“The gays just know how to do stuff, and for some reason they’re always obsessed with me,” muses the peerless Jennifer Coolidge in the trailer for Netflix’s Single All the Way, one of a handful of new Christmas films with LGBTQI content set to stream over the holiday season.
Hallmark, Lifetime, and Netflix are amongst streaming platforms that are collectively premiering around 143 new Christmas-themed films in 2021.
The 2020 Christmas movie slate was the first to feature several films with LGBTQI content including Happiest Season, The Christmas Setup, Dashing in December, and A New York Christmas Wedding.
Single All the Way
Single All the Way, set to drop on December 2, stars Out actors Michael Urie (Ugly Betty) and Luke Macfarlane (Brothers & Sisters), alongside newcomer Philemon Chambers in the story of Peter, (Urie) an eternally single guy who convinces his best friend Nick, (Chambers) to pose as his boyfriend when they visit Peter’s family for Christmas.
Trouble and madcap hijinks ensue when his family announce they have set him up for a blind date with a sexy personal trainer (Macfarlane). Will Peter fall for the dishy thirst trap trainer or will he come to his senses and realise (as the rest of his family already has) that Nick is the perfect man for him?
Urie told ET, “My mom is Kathy Najimy, my dad is Barry Bostwick and my aunt is Jennifer Coolidge — if that isn’t some kinda gay Christmas miracle, I don’t know what is.”
The Bitch Who Stole Christmas
The Bitch Who Stole Christmas (VH1) is the latest holiday offering from RuPaul, who co-stars with Raven-Symoné, Anna Maria Horsford and Charo as well as his Drag Race family including Michelle Visage, Carson Kressley and Ross Mathews. Also making appearances are 20 Drag Race alumni including Ginger Minj, Brooke Lynn Hytes, Kylie Sonique Love, Peppermint, Chad Michaels and Gottmik among many others.
Producer Randy Barbato said in a press statement, “There are 1,000 Christmas movies this year, but only one with drag queens. Christmas will never be the same!”
The Bitch Who Stole Christmas is set to premiere December 2.
The Christmas House 2: Deck those Halls
Jonathan Bennett, Brad Harder, Robert Buckley, Treat Williams and Sharon Lawrence return in The Christmas House 2: Deck those Halls (Hallmark), a sequel to The Christmas House, which was the first Hallmark film to feature a same-sex couple.
The sequel has brothers Mike (Buckley) and Brandon (Bennett) vying against each other in their bid to create the perfect Christmas house.
Bennett took to social media to celebrate the reunion. “The Mitchell Family is BAAAAACK!!! The Christmas House 2 is coming to @hallmarkchannel this Christmas! Double the family double the fun!” posted Bennett.
The original film generated high ratings (13 million total viewers) and good reviews. While the relationship of the gay couple (played by Bennett and Harder) wasn’t the focal point of the film, The Christmas House included a subplot about gay adoption.
In a 2020 interview with Good Morning America, Bennett said, “It’s the first time you see two men in love starting their own family [on Hallmark Channel], and that’s such a groundbreaking thing because representation is important.”
— Jonathan Bennett (@JonathanBennett) September 22, 2021
Bennett also told NBC News he was “proud of everyone at Hallmark Channel for making the holiday table bigger and more welcoming and warmer this year.”
The Hallmark Channel has consistently received criticism for a lack of diversity in its scripts and casting and for its removal of four commercials from wedding planning company Zola featuring a lesbian wedding in 2019.
The Christmas House was nominated for ‘Outstanding TV Movie or Limited Series’ at the 2021 GLAAD Media Awards.
Under The Christmas Tree
In Under The Christmas Tree (Lifetime), Ricki Lake, Elise Bauman, and Tattiawna Jones star in the story of Charlie (Jones) who is searching for the perfect Christmas tree for the Maine Governor’s holiday festivities. She finds the tree inconveniently located in the backyard of a marketing exec Alma (Bauman). Tensions flare, sparks fly and love blossoms as the women realise the tree has brought them together, with the sugary help of a local pâtissière (Lake).
Under The Christmas Tree is set to begin airing from December 19.
In an interview with TheWrap, Lifetime head of programming Amy Winter said, “It’s very important for us to feel like people can tune into Lifetime’s season and see themselves here… We don’t want to do something that feels like an ‘Afterschool Special’ and it has to be a Christmas movie and it has to be well-written and it has to be delightful.”
“I feel like we’re the leader when it comes to Christmas and diversity and inclusion and selecting great stories from all different walks of life,” Winter said, “and that commitment will continue.”
“Even though we’ve got Under the Christmas Tree, which is a real highlight, we’ve got several others in the mix that are inclusive, whether they’re gay couples or just characters, we’ve been trying to make sure that people are represented across the board,” Winter said.