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4 February 2021

All work and no play.

by Syd Briscoe


Squarespace: “5 to 9” - 67s

Dolly Parton is widely regarded as an international treasure these days. From funding work on the coronavirus vaccine to helping children all over the world learn to read and even supporting HIV/AIDS charities long before it was acceptable in the straight-laced country music scene, she's become a sort of spangly, no-nonsense grandmother to the digital generation.

So why, then, does this frothy ad for Squarespace twist her ideals so thoroughly? Parton's slightly warbly vocals accompany a capitalist daydream of how it looks to work two jobs, celebrating the concept of working "5-9"... in addition to 9-5. Rather than frazzled and stressed-out, the dancing woman in question is chic, stylish, and seems delighted to be plunging yet more hours of her life into the meat grinder.

While it's all very well to say hard work is necessary to make one's dream career a full-time reality, it seems like extremely poor timing to suggest overwork is aspirational at the height of a pandemic... particularly when many are either unemployed or already putting those extra hours into their day jobs. Read a room, Squarespace.


Cinematographer: Rodrigo Prieto
Production Designer: Kristin Vallow
Choreography: Justin Peck
VFX: MPC Ⓟ Ⓦ

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