Here’s a disturbing thought: Maybe the pop-metal band Nickelback isn’t really as bad as we all thought. Maybe they’re actually a huge performance art experiment, and the joke is on us.
That’s one of the few explanations for this home run of a music video for their single “Trying Not To Love You,” starring Jason Alexander. It’s so beyond bizarre it works.
The former Seinfeld star plays a friendly, attentive barista named Bud (with hair!) — the kind of java slinger who treats every latte like it’s a work of art, made with a craftsman’s precision and a painter’s love. He is, up to this point, the master of his domain.
Then Brooke Burke shows up. In true Baywatch-style, the bombshell approaches Alexander—a halo of light surrounding her—and proceeds to throw the poor guy off his latte-making game.
Then, as if a dream sequence of Burke laying American Beauty-style among a heaping pile of coffee beans isn’t enough, Alexander’s evil twin pulls into the café — into the café — on a motorcycle. (You can tell he’s evil because he has a goatee.) But evil Alexander is also a master coffee artiste, and the two proceed to have a barista showdown. Who wins?
The video is a nod to the fun, silly music videos of the early aughts, but is also a departure for the band, who can hardly ever pass up an opportunity to showcase frontman Chad Kroeger caterwauling in agony. In fact, in this fun, frothy video you hardly notice Nickelback at all. And maybe that’s the point.