James Corden is not content with having ousted Jimmy Fallon’s Lip Sync Battles from their previous status as the most viral of recurring celebrity bits from late-night TV. No, our Icarus must fly ever closer to the sun, and now he is turning his Carpool Karaoke segments into veritable mini movies, complete with plots and character arcs.
This week’s outing, starring Selena Gomez, borrows heavily from the Manic Pixie Dream Girl school of romantic comedies. Corden is the stick-in-the-mud killjoy, only thinking about getting to work on time, until Gomez teaches him to loosen up and enjoy the finer things in life. Things like doing shots of ginger ("It’s killing everything inside!" she informs him, brightly, as he sputters), or singing "Come & Get It" on a roller coaster.
"Now you’re ready to start your day!" Gomez explains.
"I don’t feel that ready," says a woozy Corden.
During a pit stop at a McDonald’s to see one of the fast-food chain’s new Selena Gomez soda cups — and to harangue the starstruck McDonald’s workers, of course — the pair also chair-dance their way through "Same Old Love," "Hands to Myself," "Kill 'Em With Kindness," and "Love You Like a Love Song."
The mini movie doesn’t end with romance — of course not, that would be unsettling — but it does end with a blatant bid for a sequel. Corden and Gomez close the show by rocking out to "Shake It Off" by Gomez’s bestie Taylor Swift.
Not pictured: Corden staring at the camera and begging T-Swift to shake it to the fella over there with the hella good viral late-night content.