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EW's Universal Theory of NSYNC

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In the 15 years since NSYNC released No Strings Attached, the music industry has moved away from the specific kind of video the boy bands of the new millennium loved so much—narrative mini-stories with beginnings, middles, and ends, and the occasional recurring character outside of the band itself. But while elaborate fantasy sequences have gone out of fashion, the obsessive need to treat every fragment of a story as a clue worthy of intense scrutiny is very much in.

Which got us wondering: Can we watch NSYNC music videos like we watched Lost? Was every video actually piece of the same puzzle? And if so, what was that puzzle’s message? 

EW did a little digging, and here’s what we found. Forget your Cinderella stories; this one is all about Pinocchio. (You can thank Jon Negroni of The Pixar Theory for the inspiration.)

“It’s Gonna Be Me”

The guys accept that they’re something between puppets and gods (A BOY BAND) and are released from the institution. They rebuild their careers with a salute to their core fanbase and film themselves on tour to stay grounded. Unless they’re actually still in that padded room. It’s your call.

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