Roger Do Minh / E!

Can You Survive Eight Weeks In Mariah's World?

Or will you be led like a lamb to slaughter?

What Is This Thing?

Mariah's World is an eight-episode "docu-series" focused on the life and times of Mariah Carey as she embarked on her 2016 Sweet Sweet Fantasy World Tour.

When Is It On?

Sundays at 9 PM ET on E!.

Why Was It Made Now?

Because she's amazing and ridiculous? That tour is done now, and she's currently doing a short Christmas residency at the Beacon in NYC before going back to Vegas in the spring, where she will once again headline at Caesar's. This is a good way to sell tickets to that stuff, I guess, though I doubt she needs it.

She also just went through a fairly public breakup with a weird billionaire, who allegedly was not at all keen to watch what happened live.

What's Its Pedigree?

Oh, you know. Bunnim-Murray. Various rich people highly experienced in making you waste a lot of time watching people throw wine on each other produced this thing and, wisely, included Mariah's manager, Stella Bulochnikov, in the mix. She's got enough fake hair to carpet a small apartment, wears fourteen rings at a time and, on the manager tip, could eat Kris Jenner's lunch for breakfast any day of the week.

Zunino Celotto / E!

Zunino Celotto / E!

...And?

I have deep respect for Mariah Carey's musicianship, and I am happy to say that amid all the glam-squad gossiping and speakerphone calls to whomever, some of that is on display here. She writes, she arranges, she produces. There's a scene of her at the piano with her musical director, Big Jim Wright, arranging music, and it's so, so great to see her do it and hear her talk for just a second about something real. She has this reputation for being a crazy diva lounging on a chaise wherever she goes (including her kitchen), but for all the yachts and diamonds, she's actually scrappy and hardworking.

She can also be very, very funny, as evidenced by her old alter-ego "Bianca" bit, rolled out for new laughs. What we get to see of all of that stuff is really interesting…

...But?

Yeah. The contrived "storylines" like Mariah's "difficult decision" to postpone her wedding (which we know, ultimately, never took place) and her "major stress" over a stage lift, and especially the obviously invented character of Molly The Incompetent White Girl…it's all just so disappointing and unnecessary! Like, Mariah Carey is an evil genius and one of the most naturally talented people ever born -- she doesn't need this! She's got jokes, she's got skills, she's got Stella. What could have been an actual docu-series, funny and interesting and full of musical revelations, looks to be, instead, the same old faked-up fighting, crying, "confessional" Kardashian Bachelorette Housewives Reality Tour.

Also, the brief moment (and I'm sure there's more to come) with Mariah's makeup artist Kristofer Buckle (okay) was enough to make my blood run cold. I have been wondering for years who was responsible for turning Mariah -- who used to be SO curly-haired and adorable -- into this monochromatic airbrushed Barbie. Remember when Mariah was Mariah? Remember the "Dreamlover" video? Right? Lady slaaaaayed for a decade and then she got nervous and started trying to keep up with the Aughties Joneses and forgot that what set her apart wasn't tacky-ass heels and extensions, it was that she can sling off five octaves and flip into the whistle register like it's nothing. She's got me feeling emotions up in here, just thinking about it.

...So?

Mariah is a lot of things, but she isn't dumb. Far from it. Watch her in The Butler or join me in the YouTube wormhole of her live performances spanning the last twenty-six years and you will see. She is, frankly, an incredible musician, and the glimpses of that reality (plus the promised bitch fights between shirtless male back-up dancers, let's please be honest) will be more than sufficient to encourage me to take up residency, if only for this one sweet moment, in Mariah's World.

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