I love how Lady Gaga remains in character in what's designed to be a "behind the scenes" recording session video — and I especially love how that "character" is always in flux, bouncing here from a Cher ensemble to something closer to Linda Richman. But, this is potentially genius for Ms. Gaga: The young pop "consumer" is incredibly fickle, but Gaga still has a voice and an undeniable talent; and your mom is more likely to plunk down $15 for old friend Tony Bennet and his spunky sidekick singing the classics, than a 15 year old would be willing to part with any money for any pop fluff they'll probably tire of within 15 minutes. And Tony? Well, the legendary Mr. Bennett knows his creative and commercial way around pop crossovers very well, having shared the mic with everyone from Amy Winehouse to Queen Latifah to Sting, Bono, Tim McGraw and even Elmo.
I'm not the best with either Greek or Real Housewives mythology, so there's a chance I've got this all wrong. Maybe Lady Gaga isn't a modern day Icarus, who's been brought down from her artistic heights by money men and in-fighting executives. Maybe Bravo TV mastermind Andy Cohen isn't God, and the Housewives won't serenade us in the afterlife.
But, I am 100% certain this is 11 minutes of inspired insanity — and that includes the four minutes which are just credits. Shot on-location at the Hearst Castle in San Simeon and featuring a cast of hundreds — we're talking models, Real Housewives, a Michael Jackson impersonator, Gandhi, and much — this opus plays like a compilation of every idea, big or small, that's struck Lady Gaga and her team since the mixed reaction to her Artpop launch.
And it's open-ended enough that you can run with whatever narrative you want: Take it as proof of Gaga's creative rebirth, or as messy self-indulgence. So long as you take it in, share it, and talk about it, I'm pretty sure it's mission accomplished for this master media manipulator.