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There are a lot of levels to enjoy the extended video for Jay-Z's moonlight, although ironically the track itself isn't really one of them since it seems to be the least part of the running time. I'm not aware enough of American culture to appreciate the references to Friends' concept allegedly being taken directly from a less successful African-American television show, although that is one level; also I'm not really a fan of Friends or know the episodes enough to appreciate the precision of which this recreation is accurate. What does strike though is the sense of working harder to get less, of losing a little even in victory.
This is most evident in the lyrics and title of the track, which reference of course Moonlight (which won best picture), and La La Land (which took a lot of the shine off the victory in the moment). This is directly referenced at the end of the film in case you didn't pick up on it, but I prefer the content of the short where Jerrod Carmichael (playing Ross) is confronted by Hannibal Buress about his work in Friends. Well, not so much that moment, but the detachment that Carmichael suddenly feels while the comedy carries on in the background. I wish this moment was longer and offered more, because Carmichael does deliver with the look on his face.
The recreation itself is still worth a look, and it is entertaining to see such a famous cast replaced – albeit replaced by a very well- known African-American cast; however to focus on this is to miss the sharper content – although to be fair, the film could have spent longer on that aspect of it and done more with it too.
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