With a cavalcade of glam looks — and a hilarious reimagining of all her most iconic past looks! — Taylor Swift's highly anticipated "Look What You Made Me Do" music video was one of the highlights of Sunday's MTV VMAs show.
Coming early in the show, the video opens with a Gothic, Tim Burton-esque view of a graveyard. The most prominent tombstone bears the ominous epitaph, "Here lies Taylor Swift's reputation," a reference to her forthcoming album "Reputation."
Out of nowhere, Taylor pulls a Michael Jackson "Thriller" move, emerging from the earth as a decaying corpse. Wielding a shovel, she quickly transforms into a glamorpuss in a tub filled with diamonds. Casually inspecting — and then aggressively biting — what looks like a priceless necklace, this version of Taylor looks particularly snarky as she sings the song's aggressive lyrics.
The next elaborate set piece finds Taylor on a throne as a sort of queen of the serpents, a roomful of snakes slithering toward her, offering her some tea to sip.
Taylor's next incarnation is her most radical, a glitzy starlet crashing her car as paps snap away. She then emerges from her vehicle to strut away, a pet cheetah in tow. This appears to be a reference to '20s star Pola Negri, known for strolling with a cheetah on a steel leash.
Next, Taylor — with gorgeous, loose curls and clad in a leg-baring orange look — swings inside a giant birdcage. Could this be a reference to Taylor feeling trapped by her fame, stuck in a gilded cage?
Taylor is then seen as the leader of a group of cat burglars — literally, girls in cat masks who are looting a safe. As Taylor menacingly swings a baseball bat, the scene switches to Taylor as a motorcycle mama in studded leather.
Before we can get used to the latest look, things change again, leading to Taylor in SM gear, addressing a hall filled with women — or are they robots? Dolls?
We then get to a part of the video we had already seen via advance clips, Taylor in a skimpy black outfit with mesh hose, backed up by a group of subservient men in crop tops that read "I heart TS." Some critics on Twitter had said this reeked of Beyoncé's "Formation," but the resemblance seems incidental in the context of the full video.
The part of the video that has most of Twitter talking comes next, with Taylor in another skimpy black outfit, this time standing atop a pile of past Taylors! All played by her, the old-school Taylors are desperately trying to climb to the top, but the new Taylor — standing before a giant T that is throwing serious cross vibes — won't let them.
The rest of the video is made up of flashes of the previous looks intercut with scenes of a street artist Taylor vandalizing a private jet by spray painting "Reputation" across it.
The video comes to an outrageously funny end when all the Taylors must face each other, leading to Corpse Taylor chastising Early-Years Taylor for acting so surprised — a common criticism she faced when shown reacting at award shows — and another current Taylor asking, "What's with that b-tch?" In response, Corpse Taylor snaps, "Don't call me that," a clear reference to Kanye West calling Taylor a b-tch in his controversial song "Famous," something Taylor objected to strongly. Ringleader Taylor can't resist saying to a weeping Fearless Tour Taylor that she needs to stop crying, observing, "You're so fake!"
Taylor may have subtly revealed which celebrities are still part of her squad using the T-shirt worn by Early-Years Taylor. Some of the stars' names included on the tee include BFF Selena Gomez, Gigi Hadid, Lena Dunham, Ed Sheeran, Blake Lively, Ryan Reynolds, Patrick Stewart, Abigail Anderson, Martha Hunt, the Haim sisters, Todrick Hall and Claire Kislinger. Some of the names that did not appear on the tee include Karlie Kloss, Lorde, Ruby Rose and Hailee Steinfeld.
Taylor ends the video by asking aloud, "I would very much like to be excluded from this narrative," quoting her famous tweet in response to Kanye of last year.
For more, check out our past interviews with Taylor: