Smokin’ on Jump Street


Year: 1985

Song: “Smokin’ In the Boys’ Room” by Motley Crue

Confession: I’ve been avoiding writing about this video. But it’s October, a good month to face one’s fears or at least scare the crap out of oneself. So here we go.

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The video begins with some doofus running and falling and dropping all his papers in what could be a very effective opener for a Trapper Keeper commercial. The degree to which this guy wipes out by tripping over nothing cannot be overstated.

I assume he later goes on to father Mark Sanchez.

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The guy looks up to see a dog wearing a pentagram because why not, and the dog strategically selects one paper from dude’s pile of junk and trots away. Let’s get DogRates on this pupper. That level of precision easily makes him a 13/10.

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The guy is pretty pissed that the dog took his paper, or at least does a semi-convincing job of acting like it is at all believable that he is still doing homework. As he looks at the camera, it becomes clear that he’s not actually the Peeta of the high school set; he’s just going undercover. It’s okay, 21 Jump Street, I’m not gonna spill your secret.

So the guy, Jimmy, has to tell his teacher that the dog ran off with his homework, and the classroom is definitely a standard high school classroom and not at all an adult film set. Upon close inspection, it appears that his classmates are also all grown-ass adults, which would make this 21 Jump Street Breeding Ground, aka the school where you re-learn how to be a teenager so you can go undercover. Phew, Motley, that’s a lot to take. No wonder we’re smoking in the boys’ room.

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Jimmy gets sent to the principal’s office, which is totally normal-sized, for being a waste of space. Even if the dog ran off with his homework, that’s not going to be a very convincing excuse once he has to go undercover for real and then the whole operation could be compromised. Jeez, Jimmy. Get it together. Only narcs call people narcs, you narc, etc. So the principal is all wtf, why can’t you see how important this mission is and learn to come up with better excuses, and Jimmy is like 3 seconds away from pulling a Kevin Garnett-style “burn your clothes.”

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Jimmy goes to the bathroom all bummed about how they can’t see his side of things. Of course they can’t, Jimmy. You decided to pursue a career in busting underage narcotics rings. Not really sure how many angles there are, bro.

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excellent job not being creepy, Nikki’s arm.

And then the music starts and Vince Neil appears through the mirror. Either Jimmy hasn’t been turning over the materials he’s been confiscating or Motley Crue are like the ghosts of Jimmy’s Career Future if he doesn’t get his act together.

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The Crue pulls Jimmy over to “the other side,” a dungeon-esque classroom forcing kids to conform. I think the message here is that in pursuing a career busting underage kids, he’s just helping them become cogs in the conformity machine. H’okay. Probably they didn’t run this one by Nancy Reagan.

Also Vince Neil is wearing the sequined love child of a necktie and an ascot.

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On the other side, the principal can watch everything through security cameras. 1984 is on the curriculum, folks. We know the principal is a creep because of his terrible toupe but this being the 80s and all, excess is of utmost importance. So in order to ensure that we understand how truly creepy he is, the powers that be decide to give him a…sigh…dummy.

Here’s the thing, you guys. I have a deep, abiding fear of dummies, particularly the kind that accompany people who find it entertaining to throw their voices and make the dummy talk. (If it looks like I’m trying to avoid typing a specific word that begins with a v and usually precedes ‘dummy,’ it’s because I am. It makes me physically uncomfortable.)

If you want to know more about the dummy, you’re just going to have to watch the video because I had to close my eyes or engage in some strategic screen covering during those scenes. I do not like the other side, and I’m angry with Jimmy for not at the very least using a freaking backpack because all of this could have been prevented.

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On to more important matters, the Tommy Lee Hair Watch: Theatre of Pain-era Tommy Lee hair is less fluffy than Shout at the Devil Tommy Lee and less confused than the hair we will see in later years. It is resplendent. In fact, everyone looks reasonably sober and happy to be here, including Mick, who seems to be participating in the same video as everyone else for once. Four for you, Mick Mars.

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The guys take Jimmy to the conformity prom, which they make clear is way less cool than a prom would be if Motley Crue played. This is  a weird way to try to get a gig, guys.

Satisfied, they send Jimmy back over to the original side, where the principal produces Jimmy’s homework and generously offers him an apology. How did they find his homework? Did the dog just drop it off? How great is this dog??? Jimmy, being generally useless, does not ask these questions. Instead, he rips up his homework and decides to quit 21 Jump Street School. His heart isn’t in it.

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He declares that, “Now they see my side of things,” so I guess his plan B is acting in after-school specials. The principal goes on to hire Holly Robinson Peete and they all lived happily ever after.

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