A conversation with Sandra led me down the long and winding road to this awesomely bewitching video for “Tender Love.” How had I never seen it?
You don’t have to be familiar with this slow jam by Force MD (one of Pres Obama’s favorite bands) to appreciate all of its levels of 80s gloriousness. Let me break it down in fifteen easy steps. I promise it’s better than “Key Largo.” No, I can’t promise that.
- A lone man sits on a stoop with what appears to be swaddling clothes in his lap. Or it might just be a sweatshirt.
- A group of stylish young men (in various stages of mulleted Soul Glo hair growth) gather at the foot of a brownstone. Any moment now, Theo Huxtable will pop out of the front door, wearing a shirt sewn by sister Denise.
- Suddenly, Rerun from What’s Happening? (who has clearly just left a Jenny Craig meeting) quiets them down–by the power of his index finger, combined with the metallic glow of his F necklace.
- He begins to conduct them as he would an orchestra, and they fall into place, snapping and swaying, with a combination of karate moves and sign language that bring to mind a poor-man’s Temptation.
- Already I’m in Cosby Show cardigan overload. The graphic prints just make it all the worse.
- Oh, no! What’s that? Did they piss a white lady off? No, it’s Rosie Perez, and she stole Nancy Reagan’s blazer. Alert the Secret Service!
- They form a soul train toward the window to serenade her, with a bright yellow blazer bringing up the caboose. Now it’s full-on Motown moves and emoting with great fervor.
- The lead singer goes into his falsetto, which launches black-and-white cardigan man into his signature “rope-pulling Marcel Marceau” move.
- The effect this has on Rosie Perez is not only calming, but seems to be sending her into some Lunesta haze. She inhales while curtains flap in the breeze like a Summer’s Eve commercial.
- Doo-wop moves ensue. Suddenly, she smiles, revitalized, looking nothing like Rosie Perez. Her skin is cafe au lait, and so smooth. She must be a Noxzema model.
- What’s that? J.J. from Good Times walks up the stairs with Penny. Seems so random.
- Then they gather in a campfire circle and sing “la la la la” with more air-snapping and high-fiving, congratulating themselves that the song is halfway over.
- They all make fists and bring them down, a precursor to the Billy Blanks Tao-Bo upper-cut.
- The Noxzema model is unimpressed, and retires to the bedroom, as the blinding yellow from the chunky one’s ensemble has seared her retinas.
- They disband. Yellow blazer departs in search of a bolo tie to complete his look, leaving skinny Rerun behind. Forlorn. Waiting on Rosie. You’ll be waiting forever, son. She’s gone. She’s gone. Just ask Hall and Oates.