Armington Mail

A Christmas Special Starring the One and Only Dolly Parton

Dolly Parton's Mountain Magic Christmas


Genre: Family, Musical
Year Released: 2022
Runtime: 1h 25m
Director(s): Joe Lazarov
Writer(s): David Rambo
Musical Guest(s): Dolly Parton, Jimmy Fallon, Willie Nelson, Billy Ray Cyrus, Jimmie Allen, Zach Williams, Miley Cyrus
Cast: Tom Everett Scott, Angel Parker, Ana Gasteyer, Mary Lane Haskell, Bryan Batt, Brendan Bradley, John Newberg, Rachel Parton George, Cassie Parton Griffith, Rhoda Griffis, Kathryn Burns, Liam Rauhoff, Steve Summers
Where To Watch: airing on NBC Thursday, December 1, 2022, at 8 p.m. ET/PT and then streaming the next day on Peacock

RAVING REVIEW: Where to start with this one? This is, as advertised, a Christmas special with all the bells and whistles you’d imagine. Simply put, if you’re a fan of Dolly Parton, you’ll likely love this modern-day Christmas movie musical.

So country music isn’t my favorite genre, so I felt it was important to mention the fandom. Shows like this used to be far more common on TV; I remember growing up and regularly seeing holiday specials filled with celebrity guest stars singing or joining together to “save” the holidays somehow. The movie is about producing a “live” TV special that Dolly wants to put together with her flair of Christmas magic added. As per usual, she’s “fighting” the suits to make it more about the heart of Christmas instead of an over-the-top production. This reminded me of the middle act of ELVIS (2022) when he fought to do his presentation instead of what was “wanted.”

You have to temper your expectations and know what this is before jumping in and expecting anything else. This is a musical made-for-TV Christmas special starring Dolly Parton; if you’re able to set your standards and know what to expect, then based on my viewing, you’ll enjoy every moment of this. If you expect anything other than a modern celebrity-hosted “variety show,” you’ll probably leave with tempered expectations.

Ironically while researching comparisons, I found out that this isn’t Dolly’s first time hosting her own Christmas special. In 1990, she hosted a very similar feeling DOLLY PARTON: HOME FOR CHRISTMAS. I only skimmed through a copy on YouTube, but you could feel a connection between the two. And then I just found out about CHRISTMAS ON THE SQUARE (2020), another Christmas special, although it’s clear that one is more of a straightforward “movie.”

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