Saturday, November 26, 2011

Celebrating the holidays one Lifetime movie at a time

The holiday season means many things—time with family and friends, giving thanks for all the wonderful things we have and probably most importantly, Lifetime/Hallmark holiday movies. Over Thanksgiving weekend I watched six of these little gems (don’t judge). Because I want to help bring joy to your lives here are the ones I watched (just in case you need something to do):

·      Lucky Christmas—starring Elizabeth Berkley (yes of Saved by the Bell and Showgirls fame)
·      12 Men of Christmas—Kristin Chenoweth in a non-singing role
·      The Family Thanksgiving—Daphne Zuniga and Faye Dunaway!
·      A Boyfriend for Christmas—Charles Durning as Santa. I should have just watched Home for the Holidays instead.
·      Christmas in Paradise—seriously, what woman abandons Colin Ferguson?
·      Secret Santa—starring Jennie Garth and the guy who played Mac on Night Court

You’re welcome.

Holiday versions of Lifetime/Hallmark movies aren’t like the normal ones that run all year long. There aren’t as many women in peril (which I find annoying to begin with) and usually no serious crimes are committed. The movies are just fluffy holiday fun like marshmallows in hot chocolate. Actually it should be a rule that you have to drink hot chocolate with marshmallows while watching any of these nuggets. That’s usually what the widowed father does to make everything better for his adorable children.

Anyway, after watching A Boyfriend for Christmas, I realized that I could probably write my own version. They’re fairly formulaic which is why they’re so addictive. Trust me, it is not hard to watch six of these in one weekend. It’s not even that hard to watch several in one day.

Here are the 10 plot/character elements needed:

1.     An actress who was popular in the 80s or 90s whom you don’t see very often but is still lovely to play our plucky heroine. My choice: Annabeth Gish (she was in Mystic Pizza)
2.     An attractive male lead from a currently popular (or maybe was popular a few years ago) tv show. My choice: Colin Ferguson (I can’t help it.). He is the mayor of the small town or a local businessman. Something that will bring him together with our heroine.
3.     His adorable child who is wise beyond her years. This would have been Abigail Breslin a few years ago; the search will have to begin.
4.     A small town that has fallen on hard times and some evil developer (or lawyer or something equally reprehensible) wants to turn the park into a big box store. My choice for villain: Kyle Secor (he was on Homicide: Life of the Streets). It should be like Stars Hollow but with slightly less kooky characters.
5.     Our heroine will somehow be involved with the evil developer. In my version she is his chief legal counsel and of course, there is something shady about the deal. Only she can save the park.
6.     General meddling by someone. It’s usually best if it’s an older woman in town. I’d love to see Charlotte Rae in the role (Mrs. Garrett from Facts of Life) or maybe Barbara Billingsley (Mrs. Cleaver!). Better yet, they can play sisters.
7.     A meet-cute between Annabeth and Colin. The meet-cute will include mistaken/hidden identity or spilled coffee. Somehow the adorable child will also be involved and she’ll see that her father and our heroine are meant to be together. Hijinks and "witty" banter will ensue.
8.     Of course, the court case will have to be resolved by Christmas Eve (or Thanksgiving Day or New Year’s Eve) or else Christmas will be ruined.
9.     Santa Claus is somehow involved (played by Charles Durning because he is an awesome Santa). Maybe Colin’s adorable daughter asked Santa to save the park or find her a new mom.
10. While Santa is involved the movie must also have a vaguely religious theme (because they all do). Everyone should learn the true meaning of Christmas by the end including the evil developer. Our heroine discovers that there is more to life than her high-powered job and it’s all right here in this small town. And of course, the park is saved.

I think it has holiday hit written all over it! Now all I need is a name….



  1. Erin, I'm just catching up on your blog and it is hilarious. I expected nothing less, of course. Anyway - I feel like I need to comment on this post because I too do these ridiculous marathons. There's little to no cinematic quality, and you're right - they're all pretty much the same - but they are addictive. So, so addictive. Come to think of it there's some in my DVR right now...

  2. They're so addictive! Even when I have other things to do or better tv to watch I still manage to get in at least part of one of these gems. Last night it was part of The Christmas Card on the Hallmark channel. It even involved troops in Afghanistan.

    I should create an MST3K style show centered on these movies. Instead of robots I could have talking puppies or something else that's equally cute as my co-hosts. Lifetime could run it before Project Runway or America's Super Nanny.