If you’re unfamiliar with the CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother, it was a show much like most sitcoms that revolved around five friends spending most of the work week at a bar getting into antics and romance. “Robin,” the character played by actress Cobie Smulders, had a backstory that included several episodes with her featured as a once Canadian teen pop-star by the name of “Robin Sparkles.” She had a major hit with “Let’s Go to the Mall,” a fun-loving song about (you guessed it) going to the mall, that brings some of Taylor Swift’s most bubbly material to mind.
It was believed that Robin Sparkles was a one-hit-wonder, but in Season 8 of How I Met Your Mother, it’s revealed through a rare documentary video that Robin Sparkles had a grungier phase at the end of her career with the song “P.S. I Love You.” The track was about her unrequited and obsessive love for Paul Shaffer, as well as rebelling from her bubble gum pop persona: the death of “Robin Sparkles” and the birth of “Robin Daggers.”
Robin Daggers’ “P.S. I Love You” shows the pop-singer-turned-grunge-badass singing lines such as “restraining orders don’t scare me” over a burning trashcan while flailing around maddeningly in the woods trying to figure out why her fantasized obsession isn’t a reality. Robin’s transformation from “Sparkles” to “Daggers” is meant to look scary, grungy, and rebellious, but it’s also meant to be comedic and poke fun at the genre (after all, it was written for a sitcom).
Now, after last night’s release of Taylor Swift’s latest single “Look What You Made Me Do,” her transformation as an artist seems to perfectly mirror the transition from Robin Sparkles to Robin Daggers. Like a classless “Starboy” by the Weeknd, “Look What You Made Me Do” portrays Taylor Swift as a grungy and obsessive “badass,” consumed with clapping-back at her critics and haters for calling her a “snake” (due to the feud between her and Kim Kardashian regarding her alleged lie over approved use of a line on Kanye West’s song “Famous” that attributed Kanye the creator of Taylor’s fame).
— Josh Rosenberg (@Roseandblog) August 25, 2017
“I’m sorry, the old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now,” she says, “Why? Oh ’cause she’s dead,” in all “Robin Sparkles is dead, my new name is Robin Daggers” fashion. Over the most digital sounding music of her career, her petty transformation comes complete with equally cringe-worthy lines such as:
Honey, I rose up from the dead, I do it all the time
I’ve got a list of names and yours is in red, underlined
I check it once, then I check it twice
The world goes on, another day, another drama
But not for me, not for me, all I think about is karma
And then the world moves on, but one thing’s for sure
Baby, I got mine, but you’ll all get yours
As well as “I don’t trust nobody and nobody trusts me/I’ll be the actress starring in your bad dreams” repeated four times.
What’s even worse is that she acts like this new revenge ploy is something that her critics forced upon her, as if Taylor Swift’s reputation with her online haters was something that consumed us all. “Look what you made me do,” she repeats in whispered monotones like a child who can’t control their temper tantrum.
Hand-in-hand with her new bleach-blonde hair and black makeup, Taylor’s new direction on “Look What You Made Me Do” almost perfectly mirrors the transformation into Robin Daggers—a grungy, hideous, and cringe-filled caricature of how a teen-pop-star’s obsession spiraled out of control and ultimately resulted in their untimely downfall.
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