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December 28, 2015
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Funny or Die teamed up with Go90 to present eight sketches starring Mariah Carey. And here we're going to recap them.

“There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humor.” -Charles Dickens in his immortal classic A Christmas Carol, and me, silently to myself, as I watched Mariah Carey’s Holiday Sketchtacular on go90.

As the holidays drew near Funny or Die released eight sketch videos starring Mariah Carey and released them on Verizon’s new Go90 mobile platform. Naturally they invited me, a professional television recapper, to take a look at them all and recap them as I would any other ground breaking television show. Breaking Bad. Mad Men. The Wire. Mariah Carey’s Holiday Sketchtacular. You’ll notice I did not include The Sopranos in this list, as it has been surpassed. I recap television for a living for sites like The AV Club and Vulture. I should know.

One of the many times Santa was revealed to be who he truly is in Mariah Carey’s Holiday Sketchtacular.

The series is broken into eight different parts, each delves into a microcosm of both the holiday spirit and Mariah Carey’s psyche. But throughout the entire series one thing is blatantly clear: Mariah has to put on a holiday show. And one hell of a holiday show. And there we know our protagonist’s struggle. But first she needs to learn a thing or two about cooking. Enter Bryan Safi. The call to action.

Bryan helps Mariah gain the confidence in front of a camera she needs to get the cooking show off the ground. He also helps cook up the plot and sets the story out of the frying pan, and into the fire.

Bryan and Mariah are cooking up one hell of a Christmas show.

This is a regular save the cat moment. Mariah is baking. Who is she baking for? Maybe a starving cat. That needs saving? We can only assume.

But from this first sketch we begin to see Mariah Carey’s ups and downs of putting on a holiday show, and the sketches leave the viewer with a hint at what the final show might be. We know that it involves a Santa.

Mariah’s struggle to find a Santa is reminiscent of Don Draper’s struggle to find his past.

And we know that this Santa falls through. But luck would have it that the Christmas show found a last minute replacement who is the perfect Santa embodiment.

Even Santa succumbs to the desires of the human spirit. Namely food. And in this case hard shell beef tacos.

We also know that there will be a new Christmas song.

Some would argue that not being a song is the very essence of Jazz. And of Christmas.

And there will be a choir of animals.

At Christmas our inner beast emerges. And here is no different. But in this instance it is taken quite literally.

But then disaster strikes. As Mariah puts her trust in her low level assistants who treat power like the milk from their mother’s teet. If there’s one thing epic television has taught us it is to never put your trust in those beneath you (Pete, Jesse, I’m sure someone from Game of Thrones but I don’t watch it). Yet, Mariah yields her power to those who don’t deserve it. One tall manager. And one short manager.

The managers, like the inept underlings at Sterling Cooper Draper Price, care for nothing but power and power only. Power Corrupts. Absolute Power over Mariah’s Christmas show corrupts absolutely.

And along the way we are visited by some special holiday friends and some classic holiday tropes. Namely Katie Couric and The Night Before Christmas.

In every story there’s a villain. And in this story it is Katie Couric. Katie Couric is the Gus to Mariah’s Walter White.

A reimagining of the holiday classic that was in dire need of an update.

So what is in Mariah Carey’s actual holiday show? We do not know. The directors leave it to us to imagine what it could be. Because this isn’t a story about the holiday show. It’s a story about the preparation. And about Mariah’s journey. From Cooking Show host to animal choir conductor.

And maybe, just maybe, she’ll learn the real meaning of Christmas. But that depends on what you think the real meaning of Christmas is.

Watch the entire series on Verizon’s go90 mobile platform.

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