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Angel of Christmas Preview

Photo Credit: Marcel Williams/Crown Media United States, LLC

Photo Credit: Marcel Williams/Crown Media United States, LLC

Sunday night, Hallmark Channel premieres Angel of Christmas, starring Tyrant‘s Jennifer Finnigan as Susan, a newspaper copy editor who yearns to write, and finally gets her chance when her editor (Holly Robinson Peete) responds to a Christmas Day feature pitch about the mystery behind her family’s hand-carved Christmas angel. Why this didn’t end up on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries is a mystery of its own, but Hallmark Channel has a broader footprint across the country, so everybody wins! I’d love to tell you that this movie will break you of your Jonathan Scarfe problem, but that would be a lie.

Photo Credit: Marcel Williams/Crown Media United States, LLC

Photo Credit: Marcel Williams/Crown Media United States, LLC

Photo Credit: Marcel Williams/Crown Media United States, LLC

Photo Credit: Marcel Williams/Crown Media United States, LLC

Photo Credit: Marcel Williams/Crown Media United States, LLC

Photo Credit: Marcel Williams/Crown Media United States, LLC

Scarfe plays Brady, an artist who Susan meets cute, and keeps running into and continues trying to dodge until she accepts that the universe is prompting her (via the angel) to embrace the season and this very handsome new friend. She’s also deflecting the advances of the considerably more straight-laced Derek from work (Tahmoh Penikett). You feel bad for this gal already, right?

Photo Credit: Marcel Williams/Crown Media United States, LLC

Photo Credit: Marcel Williams/Crown Media United States, LLC

Photo Credit: Marcel Williams/Crown Media United States, LLC

Photo Credit: Marcel Williams/Crown Media United States, LLC

As for the actual mystery, the angel was carved by Susan’s great-grandfather (Dark Matter‘s Marc Bendavid) and then travelled down through the family after the original intended recipient rejected it. Susan starts to track down who that was, and what happened to her. It’s not such a mystery that you won’t be a few steps ahead of the characters, but it’s an enjoyable journey while we wait for them to catch up with us. There’s also an unintentional element of fantasy as Susan spends three weeks working on her feature, without seeming to have to still do her main job, but just go with it.

Photo Credit: Marcel Williams/Crown Media United States, LLC

Photo Credit: Marcel Williams/Crown Media United States, LLC

Photo Credit: Marcel Williams/Crown Media United States, LLC

Photo Credit: Marcel Williams/Crown Media United States, LLC

Photo Credit: Marcel Williams/Crown Media United States, LLC

Photo Credit: Marcel Williams/Crown Media United States, LLC

Scarfe is charming as ever, and he’s playing a role similar to Ties That Bind‘s Matt and Love on the Air‘s Nick–a genuinely good guy who can get a bit flustered with the people he loves, but whose actions are grounded in affection. It’s a good fit for Scarfe, who has played his share of less-than-desirable folks. In case you missed it, I chatted with him in October while he was filming this. You can read that here.

Finnigan is very good as the often-bewildered Susan, and Penikett is obviously having a great time as the maybe-lecherous Derek. Christie Laing, who you will recognize from Arrow, unReal, and Once Upon a Time, plays Susan’s BFF, Hayley. Ron Oliver (who also directs Saturday’s A Christmas Detour, which filmed last spring), directs a script by Gary Goldstein, who I interviewed last year for his two 2014 projects, My Boyfriends’ Dogs and Along Came a Nanny. The movie is based on Jane Maas’s novel, The Christmas Angel.”

This is another DVR keeper. Angel of Christmas premieres Sunday night at 8 pm/7c on Hallmark Channel. Here is a sneak peek.

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