Hey guys, while we were busy racing the clock to the end of the work week, a possible "Chained to the Rhythm" music video teaser dropped. The teaser in question quietly popped up late Friday afternoon on the Kathy Beth Terry Twitter feed. Kathy Beth Terry, for those who don't know, is a tween alter-ego of Katy Perry's who is straight out of the '90s in her look and vibe and first appeared in the "Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)" video. The teaser in question is all about "Chained to the Rhythm" and an ominously cheerful theme park called Oblivia. It looks like the dystopian universe Perry sings about may not only come to life, but it will be even more jarring to behold.
The teaser features a voiceover that sounds a lot like George Takei (he has an unmistakable voice), promoting the opening of a new theme park, Oblivia. While the instrumental version of "Chained to the Rhythm" plays underneath, the narrator talks up the high points of this theme park: "Do you need an escape? Are you ready to dance your troubles away? Welcome to Oblivia!" The name of the fictional theme park is most likely a riff on the word "oblivion," which is an idea Perry sing about in "Chained to the Rhythm" when she mentions the habits that make us mindless zombies in our daily lives.
The commercial continues, showing a park which is filled Space Age '50s and neon '80s aesthetics. These design choices don't necessarily feel like a choice that is happenstance. While the look and feel of the '50s and '80s may bring forth images of smiling families, bright colors, and cheerful music, the two respective decades in America,were marked by political troubles. Americans prepared for nuclear war in the '50s, and by the '80s, we were entrenched in the twilight years of a Cold War with Russia. In this context, the teaser for "Chained to the Rhythm" compounds the cheerfully dystopian message of the song so that it becomes quite blatant that Perry is here to wake listeners up.
The technicolor dystopian nightmare continues: Oblivia's ride's include "The Wheel" (a giant, concrete hamster wheel), a rollercoaster called "Bombs Away," and a weird ride called "The Great American Dream Drop," where riders hop into a tiny house and it flies and spins in the air, ostensibly making people feel ill and trapped inside their pretty little box. Damn, Perry ain't holdin' back on that whole "we're living in a bubble of lies" message, is she?
Perry seemed to acknowledge that the video teaser — while not directly posted on her own Twitter account — was legit when she retweeted the Kathy Beth Perry tweet and captioned it, "Admission is 'free' [sic] See you next Tuesday..." This lines up with the teaser, which says viewers can visit Oblivia on Feb. 21.
Are you ready to, as the narrator puts it, "leave your white picket fence and explore utopia?"