Meaning of Billie Eilish’s TV Lyrics

Content Warning: The following article contains mentions of eating disorders and mental health that may be triggers for some. If you or a loved one are struggling with such issues, please call the National Eating Disorders Hotline at (800) 931-2237 or visit online. Reader discretion is advised.

Behold, Billie Eilish gave fans a surprise music drop on this beautiful Thursday afternoon. The 20-year-old singer pulled things back with guitar songs, a new project with two songs, “TV” and “The 30th”. She announced the drops via Instagram with the project’s cover artwork. “A little surprise for youuuuuuuu…… TWO NEW!!!! “TV” and “The 30th!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” Billie wrote in her caption. “These songs mean so much to me. I’m so happy they’re yours.❤️”

The drop comes after Billie revealed during a performance on June 6, 2022 that she was “just starting to think about her next album.” The Ellen Show. She also performed “TV”, which was unreleased at the time, at her stop in Manchester, England Happier than ever Tour on June 7th. The song touches on leaving friendships for a romantic relationship, although the toxic conditions may not make it worth it. Billie’s lyrics also touch on difficult issues such as the public trial between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard, the fall of Roe v. Wade and an unhealthy relationship with food. If you’re wondering what these lyrics mean and what references Billie makes in the song, check out our breakdown below.

Lyrics provided by genius

[Verse 1]
I don’t want to talk now
i just want to watch tv
I stay in the pool and drown
So I don’t have to watch you go
I put on survivor just to see someone suffer
Maybe I should get some sleep
Sink into the sofa while they all betray each other
What’s the point of anything?

In the first stanza, Billie describes what is likely to be a depressive episode (à la Rue from euphoriait seems) as she watches the reality TV show, survivor, just to feel something. She questions people’s general intentions and mentions her insomnia, which she has been open about since the beginning of her career. Her sleeping habits and nightmares also inspired her debut album, When we all fall asleep, where do we go? in 2019.

In March 2022, Billie told V Magazine about their sleep problems. “I’ve had a lot of really, really incredibly horrible nightmares. I had weird sleep paralysis. It just wasn’t a good time for my brain. I couldn’t sleep,” she said. “I went to bed at four in the morning and woke up at one in the afternoon. And I listened to this meditation app every time I needed to catch my breath and not think about the horrors going on in my mind.”

[Chorus]
All my friends are missing again
That’s what happens when you fall in love
You don’t have time, you leave them all behind
You tell yourself it’s okay, you’re just in love

The chorus takes advantage of your friends’ abandonment when you start a new relationship. Billie reassures it’s worth it because she’s “just in love,” but it doesn’t sound like she believes the words she’s saying.

[Verse 2]
Don’t know where you are right now
have you seen me on tv
I’ll try not to starve myself
Just because you’re mad at me
And I’ll deny it, at least for a while
What about the plans we made?
The internet has gone wild when it comes to seeing movie stars in court
While they Roe v. calf fall

There is a a lot of to unpack in the second verse. Billie references her growing superstar status when she asks the person if they’ve seen her on TV – probably through a talk show interview or live performance. She also says she’ll try not to starve herself to satisfy the theme, which parallels her lyrics in Male Fantasy, the final track on her second album. Happier than ever.

There’s a slew of emotions she seems to be dealing with, from her current love going shallow to the aftermath of harrowing cultural moments. At the end of the verse, she appears to be referring to the Johnny Depp v. Amber Heard trial that took the internet by storm from April to June 2022, even calling out the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the Roe v. Wade case, which once held the right on abortion protection in the United States.

Billie has been open about her stance on the fight for reproductive rights in the past. In October 2021, she almost canceled her set at Austin City Limits after hearing about the abortion ban in Texas. “When they made the law, I almost didn’t want to do the show. Because I wanted to punish this damn place for letting this happen,” she began. “But then I remembered you guys are the fucking victims and you deserve everything in the world. And we have to tell them to shut up! My body, my damn choice!”

[Chorus]

[Bridge]
And I don’t get along with anyone
Maybe I’m the problem
Maybe I’m the problem

[Outro]

Billie admits that she too can be flawed and that she may have been the problem in the particular relationship she writes about on TV.

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