Mariah Carey and Justin Bieber released a new video last night for the version of "All I Want For Christmas Is You" that appears on his Christmas album. What follows is our attempt to read between the lines and figure out what, in fact, this video is about.
Admittedly, some of this is guessing.
0:03 Old Santa stands outside ringing his bell. He is hopelessly trying to remain relevant in a strictly consumerist society, but struggles with the flashy surroundings and the fact that his beard is getting harder to keep clean. Mostly, he is being ignored among the hustle and the bustle.
0:13 Mariah "Mannequin" Carey is standing against a fake stone wall next to a pile of presents. In the spirit of holiday charity, she has given her pants to the poor and is now getting by on a bra she recovered from the lost and found and a Christmas tree skirt. Purely fortuitously, they match. The hat, she stole from the Macy's department-store Santa she has beaten up and locked in a closet.
0:16 Justin Bieber and his friends are walking through Macy's with all kinds of stuff they've already looted, when they see Mannequin Mariah. Naturally, Bieber is titillated by her bare midriff and plastic expression. His friends stare in wonder.
0:30 Brought to life by the eager stares of the underaged, Mannequin Mariah comes to life, ringing her little bell and looking around the store lustfully. She turns and gives the boys a little bit of the rear view, and they break into toothy grins and run away.
0:35 Mannequin Mariah begins to sing, as Bieber apparently takes his place atop a podium somewhere else in the store where absolutely nobody is, so that they can separately wail out their tune. Her butterfly ring and bare legs say, "This is the real reason for the season."
0:37 Bieber pumps his fists over by the handbags.
0:39 Mannequin Mariah rubs her thighs, because she's been standing stock still for a long time, and she has cramps in her legs.
0:43 Mannequin Mariah wants to make sure you caught the rear view.
0:55 Old Santa realizes that nobody cares about anything except shopping anymore, so he gathers some envelopes with papers inside that say "Midnight At Macy's," as if that's some special big thing, and he sarcastically mugs as he presents them to people who no longer remember how to be happy about anything except spending money.
1:07 Mariah leans into the wind, Yuletide-sexypants-style. We cut back and forth between her displays of cleavage and the delight of a small child at being told that he can patronize a retail establishment his very own self. His ticket says "Secret Santa, Believe!" Santa, of course, just handed this to him, so there's nothing secret about it, but he's probably too numbed by modern society and too much television to realize it.
1:19 Bieber, still among the handbags, has abandoned his cart somewhere in the store for an employee to put all the stuff back. Typical. He signals "WAKE UP, SHEEPLE" in semaphore.
1:24 The Bieber gang goes on a rampage through Macy's, just taking things at random and throwing them into carts.
1:30 Behind Bieber, still singing about how he doesn't care about material things, a silently judgmental snowman bears witness.
1:31 Bieber rubs his hands together diabolically. Mannequin Mariah responds by blowing a kiss. This appears to be some sort of post-hypnotic suggestion he has planted while she was defenselessly made of plastic.
1:34 Bieber takes some shoes.
1:41 Mannequin Mariah makes sure you've checked out the side view. "Yes, you," she says, pointing.
1:47 Bieber has a whole cart full of stuff, but the girl behind him has nothing but a gold-foil reindeer decoration. This is the beginning of his descent from hero of the people to Scrooge-like villain.
1:49 Bieber pulls up to an invisible chin-up bar. Behind him the snowman is not impressed.
1:52 "All this would be yours if only you could open your eyes to what's happening," Old Santa gestures. Girls laugh at him.
2:00 The video is interrupted by a commercial for Nintendo 3DS.
2:02 Bieber sees the Nintendo 3DS display. He's never seen these before. "OOOOOOOOH!" he hollers out to his friends, as teenage boys are wont to do.
2:05 A girl shows Bieber how her Nintendo 3DS already has pictures of his trashcans on it. "Ohhhh," he says. "That's ... greeeeat."
2:07 A riot builds outside as an irate mob waves the cards that Old Santa has handed them in his attempt to cause complete chaos at Macy's.
2:10 Bieber begins hoarding Nintendo 3DSs, because the mob outside can only be held off for so long.
2:12 Bieber screams in pain at the horrible noise created by the angry wannabe shoppers preparing to storm Macy's.
2:16 A terrified Macy's security guard decides that he's not willing to give his blood for the company, and he opens the doors for the mob before the situation becomes any more dangerous.
2:32 Mannequin Mariah points out that this is really your last and final chance at the rear view.
2:35 As the crowd surges toward a terrified Bieber, he hands over the booty he has been grabbing willy-nilly from around the store. "I, uh, totally got this for you guys!" he says.
2:36 Suddenly, Mannequin Mariah, dressed completely differently, has come to life and is in a sleigh that has somehow been transported into Macy's.
2:42 Bieber continues disgorging his ill-gotten gains and hopes he will escape alive.
2:48 An angry mob has already looted the gift-wrapping counter, where they have wrapped all the things they obtained and are now waving them in the air like they just don't care.
2:57 Bieber reaches toward the camera, desperately hoping he can be saved from this.
3:11 Bieber climbs into the sleigh, hoping to be accepted by Mannequin Mariah, who, along with her feather boa, controls the only means of egress.
3:15 People continue waving wrapped presents menacingly.
3:36 Mannequin Mariah, suddenly full of curiosity, investigates her newly human body by running her hand along its contours.
3:43 Mannequin Mariah grabs the face of Bieber, knowing that now, she is in control, as she will always be the one who saved him from the rioting crowd attempting to rip him limb from limb to get to his Nintendo 3DSs. (Available at Macy's.)
3:45 Okay, the last one was supposed to be the very last one, but Mannequin Mariah is willing to give you one more rear view. It's a Christmas miracle.
3:53 Bieber makes an offering of a small dog in an effort to appease Mannequin Mariah, whose powers are now unknown.
4:05 Bieber hugs Mannequin Mariah desperately around the neck, hoping that his nightmare is over.