Tik Tok is a time suck. However, it’s a fun time suck, but a time suck nonetheless.
From time to time, the micro-vlogging platform comes with some gems like the various challenges popping up all over the place. In this case, Taylor Swift’s classic song Wildest Dreams off her 1989 album. On Tik Tok, there’s the ‘slow zoom’ filter, making it look like a camera takes a slow-motion close up of a person’s face. Movies and television do it all the time, for reaction shots, usually to show attraction dawning on a character’s face or body.
Tik Tok vloggers took it and raaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan with it.
It started with Mr. Darcy:
This account did a lot of Pride and Prejudice slow zooms featuring Matthew Macfayden, a loooooong way from his Minnesota moron role in Succession. I had to look up when this version was released in theatres in North America. I blinked in surprise at the date:
November 11, 2005
Wait a minute. 2005. Hey, wasn’t there some programme, based on Pride and Prejudice, but like someone said ‘make it industrial. Oh, yeah, make sure the guy looks like a tall, dark, and, handsome character springing to life? Also made in 2005?
Why, yes, released on November 14, 2005, played for 4 episodes, and broke the BBC message boards:
Tik Tok trends aside, Swift released the whole song ahead of schedule as she rerecords her earlier music to combat Scooter Braun’s, better known as Justin Bieber’s manager, purchase of her master recordings. (It’s a messy saga and covered in Variety and in Entertainment Weekly.)
The song has a cinematic feel, with its tale of brief passion and plea to remain tucked into the memory of her lover. At least, that’s how I view it.
Say you'll remember me standing in a nice dress Staring at the sunset, babe Red lips and rosy cheeks Say you'll see me again Even if it's just in your wildest dreams, ah-ha Wildest dreams, ah-ha
It also makes it a perfect soundtrack for a Tik Tok trend celebrating the female gaze. I first learned about the term from a movie critic who ran her own blog. I used to visit the site, a lot, during late night at work with all my regular work done. Now I can’t find it, but it was also a site featuring Richard Armitage not once but twice for her spotlight on swoon-worthy actors. (She also wrote thoughtful movie posts and she’s a working movie critic. What is her name!?)
Spotty memories notwithstanding, the term marked the first time someone affirmed my own desires. The hey-baby leering isn’t me but there’s a reason I use this GIF a lot:
I think the last time this above GIF floated into my mind, it was during Armitage’s guest role in Hannibal. No matter how much mental cold water I pour over my hormones (HE’S A SERIAL KILLER, FATIMA!!!!!!!) it also brings back a snippet of this lyric:
He's so tall and handsome as hell He's so bad but he does it so well
Yup, Richard Armitage does bad guys very well. Gizzy was the gateway drug.
There’s a lot of debate about Taylor Swift and what she does well. It takes an astute woman to release a track on Tik Tok via her own Tik Tok. Much has been made about her, her music, and her love life. Looking at my Spotify account, I denied being a ‘Swiftie’ since I didn’t attend her concerts, nor bought her records, but I kept putting her music in my library and thought twice before listening to ‘Welcome to New York.’ I don’t want to put money in Scooter Braun’s pocket knowing he owns to the masters to the theme of my 2016 New York trip. The man gave off what I described as a ‘hinky’ vibe well before his purchase of Big Machine, the music label who owned her masters.
Swift is a dreamer, a romantic, as well as someone in command of all aspects of her career. I have to respect her for how she handled her career and drawing attention the business side of the music industry. We can be dreamers and pragmatists. We can express our desires with a soundtrack. Whatever your wildest dreams, hold onto them.