So everyone remembers “Friday,” right? You know, the Rebecca Black song from a couple years back whose video was called the worst music video ever. It’s gotten nearly 60 million views on YouTube since September 2011 (the music video’s second posting) and launched the career of Patrice Wilson, producer for Ark Music Factory.
Now Wilson and Ark are back at it again, this time with “Chinese Food,” which combines the musical mediocrity of “Friday” with the casual racism of your least-favorite grandparent.
Alison Gold, the heir apparent to Black’s tween pop throne, provides vocals for the track and also stars in the music video, which premiered yesterday. It’s already racked up nearly one million views and has four times as many dislikes to likes (a ratio that’s likely to grow). Anyway, have yourself a watch and then we’ll give this Columbus Day treasure the breakdown America deserves:
So, yeah. Let’s just say it’s a good thing that YouTube views are counted by clicks, not videos completed. If you made it through the whole thing though, congratulations—people used to pay good money for a lobotomy. For those of you who didn’t watch the entire video, here’s what you missed:
0:01: Here’s a man speaking Mandarin (no subtitles, because this video is an authentic piece of Chinese culture) while flipping noodles on a hibachi. Then, sparkles begin emanating from the noodles and a rainbow shoots out of them toward the ceiling. (Note: This is the most realistic scene in the video.)
0:16: Now we see our protagonist, Alison Gold, who sing-songily describes her average day of bowling, clubbing, hugging and being hungry. She’s basically your average 13-year-old.
0:28: “Now I’m walking on the street and I’m getting getting getting grumpy.” A nearby public trashcan becomes the first victim of Gold’s hunger-induced rage.
0:30: This would probably be a good time to mention that this music video has subtitles that switch between at least a dozen different languages, including English, which makes approximately zero sense.
0:39: Gold spots a Chinese restaurant “by my right.” It is so on.
0:50: Even though she’s starving and there’s no line, Gold decides not to order right away and continues singing, which is great for the rest of us because we get to experience the chorus (“I love Chinese foooooood!”) for the first time.
0:55: Okay, so now she’s stepped up to the register and seems to be pointing out all the things on the menu that she wants (“I love fried rice, I love noodles, I love chow-m-m-m-m-mein!”). Couple problems with this. First, she seems to be pointing at a bunch of Snapple bottles, unless the menu happens to be just above those bottles and out of the shot—which would put the menu would on the ceiling (actually not a bad idea for NYC holes-in-the-wall short on real estate). Second and more importantly, the cash register doesn’t look any older than 10 and is attempting to type on the cash register like it’s a tablet. Kids these days.
0:59: It appears as though “chow-m-m-m-m-mein” is something of a catch phrase for Gold, almost like R. Kelly’s “toot-toot” and “beep-beep” from “Ignition (Remix).” The first time she says it, she makes it rain; the second time, she brushes her shoulders off (always good to see the next generation paying homage to hip-hop greats like Weezy and Jay).
1:15: For reasons that (per usual) defy understanding, Gold is seated and reading the menu even though she already has a table full of food in front of her and is all by herself.
1:41: Requisite fortune cookie and bowing Chinese waiter shot. The waiter breaks the fourth wall rather than bowing toward Gold, so he probably won’t be asked back for Wilson’s next video.
1:45: Now here’s where things take a turn for the even weirder. Gold’s fortune cookie says, “You will find a new friend.” So she turns around and sees a person sitting at a table by themselves, wearing a panda suit. The panda gets a fortune that reads, “You will find a new friend too,” which makes even less sense once you think about it. Also, options if you’re a young girl sitting by yourself in a restaurant and someone in a panda costume is staring at you:
1. Call your parents
2. Call the police
3. Not this…
1:48: Gold and the panda are skipping through a field together holding hands (they later spin each other around before falling on the ground and tickling each other). Never doubt the prophecy of a fortune cookie.
2:10: So they’re laying on the ground after the brief tickle-fest and are staring at the sky, when Gold points up at the sky, which is now inhabited by a bowl of what appears to be Chinese noodle soup. Leaving aside hallucinogens that Gold must have ingested during her meal, who really craves Chinese food after just eating an entire table’s worth?
2:12: Things seemed to be going well in the park, so Gold decides to bring the panda home to play Monopoly with her friends (kids playing Monopoly in 2013 has to be the most unrealistic part of this video, if every trend piece of the last five years is to be believed). That’s when we get the big reveal…
2:13: The panda is Patrice Wilson! He also “loves Chinese food, and some wonton soup,” the latter of which would be covered under the Chinese food pronouncement, but let’s not focus on that too much. He is apparently crushing a group of pre-teen girls in a game of Monopoly and Gold seems none too pleased about it.
2:30: Patrice Wilson does not care. He’s back in the park, eating Chinese food (“I use the chopsticks to eat the potsticks”) and hanging out with his panda costume
2:43: Quick plug for Panda Express from Wilson. Gotta pay the bills.
2:45: Gold is back in what we can assume is the same Chinese restaurant, only this time she’s wearing what appears to be a qipao and is flanked by two qipao-wearing pals whose faces have been painted in the style of the traditional Chinese opera, because that’s totally a thing.
[Update: There's been some debate on Twitter and below in the comments about what Gold and her friends were actually wearing in the video. Since I won't pretend to be an expert on the subject, I figured I should give them the benefit of the doubt (silly, I know) despite my initial impression that they were wearing kimonos, not qipaos. Apparently, earlier qipaos looked more like what Gold wears in the video than the present day variety. Feel free to do some research and draw your own conclusion.]
2:50: The three of them are dancing while accompanied by Gold’s other Monopoly-playing friends. Wilson is back in his panda costume and appears to be playing the drums on a hibachi with chopsticks.
2:55: Yeah, that’s a middle-aged man dressed in a panda costume having a bedroom pillow fight with a handful of young girls.
3:05: Gold: “I love Chinese fooooood. You know that it’s truuuuuue.” If we didn’t before, we certainly do at this point.
3:10: The video draws to its thrilling conclusion with the panda tossing an enormous CGI fortune cookie toward Gold (it never actually reaches her, just sort of disappears) and then rainbow-blasting through the roof of Gold’s house. Fin.
So there you have it: three minutes and 27 seconds of what people are sure to call the most recent evidence of the downfall of Western civilization. This time, Wilson even managed to drag the East into it as well. Let’s just hope this doesn’t set the Chinese food market back too far.