• Best Song Ever
  • Todd: One Direction. Video for "Kiss You" Zayn: Oh, I just wanna take you anywhere that you like Todd (VO): I loathe this band, I think I've made that clear. But see, here's the thing. If I want to pretend they don't exist, I can totally do that, 'cause the only people who generally care about teen idols are teenage girls, and otherwise, they're generally very easy to ignore. Todd: Especially for me because I haven't actually listened to any new music in ten years. Clip of "One Thing" Todd: ...I keep getting reminded that this is happening. Todd (VO): Why am I seeing ads for this? Clips from movie
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  • 2012-02-29
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  • Best Song Ever
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  • 60
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  •|previous = How to Be "More Than Friends" (In Four Easy Steps)
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  • Todd: One Direction. Video for "Kiss You" Zayn: Oh, I just wanna take you anywhere that you like Todd (VO): I loathe this band, I think I've made that clear. But see, here's the thing. If I want to pretend they don't exist, I can totally do that, 'cause the only people who generally care about teen idols are teenage girls, and otherwise, they're generally very easy to ignore. Todd: Especially for me because I haven't actually listened to any new music in ten years. Clip of "One Thing" Todd (VO): But for the past month or so, pretending that I live in a One Directionless world has not worked for me because I've been trying to keep up with the summer movie season and all, so... Todd: ...I keep getting reminded that this is happening. Clip of One Direction: This Is Us TV spot Speaker: On August 30th, make a date with Niall, Zayn, Liam, Harry and Louis. One Direction: This Is Us. Todd (VO): Why am I seeing ads for this? Todd: I ask you, why does someone apparently think that because I bought a ticket to [poster of...] Elysium Clips from movie Todd (VO): I might also be interested in the badly edited amateur footage of five teenage boys pretending to act natural? Todd: And the thing is, I don't even dislike any of them as people or... Todd (VO): singers or as artists, even, whathaveyou. It's just that the people who write their songs for them, make them seem so intensely creepy with how they make these guys directly exploit their teenage fanbase's deepest insecurities, which is what makes me so nervous about them. They need to be stopped. Todd: And they don't have any competition. Like, in the 90s, we had [EW image of 'N Sync vs. Backstreet Boys, followed by brief clips of Backstreet Boys - "Larger than Life" and 'N Sync - "Pop"] the boy band wars, which was a terrible time for music, but ultimately, both sides ended up destroyed. I choose to liken it to World War II. Clip of World War II documentary Todd (VO): Both Nazism and Stalinism threatened the rest of the free world as we know it, but ended up fighting each other, leaving one defeated and the other unable to do more than burn itself out trying to keep up over the next few decades. Now I do... Todd: ...realize that I can say controversial things sometimes, but I think we can all agree, comparing the Backstreet Boys to Hitler is entirely accurate and proportional. But One Direction has no rivals; they've destroyed them all. Clip of Justin Bieber (Ft. Nicki Minaj) - "Beauty and a Beat" Todd (VO): I guess there's still Justin Bieber, but there's still only one of him and five of them. That's some asymmetrical warfare. Todd: We're running out of options. Right now, I'm leaning towards quarantining the entire island [poster of...] 28 Weeks Later-style. In any case, I am not gonna to go see their movie. (Unless I am.) But in lieu of that, there's also their big soundtrack song. Whoopee. It is entitled, [single cover] "Best Song Ever". Seriously? The worst act in pop music, an act who hasn't released a song that wasn't utterly loathsome. Their next single is called "Best Song Ever". [pause] Well, I guess the low-hanging fruit is there for a reason. Let's take a listen. Video for "Best Song Ever" Janny (Louis): So I said to her, "Angelina, I want to, I really, really want to. But what about Brad? Brad's like a son to me." Todd (VO): Oh, good, comedy bits. Veronica (Zayn): One Direction are here to see you. Janny: Sure, I love new movies. Todd (VO): I see somebody watched [picture of Tom Cruise as Les Grossman in...] Tropic Thunder. Okay, let's hope they don't put one of these poor kids in [picture of Robert Downey, Jr. from same movie] blackface, although I do note that the one dressed like a girl is distressingly hot. Janny: Can I just say what huge fans we are of you guys! Harvey (Niall): Huge! Niall, Liam, Louis, Harry, Zack. Zayn: It's Zayn. Harvey: Sure, whatever you say, big guy. Todd (VO): Ha ha, he got their names wrong. How could anyone not be able to immediately recall the names of Harry, Zayn, Chesterton, the Fonz, that one guy...boy, that guy sure is a dope, right? Todd: Ugh. [clears throat] Ladies and gentlemen, we have made such great progress in the fight against singers trying to be funny. [brief clip of Kanye West - "The New Workout Plan"] The scourge of the rap album comedy skit is all but eradicated, but there is