The ‘YoÃ¼ and I’ Video: Gagas Galore!
Remember when a new Lady Gaga video was an event? We seem to remember eagerly sitting in front of our computers, waiting for “Telephone” to premiere, after watching “Bad Romance” so many times it was burned into our corneas. It may be a testament to the fickleness of fame that we didn’t even know a new video from Our Lady of Perpetual Platforms was on the horizon until it hit the Internet late yesterday afternoon. Has her star finally begun to fall?
The divine weirdness of the video, thankfully, would suggest the answer is not yet. Truthfully, we’re not huge fans of the song itself, “Yoü and I,” which is a fairly boring countrified arena ballad whose most interesting feature, unfortunately, is an extraneous umlaut in the title. (How’s that meant to be pronounced, anyway, Stef—”yo-ooh?”) But it’s undoubtedly a song steeped in Americana, which is why the video works so well: it distracts from the conventionality of the song by reminding us that Gaga herself is unconventional, by depositing a sort of half-robotic version of her on a rural highway and going from there.
As is her wont, Gaga confronts us with several iterations of herself as the video goes on. There’s a disarmingly smiley, blond, normal-looking version of her who comes in at around 1:30 to play the piano in a cornfield—and to duet with her own male alter-ego, Joe Calderone, who bears a more-than-passing resemblance to a young Bob Dylan. And there’s science-experiment Gaga, who’s constantly being improved (in fairly suspect ways) in a high-raftered barn by a shirtless mad scientist, like a postmodern Coppelia. There’s blue-haired fetish Gaga, who mostly leads her backup dancers. And then there’s mermaid Gaga, who has knit-together breasts and resides in a dirty old bathtub. And then there’s ghost-bride Gaga, who may or may not be the same as that first normal-looking one. Almost all of them get to have sex, which is great!
There’s an optimistic element to the “Yoü and I” video that’s been absent from some of her others—most of the character Gagas end up snuggling with the objects of their affection by video’s end, and the overall message seems to be that no matter how strange you are—whether you’re a mermaid, half-robot, or derivative drag king—you deserve a happy ending. (And isn’t that what Born This Way is all about, anyway?)