LUTON, ENGLAND - MAY 26: Sabrina Carpenter performs at BBC Radio 1's Big Weekend 2024 on May 26, 202...
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It’s A Very Good Day For Music Videos, Thanks To Sabrina Carpenter & Ariana Grande

Starring the internet's boyfriends Penn Badgley and Barry Keoghan in a meme frenzy.

by Michelle Santiago Cortés

Ariana Grande's highly anticipated cover of the R&B classic “The Boy Is Mine,” originally performed by Monica and Brandy in 1998, over-delivered on the music video. Grande plays a Catwoman-like anti-heroine as she slinks around a darkened city, circling in on newly elected major Max Starling played by a tight-collared Penn Badgley. Grande’s take on the song spins it into an obsessive near-stalker-ish anthem, while Badgley flips the script on his You character by being on the receiving end of the freaky fixation. She lassoes his ankle and drags him across the floor, but in the end, he gives in willingly as the two are seen feeding their new cat together as the credits roll.

Meanwhile, Sabrina Carpenter released the music video for her latest single “Please, Please, Please,” in which she ends up handcuffing her on- and off-screen boyfriend Barry Keoghan to a chair. Carpenter’s visuals tell the story of two troublemakers who fall in love, but, after a brief period of bliss, his criminal antics get the best of him. As Carpenter sings, “I have a fun idea, babe, maybe just stay inside,” we see the two holding up a bank, during which Keoghan points a gun at the camera while the singer stands stunned behind him. The frame has became an instant meme, one of which captions the still with “mmm watcha say” in tribute to the viral Degrassi clip-turned-SNL-skit that uses the Imogen Heap song. “She ordered that me espresso,” another meme proclaims. And less than 10 hours after the music video went live, someone made a meme about the memes: “stop using the ‘barry keoghan holding a gun meme so much-”

They say three makes a trend, so we hope this becomes an invitation for more A-list actors to support their local pop stars by picking up roles as video boys. And for the pop stars, keep the freak-for-freak music videos coming.