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Bad Blood Video Analysis

Lydia McCarthy


The video begins with an establishing shot of a city

from a low angle looking up, this fits with the genre
of the music as its a pop song and therefore will be
listened to by a younger audience. Therefore the city
could not only reflect the high paced and celebrity
life that Taylor lives that fits with Archers idea that
celebrities must maintain a certain celebrity image
that makes them appear as superior as a means of
making the fans more demanding of their music but
it would also appeal to her younger audience that
she has already built through her earlier career of
music as the city is often expressed to be a luxurious
and idealist scene. Archer would argue that this
therefore fits with Taylors star image as she needs
to appear superior and alternative from her
audiences normal lives as means of appearing in a
powerful way within the video as its important her
brand as an artist stays prestigious. This is enhanced
by the diegetic soundscape as it connects the viewer
quickly to the plot and setting of the video which is
essential as the video has a limited amount of time


The scene then continues as a montage, again fitting

the fast and rapid life of Taylor as well as fitting the
narrative of the video as an action film, this abides to
the theory of intersexuality as it can be argued that
Taylor is using the Brittany Spears video Toxic to
mimic and exaggerate her modern interpretation of the
video as Spears also explores the swap and exchange
of male and female power as she is depicted as
tormenting a number of men within her video. This idea
of the power shift between men and women is parallel
to Taylors video as zoom through the office followed by
her close up could be seen as sexual as her small black
and skimpy outfit fits with Archers idea of the Star
image as well as the idea of Voyeurism and the lipstick
prop being sexualised as it has connotations of beauty
and feminism and therefore will appeal to her male
audience as it fits the dominant ideology of the male
gaze as Taylor is show as beautiful and attractive. This
is further supported by the rapid editing as this
convention is usually shown in male fast paced and
action videos and therefore again will be appealing to


The next scene begins with a musical sting as a

male character is thrown onto the desk and the
pleonastic sound of this creates an abrupt start to
the music as it slowly moves into the song. This
fits with Vernallis theory that music in pop videos is
often revealed slowly as a means of the tension
being built or to help establish a narrative, both
these reasons are shown as the tension fits the
superhero image as well as well as making the
video seem more like a film as the idea that music
is supported strongly by their videos is a particular
traditionalism thats occurring within the modern
music industry, especially for pop music. This is
also supported by the use of the mise en scene low
key lighting as the dark tone not only fits the
narrative but also the character as Taylor is shown
as aggressive and powerful but still feminine. This
is supported by the prevalence of Taylor as shes
clearly shown as the protagonist, again reinforcing
Archers theory of star image and her prevalence is
necessary as it her song and therefore she needs
to be labelled as this character.


Lyrically, there is a clear disjunction between the

videos narrative and the lyrics of her song as she
is singing about a bad break up but her video
shows no relevance to this story. This therefore fits
with the idea of Vernallis as she argued that videos
do not necessarily show a balance between the
lyrics and videos narrative. However, the rapid
pace and dark tone of the song is reflected within
the video as the battle between the two female
armies could be a reflection of her broken
relationship. The actual lyric bad blood could
also have an implication or meaning of an almost
superficial and fictitious situation and therefore
this imaginary situation could also be a reflection
of this idea.


The use of the harsh editing and cuts throughout the video
manage to create a sense of danger and pace that fits with
both the songs lyrics and general tone as the idea of
problems could therefore be reflected in the movement
and harsh actions including the panning shot of Taylor
herself as she breaks through a wall, this could be a
representation of the destruction of her relationship and
therefore fits with Vernallis idea that all though the lyrics
may not be literally shown within the video, the
interpretations can be reflected through certain aspects and
props that fit the general tone and genre of the video. This
is further reinforced through the use of the mise en scene
and the idea that the as she explores the good and bad
aspects of her relationship its so sad to think about the
good times and this general juxtaposition between good
and bad and reflected through the costume choice. It can
also be argued by Muvley, that as most directors are male,
they use their male gaze to create videos that are
appealing and sexual to men and therefore the revealing
costume added with the sexual concept of Taylor moving
from good to bad, will appeal to a male audience and

The over sexualised aspect of the video is particularly

predominant for the modern viewer as the use of the shared
knowledge of the artist Jay Z being reflected through the use of
the female character slay Z acts as means of transferring the
prestigious and cool attitude of this male artist onto Taylors
image and therefore reinforcing her star image. Also the
recognisable female characters are all famous super models and
therefore again are appealing to the male audience as well as
keeping Taylor relevant and making her appear sexualised. It
can also be argued that the prevalence of the female characters
will also be popular with the modern and contemporary viewer
as the idea of feminism and female empowerment is a
progressive movement that has become increasingly popular
with youth culture within the last 3-4 years and therefore again
makes Taylor appear as a strong female and therefore relatable
to her fans.
The ending shows a change from the low key and dark lighting
that creates tension and a reflection of Taylors emotional state
as she explores the sadness of their relationship to the high key
fire used within the final scene that could be a reflection of the
anger that she feels and the musical sting hay finished the