TV: Dolly Parton’s Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love

161122_3429790_dolly_parton_s_christmas_of_many_colors__cir#1 TV show, Wednesday, 11/30/16

11.58 million viewers

What it is: The TV movie sequel to 2015’s Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors, focused on the childhood of country singer Dolly Parton, who apparently grew up in a large, impoverished rural family. Dolly gets to play Mary in her school’s Christmas pageant, her father scrimps and saves to buy her mother a ring, and a freak snowstorm puts the family in danger. A few of Parton’s songs are worked in throughout.

For the most part this was a corny but effective family movie. The family/friendship morals were endearing and the acting was good; the little girl who plays young Dolly in particular was so precociously talented that I assume her adolescence and adulthood will be particularly fucked up, even by child actor standards. I mean that as a compliment!

The weird part of this movie (because the weird stuff is what’s most fun to write about) is how much it insists on Dolly Parton’s greatness. In the most memorable scene, young Dolly is performing on the street when the real Dolly shows up in a shiny red convertible. She’s playing a prostitute but for a moment I actually thought she was supposed to be a time-traveling vision of the girl’s future self. Real Dolly compliments young Dolly’s gift for performance (as does pretty much every other character at one point or another), and young Dolly tells real Dolly that when she grows up, she wants to look just like her. It’s literally a scene in which two Dolly Partons tell each other how great they/she are/is. A true masterpiece of narcissism.

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