Dolly Parton is again on Netflix with a brand new vacation particular, Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square. The nation music legend teamed up with legendary choreographer and director Debbie Allen for this all-star musical. We know Dolly can do no incorrect, so the actual query is: how proper is Christmas on the Square?
The Gist: Music and lyrics by Dolly Parton. Directed by Debbie Allen. Do you really want extra of an outline than that? In case you are not already bought, listed here are a couple of extra particulars: Christine Baranski stars as Regina, a merciless businesswoman who’s inherited the city of Fullerville after the current passing of her father. She’s prepared to be rid of the entire city, and she or he doesn’t care that she’s delivering eviction notices to a whole city only a few days earlier than Christmas! The Cheetah Mall conglomerate has its eyes on Fullerville, and Regina desires to get that mega-corp precisely what they need for Christmas.
Jenifer Lewis performs a beautician/former mayor (learn that once more!) and she or he’s the buddy who knew Regina when. Treat Williams performs Carl, the basic retailer proprietor who broke Regina’s coronary heart method again in highschool. Josh Segarra (Arrow) performs Pastor Christian, and Dolly Parton productions mainstay Mary Lane Haskell performs his spouse Jenna. Together, the city hopes they’ll give you one thing to make Regina change her thoughts—and so they have the good Lord on their aspect.
That’s as a result of Dolly Parton has a giant half to play on this musical as a glitzy Heavenly agent, an angel despatched to grant one very explicit Christmas want and assist change Regina for the higher. Dolly Parton enjoying an angel on Earth? Y’know, it isn’t a stretch!
What Movies Will It Remind You Of?: For so many individuals, Christmas is a time for musicals. There are the parade-stopping numbers carried out in entrance of Macy’s, native productions of A Christmas Carol or Elf, and the extravagant, generally disastrous spectacles that air on the main networks presently of 12 months. But thanks to COVID, this season appears to be like to be missing in musicality—and that is the place Christmas on the Square comes spinning in to fill the void. This is a musical with a capital M-U-S-I-C-A-L. There is numerous singing, numerous dancing, numerous emoting, numerous twirling, and it is all finished in, round, via, and on a large set that’s clearly a soundstage (however not in an embarrassing, low-budget method). This is a type of splashy community musicals finished proper—that means it isn’t finished reside and there is no likelihood of somebody tripping over a digicam on-air.
Performance Worth Watching: I’d be remiss if I did not shout out Treat Williams’ luxurious hair, as a result of that efficiency has been going sturdy for many years. Between this and Hallmark’s The Christmas House, we’re having a really Treaty Christmas—and I’m superb with that!
But severely (though my appreciation for Treat Williams’ mane is critical), the standout on this cast of the heaviest of hitters is Selah Kimbro Jones. She performs Violet, a sensible past her only a few years child who is aware of all about the ins and outs of life as a result of she was raised in the again of a bar with entry to the web. Violet not solely unknowingly helps get Regina collectively, she attracts out a efficiency from the constantly, unflappably spectacular Christine Baranski that’s gentle years above what you’d anticipate to see in a Netflix unique Christmas musical.
Also, a shout out to Jeanine Mason, who performs Regina’s frazzled private assistant Felicity. It has gotta be intimidating to strive to get laughs once you’re continuously sharing scenes with masters like Baranski and Parton, and Mason delivers.
Memorable Dialogue: “Grief is love with nowhere to go.” If that is not the actual kinda line you need from a Dolly Parton Christmas particular, I dunno what’s.
A Holiday Tradition: If Fullerville has annual traditions, we do not get to see them. That’s in all probability as a result of they’re too busy making an attempt to not lose their houses and companies on Christmas!
Does the Title Make Any Sense?: Of course it does. Dolly’s not gonna steer us incorrect with some imprecise, generic title! This is Christmas and it is on the city sq.!
Our Take: If ever there was a Christmas particular extra tailor-made to a really particular form of viewer, I can not consider it. From minute one in all Christmas on the Square, this film goes to ship precisely what you need, it doesn’t matter what’s brought about you to hit “play” on Netflix. If you are coming for Jenifer Lewis, you are gonna see her vogue, reward, and browse Christine Baranski down. If you are coming for Baranski, you are gonna see her mercilessly say widespread people the place to go on Christmas. If you are coming for Treat Williams, effectively, he is there and he is as good-looking as ever(wooden). And in the event you’re coming for Dolly Parton, then prepare for a show!
This is not like Dolly Parton’s earlier forays into tv, the place she’s acted principally as a producer/host/inspiration/guiding gentle/motive for being. She’s all that in Christmas on the Square, and she or he’s additionally a personality that’s in the film all through! There’s a lot Dolly on this! Homeless Dolly, mischievous Dolly, ballet teacher Dolly, fits-in-a-cup-holder Dolly, cloudy Dolly—it is all Dolly practically all the time on this musical, and that’s the way it needs to be.
But even when Dolly’s not on display screen, Christmas on the Square is so infused with Dolly’s hardscrabble, hopeful vibe that you simply always remember that it is a Parton manufacturing. The complete story is as delicate as a wrecking ball, and the reveals and turns that come throughout the house stretch are the kinda intestine punches you anticipate if Dolly’s discography. But we would not need a story from Dolly Parton—whose angel character is clad in glowing white rhinestones from head to toe—to be subdued. You need the large swings, the tears, the joyful noise—and that makes Christmas on the Square an expertise.
But whereas the story is the similar one you’ve got already seen 100 occasions on the Hallmark channel this 12 months, it stands out due to the performances. What else would you anticipate from Parton, Baranski, Lewis, and Williams?! This is a cast of veterans who do not know the way to commit lower than 110%. Yeah, the characters are skinny, however their performances are thick with dignity and conviction.
I actually do not know what else to say! If you come to Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square hoping to get precisely what you need out of your favourite performers and a few ol’ original musical magic from Debbie Allen, you are not gonna be disenchanted.
Our Call: STREAM IT. Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square is the down house musical second we have been lacking this vacation season.