Do you remember when Britney Spears could dance? Not dance, like, better than your average person, which she still can, but like, dance dance? Like at the end of her infamous performance in a nude sparkle suit at the 2000 MTV Video Music Awards, when her nostrils were flared and it was clear her brain was somewhere else, somewhere where all she was focused on was dancing her ass off? Anyway, we couldn't help but think of that Britney during the new video for "Hold It Against Me," which trots out a ton of bells, whistles, and wedding gowns, to not-so-bad effect, just to make up for the basic fact that she isn’t in the dancing shape, or really, the performing shape she once was. Not that Britney doesn't dance in this thing, just that it's mostly from a stationary position. The video is a mishmash of cuts and elements we've seen before, including Rocky Horror lips, hundreds of TV screens, and Brit in an inexplicable metallic white wedding dress. It gets a bit more fun at the musical breakdown, two minutes and 45 seconds in, when Spears starts shooting colorful silly string out of her hands (hey, Ke$ha!) and catfighting herself, and, more clearly, her body double. (The Britney vs. Britney fight is a reference to so many other videos that have come before, including "Toxic" and Mariah Carey, but at this particular moment it plays like a particular hat tip to Nicki Minaj.) At one point a simple shot from the "...Baby One More Time" video, of Britney singing straight to the camera while sitting on the bleachers, shows up on a screen, but is quickly defaced by more silly string. It's a callback that, intentionally or otherwise, jibes with the video's Brit on Brit catfight: Present-day Britney isn't fighting herself so much as that earlier, less messed-up Britney, the one we all keep hoping she can be again. Not to bring the mood on a high-energy, professional, dance video way down — because really, the video is fine enough — but all that shot did was remind us that there was a time when Spears's eyes didn't look quite this empty.
Most Viewed Stories
Kanye West Reportedly Sent Taylor Swift ‘Famous’ in Advance; She Did Not Give Her Approval, for Obvious Reasons
It Has Been a Very Long Time Since a Monologue Joke Bombed As Hard As the One Seth Meyers Tried Last Night
Making Sense of Kanye West’s Surreal The Life of Pablo Madison Square Garden Event
Martin Shkreli Calls Kanye West’s Work Inspirational, Offers to Buy The Life of Pablo for $10 Million
Game of Thrones Season 6 First-Look Photos Have Arrived
There’s Nothing Model About the Bloated, Buffoonish Zoolander 2
The 100 Jokes That Shaped Modern Comedy
Grey’s Anatomy Recap: Do You Hear What I Hear?
Kanye Says It Was Taylor’s Idea to Call Herself a Bitch He Made Famous
Scandal Recap: The Rise of Mellivia
Latest News from VultureDeadpool is About to Make a Crazy Amount of Money
Like, potentially record-breaking crazy.Revisiting Zoolander’s Weird History With 9/11
The film was part of three separate 9/11 controversies.The Toughest Song We Wrote: Disclosure on the Year They Spent Getting ‘Echoes’ Just Right
"'Echoes' was just a bitch to finish."Looking for a Deadpool Deep Dive? Here Are 5 of His Classic Comic-Book Stories
Just in time for the new flick.7 Hidden Clues From the New Game of Thrones Images That Tell Us a Ton About Next Season
There's so much juicy stuff.St. Vincent Made a Sexy, Funky Rolling Stones Cover for Tilda Swinton’s New Movie, As If We Weren’t Already Swooning
Perfect match.Legends of Tomorrow Recap: Cold War
Congratulations, Ray! You win the Worst Hero Award … again.Bridget Carpenter on Adapting Stephen King’s 11.22.63 and Why James Franco Was Cast
It started with a tweet.Confirmation Trailer: Kerry Washington’s Anita Hill Is Here to Testify
The Anita Hill hearings come to HBO.A History of Martin Scorsese’s Love Affair With the Rolling Stones
"My films would be unthinkable without them."
It’s like a dream.The 100 Recap: A Game of Thrones
I did not see that coming.Dr. Dre Is Starring in a Scripted Apple TV Show About Himself, So There’s Your Straight Outta Compton Sequel
More orgies await us.What Should We Make of Hail, Caesar!’s Opening? A Look at the Coen Brothers’ Box-Office History
What do we really expect out of these guys' movies?Emma Thompson Offers the Sensible Solution of Killing All the Old White Oscar Members to Make Things More Diverse
Bless.Everything You Need to Know About the 2016 Grammys
All the details to get you prepared for music's biggest night — now on a Monday!Fox Orders a Lethal Weapon Pilot With Damon Wayans Sr. in a Bet That You’re Not Too Old for This Series
Executive produced by McG.Ryan Reynolds Gives Green Lantern a 1 Out of 10 (1=Bad)
Deadpool makes up for it, though.Adele Doesn’t Want Her Son Photographed for the Coolest Cool-Mom Reasons
And more from her Vogue profile.Now You Can Watch Lady Gaga’s Super Bowl National Anthem in High-Res, and You Should Because Presidents’ Day Is Monday, and USA! USA! USA!
So gallantly streaming.