There’s something about Taylor Swift songs that inspires parodies. All summer long, we were treated to variations on “Shake It Off,” and now, it’s “Blank Space.”
This Saturday, Woody Harrelson hosted Saturday Night Live and viewers were treated to him — along with the core cast of Hunger Games— parodying “Blank Space” as they riffed on the title of Taylor Swift’s most recent album, 1989. After all, that was when, 25 years ago, Harrelson first hosted SNL.
For all that, as Jennifer Lawrence points out, the cast has done, “like, ten Hunger Games movies together,” they seem to still be enjoying each other’s company. It’s hard to pick a favorite part of the parody; Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth riffing on how they weren’t alive in 1989 or Woody Harrelson biting at Jennifer Lawrence’s leg and calling her the “real Taylor Swift.”
Harrelson definitely seemed to enjoy the rewrite of “Blank Space” to include lyrics that were a bit more on point for someone who lived through the 80s. He referenced Cheers, the show that made him a household name, then went on to sing:
“Thought I met Margaret Thatcher / but it was Saddam Hussein / Then I got a blank space, baby / ’cause I used to do cocaine.”
While that is the “Blank Space” parody much of America watched on Saturday night, it’s far from the only video that’s emerged playing around with the song. There’s Greg James and Taylor Swift lipsyncing to “Blank Space” while they drive around, and Slate‘s reimagining of “Blank Space” as a horror movie.
After the upsets that surrounded “Shake It Off” — many viewers were uncomfortable with the “otherness” of the bodies of women of color — “Blank Space” has brought many interpretations of what, exactly, Taylor Swift was trying to say with this song. While some critics, such as Forrest Wickman at Slate, have suggested that the message of the song is that Taylor knows what we, the audience, think of her, and it’s absolutely not true, Becca Rothfield at the New Republic has a more interesting take.
“The takeaway from ‘Blank Space’ is that Swift’s ‘crazy’ is deliberate — not an act of compulsion but an act of agency. In contrast with Mrs. Rochester or the protagonist of The Yellow Wallpaper, women who are oppressed by their own neuroses, Swift endorses the way that she relates to the world.”
This does seem to line up with other comments Swift has made in the media pre-“Blank Space,” talking about how she’s a woman writing songs about love, and that never quite goes over well.
“Blank Space” is another earworm hit, and the SNL parody is beyond hysterical.
[Image from PopSugar]