The holiday season is a big deal for specific industries. Toymakers go into overdrive; the postal service makes tons more deliveries than usual; tree farms hurry to sell their evergreens. And of course, it's the pinnacle of programming for the TV channel Lifetime, which releases dozens of brand-new, holiday-themed romance films each year. For 2020, the cabler has produced over 30 holiday films, from Christmas on Wheels to The Christmas Aunt to Feliz NaviDAD. But one trailer, featuring a famous actor as a fast-food proprietor, has fans scratching their heads. And to that I must say: Yes, Lifetime's KFC movie with Mario Lopez is really happening.
A casual viewer would be forgiven for assuming the trailer is a parody or a bizarre ad campaign by Kentucky Fried Chicken's parent company (Yum! Brands.) KFC is known for its weird and wacky advertising slates, with an ever-changing cast of self-aware actors playing the role of Colonel Harland Sanders. The character has been portrayed by everyone from Saturday Night Live alums like Darrell Hammond and Norm Macdonald to Game of Thrones actor Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson and WWE wrestler Dolph Ziggler. Even singer Reba McEntire played a singing Sanders at one point.
With so many actors stepping into the role, it wouldn't be a big surprise for the company to cast Mario Lopez in its next spoof. The actor is already is known for his turns as the romantic lead in multiple Lifetime holiday films (the aforementioned Feliz NaviDAD, for example) and his comedy role in the current Saved By the Bell reboot. Such a parody would be perfect.
There's just one small thing. This chicken-fried trailer is no joke.
Yes, there really is a short film (Lifetime is billing it as a "mini-movie") called A Recipe for Seduction coming to the channel. Here's the official synopsis:
As the holidays draw near, a young heiress contends with the affections of a suitor handpicked by her mother. When the handsome chef, Harland Sanders, arrives with his secret fried chicken recipe and a dream, he sets in motion a series of events that unravels the mother's devious plans. Will our plucky heiress escape to her wintry happily ever after with Harland at her side, or will she cave to the demands of family and duty?
There's even a poster.
Twitter, as usual, had opinions.
Before anyone else gets carried away writing steamy fast-food slashfic, I'd like to be clear about this: This "mini-movie" is still an ad.
It's a long ad, to be sure. The TV listings schedule on Lifetime's website has A Recipe For Seduction premiering at noon on Dec. 13 and blocks off a runtime of 15 minutes. But though it's billed as a collaboration between KFC and Lifetime, it's still an ad for fried chicken... even if it gives a whole new meaning to the phrase "Finger-Lickin' Good."
A Recipe For Seduction premieres on Lifetime on Sunday, Dec. 13, at 12 p.m. ET. In a related story, Lopez's Feliz NaviDAD directly follows at 12:15 p.m. ET.