Few music videos in the history of the genre have sparked as much consistent chatter as Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood.” In a truly genius stroke of social media cat-and-mouse, the singer chose to reveal a staggeringly diverse cast of guest appearances planned for the video day-by-day starting earlier this month – teasing each new cameo with a neo-noir, action-themed poster on Twitter.
By May 15, we all knew everyone from Mariska Hargitay to Kendrick Lamar to Lena Dunham to Cindy Crawford would appear in the production – in addition to lead attraction Selena Gomez – when the video debuted at the 2015 Billboard Music Awards two days later.
Did the actual video – which opened the awards show, but is not yet available in entirety online as of posting time – live up to the hype? The short answer: Yes. Jaw-droppingly yes. And for one reason only – despite the cast of dozens, Swift managed to carry the entire video on her own merit alone. Based on 2005’s thriller Sin City, the clip featured Swift as we have (really) never seen her…ballsy, confident, much scarier than expected. And sexier.