Welcome back to Mariah’s World, the show that is still wandering around Times Square, wordlessly smiling into the camera. People have been saying that Mimi bombed her performance as if Mariah tried and failed. When Mariah wants to try, she’ll let you know, honey. In the meantime, download “Emotions” on iTunes.
Previously on Mariah’s World:
Tanaka really wants to “catch up” with Mariah. Y’all this foreshadowing is so heavy, I think it can officially be classified as contour.
Stella’s daughter wants Tanaka to jump out of a cake for Mariah’s “anniversary.” Mariah doesn’t have birthdays, she celebrates the anniversary of her birthday. So… a birthday.
We start with a replay of the shot of the Elusive Chanteuse posing with a zoo full of fans. It continues to be one of my favorite visual metaphors.
The crew is on a plane between concert stops. They are blowing bubbles and passing the camera around like the beginning of a found footage movie about fairies and woodland nymphs. Would watch.
I need you listen closely to what happens next. They are filming this in early April 2016. They are blowing bubbles. Everyone, for some reason, describes the bubbles as snow. Then they start playing Christmas music and dancing along and it’s all very disorienting because, like, do I have a very basic misunderstanding of what snow is? It’s five minutes into the episode and I’m already staring blankly at the screen like Molly Frizzle.
By the way, the Christmas music is not “All I Want for Christmas” but Mariah’s new song “Santa’s Gonna Come and Make You Mine” which, like, you tried it but no. Like, it’s a fine song. But when you say “Mariah Carey is going to emerge from her diamond encrusted chrysalis and sing a holiday song,” you’re not sitting there crossing your fingers that she’ll do “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” Like, ma’am, you’re the Pavlov of jingle bells. Give us what we want!
Mariah’s laughing and drinking with Lee Daniels. Random!
Mariah and Lee met on the set of Shadowboxer, a movie, I kid you not, where Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Helen Mirren play contract killers and lovers. Also, she is his stepmother. Y’all this movie is WILD. Also, Joseph Gordon-Levitt is in it as a doctor whose drug-addicted girlfriend is played by Mo’nique and it is everything you’d expect that scenario to be.
Also, Helen Mirren’s character dies on a bed of roses in the middle of a forest after making love to Cuba Gooding, Jr., her stepson/coworker/lover one last time. Also, Macy Gray and Stephen Dorff are in it. Y’all, this is an actual move that was made with money and film and time.
I have seen this movie in its entirety because my life’s mission is collecting truly strange experiences. I’m the Indiana Jones of absurdity.
Anyway, Lee and Mariah really like each other. Mimi came to the set of Shadowboxer, I guess because she told her assistant “I want to go somewhere that seems like it was created by putting all of the answers from a People magazine crossword together at once.”
Lee says, “She came in and she was… fragile.” He whispers this last word as if he’s a high school magician.
Now it’s Easter. And they’re in Denmark.
Molly is hiding Easter eggs in what looks like a test kitchen for Cadbury cream eggs. Every surface is IKEA white and all the shelves have giant jewel-toned eggs on them and it’s wonderful except for the fact that Molly Frizzle is standing in the middle of the floor in an Easter Bunny costume.
Anthony is the first to arrive. He has a 10-year-old daughter named Sifare in Amsterdam.
He says that he and Sifare’s mother didn’t work out because “I tour 6 to 8 months out of the year… I couldn’t keep johnny in my pants!” Y’all I literally screamed. Anthony is about as subtle as, well, as johnny popping out of a pair of pants.
Do you, Anthony. Do you. (And everybody else, apparently.)
Mariah arrives for the party and, of course, she is wearing a sparkling silver bodice under a white fur coat. What do you wear to a kid’s Easter soiree? Rags?
Out of nowhere, Mariah and Kristofer start trading double entendres at this children’s party about a rooster figurine that Mariah describes as a “chocolate cock.”
Anyway, happy Easter. He is risen.
Tanaka is practicing jumping out of the cake. It actually looks pretty complex. He’ll be in a wooden cake up to his chest and will have to hoist himself up and scramble out like he’s a sexy version of the girl from The Ring.
He’s wearing a turtleneck and a suit. I don’t know a lot about jumping out of cakes but I think he might be overdressed.
