Writing for The Washington Post, Bethonie Butler observed a discrepancy between Lorde's statement that "In a perfect world, [she] would never do any interviews, and probably there would be one photo out there of [her]", and the fact that, in the music video, Lorde is "front and center." Butler viewed the video as "a metaphor for celebrity." Writing for Ryan Seacrest's website, Kathleen Perricone complimented the "super simple" clip, which allowed Lorde's "voice and lyrics [to] really shine." Lindsay Zoladz, of Pitchfork Media, compared the video to that for The Replacements' "Bastards of Young" (1985). MTV Buzzworthy blogger Luke O'Neil wrote that the "Tennis Court" video is "a bit unsettling at first, but eventually it starts to make sense. [Lorde is] trying to do things a bit differently, and so far it seems like it's working."
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