Being the first holiday movie featuring a queer couple as co-leads, the Hallmark channel’s The Christmas House more than delivered!
When Hallmark announced it was going to air a Christmas movie showcasing a queer couple, while a step in the right direction, I was left a bit worried. Frankly, I was expecting a disaster considering such a movie would be the first of its kind from Hallmark. However, having watched The Christmas House, I have to share that the queer representation was quite well-written. I was impressed. I hope you consider watching it so Hallmark creates more of such movies.
The plot involves two brothers being called to their parents’ home to revive a family Christmas tradition of going all out with decorating. The straight brother, Mike, is played by Robert Buckley (who also co-wrote the teleplay with Erin Rodman). The gay brother, Brandon, is played by out actor Jonathan Bennett (who worked on the story with Rodman). Both brothers are awaiting some major news in their lives.
Mike’s hoping his show Handsome Justice will be picked up for another season while Brandon and his husband Jake (Brad *ahem* Harder) are hoping that fourth time’s the charm when it comes to adopting a baby.
The Christmas House immediately received points from me because in the first few minutes the narrative showed a loving gay couple with no metaphorical “closet” around. The story could have played it safe and given the world yet another “coming out” story involving a queer character with no romantic agency. So, kudos to The Christmas House for not doing that. The husbands even kiss! Also, there are no whispers or side-eyes from the neighborhood. Them being two married men isn’t looked at as something unusual by anyone onscreen. Yay!
Seeing the queer characters feel so at home in the film will likely touch many. Hopefully, it will help change things because numerous queer people in the real world feel uneasy when expressing themselves during family gatherings.
Hallmark saw the chance to make history and everyone involved in this project passed with flying colors. Not only in the queer representation department but also in delivering a feel-good Christmas movie about love and family. I enjoyed every minute of it.
As for other queer-centric holiday movies to consider, the rom-com Happiest Season is available to stream on Hulu. The one with queer cowboys, Dashing in December, will air on Paramount TV come December 13, 2020.
Lifetime will also be releasing its first queer-led holiday movie The Christmas Setup on December 12, 2020. The upcoming film stars queer icon Fran Drescher and real-life husbands Blake Lee and Ben Lewis.
Let’s see if the current offerings prove to be successful enough for their networks and whether or not next year we’ll get even more queer-led holiday movies exploring the range of sexualities and found families in the LGBTQIA+ community.
One can hope!
Again, do consider watching The Christmas House (it premiered on November 22, 2020). I deliberately didn’t spoil the plot because there are some interesting developments.
If you’ve watched it already, let us know what you thought.
Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.
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