Excerpted from the New York Times:
In this Edward Kirk Herrmann narrated Hallmark Christmas remake, a young clerk guilts his boss, Ebenezer Scrooge, into letting him off of work early on Christmas Eve despite the firm being understaffed and behind schedule.
While sleeping, the clerk has three nightmares that take him on a tour through his past, present, and future to help him discover the essentially secular, commercial meaning of Christmas and how, through the thankless and lonely hard work of men like Scrooge, it is all made possible.
The special ends on Christmas Day in a dramatic climax during which Scrooge is put on trial for blowing up a state-owned toy store and with the clerk and his crippled son trudging through the bitterly cold streets of London to testify on his behalf.
When it aired for the first time in 2016, the special elicited violently negative responses. Film critics lampooned the courtroom speech of Scrooge for absorbing 30 minutes of the 90 minute program. Women’s rights activists called for it to be banned on account of the controversial love scene between Scrooge and Belle, which, according to the latest estimates, cost the city of London nearly $50,000 in damages during filming. And yet ratings this year are expected to far and away exceed those of last year.