Robin Thicke's "Get Her Back" Is Selfish, Entitled, and Threatening
Robin Thicke is really laying it on thick with his new album Paula (did you think I would squander such perfect punning?). The record, dedicated to his estranged wife Paula Patton, made its first embarrassing debut in the world Monday with Thicke's video for "Get Her Back," which is a Sinead O'Conner style exhibition of grief interspersed with pathetic iMessages (I did not misspeak) that imagine a conversation between Patton and Thicke: "You embarrassed me," fake Patton says. "I wrote a whole album about you," counters a very real, very threatening Thicke. The whole thing is messy, depressing, and pathetic. And I feel no sympathy for Thicke, not least of all for his past lewd and insidious behavior, but because this sappy, syrupy desperate attempt to get his wife back seems ill-intentioned and self-centered.
His attempt at reconciliation is so public and contrived and not at all genuine. A month ago at the Billboard Music Awards, Thicke did a live performance of "Get Her Back," and now with his new music video, the sheer publicity of it all is nauseating. Is there an act more selfish than releasing an album dedicated to a woman who really, really wants nothing to do with you? The selfishness here is that Thicke is making himself a victim —he's a man who's Done Wrong and has seen the error of his ways. He's in such bald emotional turmoil that Patton MUST come back or Thicke will just like DIE.
Is the exploitation not totally evident? Regardless if Patton is at all moved by such a gross and gaudy display of "grief" (and she honestly seems like she's smarter than a box of rocks, so she won't be), Thicke probably will still make money off of this album. At the end of the day, his girl's probably not coming back, but he's got money in the bank. Beyond that, though, the implications of the video and the song and presumably the rest of the entire album dedicated to Paula Patton are that Thicke's very happiness hinges on Patton's return. It's unfair of him to put their private relationship on such a public pedestal, making a whole album detailing the dissolution of their relationship, when it seems like Patton (who hasn't yet responded to the video for "Get Her Back") just wants to be left the hell alone.
So Thicke is making himself seem tender and torn and destroyed by the end of his relationship—buuuut it doesn't seem like he's taking much responsibility for the behavior that landed him in this situation in the first place. The song reeks of entitlement; perhaps the iMessages should read "I made a whole g'damn album for you for shit's sake what more do you want I said I was SORRY!!!" It's threatening and weird.
The private details of Thicke and Patton's relationship can't REALLY be known to all of us, but it's unfair of him to put Patton in such a compromising spot — eventually she will have to respond to this disaster that is Paula, forcing communication between her and Thicke. And that just isn't fair, if she really doesn't want to have anything to do with him.
It's not Patton's obligation to make him feel better. He cheated on her and humiliated her and now he's suffocating her with extremely public gestures, when all she probably needs right now is some air.