‘The Kacey Musgraves Christmas Show’


Veronika Lee, Entertainment Editor

Not just anyone could pull off coming in hot dressed in a Bea Arthur “Maude”-era meets Cher jumpsuit get up,  but Miss Kacey Musgraves isn’t just anyone. Last year’s Grammy gladiator is no stranger to a country-pop confectionary for the holidays – she already has “A Very Kacey Christmas” album under her rhinestone cowgirl belt. But the raven-haired chanteuse who is renowned for her love of ‘70s style ephemera has outdone herself with “The Kacey Musgraves Christmas Show,” a 45-minute holiday extravaganza streaming on Amazon Prime. 


Bringing back the old school style laugh tracks made famous by shows like “Laugh In” and “The Paul Lynde Halloween Special,” the über talented Musgraves effortlessly welcomes a full ensemble cast of pop powerhouses to her saccharine pseudo television set. All the while, she sparkles in couture with a country twist – think Loretta Lynn meets Dolly Parton. The porcelain-skinned performer can pull off sequins, jewel tones and ruffles that might eclipse a Taylor Swift type. One might doubt the musician’s acting chops, but she and her band nail the material with the tone of the original “Muppet Show,” hitting each comedic mark perfectly.


Admittedly, there are some unusual visitors in Kacey’s Christmas world. Camila Cabello seems an odd choice for an early duet and the apparition of Kendall Jenner (newly unemployed from the dissolution of the Victoria Secret yearly fashion show) feels very forced. Undoubtedly, Kacey’s star shines so brightly she makes some of her guests seem dim in comparison. Luckily, fellow musician and comedian Fred Armisen jumps in for an accordion-laced rendition of “(Not So) Silent Night” that, as the title suggests, has its own comedic spin. When Lana del Ray drops by, you can see this is the vehicle she most likely always needed but only Kacey had the charm and chutzpah to pull off. Zooey Deschanel is an obvious addition to the ensemble but even her voice, immortalized in the holiday hit “Elf,” seems awkward next to that of Musgraves. 


Blessedly, Kacey gives a nod to “anyone who might be feeling a little bit lonely” and gives those of us who might have a hard time finding the merry and bright part of the holidays just what we need. Her song “Christmas Makes Me Cry” is a smart move and indicative of the star’s empathy that’s helped her land in the limelight. Those unfamiliar with her career trajectory in country music may be surprised to learn that she’s had a tumultuous relationship with the genre. Musgraves is an outspoken ally of the LGBTQ community and admits to dabbling in recreational drug use – issues that make the Texas musician unpopular in her native country world but have helped her pioneer in the pop realm. When she sings about holiday hardship, you feel it in her trembling voice.


One might surmise the highlight of the show is Musgraves’ performance of her new song “Glittery” with Troye Sivan. Their voices truly complement one another and their affectation for each other shines. (Sivan reminds this author of a certain editor around these “Driftwood” parts, by the way.) 


But the most Kacey-esque moment, when those of us who know precisely what she means when she croons “Grandma cried when I pierced my nose,” is the emergence of none other than Kacey’s Nana. Yup, the one who did just what she sang about. 


Overall, the flow of the show is a bit awkward and it might not go down in history as an unforgettable performance in the canon of holiday cinema but Kacey took a bold step here and deserves all the credit. Her likeability and sheer talent dazzle from one winter wonderland set to another and even those who may have the spirit of Scrooge within them can’t help but appreciate her effort to make us all smile here. The producers of the ABC telecasts of late may be scratching their heads in bafflement. You have to wonder: after a year of nonstop worldwide touring and songwriting, is there anything Kacey Musgraves can’t do?