So. After I posted Jean Quan’s music video a while back, a couple of people mentioned to me that they were surprised I wasn’t meaner about it.
Block by Block
I said that yeah, the video kind of sucked, but it seemed clear to me that it was made by kids, although I think now that I may have been wrong about that. And then she posted a new version of it, which was clearly higher budget.
Anyway. I also said that I wasn’t more critical because I really do appreciate the fact that she’s experimenting with something different. I mean, everybody’s campaign materials are all the same, and it gets really boring after a while. I think it’s great that she’s trying to spice it up. And sometimes, when you try new things, they don’t work out. Big deal. At least you’ll know how to do it better next time.
Plus, the song was kind of catchy. I mean, not catchy in the sense that I had any desire to listen to it more than once. But it was at least mildly entertaining. I didn’t find myself desperately wishing it would be over already while I was watching it after like twenty seconds like I did with that that Luann music video they put out a couple of weeks ago.
So I gave “Block by Block” an A for effort.
DREAM A Better Oakland
Now Jean Quan has a new video up. Since, like I said, the first time is for learning, and she’s already had that, I don’t feel as obligated to be kind about this one.
The new video, called DREAM A Better Oakland, is a promotion for her “Envisioning East Oakland” townhall this Saturday in the Elmhurst neighborhood. The premise of the video is that she is giving some kids a ride to one of her house parties. So, right there, you’ve got a suspension of disbelief problem. Like, I don’t buy for a second that she would do that and therefore whole video is implausible to me. I can never get into it when I’m just too distracted from the very beginning by the premise.
But the bigger problem is that the whole thing is really half assed. Jean Quan does not make an even remotely credible case that she is enjoying this at all. Instead, she looks resentful about having all this noise in her car. At 2:03, she looks like she’s struggling to stay awake.
In fact, everyone in the car appears unhappy to be there. They all just seem really uncomfortable. Like, the “better Oakland” they are dreaming of is one where Jean Quan is not giving them rides.
The overall effect is just extremely grim. I mean, I get that it’s a depressing song. But you have to present at least some kind of positive feeling if you want people to think you’re going to improve the situation. The last song at least was positive, and was also about her.
Oh! And don’t even get me started on the inexplicable “Go Raiders” badge she has tacked on top of her logo at the end. Plus there are too many fonts.
Jean Quan’s second music video took several steps backward from her inoffensive first attempt. Therefore, I give DREAM A Better Oakland a C minus.