At the end of every year, tons of people love tuning into Lifetime and Hallmark for the feel-good networks' annual slate of holiday movies. While these whimsical, romantic films are the perfect cozy-watch for some, they still have a long way to go in terms of representing everyone. However, Lifetime will be taking a step forward in 2020, because The Christmas Set Up will be Lifetime's first holiday movie focused on LGBTQ+ romance.
Lifetime revealed its full slate of Christmas movies for 2020 during a virtual press event on Monday, Aug. 3, and a couple movies stood out from the rest of the pack as important advancements in the genre that has been consistently criticized for its lack of diversity. The network greenlit its first-ever holiday movie centered on a Chinese-American family, called A Sugar & Spice Holiday, and the channel will also air its first holiday movie with an LGBTQ+ romance as its main story. The announcement comes after Lifetime and Hallmark came under fire for their lack of LGBTQ+ representation in their holiday movies in 2019. Hallmark also recently announced it is in active negotiations to include LGBTQ+ storylines in its 2020 holiday movies.
The Christmas Set Up won't be the first time an LGBTQ+ romance was included in a Lifetime Christmas movie, but it will be network's first time ever having a holiday film that does not center on a heterosexual couple. Lifetime's 2019 Christmas movie Twinkle All the Way featured the channel's first same-sex kiss in a holiday movie, but the gay couple in that film were side characters; the movie's main focus was on a romance between a man and a woman.
Unlike Twinkle All the Way, A Christmas Set Up will have its gay romance front-and-center, telling the story of a lawyer named Hugo who reconnects with his high school crush Patrick over the holidays. You can read Lifetime's synopsis of A Christmas Set Up below:
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.
Casting is currently underway for A Christmas Set Up, and it's set to begin production in September. Fans can expect the film to premiere on Lifetime toward the end of 2020.