] come out better."

At one point in the video, JB's manager, Scooter Braun (the guy Taylor Swift accused of bullying her) literally says: "No one's ever grown up, in the history of humanity, like Justin Bieber."

"WHAT?!" gif

I can name a couple, Mr. Braun, and their legacies didn't age very well.

That's what pisses me off about Seasons and this ad for it. Bieber and the team behind this project are deliberately attempting to manipulate the audience to feel bad for him, as if he has resembled anything close to an underdog since age 13.

Justin Bieber looks for birds It was 8th period algebra. He was much better at AP revisionist history.

"But wait," you argue, "he isn't actually hurting anyone or manipulating anyone." WRONG! This is a PR stunt combined with a promotional campaign for an upcoming album, and its sole purpose is to get public sentiment back on his side, then take your money for that album and all subsequent merchandise and tours. Furthermore, it hurt my brain to watch.

Justin Bieber Seasons Meme


I legit loved the episode of SNL when Justin Bieber hosted. I thought he was great.

I hope I'm wrong and that Seasons is a quality docuseries with heart. Perhaps this trailer was cooked up by YouTube executives or some marketing agency and Justin Bieber is contractually obligated to push such promotional materials on his personal social media accounts. YouTube is paying $2 million per episode (10 episodes total), so I wouldn't be surprised. Or maybe he likes the video because it shows off some sweet new tattoos. To his credit, it looks very well shot. If the implicit and explicit messaging of the trailer weren't so intellectually bankrupt, insulting, and self righteous, I'd be super psyched for this Entourage reboot.

Oh and his upcoming single, "Yummy" just sounds...creepy.

Culture Feature

Drew Brees Exemplifies How NOT to Be a White Ally

The quarterback said "I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country." And then he tried to apologize. And only made it worse.

Drew Brees, a man who makes literally millions of dollars for throwing a ball, has come under fire for insensitive comments he made about NFL players kneeling during the National Anthem to protest police brutality.

"I will never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country," Brees said in the interview with Yahoo Finance. He clarified that this was in part because he envisioned his grandfathers, who fought in World War II, during the National Anthem. He continued, saying, "And is everything right with our country right now? No. It's not. We still have a long way to go. But I think what you do by standing there and showing respect to the flag with your hand over your heart, is it shows unity. It shows that we are all in this together. We can all do better. And that we are all part of the solution."

This isn't the first time Brees made it clear that he cares more for the idea of a make-believe unified America than he does for actual human lives. In 2016, he criticized Colin Kaepernick for kneeling during the anthem, saying it was "disrespectful to the American flag" and "an oxymoron" because the flag gave critics the right to speak out in the first place.


Colin Kaepernick Kneeling Colin Kaepernick kneeling in protest of racist police brutality


Of course, the flag's alleged ideals have been proven to only be applicable to wealthy, white men—men like Brees. Sure, his grandfathers did a noble thing when they fought under the US flag during WWII, and no one, including Kaepernick, has ever said that sacrifice isn't worth respecting. Thanks to the sacrifices of many people (including the enslaved Black backs upon which this country was built, including the scores of routinely abused Black soldiers who fought for American lives), America has offered opportunity and peace for many, many people. In particular, Ole' Glory has been very kind to men like Brees: rich, white men who still control the majority of the power and the wealth in the United States.

But what about the rest of us, Drew? What about George Floyd whose neck was crushed by a police officer who kneeled on him so casually that he didn't even take his hand out of his pocket? What about Ahmaud Arbery, who was shot for the crime of being Black and going for a jog? What about Breonna Taylor, a black woman who was murdered by police in her home in the middle of the night for a crime that had nothing to do with her? What about Tony McDade, Drew–have you heard his name? Have you heard about the 38-year-old Black trans man who was gunned down in Florida last week? Do you understand why these people's family's may harbor just a bit of disrespect for your precious flag?

Is it possible for you to realize, Drew, that your wish for "unity" is not a wish for progress, but a wish to maintain the status quo? When you call for unity under the American flag, you're talking about your flag, the flag that represents a long, sordid history of racial oppression and violence. There is no unity where there is no justice. When you say that "we are all in this together," what you're saying is that we all have roles to play in the version of society that has served you so well. For your part, you'll be a rich, white man, and for Black people's part, they'll continue to be victims of state-sanctioned murders– but hopefully more quietly, hopefully in a manner that doesn't make you uncomfortable?

When you say, "We can all do better. And that we are all part of the solution," what you mean to say is that POC and their allies are at fault. Sure, you probably agree that Derek Chauvin took it a bit too far, and you probably feel a little self-conscious that he's brought all this "Black rights" stuff up again. But when you say "all," you place blame on the victims who are dying under a broken system. And what, exactly, do you expect POC to do differently, Drew? Ahmaud Arbery was just out jogging, and still he died. George Floyd was just trying to pay a cashier, and still he died. POC and their allies try to peacefully protest by marching in the streets or taking a knee at a football game, and still white people condemn and criticize. Still the police shoot.

After much criticism, Brees did attempt an apology on Instagram, where he posted a hilariously corny stock photo of a Black and white hand clasped together. His caption, though possibly well-intentioned, made it even clearer that his understanding of the movement for Black lives is thoroughly lacking.


