Hallmark Channel’s The Santa Summit is an early favorite for most fun holiday TV movie of 2023. Don’t worry, we’re well aware that last year’s spectacularly funtastic movie — Haul out the Holly — has a sequel headed our way in November. So, until then, enjoy the chaotic shenanigans, platonic friendships and soulmate searching that goes down in this movie that stars Hunter King and Benjamin Hollingsworth.
It’s funny. Recently, there were a ton of headlines touting a study that expressed Gen Z being beyond over romance in movies and TV shows. Hallmark seems to be taking that to heart already… for the most part. And, you know what? We approve.
TV Goodness’s Heather just previewed Never Been Chris’d (love the play on Never Been Kissed), where it seems much of the focus is on female friendships. We doubt the romance part of the equation will take a major backseat, however, but it does feel like friendship is a huge theme of the movie. Well, it’s the same for The Santa Summit.
Three besties who teach at the same school — Jordin (King), Stella (Stephanie Sy) and Ava (Amy Groening) — are all in a bit of a rut. So they (some are more reluctant than others) decide to break out and get their groove back at the local Santa Summit. It’s an event where everyone dresses up like Santa for a day and night filled with various activities that include eating sushi, singing karaoke, sledding, gingerbread house-making, and drinking Christmassy delights.
Quickly, Jordin meets a guy but her path to what she hopes is love isn’t easy. Ava’s path is easy if she can find it in herself to dig deep and act bold. As for Stella, she’s not in a place where her path is clear. Will she be able to find her way?
On the other side of the Christmas coin is Liam (Hollingsworth), who’s already forged a new path that finds him starting a new life where he works with his brother. Surprisingly, his outlook is rather uplifting and infectious. Adorable, really. What happens when Liam makes a connection with Jordin?
Female friendships, brotherly love, romantic love, career pivots and stepping outside your comfort zone are just a few of the themes that help make this holiday flick a winner. Russell Hainline’s script is another reason why this movie is a must-see.
We know her best as Summer Newman on The Young and the Restless. Before making her mark on Hallmark, King starred in the CBS comedy Life in Pieces. Her Hallmark Credits include: A Royal Corgi Christmas, The Professional Bridesmaid and Nikki and Nora: Sister Sleuths, which aired on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries.
In The Santa Summit, Hollingsworth plays the opposite of his Virgin River character. On VR, Brady broods and angsts and finds trouble everywhere he goes. In TSS, Liam’s fun and uplifting, he talks a lot, gives great advice and is an all-around nice, glass half-full kind of individual.
We were today years old when we found out Sy plays the wife of Emma’s brother, Oscar (Devon Bostick of The 100), on Netflix’s FUBAR. It’s the series that stars Arnold Schwarzenegger and Monica Barbaro.
We spotted Groening in a Hallmark Movies & Mystery flick called Francesca Quinn, PI. Heading up the cast is Mallory Jansen and Dylan Bruce.
He played a host in a Hallmark movie from 2022 called Made for Each Other, which starred Alexandra Turshen, Matt Cohen, Aaron O’Connell.
The Santa Summit premieres Sunday night at 8/7c on Hallmark Channel in the USand W Network in Canada. It will also be available on various streaming platforms. Here are some sneak peeks:
Videos Courtesy of Hallmark Media Inc.
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