Recaps

2018 Holiday Movie Season November Preview: Weekend One

Photo Credit: Ryan Plummer/Crown Media United States LLC

[Warning: General spoilers ahead.]

Hey there, holiday movie fans! Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries hope you’re ready to pair your Halloween leftovers with cider and cocoa, because their annual two-month run of holiday movies has begun. They’re the first ones out of the gate with their premiere of Christmas at Pemberley Manor last weekend, but they’re not alone. UP TV joins them this weekend and Lifetime piles on beginning the 17th. That said, Hallmark is all “hold my eggnog” about their competitors, because this season, they will premiere THIRTY-SEVEN new films–22 on Hallmark Channel (HC below) and 15 on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries (HMM). Here are the details on the four newbies coming this weekend. Check back tomorrow for my exclusive chat with Niall Matter, who returns in the third Father Christmas film Sunday night. 

Photo Credit: Eike Schroter/Crown Media United States LLC

Christmas JoySaturday, November 3rd at 8/7c (HC)

Danielle Panabaker returns to Hallmark Channel in Christmas Joy, adapted from Nancy Naigle’s novel. In her first outing since 2014’s Recipe for Love, she stars as Joy Holbrook, a Washington, DC market researcher in line for a holiday-timed promotion when she heads home to North Carolina to help her aunt recover from surgery. She finds herself reunited with her former crush, Ben (Helix‘s Matt Long) when she steps in to take her aunt’s place in the the townÂ’s legendary baking competition. Soon she begins to soften toward him and remember that home is where the heart is.

Photo Credit: Ashly Covington/Vista Entertainment, LLC

A Christmas SwitchSunday, November 4th at 7/6c (UP TV)

This body-switching holiday tale follows two very different moms who find that help is where you least expect it, and most need it. When struggling singer Audrey (Jackie Seiden) and wealthy record executive Julia (Ashley Wood) collide at the mall, they wake up in each other’s lives the next morning. Audrey finds Julia’s life full of luxury and not much else while Audrey can’t say no to anyone. As Christmas looms closer, the two women rush to figure out how to both help each other and switch back before they miss Christmas morning with their own families!

[Note: I’m only previewing the true new films on UP, not the “network premieres,” so check local listings for all of their Christmas movies.]

Photo Credit: Ryan Plummer/Crown Media United States LLC

Road to ChristmasSunday, November 4th at 8/7c (HC)

Los Angeles television producer Maggie Baker (Birthday Wish‘s Jessy Schram) unwittingly falls for Danny Wise (The Beach House‘s Chad Michael Murray), the son and former producer of his mother, Julia (Cedar Cove‘s Teryl Rothery)Â’s popular annual Christmas lifestyle special. When MaggieÂ’s secret plan to reunite Danny and his two brothers with their mom during the live broadcast in Vermont goes awry, Maggie is reminded that above all, love for family and friends makes the merriest Christmas.

Photo Credit: Kailey Schwerman/Crown Media United States LLC

Marrying Father Christmas — Sunday, November 4th at 9/8c (HMM)

The third film in the trilogy based on Robin Jones Gunn’s novellas brings Miranda Chester (Erin Krakow) and Ian McAndrick (Niall Matter) to the altar after their romantic engagement in last year’s Engaging Father Christmas. Miranda’s plans for a family wedding surrounded by their friends are quickly complicated when a mysterious visitor reaches out to her just days beforehand. While Miranda navigates this new relationship, her late fatherÂ’s widow, Margaret (Wendie Malick), rekindles an old acquaintance.

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