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Holiday TV Movies & (Non-Rankin Bass) Holiday Specials

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I'm watching On Strike for Christmas right now on Lifetime. It stars Daphne Zuniga as a married mom of teens. Her group of women friends are open about their frustration with the pressure to create the "perfect" Christmas experience with little to no help from spouses or kids. No hot cocoa in sight. The husband is actually - gasp - drinking a BEER during the day when she calls to call him out on not helping her. 

She and her friends take a stand and go on strike. I'm pretty sure I've seen this before and it of course will have a happy ending. But what a nice change of pace to have a grown woman as the lead character! 

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9 minutes ago, Ashforth said:

I'm watching On Strike for Christmas right now on Lifetime.

Hallmark Pearl Clutcher alert!  Dad said "roasted our nuts" and called the sons asses.  Shocker! 

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1 hour ago, Ashforth said:

I'm watching On Strike for Christmas right now on Lifetime. It stars Daphne Zuniga as a married mom of teens. Her group of women friends are open about their frustration with the pressure to create the "perfect" Christmas experience with little to no help from spouses or kids. No hot cocoa in sight. The husband is actually - gasp - drinking a BEER during the day when she calls to call him out on not helping her. 

She and her friends take a stand and go on strike. I'm pretty sure I've seen this before and it of course will have a happy ending. But what a nice change of pace to have a grown woman as the lead character! 

This sounds like the movie Bad Moms Christmas, which is hilarious and would never be aired on any of the Hallmark channels.

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Several people have mentioned Snow Bride as a favorite and I had it on my "No" list for this year but maybe I should give it a second chance?  I didn't recall it being that great the firs ttime I watched it.  

I was 30 minutes in to The Christmas House and couldn't keep my eyes open.  Knowing what I know about the state of the parent's marriage from reading here and seeing the son ask about his dad's watch in his bedroom just has me dreading finishing it, LOL.  

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47 minutes ago, Callietwo said:

Several people have mentioned Snow Bride as a favorite and I had it on my "No" list for this year but maybe I should give it a second chance?  I didn't recall it being that great the firs ttime I watched it.  

Yeah, I can never figure out the love for that.  I skip it whenever it's on.

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1 hour ago, Callietwo said:

Several people have mentioned Snow Bride as a favorite and I had it on my "No" list for this year but maybe I should give it a second chance?  I didn't recall it being that great the firs ttime I watched it.  

I didn't love it when I first saw it. I thought it was okay but nothing rewatchable.  Based on how much others love it, I did make a point to watch it again a few years ago.  It was better than what I remembered but it's still not one that I feel compelled to rewatch. But I do see the elements that pull people to it even if I am not personally pulled into it.

Edited by Irlandesa
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Did we discuss Home For Christmas in this thread?  It's a Norwegian series about a nurse who who feels pressured by her family to have a boyfriend so she lies and says she has one and he'll be at Christmas dinner.  The next episodes are her trying to find someone she can bring to Christmas dinner.

It's a series so I don't know if we would have discussed it here but I do remember talking about it so maybe?

Anyway, a second season is coming December 18 so we'll find out (maybe?) who was at the door.

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12 hours ago, Spartan Girl said:

Watched Christmas Chronicles 2 on Netflix. Not as good as first but still cute.

Just finished it as a Thanksgiving morning treat.  I love Kurt and Goldie together so I let a lot slide. But still a sweet movie and the kids are cute together.  Makes me want to be a True Believer.

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One of my favorites, Dear Santa with Amy Ackler, is on Lifetime tomorrow morning at 9am. I’m sure it will rerun but it’s so cute and well done. 

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5 minutes ago, twoods said:

One of my favorites, Dear Santa with Amy Ackler, is on Lifetime tomorrow morning at 9am. I’m sure it will rerun but it’s so cute and well done. 

I think I have a recording set for that even though I also think it's streaming for free on tubi.  (It's also on Peacock and a bunch of other services--some free and some subscription.)

 

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On 11/19/2020 at 7:16 PM, Callietwo said:

Anyone wish to share what is their one Can't Miss Holiday movie?

Snow and Snow 2! I also love Olive the Other Reindeer, but haven’t seen that one around in years.

Edited by chitowngirl
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On 11/22/2020 at 1:33 PM, Dani said:

Freeform also has it available to stream for free. Looks like they are doing that with all of their movies that are not airing this year including the ones not on Disney+. I’m watching Angry Angel right now which I am really enjoying. 

