Britney Spears’ new “I Wanna Go” video is, like some of her past clips, an all-out affront to the pesky paparazzi that follow her every move. But, unlike any video she’s done previously, this one tackles the issue with tongue firmly planted in cheek.
See, “Go” is essentially one long dream sequence — instigated by the rote questions Spears is forced to endure by members of the media — and, as such, it’s packed with pop-culture nods to film and television (and whistling dogs too). And that fact not only makes it pretty funny, but it sets it apart from most of Brit’s other work. And though we’ve done pop-culture cheat sheets for her other videos , rarely have they been as much fun as they were this time out.
So, without further ado, alphabetized and cross-referenced for your perusing pleasure, here’s our “I Wanna Go” cheat sheet:
“Crossroads”: Epically bad 2002 coming-of-age flick starring Spears herself (written, interestingly enough, by “Grey’s Anatomy” mastermind Shonda Rhimes). In a rare self-effacing moment, the supposed sequel — “Crossroads 2: Cross Harder” — is teased on a theater marquee in “I Wanna Go.”
E*Trade Baby: Lippy, fiscally savvy infant who stars in an ongoing series of commercials for the financial company. In “I Wanna Go,” there’s a baby too, and while he doesn’t dispense any trading tips, he does whistle, using the same creepy, CGIed mouth effects the E*Trade ads do.
“Half Baked”: Cult 1998 stoner comedy starring Dave Chappelle as a weed-obsessed “master of the custodial arts” (and a weed-addled rapper named Sir Smoke-a-lot), who runs with an appropriately stony crew. Said crew includes actor Guillermo Diaz, who quits his crappy fast-food job in truly epic fashion. The scene is replayed verbatim at the beginning of “I Wanna Go,” only with Britney delivering the “F— you, f— you, f— you, you’re cool and f— you … I’m out!” line. As an added bonus, Diaz also co-stars in the video. Truly the most inexplicably awesome part of the entire production.
“Kill Bill”: Ultra-gory 2003 revenge flick written and directed by Quentin Tarantino, it stars Uma Thurman as Beatrix Kiddo, a bride out to avenge her wedding-day massacre. She battles several baddies throughout, including Gogo Yubari, a sadistic 17-year-old who wields a meteor hammer. In “I Wanna Go,” Britney uses a microphone in much the same fashion — namely, to bash those pesky paparazzi.
“The Mickey Mouse Club”: Oft-revived Disney variety show/ teen-sploitation factory that famously featured young stars like Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera, Ryan Gosling (!) and, of course, Britney. She pays homage to her Mouseketeer days in “I Wanna Go” by wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with a Mickey Mouse skull.
Seashells: Hard, protective exoskeletons created by sea-dwelling creatures. In “I Wanna Go,” Diaz’s character gives Britney a handful of them, and since the majority of the clip takes place in her daydream, we’re going to get deep here: In dreams, seashells represent security or protection.
“Terminator 2: Judgment Day”: The 1991 sci-fi blockbuster featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger as the titular Terminator, sent back in time to protect a young John Connor from the nefarious T-1000. Arnie suffers severe battle damage throughout, including one scene where half his face is blasted off, revealing a glowing cyborg eye beneath his skin. That same scene is shown in “I Wanna Go,” though it’s the paparazzi who are revealed to be robotic killing machines.
“Thriller”: Iconic 1984 Michael Jackson mini-movie that may very well be the greatest music video ever made. It concludes with a famous freeze frame (and subsequent zoom-in) of MJ with glowing eyes and Vincent Price’s legendary cackle. Britney pays tribute to the scene at the ending of “I Wanna Go,” though it’s Diaz’s eyes that are glowing. We’re not sure who provides the cackle.
Did we miss anything? Share the pop-culture tidbits you picked up in the comments below!