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One Video: Boys by Charli XCX

One Video: Boys by Charli XCX



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Every week, a slew of new music videos hits the web. Watching them at your desk is not time theft because you deserve it; think of it as a nice reward for surviving another work week. But what if you don’t have time to watch every video — maybe you have a deadline, a hungry pet, or other grown-up concerns. In consideration of your schedule, Lizzie and Kaitlyn bring you a series called One Video. Each week we’ll tell you “one video” you need to watch, why, and for how long.

This week’s One Video: “Boys” by Charli XCX

Kaitlyn: This week we saw Selena Gomez eat glass and take an eyelash curler to her own tongue. We saw Shania Twain buy a new rug from Target. We saw Kesha’s home videos, and we saw whatever Meek Mill is doing now. But the whole time... we were busy thinking ‘bout “Boys.”

Lizzie: “Boys” is a video about boys acting (or not acting) like cute, weird dorks and also sex objects. In an interview with BBC Radio 1 Charli XCX said she tried to make the boys do “all the sexy things that girls usually do in videos.” This includes things like having giggly pillow fights and writhing around on a bed of rose petals, but also, apparently, smashing a vase on your skull.

Who are the “boys”?

Kaitlyn: The boys are all of Charli’s friends, and presumably some of her crushes. There are 60 of them, and BuzzFeed identified them all, but I think the key boys for me personally are Riz Ahmed, Brendon Urie, and Joe Jonas (because he’s Sophie Turner’s boyfriend).

Oh, and thank you for asking [heavy sigh], Charli XCX is a British pop singer and songwriter. So far her biggest radio hit in the US has been “Boom Clap,” from the soundtrack of The Fault in Our Stars. It’s amazing that she isn’t on the radio 24 hours a day, given the caliber of her spring EP Number 1 Angel (produced by PC Music), which is 100 percent killer trap and trop house-influenced pop songs laced with imaginative guest choices and lines like “You know I’m sugar sweet / baby boy gon’ rot your teeth.” She directed the video, with help from Sarah McColgan.

Lizzie: For me, the boys are Joey Bada$$, A.G. Cook, and Kaytranada. Also, it’s crazy that The Cobrasnake, sleaze-boy party photographer from 2007, is in this video. What have you been doing Mark, and how did they find you?

What’s special about “Boys” by Charli XCX:

Kaitlyn: Thank you for gathering with us, here on The Verge, to celebrate a historic day. It’s the day that we launch the One Video Extended Universe! “Boys,” by Charli XCX, features several boys who have appeared or performed in previous One Video picks, is what I’m saying.

We’ve got our guy Mac DeMarco, whose romantic afternoon with the Grim Reaper in “One Another” was a June pick:

We’ve got California rapper Buddy who taught us what chameleons eat the following week:

And here’s his producer, pal, and One Video co-star Kaytranada.

We’ve even got an oiled-up Jack Antonoff, Lorde’s primary Melodrama producer and BFF, who played piano for her while she danced in the bathroom in March’s “Green Light.”

I’m so glad that all of our boys showed up for us, as Charli’s boys. This is more satisfying to me than any cinematic universe I can name?

Lizzie: “Boys” truly does have a little something for everyone, even if you don’t like boys or Charli XCX. Do you like weight-lifting? Pancakes? Puppies?

Do you like One Video?

You will like this video.

How long everyone should watch “Boys” by Charli XCX:

Lizzie: There’s really no getting out of this one: all of it.

Kaitlyn: Once in the morning and once at night.

And then you can contribute to this really nice Twitter thread:

Have a good weekend, and please don’t watch The Emoji Movie. We almost died in there.