I love Angry Angel and watched it last year and the year before, with plans to do so again. It's so funny and smart, and the ending is insane. A huge cut above the usual holiday fare.

The Princess Switch 2: Switched Again was absolutely magical, miles above the first, in my opinion. Hudgens is killing it this Christmas--she does these little things with her face and eyes. Even with three roles, you always know which one she's playing and what her objective is. Charming, and the costumes--swoon!

Jingle Jangle--damn. Hello, Silly Angel? This is Netflix; you ordered a kid-friendly steampunk Christmas musical with a mostly black cast? Fire up your laptop. It's perfection from the sets and costumes to the narration (by my dream mom, Phylicia Rashad, no offense to real mom) to the dance sequences inspired by swing, step-dance, and a whole lot in between.

Haven't found much else out there this year. The Mistle-Tones was okay. Tori Spelling is always fun when she's wearing a silly fur hat and holding a tiny dog, but the plot was kind of a mess. Otherwise, I'm seeing a lot of bland actresses waffling between the obvious wrong guy and the obvious right guy before attaining their dream job of running a quaint bakery or editing a fashion magazine. It's been a forgettable season so far, but if any of you geniuses can offer recommendations for edgy ( like Home for Christmas, an amazingly sharp and charming Norwegian series; I want a kick-sled so badly) or flat-out funny Christmas romances, I'd be vastly grateful.

Edited by Silly Angel
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The Santa Squad (coming up on Lifetime Dec. 7, i think) was fine... if you've never seen A Nanny for Christmas, Crown for Christmas or any of the other variations on the "jobless young woman gets hired as a nanny for a rich widower's daughter(s), and end ups turning their life upside down and falling for him" formula.

Here, the lead couple (Aaron Ashmore & Rebecca Dalton) is strong and likeable, the kids are... eh, the british butler p.a. is underused, the bitchy rival is barely in the movie, and there are some fun supporting characters, so... there's that. Very basic movie, but watchable.

Hoping for something fun from the Lachey/McPartlin Lifetime movie that just aired.

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On 11/27/2020 at 6:39 AM, twoods said:

One of my favorites, Dear Santa with Amy Ackler, is on Lifetime tomorrow morning at 9am. I’m sure it will rerun but it’s so cute and well done. 

Just watching it tonight. AMy Acker is very charming and carries the movie but the EVIL girlfriend trope annoyed me. They could have dropped that part. Especially cos as awful as she apparently was he was planning to propose to her so they were serious enough that Amy Acker trying to break them up was reasonable going to annoy her.  

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13 hours ago, Kaoteek said:

Hoping for something fun from the Lachey/McPartlin Lifetime movie that just aired.

Aaaaand it's a semi-miss.

Mainly because Once upon a Main Street commited the mistake of having its rival main characters be as bitchy, mean-spirited and hyper-competitive as possible during the first half hour or so, clearly aiming for fun, light-hearted  and comical, but landing on broad, annoying and off-putting.

Once old man Duffy got involved, the romance kicked in and the characters had to work together, it got better, but not necessarily enough to make up for that early childish, snarky, petty behaviour (later on, Rowena the arrogant shop owner didn't help) and for that very unlikely plot. YMMV, though.

(that said, you've got to like Lachey's willingness to go slapstick)

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3 minutes ago, Kaoteek said:

Mainly because Once upon a Main Street commited the mistake of having its rival main characters be as bitchy, mean-spirited and hyper-competitive as possible during the first half hour or so, clearly aiming for fun, light-hearted  and comical, but landing on broad, annoying and off-putting.

Doesn't that describe both of them, though?  Why is she considered worse?

I thought the movie was pleasant largely because Ryan, Patrick and Vanessa are pleasant.  It's kind of funny because every time I see that a movie is starring Vanessa Lachey, I find myself kind of going "ugh" for some reason I can't explain because I've actually enjoyed her in every Christmas movie she has starred in.  I must be associating her with something else that I can't pinpoint.

I deleted A Royal Christmas Engagement or whatever it was that aired on ION last night.  I watched about fifteen minutes.  I wasn't into it and I low key hate royal-themed movies with only a few exceptions. 

And just a head's up for people who might not be aware, ION is airing A Christmas Listing tonight.  I'm not sure why they're airing it on a Monday but it was filmed in MN instead of Canada. 

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12 minutes ago, Irlandesa said:

Doesn't that describe both of them, though?  Why is she considered worse ?