Highlights of the "apology" include his immediate attempt to exonerate himself from culpability, claiming that his words were misconstrued, saying of his previous statement: "Those words have become divisive and hurtful and have misled people into believing that somehow I am an enemy. This could not be further from the truth, and is not an accurate reflection of my heart or my character." Unfortunately, Drew, white people like you are the "enemy," as you put it, because by default you are at the very least part of the problem. No one is accusing you of being an overt racist, Drew; no one thinks you actively and consciously detest Black people. But your lack of empathy, your apathy, and your unwillingness to unlearn your own biases are precisely what has persisted in the hearts and minds of well-meaning white Americans for centuries.

Next, you say, "I recognize that I am part of the solution and can be a leader for the Black community in this movement." No, Drew. Just no. Black people don't need white people's savior complexes to interfere in their organizing; what they need is for us to shut up and listen. What they need is for us to get our knees off of their necks.

Finally, you say, "I have ALWAYS been an ally, never an enemy." This, Drew, is suspiciously similar to saying, "But I'm one of the good whites!" The fact of the matter is that feeling the need to prove your allyship is not about helping a movement; it's about feeding your own ego. Not only that, but your emphasis on "ALWAYS" does a pretty good job of making it clear that you don't think you have a racist bone in your body and that you have taken great offense at any accusations to the contrary. I have some news for you, Drew: Every white person is racist. Sure, the levels vary, and while you may not be actively and consciously discriminating against POC, you have been brought up in a racist system, and your implicit biases are as strong as any other white person's. Your job now is to unlearn those biases and confront those subtle prejudices in yourself and in other white people. Maybe the first step in doing so is just shutting your f*cking mouth about kneeling at football games. Maybe you should even consider taking a knee yourself.

For other non-BIPOC trying to be better allies, check out one of these 68+ anti-racism resources.

FILM

Why Sonic the Hedgehog's Movie Design is Genuinely Amazing

What if Sonic looks horrifying on purpose?

What if we've been looking at this whole “Sonic the Hedgehog has teeth and human legs" debacle the wrong way?

sonic the hedgehog teeth

From lackluster games to lackluster spin-offs, from Knuckles' weirdly broad shoulders in Sonic Boom to everything else about Sonic Boom, Sonic fans have been shafted since at least the mid-2000s. So it's inevitable that, upon seeing Sonic's grotesque new design in the upcoming live-action movie, everyone would write it off as yet another stab into the bloated carcass of a once great franchise. After all, why the hell would they make Sonic so hideous? The design flaws seem extra strange considering how well they nailed the design of Sonic's arch-nemesis, Dr. Eggman.

Except, maybe it's not so baffling after all. Yes, it's true, if Sonic the Hedgehog is the protagonist of this movie and, somehow, a full team of concept artists and graphic designers and SEGA executives approved his design, then it would stand to reason that there is a legitimate conspiracy to kill the franchise for good. But what if this isn't just another terrible video game movie nobody asked for or wanted? What if this is a deconstruction of terrible video game movies?

dr eggman jim carrey

As far as video game villains go, Dr. Eggman has never been particularly deep. He's simply a rotund, middle-aged megalomaniac who's partial to robotics and hell-bent on world domination. Put simply, he's a big douchebag. That's always been Dr. Eggman's motivation.

But the Sonic the Hedgehog trailer paints a different picture. In the first scene with Dr. Eggman, played like an asshole Ace Ventura by Jim Carrey, he looks exceedingly normal. Aside from his goofy mustache, this Dr. Eggman isn't the fat, red-suited lunatic from the video games––at least not until the final shot of the trailer. Here, Dr. Eggman is a dead-ringer for his in-game counterpart. This suggests that during the course of the movie, the initial Dr. Eggman we meet will grow into the character we've always known. What if this isn't Sonic's story at all––what if it's Dr. Eggman's?

dr eggman live action

Through Dr. Eggman's lens, Sonic's horrendous design makes perfect sense. Dr. Eggman isn't a big douchebag trying to exterminate some dumb, blue hedgehog for no reason. He's a top government scientist attempting to capture a fascinating creature with the potential to change the course of science. Consider this version of Sonic as some sort of animal abomination that managed to grow human teeth: how does its DNA relate to the human genome? Does this creature have the potential to grow other human body parts? Could there be an alternative to stem cell research? These are all questions that Dr. Eggman would have certainly considered and, as a top scientist, he clearly realizes that capturing this monster is the best option for the betterment of humanity. (As a side note, the monster is clearly disgusting and a menace to society, so removing it from the public benefits humanity in myriad ways.)

If Dr. Eggman is the protagonist, a human genius at the height of his career who's attempting to revolutionize science and robotics, it makes sense that his antagonist would be a godless blue monster. And if that's the case, Dr. Eggman's motivations––and his fall into obesity––would be all the more compelling.

Hold out hope for the new Sonic the Hedgehog movie. While it certainly looks terrible in every capacity so far, it just might prove to be the greatest video game movie of all time.


Dan Kahan is a writer & screenwriter from Brooklyn, usually rocking a man bun. Find more at dankahanwriter.com


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