Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

The Weeknd is lost

Illustration for article titled The Weeknd is lost
Screenshot: NFL

The Weeknd’s Superbowl Halftime Show performance was good—a lavishly produced techno-religious fever dream of a set that, like so many Halftime Shows, must have taken a ton of intricate planning and exhausting rehearsals to get right. The internet, of course, is mostly focused on the few seconds of it where, during a rendition of “Can’t Feel My Face,” he enters a golden funhouse maze covered in white lights and looks really disoriented.

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These visuals were basically a solid, network TV-friendly way to visualize the track’s description of an infatuation as powerful and ego-obliterating as a coke bender. But, The Weeknd’s facial expressions also lend themselves well to other interpretations—like that he might have desperately needed to take a shit.

This may be the most evocative comparison, but there are others, too. The urgency of his expression—the helpless confusion of these few seconds—have led people to bring up everything from an edible kicking in at 7/11 and dogs getting excited by hearing plastic wrapping to humans getting excited about seeing a dog, frantic museum tours and grocery store visits, losing track of your mom in a store or trying to find your glasses.

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The truly inspired, like @TimKalpakis, found other comparisons to make while Paul F. Tompkins showed that the joke had pretty much run its course before the night even ended.

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The influx of these definitely won’t burn out just yet, though. We expect to see about a million more of these over the week to come, which may get annoying, sure, but is definitely preferable to having to deal with past Super Bowl meme phenomena, like the accursed Baby Nut.

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Contributor, The A.V. Club. Reid's a writer and editor who has appeared at GQ, Playboy, and Paste. He also co-created and writes for videogame sites Bullet Points Monthly and Digital Love Child.