Tanaka is talking about how he first worked with Mariah on the Adventures of Mimi tour. Eventually they became friends and she invited him over to her house to listen to music. This seems suspicious.
Actually it is suspicious but we don’t find anything out until the end of the episode when they play clips from next week. Y’all, we are more than halfway through the series and they are just now telling us that Mariah’s engagement ended because she kissed Tanaka! LIKE WHAT IS THIS?!
All this time they’ve been playing like this a reality show about an eccentric superstar when really it’s a diva Bridges of Madison County. How dare you, Mariah’s World? Four hours of an eight hour show go by and they’re like, “Oh, btw, Dan Humphrey is Gossip Girl. Anyway, see you next week.”
Anyway, none of that has happened yet. We’re living two timelines at once.
We’re at Easter party again. Oh wait, it’s not an Easter party anymore. It’s Mariah’s birthday. The children seem to be gone. Get down off that cross, Jesus, and come grab some bubbly!
Mariah decides she wants mozzarella sticks. So, instead of, like, ordering them she decided to prank call Molly. Who is picking up other food? Maybe?
E! has been heavily promoting this clip and I’ve watched it probably six times and I still have no idea what happens or why.
Mariah pretends to be her aunt Pamela who pronounces mozzarella “mootsarell” because obviously.
She also becomes strangely preoccupied with what Molly is wearing. Molly, rightfully, says that’s is a kind of a weird question to ask.
“Pamela” is screaming into the phone like a banshee. Lucky for her Molly does not exist on this astral plane.
Because we now have a glimpse into the future of Mariah’s World, I should also note that Molly is going to get fired in this episode. Possibly. I’ll explain later. But this strange interlude with Pamela does lend some credence to the theory that this is possibly not a great work environment for sanity.
Anyway, there are mozzarella sticks coming, I think. Maybe.
Tanaka is nervous about jumping out of the cake. They stay on this “subplot” for a couple of minutes which is odd because they could be focusing on other, juicier Tanaka themes. Like the fact that he apparently has a pants johnny for Mariah.
Tanaka gets in the cake. They place this old, wrinkled piece of paper over the top of this cake. Like, it’s actually hilarious. Tanaka is not in a cake, he’s in a recycling bin.
Molly arrives with the mozzarella sticks.
Molly is freaking out because Mariah pranked her and it’s such an honor or something. Like, I’m not saying I wouldn’t be honored if Mariah prank called me. Or just called me, really. But Molly also, like, works for Mariah Carey so I feel like the bloom might be off that rose a bit on the whole pranking as initiation thing.
Also, Mariah, please don’t prank call me. I don’t answer my phone. Just leave a message as yourself.
Mariah finally arrives at the party, a room full of people she pays who are drinking on her dime, who applaud for her. And then Tanaka jumps out of the cake in front of his boss while “Touch My Body” plays. So far, so legit.
She pours champagne over him and then on the candles of this cake and everything is impractical and therefore fabulous.
Tanaka is back in this turtleneck and his suit and he tries to have a one-on-one about how great it is to be back with her and Mariah is awkwardly looking right into the camera like “LOL nothing to see here.” This is totally that thing where the cool girl in high school gets chatted up by a nice sophomore with ripped abs and she’s like “We can hit it but you know I can’t be seen with you. Genuflect, please.”
The party ends with an impressively huge fireworks display. What kind of permitting situation do they have in Copenhagen?
Molly is trying to get in the cake while Anthony takes her picture and Stella fumes. Work parties are the worst, tbh.
Next day (or next week or 12 years from now, who knows?) Molly and Stella are packing Mariah for the next stop on the tour.
Molly says there’s zero down time in this job. She compares it to pulling all-nighters in college.
She says she doesn’t have time to appreciate the fact that she’s working for Mariah Carey.
On one hand, I get this. There’s probably a ton to do. On the other hand, nothing about the way she stares bewildered at the cold medicine and her phone and literally everything inspires confidence.
Stella for her part, in a separate confessional, is over Molly’s flakiness. “I have an artist to get on stage and as if that weren’t enough, I have two sick kids.” Sasha, Stella’s younger daughter, is convalescing in bed and then the camera pans to Mariah luxuriating at the foot of the bed.
