Category Archives: TV shows/movies

Let’s have a parade! Macy’s announces plans for modified 2020 Thanksgiving Day parade

Yes, there will be balloons.

Though, Macy’s employees won’t be marching the balloons down the street. Specialized vehicles will be!

But the magic of a miles-long parade will be condensed into one block at the Macy’s flagship store in Herald Square, the company announced Monday.

The 94th Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will be broadcast from 9 a.m. to noon on NBC — just as we’ve come to know.

“While it will certainly look different in execution, this year’s Macy’s Parade celebration will once again serve its historical purpose — to bring joy into the hearts of millions across the nation,” Susan Tercero, executive producer of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, said in a prepared statement.

Read more from The AP.

For the holidays, Lifetime will air its first LGBTQ movie

Lifetime announced that it will air feature an LGBTQ romance this holiday season.

In “The Christmas Set Up,” “Hugo, a New York corporate lawyer and his best friend Madelyn head to Milwaukee to spend the holidays with his mom Kate, who is also in charge of the local Christmas celebrations. Ever the matchmaker, Kate arranges for Hugo to run into Patrick, Hugo’s high school friend and secret crush, who has recently returned after a successful stint in Silicon Valley. As they enjoy the local holiday festivities together, Hugo and Patrick’s attraction to each other is undeniable and it looks as though Kate’s well-intentioned Santa-style matchmaking is a success. But as Hugo receives word of a big promotion requiring a move to London, he must decide what is most important to him,” according to Deadline.

If you think about it, the plot isn’t far off from what I previously came up with.

In addition, Lifetime plans to air its first holiday movie centered on a Chinese-American family. That movie is titled “A Sugar & Spice Holiday.”

Deadline lists several of the new movies planned for “It’s a Wonderful Lifetime.”

WPXI’s annual holiday parade canceled amid COVID-19

The hits just keep on coming due to the global pandemic.

We learned that Pittsburgh’s annual holiday season parade is canceled due to COVID-19.

WPXI announced the decision to cancel the parade today.

The parade, which would have celebrated its 40th anniversary this year, was first organized by longtime department store Kaufmann’s and known as the Celebrate the Season parade.

It then was a product of Macy’s before that department store company pulled out of Downtown Pittsburgh.

Since then, WPXI has organized the parade.

WPXI says it is planning to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the parade later this year.

Dolly Parton / by Curtis Hilbun // Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0)

Dolly Parton shares duets with Michael Bublé, Miley Cyrus, Jimmy Fallon and more on new Christmas album

Here’s an amazing musical duo: Dolly Parton and Michael Bublé!

The two have recorded a new Christmas song together and it’s set for release on her new Christmas album due out this year.

“I’m doing a duet with Michael Bublé, a duet with Billy Ray Cyrus, a duet with Jimmy Fallon, a duet with Miley [Cyrus], a duet with my brother Randy, and my niece Heidi is singing on that with us also,” Parton said, Smooth Radio reported. “Then I’m doing several Christmas classics like ‘I Saw Mama Kissing Santa Claus’ and ‘Circle of Love’ from my ‘Christmas of Many Colours’ movie.”

Of course, we saw Parton appear in in the 2019 Hallmark Channel Christmas movie titled “Christmas at Dollywood.”

Image by Julie Rose from Pixabay

Hallmark will *finally* include LGBTQ storylines

I’ve loved Hallmark Channel’s Christmas movies for a long time. But there’d always been something missing: LGBTQ and Black storylines and characters.

Nobody’s world is that white and straight (and if it is, Santa is shaking his head in disgust). After the 2019 issue where Hallmark canned an ad featuring a lesbian couple, the backlash was loud.

While it’s still unknown what the company plans to actually do to make their movies more diverse, Hallmark Channel officials have promised that this year’s lineup of movies will be more diverse.

Hallelujah!

“Diversity and inclusion is a top priority for us and we look forward to making some exciting programming announcements in the coming months, including announcements about projects featuring LGBTQ storylines, characters, and actors,” George Zaralidis, the vice president of Crown Media Family Networks, told Out.com. “”We are committed to creating a Hallmark experience where everyone feels welcome.”

One of the movies planned for 2020 is called “Jingle Bell Pride.” Hmm…

OK, but this tweet is hilarious:

What are your thoughts for an LGBTQ storyline?

I’m thinking … Mark, a NYC marketing exec, heads home to his Midwestern roots of Noel, Ohio. When he gets home, he learns that his parents plan on selling their beloved vintage Christmas ornaments shop to a developer who plans to raze the block — including the area where the town lights its Christmas tree — and build 200 condominiums. Mark’s NYC boyfriend Ethan planned on catching a plane a few days later but a snowstorm hindered his plans. But in the meantime, Mark catches up with high school classmate Jake who owns the Eggnog Cafe next door and is trying to save the town’s businesses — because without the vintage Christmas ornaments shop and the town’s holiday-themed stores, Noel will have nothing! … I won’t ruin the rest for ya.