still so much work to do. Clips of Katy Perry - "Last Friday Night"; Nicki Minaj ft. Drake - "Moment 4 Life"; and Britney Spears - "I Wanna Go" Todd (VO): Millions of people on YouTube are exposed every day to pre-song comedy bits in music videos. Todd: And that number is just growing everyday. You can help. Please donate to the [text appears] Stop Singers From Thinking They're Funny Foundation, care of me. (c/o Todd In The Shadows, P.O. Box 2112, B.F.E. Virginia, 24501) I can think of no cause dearer to my heart. Marcel (Harry): I want you to meet Leeroy. He's gonna be your choreographer! Leeroy! Leeroy (Liam): Hi, boys! First new number is going to be really big! Stay with me 'cause I'm quite quick. And 5 6 7 8... Todd (VO): Ha ha, gay people are hilarious. Todd: Oh my God, how long does this go on? Janny: We cannot wait for this movie. It's gonna be the greatest movie of all time. Have you ever seen Forrest Gump? Harry: Sure. Harvey: Better than that! Janny: Have you seen The Hangover? Liam: Yeah. Harvey: Funnier than that! Todd (VO): Jesus! Is this like a prank video? Like, you click on it expecting the "best song ever" from your favorite band, One Direction, and instead, you just get six minutes of bad improv. Todd: Actually, that would be pretty funny. Leeroy: And Niall for the shimmy, for the shimmy, for the shimmy. And Zayn, pirouette. And Louis, do the splits. And Liam... Louis: We never do that. Todd (VO): Uh, yeah, you're the record industry's bitch, kid. You'll do what they tell you to do. Marcel: Now personally, I think this one is the one. [Puts picture of the group on easel, featuring them in white tanks and white pants] Harry: Absolutely not. Todd (VO): I legitimately don't understand why any of this would be worse than the way they normally act and dress. I mean, Christ, they're right there, I can see what they look like. Todd: I don't know why they expect me to believe that dressing in stupid outfits and dancing badly is beneath their dignity. Todd (VO): Oh, I guess there is a song at the end of this. Okay, finally. Music begins Todd: Why, those are some familiar-sounding chords. Harry: Maybe it's the way... Todd: Okay, I'm sure you are noticing just as much as I am that this is a complete ripoff of [brief clip of...] "Baba O'Riley" by The Who, or as One Direction fans know them, [picture of little girl shrugging] "The Who?" Yes, thank you, that was a vintage joke dating back to at least the 90s, although archaeologists believe it may be much older. Todd (VO): Okay, but yeah, so this is basically completely stolen... Todd: ...from The Who. Well, not completely stolen, because the chord structure is different, see. "Baba O'Riley" goes [plays chords] Dah...dah-dah... and One Direction goes [plays similar chords] Dah...dah-dah. Completely different. But yeah, yeah, other than that... Clip of "Baby O'Riley" Todd (VO): ...the inspiration is pretty blatant. What a bunch of hacks! What makes you think you have the right to rip off "Baba O'Riley," a song you could make a case for actually being the best song ever? How dare you? How dare you [back to "Best Song Ever"] make a song that sounds like "Baba O'Riley"?! What makes you think I want you to fill the airwaves with a song that starts with a slow synth build that suddenly slams into life with surging piano chords, guitar thundering out the most primal riff in rock history,... Todd: ...drums mimicking the epic, wildman style of Keith Moon?! [pause] Now that I say this argument out loud, it sounds a lot more in favor of One Direction than against it. Okay...I do notice... Todd (VO): ...the irony of teenyboppers ripping off a song whose most famous line is "teenage wasteland." Roger Daltrey: It's only teenage wasteland Todd: But, um...yeah, this line of attack does not strike me as strong as I thought it did a second ago. One Direction: And we danced all night to the best song ever. Todd: Uh...I think this actually sounds kinda good. Todd (VO): I mean, it's far more polished than The Who, obviously, but not so much that I think it's, like, a horrible butchering. Todd: If I thought they were butchering it, I'd let you know. Like, you wanna hear what they released right before this? Clip of "One Way or Another (Teenage Kicks)" Liam: One way or another I'm gonna find you I'm gonna get you, get you, get you, get you One way... Todd: Now that's taking a good song and ruining it. Todd (VO): Okay, well you know what? My complaint was never with One Direction's musical sound anyway, it's that they're such obvious insincere sleazeballs. Todd: Let me guess. Here's a song about a girl. And not just any girl, you. Always you. Harry: Maybe it's the way she walked Todd: ...or she. Harry: ...just like she already owned it. Todd (VO): Huh. They finally discovered third-person pronouns. Well, I guess that's progress. It's nice that they're not being so repulsively transparent with their seduction of the weak-minded. Todd: But let's be clear here—nothing's really changed. The girl in the song is still you, basically, because... Clip of "Little Things" Todd (VO): ...they're gonna do everything possible for you to be able to slot yourself into this girl's shoes. It's not gonna give you any real detail, just these stupid, incredibly vague nothings that you can imagine... Todd: ...applies to you. Liam: Said her name was