Video Review: X Ambassadors “Unsteady”

A twentysomething woman enters a diner.

A little boy, holding his toy, heads into the kitchen.

The twentysomething woman sees her boyfriend at the jukebox. The twentysomething man turns towards her and smiles.

Five years later, the man smiles when he sees his son. Lit in a washed out apple red, Sam Harris sings in his bedroom in the basement.

He holds his son up in the air. In the past, his wife would put her arms around his neck and they would gaze into each other’s eyes.

While eating out at the diner, he puts ketchup on his hamburger and listens to the server as she asks if there is anything they need. Now, he helps his son fix his toy and waits for his wife to finish making it.

Their dinners together used to be playful. She knocked over the salt and pepper shakers.She sees his toy and smashes it. She shrugs and the little boy laughs. Meanwhile, her husband disapproves, thinking it’s immature.

 In the room, there is a trophy shelf and a bunk bed. Harris holds onto the wall, trying to get out.

Five years ago, he looked over his shoulder to see if anyone was looking. As she ate, she wondered why he was being paranoid. He shows her a flask. Now, he openly takes it out and pours it into his coffee. Back then, she thought it was cool and they would clink their coffee mugs. Now, she looks over to her little and hopes he doesn’t see. She wants no part in his drinking at all.

 Harris leans against a bed, filled with stuffed animals.

They would walk off to the side of the diner to have a private moment. Now, she tells their son to go play. She tugs at his shirt, telling him he has to stop. Five years ago, he  took her aside in the parking lot and asked her to marry him. She hung the ring in a chain and wore it around her neck. She whispered in his ear that she loved him.

Now, he slams the door and yells at her to leave him alone. Not so long ago, he put his arm around her and gave her a kiss on her forehead. She hung the ring in his car.

In the same car, she yells at him to not to drink in front of their son. They would make out in the car for hours. Now, he screams “what” at her and she turns away from him, scared for herself and their son.


Rating: 5/5

So much can change within a few years.The woman once thought his flask was cool. He didn’t care about the rules. She didn’t think anything of it when he asked her to marry him.

However, knowing what she does now, it was a mistake. She should’ve seen it as a red flag. She has to worry about her son becoming an alcoholic and believing drinking at the table is okay.

The last five years has aged her beyond her thirtysomething years. The fear that one day his anger will become physical and be aimed at her or their son is a terrifying thought, but one that runs across her mind.

The man, though, seems to have some redemptive qualities. He lives for his son, although the love between he and his wife has vanished. Even in the flashbacks, he is a much different person. The misery and depression were something he could no longer hide. Life took its toll. After yelling at his wife, he even seems ashamed of himself and wants to apologize.

The video doesn’t punish the woman for being naïve nor does it vilify the man for having a drinking problem. All in all, it wants what’s best for the little boy.

Director: N/A  Year: 2015

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Pam Avoledo Administrator
Pam Avoledo spends her time binge-watching classic teen dramas and stands firm in her pro-Leyton stance. She also received her journalism degree in 2006 from Oakland University. Her work has been published in the White Wall Review, Sledgehammer Lit ,Greatest City Collective, 45 Magazine ,Fevers of the Mind, Daily Drunk Mag\'s Kirstofia anthology. and forthcoming in Scrawl Place

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