This is a pretty fucked up time in the world’s history. Everything is bleak and terrible except Beyoncé released a pregnancy announcement that looks like a scene out of the Czech movie Daisies and there is new Ed Sheeran.
I get it — the president wants to ban Muslims from the U.S., you are not excited about new Ed Sheeran. AC, you tell me again and again, he is a mediocre songwriter who writes mildly problematic songs about his quasi-famous and all-the-way famous ex-girlfriends. Why should we spend time listening to ginger Bilbo Baggins when many, many much more talented songwriters are making music?
Idk, like, I kind of enjoy him, I guess?
He has two new songs, one of which is the classic Ed Sheeran Is A Nice Guy Who Wants Badly to Have a Lot of Sex With You song (“Shape of You”) and one of which is the classic Ed Sheeran is A Very Sentimental Guy Who Likes To Look at Old Pictures of Himself And Sigh song (“Castle on the Hill”). And both of them — get this — both of them have NEW VIDEOS.
My favorite Ed Sheeran video of all time is the one where he gets drunk and talks to his cat, obvs.* And my second favorite one is probably the one for “Photograph” that’s just like home videos of him as an awkward ginger youth. But I would rank the “Shape of You” video as like a solid third. Probably, unless there’s one I’m forgetting.
I linked to it earlier in this post, but you know here it is:
There are a lot of things to really enjoy here. First and foremost, we get to imagine a universe in which people who look like Ed Sheeran can be boxers. You might think that with the way the government is headed these days, it’s going to be harder and harder for people to achieve who they want to be, but if Ed Sheeran can be a boxer, trust me, you can be anything.
Also props for choosing a black girl with an athletic build instead of some twiggy white model, Ed. You truly love all women, or at least, pretend to on TV.
One of my favorite parts of the video is when they are at a diner and she chooses a modest salad and Ed Sheeran orders fried chicken and French fries. He may have lost some weight, but Ed Sheeran still loves to eat! My only problem with this part of the video is that the lyrics he’s singing are about going to an All-You-Can-Eat place (which, yes, is my favorite part of the song) and this is clearly a more order-at-the-counter type place. I understand that music videos are not supposed to be a direct visual translation of songs, but this is too many mixed signifiers for me, and I wish I had been consulted.
The real meat of this video is when she unexpectedly dumps him by leaving a present of a mouthguard in his locker (her mouthguard?) It has a division sign on it, but at first I thought it was a +, which is Ed Sheeran’s first album. In that scenario, Ed Sheeran would be a popular singer-songwriter who later became a boxer, and she is giving him a mouthguard that references his first album as a sentimental gesture. This would be a more interesting narrative, and I repeat: I wish I had been consulted.
Ed Sheeran decides the only way to get her back is to fight a sumo wrestler, and like, sure. This doesn’t go well, as one would expect, but luckily she’s like there and saw the whole thing, so she gets to like jump and kick the sumo wrestler in the face, I think, it ends on a freeze frame.
I have a lot of unanswered questions with this narrative, but ultimately I am satisfied. Ed Sheeran ate a lot of food at a diner and then got beat up. Liked it, enjoyed it, will probably watch again five more times today.
Now we can go back to watching the entire world fall apart.
** Sam Heughan — I know his name! I was just being specific so that people could get the joke, GAWD.
*** THIS JUST IN — The division sign is the name of the new album. Jesus, AC, enough with the footnotes!