‘The Kacey Musgraves Christmas Show’ brings lighthearted wit

Monty Daniel

Kacey Musgraves is the Christmas queen we may not have put on our wish lists but got anyway. Released on Nov. 29, “The Kacey Musgraves Christmas Show” came as a welcomed surprise, unlike the package of socks grandma will inevitably leave under the tree for many of us this year. 

With a shiny assortment of guests performing musical duets and comedy skits with Musgraves, the show came out on Amazon Prime Video right in time for the holiday festivities to begin. 

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Musgraves’ classic rendition of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” is sweet enough to make the Grinch’s heart grow three sizes. The song features a scene of Musgraves at the top of a staircase, segmented with a clip of a family cozily cuddled up next to the television. As Musgraves walks down the staircase, her sweeping bright red gown is revealed, complete with a giant bow on the front and a long train. Musgraves’ smooth folksy tone brings another level of euphony and sugary-sweetness to the beginning of the show. 

With just her guitar and evergreen bedroom, Musgraves laments in her syrupy voice over the unsung struggles of Christmas.”

Other than Musgraves being a highlight of the show, narrator Dan Levy brought a level of snarky humor to the otherwise cheesy show. 

Dressed as an elf, Levy carried the show along. By far his best commentary was after Musgraves had just performed “Christmas Makes Me Cry” (which we will be discussing soon).

“And so, Kacey (Musgraves) had an emo moment in her bedroom,” Levy said after a cut to an extravagant bathroom. “Because sometimes, just sometimes, a great singing career, a bunch of Grammys and this over-the-top bathroom just aren’t enough!” 

After a stern talking-to from Musgraves, Levy was asked to cut back on the snark, his rebuttal reflecting an overly-exuberant, fake character.

The holidays aren’t always the cheeriest time of the year for everyone. With the stress of family, presents and weather conditions, it can be an emotional season for some. Luckily, Musgraves created a song highlighting that feeling in all of its melancholy excellence.

“Christmas Makes Me Cry” is a solo tribute to watching loved ones grow older every year and the other hardships that come with Christmas. This is, by far, the most genuine song throughout the show, with Musgraves regaling a brief message before the song.

“It feels like we’re supposed to be happy during the holidays, but sometimes they just make you really sad,” Musgraves said. “So I wrote this song for anyone who may be feeling a little bit lonely.” 

With just her guitar and evergreen bedroom, Musgraves laments in her syrupy voice over the unsung struggles of Christmas. 

One guest appearance that fell short was Fred Armisen‘s. With his history of comedy and originality, I was expecting to be out of breath by the time their bit was done, but I found myself without even a chuckle. The bit seemed overdone and unoriginal, with a noisy repair man continuously interrupting their rendition of “Silent Night.” First off, I didn’t come to hear Armisen sing, and secondly, I wouldn’t have minded the singing as much if the bit would have been funny. 

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On the other hand, a guest appearance that I wasn’t expecting to chuckle from was that of Kylie Jenner. Honestly, I was not looking forward to her appearance due to not wanting to hear her sing again. Can you blame me, though? I had enough of her singing in the “Rise and Shine” meme

The best part of Jenner’s appearance was that she didn’t utter a word. Instead, she stood at Musgraves’ doorstep with signs, begging to swap places with her for Christmas, or as one of the signs says, “Kris-mas.”

Other highlights of the show included Musgraves’ smooth, groovy duet with Leon Bridges, despite the unnecessary and disorienting visuals, and the slow rendition of “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” with Lana Del Rey. 

Perhaps my favorite duet was “Glittery,” performed with Troye Sivan. The two sit in a Pepto-Bismol colored room as their voices intertwine in perfect harmony. Sivan’s shiny dark green suit with little pink accents is in stark contrast to the rest of the room. This song is for cold winter nights wrapped in a blanket staring up at the stars with snowflakes gently floating down, or it’s perhaps even better for staying in next to the fireplace with a loved one. 

If you’re looking for a wholesome Christmas special full of excellent music, emotional moments and a few laughs, look no further than “The Kacey Musgraves Christmas Show.” 

Looking to take the show on the road? You can stream the full show on Spotify or Apple Music.

 

Monty Daniel can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @MontyDaniel_.