No argument there, they're both just as childish and petty during those first 30-40 minutes. Who said she was worse ?

(and the later parts proved that indeed, as you mentioned, they're both pleasant, and would have made a fine leading couple in a regular, non-hyper-competitive story, had they not wasted 30 minutes on that silly, immature rivalry)

(yes, I know, this movie's writing probably annoyed me more than it should have...)

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15 minutes ago, Kaoteek said:

No argument there, they're both just as childish and petty during those first 30-40 minutes. Who said she was worse ?

Sorry.  Read that too fast so when I saw bitchy, I immediately assumed you were only talking about her.

17 minutes ago, Kaoteek said:

(yes, I know, this movie's writing probably annoyed me more than it should have...)

Isn't it funny that it's always the little things?

I didn't mind it so much until the end when he assumed the worse about why she contacted Duffy's daughter.  Like, if that's where you are as far as trust goes, I'm not sure you're ready to share a business together.

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10 minutes ago, Kaoteek said:

No argument there, they're both just as childish and petty during those first 30-40 minutes. Who said she was worse ?

(and the later parts proved that indeed, as you mentioned, they're both pleasant, and would have made a fine leading couple in a regular, non-hyper-competitive story, had they not wasted 30 minutes on that silly, immature rivalry)

(yes, I know, this movie's writing probably annoyed me more than it should have...)

Yuck. I was looking forward to those two together but that is, by far, my most hated trope. There are movies I know are supposed to be very good in the second half but I can never get there because the unnecessary bitchiness in the beginning makes me hate the characters. My tolerance is only 10-15 minutes. Anything longer than that it usually ruins the movie for me. 

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2 hours ago, Irlandesa said:

It's kind of funny because every time I see that a movie is starring Vanessa Lachey, I find myself kind of going "ugh" for some reason I can't explain because I've actually enjoyed her in every Christmas movie she has starred in.  I must be associating her with something else that I can't pinpoint.

I feel the same way about her. I’m always surprised at how much I like her in these movies. 

Ryan Partlin’s character was actually the one who ruined Once Upon a Main Street for me. His initial anger at her was so unreasonable when she didn’t do anything wrong that I immediately sympathized with her. You can’t take a phone call and expect no one to park in a spot before you. I also hated the shared bed plot. Her discomfort at sharing a room and bed with a strange man being written as her being stubborn bothered me a lot. Sorry, I’d be sleeping in my car even if it was freezing.

I probably would have finished it even with those issues but the plot was just so stupid. I just kept thinking about the people who should be fired. The realtor for bringing both of them in at the same time. The hotel clerk for suggesting they share a bed. 

Edited by Dani
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On 11/25/2020 at 9:59 PM, Spartan Girl said:

Watched Christmas Chronicles 2 on Netflix. Not as good as first but still cute.

I just want to point out that the evil elf who's actor is from New Zealand wanted to reestablish the magic village at the South Pole which struck me as very appropriate.

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23 hours ago, Silly Angel said:

f any of you geniuses can offer recommendations for edgy ( like Home for Christmas, an amazingly sharp and charming Norwegian series; I want a kick-sled so badly) or flat-out funny Christmas romances, I'd be vastly grateful.

Holidate (Netflix) was edgy.

Home For Christmas S2 comes out in a few weeks.  There's also a German show called Over Christmas on Netflix that just came out.  It's three episodes and I only just started it so I can't recommend it or not recommend it.  But I liked the first 20 minutes I saw. Once I see more, I'll share my thoughts.

Moving on to A Christmas Listing.  It's again about two competitors fighting over a real estate listing but I'm surprised by how much I'm enjoying this.  He's hot and there's chem but it falls apart once the misunderstanding happens and doesn't make much sense.

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On 11/22/2020 at 2:46 AM, Irlandesa said:

Feliz NaviDAD was an awful title for a movie but I actually found it quite delightful.  I think the way music was used really helped.  AnnaLynne McCord and Mario Lopez were good together and his bad dates were funny.  (Although, I did notice they were all blondes.)

Thanks for posting this!  I hadn't heard of this movie and I'm not sure I would have watched it if I'd scrolled by it but I PVRed it based on your comments and I really enjoyed it!  One question I do have if anyone knows - was that the actual singing voice of the daughter?  Whoever the singer I was very impressed.

