Today, Michael Jackson:
While I didn’t watch the Super Bowl itself, I took a minute to check out the Katy Perry halftime show, because 1.) I tend to like the halftime shows for their sheer spectacle, 2.) I like Katy Perry somewhat, and 3.) I heard she dressed like Bam Bam Bigelow and I had to do a double-take. The show itself was fine enough, though whenever I see a Super Bowl halftime show these days, I inevitably compare it to Jackson’s ’93 halftime show in my head, as that one was… well, it was basically the high point of Jackson’s eclectic showmanship, and few people can pull off what he did as one person, even with several guest stars and callbacks to classic hits.
This song was one of the cornerstone songs of that performance, and because my brain works like a Wikipedia clickhole, I ended up going back to watch it. It’s interesting because, while I wouldn’t argue this is Jackson’s best song overall (“Thriller” is almost certainly it), the video is an amazing thing, because it’s an amazing time capsule for its release period. Jackson himself is in this weird transition state, physically, though he’s still vital as a performer and it shows. Meanwhile, George Wendt and Makulay Culkin are both notable parts of the video, with Culkin showing up a couple times throughout, for some odd reason or another. The video is also very much a weird sort of call toward racial equality that does so by showing stereotyped examples of races, which is probably a bit insensitive now but comes across as sort of childlike on consideration. The end result is, honestly, one of the more amazing videos Jackson has produced, and outside of the video for “Scream,” this is probably the last really memorable video Jackson produced.