Last night, CBS aired the annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show—this year, from Shanghai. There was the usual pomp. Miguel and Harry Styles performed. One angel fell, while another angel waited on the runway and smiled while she slowly got up again—turning a moment of embarrassment into one of grace. And, of course, the 17-year (!) vet, Alessandra Ambrosio, took her last publicized stroll in extravagant lingerie for the legendary brand. Everything was business as usual, I thought, as I watched for all of five minutes before flipping the channel...
That is, until the Victoria’s Secret holiday commercial aired. It was seemingly interminable. Inexplicable. The catalogue your mom left out on the kitchen table come-to-life in a bucolic Wyoming-ish ranch. Two whole minutes of sexy stirrup pants and whips and cowgirl hats and girlish yearning! Here, watch this frickin’ thing.
Naturally, the skeptical media consumer I am, I had some lingering questions. These were they.
1. If I didn’t know any better I’d say this is the trailer for that new Netflix show, Godless. Is this the trailer for that new Netflix show, Godless?
2. Is this about female empowerment—i.e. these badass cowgirls can run this ranch on their lonesome—or are they just waiting for their cowboys to return home and love them? Is it both? Can it be both? America?
3. Is this not the sort of targeted promotional video you’d get as a rich person with the funds to go to Westworld?
4. Who is she whipping? The air? Why is she whipping the air? What did the fresh mountain air ever do to her?
5. Isn’t anyone cold, even a little bit?
6. Does this ranch have wi-fi?
7. Is this what happens in the nondescript region people mysteriously describe as “out west”?
8. What is Melania Trump doing on this horse?
9. Is this candlelit dinner party part of the actual Victoria’s Secret holiday commercial or is this aiming to depict what happens after the models are finished playing cowgirls at a ranch for a Victoria’s Secret holiday commercial? Could I be over-thinking things?
10. Wait, what holiday are they even celebrating? My Jewish senses are tingling and something tells me it’s not Hanukkah.
11. So did my invite get lost in the mail or...