One Direction's 'Live While We're Young' Follows In Boy-Band Tradition

The guys' latest clip jacks up the hilarity, goofing off as the Beatles, the Monkees, 'NSYNC and the Backstreet Boys once did.

As you are probably aware, on Thursday (September 20), One Direction unveiled their brand-new video for "Live While We're Young," a rollicking three-minute romp through all your summer camp memories that also carves out ample time for the guys to appear shirtless.

Here's the plot: One Direction and their hair products go camping. 1D fans will love watching Harry, Niall, Liam, Zayn and Louis goof around in the great outdoors, strum acoustic guitars, tool around in a Jeep and engage in all manner of water play. They will probably get jealous of the girls who get to bop around a campfire with them, and will certainly agree that the five guys have never looked better (or hotter, whatever). In every conceivable way, the video is a win/win, and will probably have been viewed 14 bazillion times by the time this story publishes.

In other words, "Live While We're Young" is a One Direction video ... possibly their best, though who really bothers keeping track of these things? I'm 34 years old, so certainly this clip was not made with me in mind, though leave it to this old timer to bring up one point, and, in a way, praise the video because of it: "Young" is sort of brilliant, in a really bizarre way.

See, the history of boy bands is filled with clips like this, where we find the handsome guys messing around to maximum effect. The Beatles and the Monkees made videos like this (back then, said hijinks were usually played at twice the normal speed, for hilarity's sake), and so did the New Kids on the Block, 'NSYNC and the Backstreet Boys. It is practically a time-honored tradition, in a genre where time is almost certainly the enemy. And I'd like to think that the guys in One Direction are smart enough to realize this, which is why they seem to be playing up the sheer ridiculousness of the concept. When they are singing into giant inflatable microphones or splashing around in a pond, they're doing it knowingly, and it's all they can do to hide the wry smiles from their perfectly boned faces. You've got to admire them for that.

Call it clever, or just call it the latest 1D video ... either way, it doesn't matter. "Live While We're Young" is sure to please their fervent fans, and only further launch the band on their trajectory toward superstardom. You don't have to like it, but you can't deny it, either. One Direction know what they're doing, and they do it well. Even when they're in on the joke.

Do you think the One Direction video is inadvertently genius? Let us know in the comments!