Georgia Rose, and her daddy was a dentist. Todd: Oh. Wow, that...that applies to almost no one. Although there is probably some [picture of girl captioned: "Georgia R., 17: omg i love 1d so much!!"] dentist's daughter in England who I'm sure is very happy right now. Liam: Said her name was Georgia Rose Todd (VO): Yeah. See, it''s pretty specific. Harry: Said I had a dirty mouth Veronica: [mouthing along] Got a dirty mouth Todd: It's specifically the Orbit gum woman. Clip of Orbit commercial Vanessa Branch: Dirty mouth? [Angie Dickinson smiles] Fabulous. Todd: I didn't even know the British [picture of disgusting smile] had dentists. Heh. Yeah, that's a cheap shot. [Brief clip of Leeroy] Hey, if they're allowed this, I'm allowed that one. Harry: 1 2 3 One Direction: And we danced all night to the best song ever Todd: [beat] Well, this is a...this is almost like a...real song. That's...I wasn't expecting that. But anyway, what is the main hook about? That's where the meat of the song is, right? Let's see where they take this. One Direction: And we danced all night to the best song ever. We knew every line. Now I can't remember How it goes but I know that I won't forget her 'Cause we danced all night to the best song ever. Todd: [stopping it] Wait! So you danced to a song that you describe as the "best song ever," but you immediately forgot it. So this would be... Clip of Tenacious D - "Tribute" Todd (VO): ...the same song that Tenacious D defeated Satan with, right? Jack Black: Couldn't remember the greatest song in the world Todd: Why, we're just ripping off good bands left and right here, aren't we? Todd (VO): Well, I can certainly think of worse bands they could be ripping off. But, you know, I think I'm one of the three people who actually did watch the [logo for...] Tenacious D movie, in which we actually see them fight Satan and perform the "best song in the world." Todd: So we can actually recreate the moment where One Direction danced to the "best song ever." Here it goes. "Beelzeboss" plays over "Best Song Ever" Tenacious D: We are the D We are the D We are the D We are the D We are the D We are the D We are the D We are the D We are the D We are the D We are the D We are the D We are the D We are the D We are the D We are the D We are the D Clip from Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny Beelz: You guys are fucking lame! Todd: That was it? Geez, Tenacious D made it sound a lot more epic in "Tribute". No wonder they forgot it. Okay, I guess that wasn't it. Maybe something else. One Direction: I think it went oh, oh, oh I think it went yeah, yeah, yeah I think it goes oh Todd: Goes, "oh, oh, oh," and, "yeah, yeah, yeah." Hmm. Clip of Bruno Mars - "Locked Out of Heaven" Bruno: Oh oh oh oh Yeah yeah yeah Todd: Maybe. Clip from Top of the Pops - Leo Sayer singing "More Than I Can Say" Leo: Whoa whoa yeah yeah I love you more than I can say Todd: Probably not. Gotta be honest, this song they're singing about doesn't sound all that great. Todd (VO): Okay, well, I am not mad that they stole the idea from Tenacious D's most famous song. It's a sturdy idea, and they've changed the context enough that I don't think it's just stealing. But there's a bigger problem with this idea that we need to look at. Todd: And that is the fact that they stole the premise from a comedy song... Todd (VO): ...and they're trying to play it fairly straight instead of trying to be funny. [Clip from "Tribute"] Like, Tenacious D can't remember the best song in the world because that's the joke. But if you're being serious, is this supposed to work? You call it the best song ever, but you don't even remember it? Come on. You have no basis to support this judgment call even to yourself. In fact, I'm gonna go out on a limb and assume... Todd: ...that the only reason you thought it was the "best song ever" is that your judgment was biased by the fact that you were dancing with a hot girl when you heard it, and that is completely and totally understandable! Guys, I think I like this song. Todd (VO): Like, a lot. A whole lot. Um...I wouldn't call it the best song ever, even though technically I have to. But...uh, yeah, I'm enjoying it. Seems like a really fun and upbeat depiction of how girls make music sound better. Also, this video is making me feel uncomfortable feelings. Uh...wonder if there's any One Direction fans out there feeling as confused as I am. Todd: Um...yeah, this episode is not turning out how I wanted it to. I...sort of expected it to go in one direction, and it kinda went another. If I'd known this was going to happen, I would not have compared them to Hitler at the beginning, I'll tell you that. Okay, this is probably as disappointing to you as it is to me. I really, really wanted to hate this song, but I cannot properly provide... Todd (VO): ...the anger that you are all expecting. All I can say is I offer my sincerest apologies, and in my defense, I promised myself... Todd: ...when I started this that I would always give my opinions as honestly as possible, even if they were unpopular. And I hope that all of you, my loyal viewers, understand this position, and that it only strengthens your respect for my integrity as a critic. Clip from The Simpsons Comic Book Guy: Worst episode ever. Todd: Yeah, I agree.
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