Do you watch Adventure Time? I do. I love Adventure Time, it’s one of my favourite TV shows. Here is a scene from Adventure Time.
Do you see? Do you see how this pertains directly to One Direction? They have achieved literally everything a band could achieve across a career that lasts for years and years, but they have achieved it in a mere fraction of the time. What are their goals now? What do they aspire to? What is their motivation for getting out of bed every morning?
It’s not to have a #1 single. They achieved that with their debut ‘What Makes You Beautiful’. It’s not to have more than one #1 single, because they’ve had a couple more since then. Albums? Also hit #1. Do they need to tick “break America” off their checklist? Nope. It’s broken. Weeping in submission, in fact. One Direction didn’t just break America. They dominated it. The rest of the world too. They’re not even aiming to sell out arenas, because they’ve already sold out stadiums. Worldwide. There are no awards they have not won, endorsement opportunities they haven’t cashed in a cheque for, merchandise they haven’t put their faces on. They need never work again. They are not yet in their mid-20s.
One Direction are not artists. They are singers. They are the most successful singers in the world, right now. They have reached the top, the pinnacle, the apex of a pop career. They have won the game with 100% completion. They can keep completing tasks. They can keep exploring the free roam. Nothing they do now will affect their game score though. That’s maxed out.
Have you ever played The Sims 2 (oh, here she goes, another Sims analogy!) and completed the “Life Want” for a Fortune aspiration Sim? It’s usually related to reaching the top of your career. Once that happens you get platinum mood status for life. Also you can’t progress any higher in your career. Because you’ve done everything. There are no skill points to earn, no more friends to make. I mean, you can still learn skills and you can still make friends, but it doesn’t mean anything.
That’s where One Direction are at. They have platinum mood status and nothing left to do. In this situation they have two options.
The first option is to stay together and shake up their formula. Maybe they start to take control of other aspects of their craft. Song writing and production, set design, musicianship, art direction, fashion, choreography… the possibilities are endless. Finding something new to learn might inject some new vigour into what is a hugely lucrative ship that they shouldn’t just sink on a whim, but nor should they sail it if they have no passion for the ocean anymore.
The second option is to split up and do other completely different things. Harry could act, Louis could play football, Liam could DJ, Niall could become an international playboy and Zayn could do whatever the fuck he wants because he’s perfect. And those are just arbitary careers I’ve pulled out of my arse based on my vague understanding of their “extra-curricular” talents and interests. They are young, mostly gorgeous, horrendously wealthy and well-known young men with excellent networking connections. The world is their oyster.
All this “One Direction hate life” talk is harshing my mellow, basically. I don’t want One Direction to be unhappy. I am rather fond of them in that weird detached but invested way people get about megastars. I also want them to look like they’re enjoying themselves because that makes me enjoy myself more and quite honestly I deserve to get what I pay for, which is the best time they are capable of providing. All their fans deserve that. I don’t think they’re quite delivering now, and I understand why (I’m a Spice Girls fan, I understand why) but that doesn’t mean they should be allowed to get away with it.