Or… Mark, a struggling Broadway actor, hasn’t been home to Mistletoe in a few years. And this year, after show he was in closed early, Mark decides to head home to see his parents. When he gets home, he soon learns that the director of the community center’s traditional “Winter Show” — a performance that sparked Mark’s interest in theater — abruptly left, leaving the show on the verge of cancellation for the first time in 67 years. While eating Christmas cookies at the Snickerdoodle Diner with his mother, who is the board president of the community center, Mark sees Jake, an old classmate and ex-boyfriend. They haven’t seen each other since high school and only broke up because Mark dreamed of a career on Broadway. Mark and Jake say hello but Jake is in a rush to get to work and the two promise to catch up. Later, after reluctantly agreeing to direct the show, Mark is blown away by the talented lead of the show, Aubrey. And it just so happens that Aubrey’s dad is single … and is Jake. squee!

Who knows what’s planned, but my story plots above aren’t far-fetched at all. Both of them are pretty similar to exactly 1.4 million other Hallmark Channel movies. And I’ve seen them all exactly 1.4 million times.

Check out the list of some of the movies Hallmark will premiere in 2020 on Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries:

“A Royal Holiday”
Premieres: TBA
Stars: Laura Osnes, Aaron Tveit, and Krystal Joy Brown

“Jingle Bell Pride”
Premieres: TBA
Stars: Julia Gonzalo and Ronnie Rowe

“A Christmas Tree Grows in Brooklyn”
Premieres: TBA
Stars: Rochelle Aytes and Mark Taylor

“If I Only Had Christmas”
Premieres: TBA
Stars: Candace Cameron Bure

“Deliver by Christmas”
Premieres: TBA
Stars: Alvina August and Eion Bailey

“On the 12th Date of Christmas”
Premieres: TBA
Stars: Mallory Jansen and Tyler Hynes

“Christmas Waltz”
Premieres: TBA
Stars: Lacey Chabert

“Christmas in Vienna”
Premieres: TBA
Stars: Sarah Drew and Brennan Elliott

“Christmas in Evergreen 4”
Premieres: TBA
Stars: Rukiya Bernard and Holly Robinson Peete

“Chateau Christmas”
Premieres: TBA
Stars: Merritt Patterson and Luke Macfarlane

“Cross Country Christmas”
Premieres: TBA
Stars: Rachel Leigh Cook

“Christmas Carnival”
Premieres: TBA
Stars: Tamera Mowry-Housley

“When Calls the Heart Christmas 2020”
Premieres: TBA
Stars: Erin Krakow, Pascale Hutton, Jack Wagner, Kavan Smith

“Christmas Tree Lane”
Premieres: TBA
Stars: Alicia Witt and Andrew Walker

“Holly & Ivy”
Premieres: TBA
Stars: Janel Parrish, Jeremy Jordan, and Marisol Nichols

“The Christmas Bow”
Premieres: TBA
Stars: Lucia Micarelli and Michael Rady

“Cranberry Christmas”
Premieres: TBA
Stars: Nikki DeLoach and Benjamin Ayres

“Christmas Doctor”
Premieres: TBA
Stars: Holly Robinson Peete

Hallmark Channel pulls same-sex couple ads

It’s been reported that Hallmark Channel has pulled several ads that featured a lesbian couple. The move came after the network apparently caved to pressure from the American Family Association’s One Million Moms group.

The ads were from Zola – a wedding registry site – and featured a lesbian wedding. Hallmark Channel, reportedly, pulled four of Zola’s six commercials, keeping two that were heterosexual couples.

In turn, Zola yanked its ads completely.

What’s interesting is that Bill Abbott, the CEO of Crown Media Family Networks (the parent company of Hallmark), reportedly said the network is “open” to creating more diverse movies – including those with LGBTQ characters.

If you’re familiar with Hallmark Channel movies, they tend to feature white, straight couples. (I watch Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies & Mysteries all of the time during the holidays.)

By the way, only four of the 40 movies feature black leads this year. That’s apparently a decrease from 2018.

Abbott told The Hollywood Reporter that the “generalization isn’t fair either – that we just have Christmas with white leads.”

Michelle Vicary, the exec VP of Crown Media Family Networks, said the network is “continuing to expand our diversity. We are looking at pitches for LGBTQ movies … and we are looking to expand and represent the United States as a whole.”

Interestingly other movie productions have had no problem incorporating diversity. Lifetime (which has impressively grown its holiday movies) featured a gay kiss in “Twinkle All the Way.” Same-sex romances were featured in Netflix’s “Let It Snow” as well as in “Ghosting: The Spirit of Christmas” on Freeform.

Conservatives have – not surprisingly – been against a broader representation of what America looks like in these movies.

“The diversity activists will never be satisfied until everything white people like is canceled, including white people themselves,” Megan Fox said.

Hallmark is in the midst of celebrating its 10th year of showing nonstop Christmas movies. Movies began Oct. 25 this year. The two channels each showed one Christmas movie a week throughout the year leading up to this season.