Hi! It’s not even Halloween yet and we’re talking about Christmas! Happens every year. Fight us.
So, OWN recently announced a trifecta of tinsel-decorated films with its 2019 holiday season lineup. Each movie will premiere during the month of November as a perfect pre-game for Christmas!
As soon as I saw the announcement, I knew I would watch all three movies with my mama, because they are “watch with your mama” movies. But, in real life, I have watched Hallmark/Lifetime/OWN packaged type holiday movies with my mama since moving to L.A. and traveling to Chicago during holiday break. If her TV isn’t tuned to MSNBC or Buzzr (the latter of which is where I delight in the joys of watching classic game shows), she’ll turn on a cutely corny movie that I’d find myself sitting down to watch even though I’ve already completely figured it out from the 5th frame. Still, I have a soft spot for them!
In fact, I kind of want to write oneunder a quirky pseudonym, not so much out of fear of being pigeonhold, but because a quirky writer name would fit. This same desire extends to bad black movies.
But, back to OWN’s holiday trio. Let’s unpack each one, shall we?
One Fine Christmas
Synopsis: Marking the first time they have acted together, Rick Fox and his daughter Sasha Fox star in “One Fine Christmas.” The father/daughter duo join beloved actress Marla Gibbs and fan favorite Vanessa Williams in the ensemble cast. The families on Christmas Street have been busy with their day-to-day lives that they lose sight of the importance of family during the holiday season. Haley (Sasha Fox) comes home for the Christmas holiday, but home has not been the same since her family split up. Haley’s mother Susan (Williams) is working on a new work deal with her client (Rick Fox) which causes her to hardly have time for Haley or her mother Alice (Gibbs). Al (Mark Christopher Lawrence) is too preoccupied with work that he overlooks his wife Matty (June Carryl). Meanwhile, Bob (Rodney Van Johnson) and Diana’s (Eva La Dare) son Jesse (Alfonso Torres Caballero) comes home for Christmas with a very special surprise. This “slice of life” holiday tale shares the individual stories of these neighbors as they celebrate Christmas Eve and find themselves unexpectedly united for the holiday season.
First thoughts: This is clearly a thesis on the woes of an overworked, capitalist society that only finds complete solace in a capitalist holiday, once a year. In case that sounds depressing, don’t worry because an inevitable mistletoe kiss between Rick and Vanessa will wash all of that away. Plus, Marla Gibbs with witty commentary! I expect warm and fuzzy feelings with my mama, while she occasionally refers to Rick as a “stud muffin.” Seasons greetings!
Synopsis: Starring acclaimed actresses Jackée Harry and Kimberly Elise, “Carole’s Christmas” tells the story of Carole Jordan (Elise), an overworked businesswoman who learns the meaning of “be careful what you wish for” after she off-handedly wishes she had taken another path in life. When Carole’s wish is granted, her world is turned upside down and the only person she can confide in is Iris (Jackée Harry), a woman she recognizes from her “past life.” Carole no longer has time for the things that mattered most to her - family, friends and her annual Christmas party. She quickly learns how grateful she was for the previous life she was living. “Carole’s Christmas” also stars Cayden K. Williams (star of OWN’s “David Makes Man”), Bianca Buck and Anthony Montgomery.
First thoughts: More overworking! But, the Ghost of Deja Vu, Jackée is here with some sassy lessons. I’m expecting a “be careful what you wish for” theme in the vein of It’s A Wonderful Life, except with much more melanin and seasoning. Mama will undoubtedly have a lesson for me to take back with me to L.A. after we watch this. I don’t call her the “Dalai Mama” for nothing.
Synopsis: When Patty (Aloma Wright), the founder of the town’s most popular and successful bakery, announces her plan to retire at the end of the year, her children step up to take over the family business. Patty and Phillip’s (Tim Reid) children, Jennifer (Khalilah Joi), Angela (Leigh-Ann Rose) and Anthony (Arnell Powell), are qualified—and eager—to run the enterprise, and each has their own ideas for writing the bakery’s next chapter. There is only one way to ensure the shop ends up in the right hands and that is a Christmas cake bakeoff. The gloves come off and the frosting flies as the siblings vie for control of the bakery in an unforgettable competition to create the best-ever Christmas confection. “Baking Christmas” also stars Yohance Myles from OWN’s “Ambitions.”
First thoughts: Yeah, this one is just going to make me hungry. Luckily, living over 2,000 miles away ignites a strong desire inside my mama to bake a warm and nostalgic peach cobbler. It will pair nicely with this movie.
One Fine Christmas premieres Friday, November 15 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. Carole’s Christmas premieres Friday, November 22 at 9 p.m. ET/PT. Baking Christmas premieres Friday, November 29 at 9pm ET/PT.