Katy Perry Finally Abandons “Swish Swish”
What’s the weirdest thing about Katy Perry’s “Swish Swish” video—everything about it, or the fact that it so thoroughly rejects the song itself? Really, it’s the former: the nonsensical grab bag cameos, the ragged plot, the acting that drips with flopsweat. Perry has already more or less renounced the song that is her response to Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood,” telling the press in the run-up to her recent album Witness that despite the obvious implication of the single she was ready to end the beef. But with the release of the video—which both briefly prolongs the lifespan of “Swish Swish” and signals that the end is near—it’s still worth ruminating on the whole saga, a bizarre and memorable faceplant by a one-time Teflon pop artist whose career had up to this point been a smooth ascent to the top with an extended ride at cruising altitude.
The concept of the “Swish Swish” video is basically as follows. There is a basketball game between two teams: the Tigers and the Sheep. Nodding at the song’s lyrics, Perry’s team—featuring, among others, one of the boys from Stranger Things and that