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Mariah’s Christmas: The Magic Continues Review: Start the holidays properly


Last Christmas, Apple TV + made an important show for the hearts and minds of viewers: Mariah Carey gave a Christmas special. This year, amid a host of new original Christmas programs, Apple TV + is bringing it back to sprinkle more of its magic on the holiday season.

Mariah’s Christmas: The magic continues is a short but definitely worthwhile stream-up sequel to last year’s charmingly chintzy special. Honestly, can anyone get enough of Mariah?

Mariah’s Christmas: The magic continues Overview

“The Queen of Christmas,” as Apple Music 1 host Zane Lowe calls her in this brand new show, is back. Last year, Carey’s Christmas special delivered sticky cameos from a multitude of show business types, from Billy Eichner and Jennifer Hudson to Ariana Grande. It was fun and just the kind of updated 70s special you’d expect from co-director Roman Coppola, who lives and dies from his aggressive production design. Think of Star Wars Holiday Special or Special Paul Lynde for Halloween.

Mariah’s Christmas: The magic continues it is and is not a continuation of last year’s special. It lasts only 20 minutes and contains only two songs: a new one and a version of Kerry’s classic “All I Want for Christmas Is You”.

The new song is not terribly interesting, although it would be difficult for anyone to follow “All I Want”. (This is one of the few Christmas songs written in my life that went into heavy rotation during the holiday season.) Unfortunately, this new one, with Kirk Franklin and his choir and singer Khalid, sounds like a mix of styles and ideas. It starts as a lounge number, and ends as a gospel-toned R&B torch song straight from 1996. It’s okay, but nothing special.

She is the queen of Apple TV + holiday specialties

Mariah’s Christmas: The magic continues begins with a new issue and then continues into DJ Lowe’s 10-minute interview with Carey. This is a reason to watch. Lowe is here to do a puff interview, but Carey has other ideas. She goes on bizarre tangents about how the film crew would not allow her to bring her dogs to the set and how she is sick of touring.

Lowe tries to give a good expression to every random excuse, making the interview seem to go great, but he just didn’t live up to the half-guarded Carey, console-tucked into a glittery dress. It must be seen. Then Mariah’s kids Moroccan and Monroe (Roc and Roe, you understand?) Show up and talk about how much they love Christmas.

Apple TV + offers a number of holiday episodes this year, in children’s shows such as Start with Otis i Stillwater as well as Peanuts specially addressed Auld Lang Syne. None of them, including this one, have been pre-printed.

This is somewhat understandable: how much media can actually run these things? But I mean, it’s Mariah Carey – a Christmas special couldn’t be cheap to produce, even if it lasts shorter than it takes to microwave leftovers for Thanksgiving.

An unusual choice for a director

Joseph Kahn is directing this year’s special, which makes me laugh a little. Kahn is one of the most prolific directors of music videos during the day and the creator of films about the hyper-male genre at night. His major credits at IMDb include war rap comedy-drama Bodied, hyper-violent dystopian satire Custody i Torque, his middle finger on Fast and Furious films about vengeful motorcycle gangs. So, basically, the most masculine expressionist work possible.

Kahn is a talented creator of images (you can’t record so many music videos without first-class visual sense). However, his sense of humor always prevents his fiction from fully functioning for me. His films are too self-conscious. So it’s a little funny that he brings Mariah Carey’s kids together for a Christmas special.

His touch is most strongly felt in the montage. While Coppola and Hamish Hamilton kept the camera back last year, in keeping with the old TV format of holiday specials, Kahn edits like crazy and keeps the camera spinning around the performer. He goes so far as to place individual cameras on instruments played by members of Carey’s band.

That’s a little too much, but I realize he’s trying to breathe a little life into an old format that wasn’t top notch when it was new. I’m not sure you really can to fix of this genre, but his attempt is appreciated, even if I like the stickiness he unsuccessfully tries to remove. However, holiday specialties are designed to be things you can’t take your eyes off. Task completed.

Look Mariah’s Christmas: The magic continues on Apple TV +

Mariah’s Christmas: The magic continues premiered on December 3, 2021 on Apple TV +.

Rated: TV-G

Look at: Apple TV +

Scout Tafoya is a film and TV critic, director and creator of a long series of video essays The Unloved for RogerEbert.com. He wrote for The Village Voice, Film Comment, The Los Angeles Review of Books i Nylon Magazine. He is the author Cinemaphagy: About the psychedelic classic form of Tobe Hooper, the director of 25 feature films and author of more than 300 video essays, which can be found at Patreon.com/honorszombie.





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Naveen Kumar

Friendly communicator. Music maven. Explorer. Pop culture trailblazer. Social media practitioner.

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