Tuesday, November 02, 2021

Happy Holigays Scheduling

Well, now that we’re past Halloween, the grand American tradition of skipping right over Thanksgiving and going full-bore into the damn Christmas season is upon us. Yes, I know, some places were playing holiday music before the Halloween skeletons had even been put away. But I digress. So with the holiday shopping craze comes the holiday movie trend. Hallmark and Lifetime have turned churning out aggressively heterosexual Yuletide rom-comes into a not-so-tiny cottage industry of these holidays.

But, recently, we’ve slowly seen more mainstream acceptance of the Holi-Gays. Last year we had a big breakthrough with “The Happiest Season,” which while perhaps not the perfect holigays movie, it was a huge step in widespread visibility with marquee actors and bigger than shoestring budgets for a change. Honestly, coming out storylines and all, I liked it and plan to watch it again this season. You know, along with the other great lesbian Christmas movie, “Carol.”

Well, this year, we’ll get to add some more Holigays movies to the Big Gay Christmas pantheon. First up (though, not necessarily chronologically first up, more on that later) is Lifetime’s very first lesbian Christmas rom-com “Under the Christmas Tree.”

Here’s Lifetime’s description of “Under the Christmas Tree” (airs Dec. 19):
“Marketing whiz Alma Beltran (Elise Bauman) and Christmas tree whisperer Charlie Freemont (Tattiawna Jones) cross paths when Charlie finds the perfect tree for the Maine Governor’s Holiday Celebration – right in Alma’s back yard. While they initially spar, romantic sparks soon begin to fly between the two women as the enchanting tree and some Christmas fairy dust from the town’s pâtissière extraordinaire (Ricki Lake) bring out the best in them and spark each other to take leaps of faith and fight for love and Christmas magic.”
I dunno, gays, they had me at Ricki Lake plays the town’s pâtissière extraordinaire. Do I already absolutely adore the adversarial meet-cute of finding the perfect tree in the other’s yard? Duh, I’m only human. My only quibble is Lifetime is making up wait until SIX DAYS before Christmas to watch this. Considering they start their slate of movies on Nov. 12, it’s a long wait to get to to the gay stuff. But, again, Ricki Lake plays a pâtissière and there’s guaranteed gonna be some lady smooching under at least one damn tree so let’s do this thing.

The next lesbian holigays movie comes from our friends at Tello. They’re also the ones who gave us our FIRST lesbian holiday rom-com, 2019’s “Season of Love” and last year’s “I Hate New Year’s.” Their latest, “Christmas at the Ranch” is premised on a classic lesbian romance setup, so obviously I’m in.

Here’s Tello’s description of “Christmas at the Ranch” (screens in December):
“When Haley Hollis (Laur Allen) returns to her family ranch to try and save it from foreclosure, she wasn't banking on spending so much time with ranch hand Kate (Amanda Righetti) — or falling for her.”

And, in the grand tradition of holiday rom-coms, a veteran actress with clout and name recognition adds authenticity to the whole affair. In this case it’s Lindsay Wagner, a.k.a. The Bionic Woman herself. Also there are so many cowboy hats and that whole catching her as she falls and lands right in your arms trope. Yee-haw, you know imma watch this one, lil doggies.

Sadly, that’s it for ladies-loving-ladies holigay movies this year. But we’re getting two more dudes-loving-dudes holiday offerings as well. I mean, sure, the fellas can have their holidays too. First up is Hallmark’s “The Christmas House 2: Deck Those Halls.” The Christmas House One, as I will now refer to it, was admittedly not my favorite of last year’s slate of gay boy holiday rom-coms (though, luckily, not as terrible as “Dashing in December, which, man). But also it’s not entirely a queer film, it’s a large ensemble about a family where one of the brothers happens to be gay. I mean, he gets a partner so there’s romance, but yeah. Not entirely the same.

Here’s Hallmark’s succinct description of “The Christmas House 2” (airs Dec. 18):
“The Mitchell brothers compete to see who can create the best Christmas House.”
One of the aforementioned brothers (played by out former “Mean Girls” actor Jonathan Bennett is gay and has a husband and their storyline in the first movie was of course about having a baby. Well, at least it wasn’t about coming out.

This year’s final holidays treat is Netflix’s “Single All the Way.” While you could argue that 2019’s “Let It Snow” was the streamer’s first holigays film (it featured a same-sex female couple in their teenage ensemble), this appears to be their first main character, primary storyline queer holidays romance. That I have to parse that is tiring, but alas we still live in a world full of long-overdue firsts.

Here’s Netflix’s description of “Single All the Way” (streams Dec. 2):
“Desperate to avoid his family’s judgment about his perpetual single status, Peter (Michael Urie) convinces his best friend Nick (Philemon Chambers) to join him for the holidays and pretend that they’re now in a relationship. But when Peter’s mother (Kathy Najimy) sets him up on a blind date with her handsome trainer James (Luke Macfarlane)— the plan goes awry.”
I dunno about that premise but Kathy Najimy plays his mom and Jennifer Coolidge plays Aunt Sandy so clearly I’m going to watch this. Also, Michael, where you been? You were great in Ugly Betty.

So, thoughts on this year’s holigays lineup? Slightly more queer gender equity in this year’s lineup. Which is appreciated. Now let’s get to romancing in the snow, all you festive holiday gays.


Anonymous said...

Anyone notice that Kate (Amanda Righetti) “Christmas at the Ranch” is the gorgeous CIB agent Grace from "The Mentalist" ? Wow, that smile!!

Carmen San Diego said...

I am so ready for Christmas at the Ranch
Just need to figure out how to watch it

Anonymous said...

So are we just going to bypass the fact that it's Laura (from Carmilla) in Under the Christmas Tree? Cool cool, I mean it is hard to recognize her with the dark hair

FemWitchFromOz said...

I loved Happiest Season and will also be rewatching it this festive season.