Video Review: Maroon 5 & Kendrick Lamar “Don’t Wanna Know”

Adam Levine, as Blue Voice (names are made up by me), hears his alarm beeps and opens his eyes. He tries to figure out if he’s home or somewhere else. He turns off the alarm. Half asleep, he makes himself a smoothie in the blender and gulps from the container. Then, he plays video games and does some yoga. While stretching, he looks at a picture frame with a photo of his ex-girlfriend (Sarah Silverman). He sighs and collapses on the ground.

He drives through the neighborhood. In a park, other bugs are playing and swimming in the beach. One is taking a spinning class and wipes sweat off its face.

Levine stops on the road. Running down the street is Purple Andy (Ed Helms), trying to escape a dozen people tapping their phones. He shrugs at Levine and then gets zapped into someone’s phone.

Levine runs from his car. Meanwhile, the band plays on a sound stage. The dozens of people begin to chase him. On the beach, the two bugs run in sheer terror as the crowd encroaches on them. The yellow bug in spinning class gets off the bicycle and takes off to the nearest exit.

Levine hides by a tree. There, he sees his ex-girlfriend and waves to her. Orange Sarah waves back. They walk towards one another. But the crowd breaks their moment. Orange Sarah waves her hands like wings and flies into the sky. Levine is amazed by her powers.

Chewing on a piece gum while on the lounge chair, he sits by the pool and chugs a beer. A person climbs over his fence. He takes his phone and zaps the person.

On the sound stage, the director yells “cut.” Levine waits to hear what needs to be corrected. The director suggests a cowboy hat. Levine clenches his jaw and says he doesn’t be “like, silly.” The director says he would be just like Pharrell. Levine politely agrees but then adds that “kinda goes against brand, my socials and you know, my public image.” The director, frustrated, yells “rolling.”

Performing for their fans in a stadium, the band sings the new single.

The next morning, Levine wakes up and rolls his eyes. Two women are sleeping naked by him. He steps on beer bottles and looks at the picture of his ex, which is still the wallpaper on his phone. He leaves his house, climbing over a drunk Teal bug. In the bathroom, he sighs when he sees a woman playing with Red Octopus Bug’s tentacles. Red Octopus Bug gives Levine a triumphant grin.

He steps into another room and is annoyed to see Purple Hoops (Shaquille O’Neal)  growling “oh yeah.” However, he decides to jump with Purple Hoops. People jump in his pool. A woman feels up Grumpy Duck Bug and then they toast. A drunk Bug vomits on the pavement while another Purple Bug smokes a joint.

Levine gets excited when he sees another orange bug. However, it’s Orange Amanda (Amanda Cerny). She turns around and says hi. Levine musters an enthusiastic “hi.” But when she turns back around again, the disappointment is all over his face.

He decides to drown his sorrows at the local bar. There, he sees the band playing on television. Red Vince (Vince Vaughan) exclaims that he’s exhausted. Levine looks up. Red Vince says he’s “sick of running.” Levine agrees. Red Vince he has health problems. Levine complains that he’s uncomfortable. Red Vince says he’s angry and “sick of it.” Levine says it feels like a nightmare. Red Vince says they weren’t “built to run..a bunch of roly poly lovable guys.” Levine says he just wants to shine.

Red Vince questions if they stop running. Levine says they can create a movement. Women yell “OMG, it’s them!” Red Vince and Levine look at each other and leave the bar.


Rating: 0/5

The secondhand embarrassment takes a while to wear off after watching the video. There isn’t much difference between Maroon 5 trying to sell its music and the guy standing on the sidewalk near a strip mall dressed as Little Caesar, waving a sign around advertising pizza to get traffic inside the door. By the time Levine starts showing concern for his branding, he has the face of a man who has relinquished all hope of creating that one great album and accepted his mediocrity.

It’s unfortunate the failure of the second season of True Detective has caused Vince Vaughan to resort to wearing a bug suit in a past-its-prime band’s music video. It’s an undeserved punishment for trying to rise above the comedic roles.

Somehow, turning the viral trend of Pokémon GO and comparing it to being hunted down by overzealous fans, provided with lengthy complaints and moaning about lacking the energy, is as pretentious as it is ironic. It’s as though Levine wants the benefits of being famous without any of the drawbacks. Maybe if it was four, five years into the band’s career, the complaint would’ve held some weight. However, it’s more than ten years after the band’s first album. It’s like complaining about how the steak wasn’t cooked right after eating a portion of it. Take a hiatus. Quit social media for a while.  Unburden every insecurity in a tell-all. But please don’t make the same album over and over with videos made of bitterness.

  Director: David Dobkin  Year: 2016

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