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Billie Eilish And Camila Cabello: Girls Streaming

Princess Billie
non- Princess Camila

Two mainstream pop girl fantasies head to the streaming service with limited results. Camila Cabello, who quit Fifth Harmony for a solo career and hit pay dirt precisely once (“Havana” of course), and Billie Eilish, who began her career as a suicidal goth teen and has since become a glamor puss with the same sound but with less hooks and worse lyrics.

Both of them are teen queens and both of them are pushing new shows on streaming services. Camila stars in Amazon Pictures streaming Kay Parker’s (the Pitch Perfect woman) girlboss “Cinderella” and Billie in a partially animated recital of her current album recorded on stage at an empty Hollywood Bowl under the auspices of ,”Happier Than Ever: A Love Letter To Los Angeles” on Disney+: neither are good and one is purely bad.

Camila is the bad one: if this is her audition for the movies, she failed it. She can’t dance, the songs, a mix of originals like “One In A Million” (which I gave a D+ the other day) and covers like a duet with Prince Charming on Ed Sheeran’s “Perfect,” which isn’t. Completely of the moment, there is something so mindless in its retelling of Harry and Meghan, too meta for its own good where there are no baddies and nobody comes out on top but everybody has their reasons, and therein lives the tedium. It’s like Junior High sports where everybody gets a trophy, here for feeling bad, and nobody deserves it.

Billie is better, I liked Happier Than Ever… didn’t love it but it had moments and while it missed the zeitgeist by 100 miles, I was never part of that zeitgeist so I don’t care. Her dreamy sexiness is Marilyn Monroeish, all hushed come on and the sense of a woman discovering her sexuality is intoxicating. But the songs are very hit and miss and for every “PDA” and “Billie’s Bossa Nova” there is two “Oxytocin” with wafts of orchestration, and big brother Finnias intruding in a creepily empty auditorium.

I didn’t expect much better from Camila, a woman clearly a sales product, but Billie? The concept was thisclose… forget that it has very little to do with LA except for location, or that not every cut is worthwhile on the album, and look at the gorgeous bits where they animate Billie into a Disney Princess. Disney could have taken a peek at Travis Scott’s Twitch concert last year and seen how they might have made it an otherworldly experience, a saucy apprentice for teens and tweens: while Camila (and Meghan) reject the Princess monicker, for sure Billie embraces it, she lives in Disneyland, of course she does. And the concert had the potential of something really special. So does Billie -but she hasn’t pulled it off yet.

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