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Leisure time: The ASUW campaign videos

Photo by Kay Kim

If there’s been one consistent theme throughout this year’s ASUW elections, it’s campaign videos: Every ticket has a slickly produced, elaborately planned video, designed to rack up votes and reinforce its brand. But as seriously as student-government campaign videos take themselves, they’re still a maelstrom of bad lighting, bland humor, and stilted attempts at self-awareness. With voting open through Wednesday, here’s one attempt to make sense of these cinematic masterpieces.

ProgressUW: “Introducing ProgressUW’s 5 Point Plan”

Rating: G, general audiences. This video is so wholesome, Mitt Romney’s family portrait would make it blush.

Recommended if you like: Plans with five points, progress, UW

Starring: Relatively well-spoken UW students in fancy clothes

The lowdown: The eight candidates of ProgressUW have a five-point plan. They talk about each of the five points. They say their names. The video ends. As a whole, it’s substantive, if dull. One potential point of criticism: Using a song by the xx is pretty hip, but based on the ProgressUW logo, a U2 song would have been a far more appropriate choice to score the video.

The sequel: I’m well aware student-government campaign videos are hardly a bastion of cutting-edge humor, but really? A “Most Interesting Man in the World” Dos Equis parody? Throw in a couple Charlie Sheen jokes, and ProgressUW would have had its year-old-pop-culture-reference bases covered.

The Husky Impact: “The Husky Impact (2012 ASUW Elections)”

Rating: PG, for some disturbing instances of CGI storm clouds.

Recommended if you like: Unfunny attempts at levity, advocacy via green T-shirts

Starring: Forced jokes about WSU athletics, unsettlingly enthusiastic volunteers

The lowdown: Directed by Michael Bay, The Husky Impact’s film boasts impressive production values for a student-government campaign video, and it stands to recoup nearly all of its $250 million budget its first weekend in theaters. Evan Smith (played by Jason Statham, giving the best performance of his career) runs for the ASUW presidency, fighting against an all-encompassing storm cloud that threatens to destroy the UW. Using his fleet of Transformers, can he make a Husky Impact in time?

The sequel: The incredibly awkward “The Husky Impact Interactive Experience,” wherein candidates plan to empower voters through that one feature on YouTube where you can embed videos within a video.

Purple Roots: “ASUW 2012”

Rating: PG-13, for dishearteningly obvious parodies of “The Office”

Recommended if you like: Facebooking during campaign meetings

Starring: Continuity errors, dimly lit Denny Hall classrooms, #YOLO

The lowdown: Purple Roots’ magnum opus begins with an establishing shot of the darkened exterior of Denny Hall, reflecting the internal turmoil the candidates are surely facing, given that they spend the first three and a half minutes of their campaign video trying to figure out exactly what their campaign is. It ends with the candidates discussing their ticket’s central idea, MVD: Most Valuable Degree, which demonstrates impressive knowledge of film history, as it’s a rather transparent reference to art-house director Robert Vince’s largely forgotten 2000 film, “MVP: Most Valuable Primate.”

The sequel: “Vote for Us Baby,” an Auto-Tuned electro-pop monstrosity featuring vocals from director of community relations candidate Cara Luck. Sample lyrics: “We’re really running / And this is crazy.” Can’t disagree there.

Reach Copy Chief Andrew Gospe at arts@dailyuw.com. Twitter: @the_great_gospe

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