Despite the coronavirus pandemic and an overall horrible 2020, Carey managed to pull off the special, filled with elves, glitter, monogrammed ornaments, great lighting, and her sweet kids.
Carey first appears in her New York apartment, where stockings hang above the fireplace and there’s a Christmas tree that practically touches the ceiling. Dressed in sequined red knit pajamas, Carey encourages a young “Mimi” to hang a monogrammed gold butterfly ornament on the tree, but she’s too sad about 2020 to do it.
What to do when you’re Mariah Carey and children are sad? Sing, obviously.
Carey belts out “Sleigh Ride,” then gets a call on a sequined iPhone, hidden in a fake box of chocolates. Guess who? Santa’s number one elf, Billy Eichner, who tells Carey she must get to the North Pole to put on a show because the whole world is upset about the mess the year has been.
Carey hops in her sleigh (a red convertible car with skis on the bottom, of course), sings along the way and is greeted with a choreographed dance party and carried around by two Christmas soldiers.
Once they set her down, she’s tasked with throwing a concert that very night to cheer up the world. Carey gives Santa’s elf her rider (four wind machines and buckets of glitter). Now magically dressed in a gold sequined dress, she sings some more.
Next, Carey is supposed to be in her hotel room, but she sneaks out to the toy factory to perform “a pre-show to fill the toy makers with glee.” Jennifer Hudson and Ariana Grande make an appearance as her backup singers. Snoop, dressed as Santa, and Jermaine Dupri then join her for another number.
Ballerina Misty Copeland gets a solo as a sugar plum fairy, while Carey gets lost in a forest. When she stumbles upon a gospel choir and a baby grand piano, she takes advantage of her good luck and sings “Oh Holy Night.”
Carey wakes up back at home in full glam thinking it was all a dream, but Eichner reappears in her living room to tell her to get to the show. She’s next dressed in a wedding gown to sing “Joy To the World,” while her kids and others dance around her.
Meanwhile, this was all just a story Tiffany Haddish has been reading us while sitting in a cozy cabin, though Carey still closes out the show. After Haddish calls for an encore, Carey appears in a red velvet nutcracker mini dress to sing “All I Want for Christmas.” Spectacular indeed.
“Mariah Carey’s Magical Christmas Special” is now streaming on Apple+.