LOL, this poor kid has the flu and there is a full camera crew and one of the most famous people on Earth crowding her room. Hollywood medicine is weird.
Stella goes on an expletive-filled rant about how Molly is nowhere to be found while kissing and coddling her sobbing, sick child. It’s… intense.
Same time? Different time? Molly is wandering the streets at 6:55 am trying to clear her head.
So… she goes to get a tattoo.
She describes it as the globe emoji. Also known as… a globe.
Back to the dancers! They are drinking again and taking a selfie. Tanaka shouts “tag me bro” before the camera even goes off, which is not how anything works.
Dancer G Madison asks Tanaka what’s going on between Tanaka and Mariah. It seems like we’re going to get some tea and then they all start waxing rhapsodic about how great it is to work with Mariah.
This is kind of infuriating. Why have this scene at all?
WHY ARE YOU WITHHOLDING THE TEA?! SPILL THE TEA! RELEASE THE PANTS JOHNNY!
Stella is looking for Molly and dealing with her sick kids.
Meanwhile Molly is on the tour bus.
Stella lays into her for not checking in. “What do you think your role is?” Molly replies, “I would love someone to tell me,” which is surprisingly forthright.
I think there’s definitely a version of this series where Molly isn’t actually incompetent and her job description—which 10-to-1 was posted on Craigslist—reads “Help high-profile client perform various tasks and other duties as assigned.”
But that’s not the show we’re watching.
Stella’s like “What do you want to be when you grow up?”
Molly, with tears in her eyes, replies “A mother.”
At the concert, Molly is crying backstage. She’s trying to give Stella time to calm down.
Kristofer and Danielle are talking about the situation. Kristofer says he likes her, even though she’s weird. Danielle is like “eff your feelings.” Remember two weeks ago when Danielle was going to be the bad girl of the series? Eff your memories!
Mariah’s on stage, talking about her album Butterfly, which she describes as her favorite.
A montage of fans talking about how much they love her.
It’s straight up padding but it also shows how powerful some artists are, how much of an effect they have on their fans’ hearts and minds and lives. You may not get Mariah’s appeal, but you can’t deny it.
There’s a meet-and-greet with a fan who says that he can’t go to sleep without hearing “Through the Rain.” He gives her a diamond encrusted crucifix that belonged to his grandmother. European Easter celebrations are very different from ours.
In the confessional, Mariah says that the songs that fans connect with mostly deeply are the ones that are super personal. It’s clear that this adulation also takes a toll on her.
Stella and Molly have an heart-to-heart. Stella says “You’re nice but this job is too demanding.”
Molly’s like “People told me not to speak to you unless spoken to.” Molly’s in a no-win situation here. Sometimes your boss just doesn’t like you. Sometimes you get hired for a job and agree to get put on national television even though the contract clearly says “We are going to mock you.” Showbiz is weird.
Molly’s like “Are you firing me?” Which… I mean, yes it’s clear that she is, Molly.
Stella’s like “I don’t think this is the right job for you.”
Molly, bless her daffy heart, says “If you’re giving me the option to work with you, I’m not going to abandon you.”
Molly gives a tearful speech where she’s basically like “You actually have to say the words ‘you’re fired’ or else I’m going to attach myself to you like a koala.”
Stella, oddly, won’t actually say the words.
The scene ends unresolved. Does Molly have a job? Does any of this exist?
Mariah and Stella have a one-on-one.
Mariah says that Molly isn’t her typical assistant. She says this while sitting in lingerie on the bathroom counter, drinking a glass of red wine so this is just a regular business meeting.
Mariah says maybe they should give another chance? Or something.
The episode ends with a commercial for next week in which, literally, everything happens. But this week, nothing much was resolved. Or was it? If we watch a bunch of stuff that will matter later, does it count as something happening? If a diva sings on New Year’s Eve but her monitor is out does it make a sound? Who knew Mariah’s World was full of so many philosophical questions.
Until next week, pants johnnies!
Is Mariah’s World better than the real world?
Week 4 answer: Yes and no. No, because they seem to be stuck in limbo and that’s bad for the back. Yes because “Emotions” went to number one and that’s what it is.
Follow R. Eric Thomas on Twitter.
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