Deep Thoughts I Had While Watching the One Direction Documentary
by Dina Gachman
Since my friends aren’t 12-year-old girls with a tsunami of hormones coursing through their bodies, it took me a full week to con someone into being my “plus one” at a screening of the new One Direction documentary, This Is Us. I tried the “Morgan Spurlock directed it and he’s cool!” tactic. Didn’t work. Then I went the “It’ll be fun!” route, which wasn’t super creative but I was having a tough time finding legit reasons to see this movie when there were so many more interesting things you could be doing with your time, like watching Orange Is the New Black or ironing your socks. Finally, I resorted to the good old “I’ll buy you lots of drinks” trick. That worked like a charm.
I wasn’t a One Direction fan, and all I knew about them was that they were a boy band and Harry Styles dated Taylor Swift and she wrote an angry breakup song about him. If you’re skeptical about boy bands or The X-Factor or skinny jeans and pompadours, watching the movie can be a little confusing. I like to think I’m immune to getting sucked into a cult, but now I’m not so sure. Here’s what ran through my head while watching One Direction sing, leap, emote, and buy houses for their mums for an hour and a half. In 3D.
This music is just manufactured crap from the X-Factor.
Thank God it’s only 92 minutes. My head might implode.
We should have brought flasks in.
They need a bodyguard to monitor their visits to the tattoo parlor because yin-yangs and weird skulls are really not hot.
Pre-teen girls don’t care about ugly tattoos, though. These guys could get matching tattoos of Shrek across their chest and girls would love it.
That’s kind of endearing that they cried when they didn’t win X-Factor. They really wanted this.
I wonder if Simon Cowell is ripping them off.
I love Niall’s accent, and at least he plays guitar. He actually has a really amazing voice.
So does Harry.
Zayn could be a model, but is he smart? I can’t tell if he’s smart. He’s talking about graffiti and he’s a loner, but I’m not so sure.
Harry seems smart. You can’t be witty like he is and not have a brain in your head.
I wonder what really happened with him and Taylor Swift. I bet she stalked him.
It’s kind of cool they don’t wear matching clothes.
That black skinny jeans/black buttoned up shirt look is kind of hot.
The record company guy just said they have an “edge.” Maybe they do?
I should stop being so judgmental.
Their fans are insane.
These fans really love them.
Pre-teen girl lust is the most powerful force in the universe.
I hope they’re saving their money.
I know “Best Song Ever.” It’s not that bad. I kind of like it. It’s catchy.
Their “Teenage Dirtbag” cover is good. Maybe their shows would be fun.
I think I like One Direction. They just make you feel happy, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
That’s so sweet that Harry worked in a bakery where old ladies would pinch his bum, and that Liam said he would be a fireman if he weren’t in One Direction. Cute.
They’re just normal, down-to-earth guys from the U.K.
Look at them pulling pranks and having fun.
The record company is working them way too hard. They’re taking advantage of them.
I’m gonna start listening to them.
These guys have to smoke cigarettes or weed. I wonder how much was edited out.
Did we just watch a propaganda film?
I think I understand dopamine.
We’ve been conned.
It’s not like I’ve been sucked into a cult. Is it?
Whatever. I’m listening to them. It’s just a boy band.
I think I love them.
Dina Gachman is a Texan adrift in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in Forbes, the LA Times, Los Angeles Review of Books, and Marketplace on NPR. She’s on Twitter @TheElf26.