A Bizarre Analysis of Donald Glover’s Even More Bizarre Teaser Trailer
No, seriously, tell me what this is. Why are Topanga and a porn star in it? What does the basketball mean?
Donald Glover has been going off-grid lately, reducing his appearances on the next season of Community (making me cry) and avoiding social media. But he tweeted a link the other day to something called clapping for all the wrong reasons. What the teaser is for is not clear, but that’s never stopped an English major before — it’s time to overanalyze.
Let’s break this down.
Glover first dribbles a basketball up the stairs, and later it falls back down. Clearly, this is his way of exploring the fickle, unpredictable temperament of fame, the effort it takes to reach the top only to plateau, the unstoppable forces of decline, the thump thump thump reminiscent of a heartbeat, pulsing through your blood once you get the first taste.
Opening his eyes, upside down? Scuba diving in a pool? Elementary.
The refrigerator, filled to bursting with neatly ordered bottles of Pellegrino, is not only an indictment of our nation’s obsession with the appearance of being environmentally conscious while actually doing little to change the systems in place, but also an indicator of our slow slide into an almost Dickensian level of postmodern surrealism.
Glover training on the lawn in martial arts subtly suggests the problem with a culture of instant gratification. The quintessential movie montage, especially those as cliched as the one from Rocky is now considered, only reinforces the belief that skills and talents don’t need to be earned, and hard work is only for the boring. While studies have shown that it takes 10,000 hours to master a new skill, even movies meant to reflect reality gloss over the difficulties on which we don’t wish to dwell.
Other appearances include: Danielle Fishel (obviously a reference to the Internet’s obsession with her rumored Illuminati connections, as well as an allusion to ’90s nostalgia), Abella Anderson (highlighting the obsession with sex and its role in consumerism, in addition to the double standard between male and female sexuality), and rappers Flying Lotus, Trinidad Jame$, and Chance the Rapper (indicative of the inner struggle between Donald Glover’s acting career and that of Childish Gambino as the intellectual rapper).