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On 11/29/2020 at 9:21 PM, Silly Angel said:

The Princess Switch 2: Switched Again was absolutely magical, miles above the first, in my opinion. Hudgens is killing it this Christmas--she does these little things with her face and eyes. Even with three roles, you always know which one she's playing and what her objective is. Charming, and the costumes--swoon!

Did you notice in the coronation scene that the couple from A Christmas Prince were in the audience with their baby?

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46 minutes ago, Atlanta said:

Did you notice in the coronation scene that the couple from A Christmas Prince were in the audience with their baby?

They were? That’s a weird choice since that couple watched A Christmas Prince in the first movie. 

ETA: 

 

Edited by Dani
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I find Vanessa Lachey always comes across as bitchy when I think they are aiming for witty.  Their 'snappy comebacks' always make her look rude and unlikeable.  Tried watching A Twist of Christmas.  The guy was a jerk for cutting in line and she put him in his place.  Fine.  But then when the toys were switched, all of a sudden it was ok to stand outside what was clearly an important meeting and make faces at him until he came out.  Then when they were driving in the same car with the kids in the back, she just kept it up until I finally turned the channel.  

I agree with Kaoteek.  I'm not going to sit through half an hour of unreasonable bitchiness in the hopes that it might get better.

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I watched A Christmas Wish with Kevin Sorbo and really enjoyed it. Knowing nothing about him other then the fact that he was Hercules I then googled him after and don’t think he’s a popular dude. 

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Anybody see Happiness Season on Hulu? It's about a 20-something lesbian couple who go home for Christmas but one of the women insists they pretend to be "friends" because she's not out to her family.  Some funny parts with a younger weird sister, good acting (Victor Garber and Mary Steenburgen play the parents) and a family FULL of secrets.  Kristen Stewart plays the perpetually sullen girlfriend. 

As to my favorite can't miss movie, it's A Carol Christmas with, of all people, Tori Spelling who plays an out-of-control talk show host but learns the true meaning of Christmas.  It will be on Hallmark on Dec. 23rd.  The other one features Carrrie Fisher in It's Christmas, Carol. Alastair Sim and Mr. Magoo have nothing to worry about, but I like it. 

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On 11/25/2020 at 10:49 PM, Irlandesa said:

Did we discuss Home For Christmas in this thread?  It's a Norwegian series about a nurse who who feels pressured by her family to have a boyfriend so she lies and says she has one and he'll be at Christmas dinner.  The next episodes are her trying to find someone she can bring to Christmas dinner.

Where can we watch this? 

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On 11/27/2020 at 1:39 AM, twoods said:

One of my favorites, Dear Santa with Amy Ackler, is on Lifetime tomorrow morning at 9am. I’m sure it will rerun but it’s so cute and well done. 

That's one of my least favorites.  I thought she came off too stalkerish.  Maybe I'll rewatch it and see if I get a different vibe the second time.  

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59 minutes ago, ECM1231 said:

Where can we watch this? 

Netflix

I also watched the Over Christmas three episode series.  It was pretty good.  It was funny in the beginning and then it got a little bit more serious and perhaps things were resolved a little too easily but it was decent.

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6 hours ago, Irlandesa said:

Netflix

I also watched the Over Christmas three episode series.  It was pretty good.  It was funny in the beginning and then it got a little bit more serious and perhaps things were resolved a little too easily but it was decent.

I also watched it today.  I kind of enjoyed it.  I like watching anything Christmas but I also enjoy that it was different than the usual fare we get on Hallmark/Lifetime.

I like that Netflix has different kinds of movies/shows.  I watched Merry Happy Whatever on Netflix this week and it was pretty good and also different.

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25 minutes ago, One4Sorrow2TooBad said:

I saw Love At The Christmas Table today, what a sweet little movie, hope they play it a few more times in the rotation. 

Oh, I adore that little movie!!  Seems like it’s not very well-known, but I just clicked with me.  The dancing scene...swoon.  Plus Ted from Schitt’s Creek!  Where did you find it in rotation?  I’ll seek it out.

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It’s usually on Lifetime, but I could be wrong. I’ve also seen it on Amazon prime.

Edited by twoods
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13 hours ago, One4Sorrow2TooBad said:

I saw Love At The Christmas Table today, what a sweet little movie, hope they play it a few more times in the rotation. 

Maybe I should re-watch it to see if I like it better this time around. I remember it being pretty good, but not really loving the young couple. I can’t remember if I just didn’t feel the chemistry between the actors or if their inability to talk for YEARS irritated me too much to invest in them. 

Edited by Sara2009

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