An Early Holigay Surprise: Lifetime Announces First-Ever LGBTQ+ Christmas Film

“The world we create on camera should reflect the world we live in.”

If you’re a fan of cheesy holiday movies that make you both gag on the acting and cry your eyes out at the emotional parts, have I got news for you! Lifetime has announced that it’s (finally) taking LGBTQ+ holiday movie representation seriously by premiering its first-ever queer Christmas film this year. And better yet, the couple featured in the movie are a real-life married couple. Gay and realistic? Sign us up!

In a press release sent this week announcing the channel’s annual “It’s A Wonderful Lifetime” holiday movie schedule, Lifetime highlighted its new film “The Christmas Setup,” starring Ben Lewis (“Arrow,” “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World”) and Blake Lee (“Parks and Recreation,” “Mixology”), two actors who also happen to be married. The film is written by Michael J. Murray, who has a fair share of Lifetime holiday movies under his belt and is himself a member of the community, so we can be sure this LGBTQ+ film won’t be lacking on the cheese — or the Christmas magic.

Lifetime is also set to premiere “A Sugar & Spice Holiday,” which features the network’s first Asian-American family.

“The world we create on camera should reflect the world we live in,” said Amy Winter, Executive Vice President and Head of Programming for Lifetime and Lifetime Movie Network. “‘The Christmas Setup’ and ‘A Sugar & Spice Holiday’ are important additions to the ‘It’s a Wonderful Lifetime’ slate because they continue our effort to tell the stories of the diverse communities represented by our viewers. Our hope with these inclusive films and others is that people will see themselves while enjoying universally relatable holiday romances.”

“The Christmas Setup” follows New Yorker Hugo (played by Lewis) who goes to Milwaukee with his best friend Madelyn (Ellen Wong) to spend the holidays with his mom (Fran Drescher), who is in charge of local celebrations. Hugo’s mother Kate decides to play matchmaker by setting up a run-in with his high school friend and secret crush Patrick (Lee). Although they begin to spend a lot of time with each other and their attraction is red-hot, Hugo suddenly receives word that he’s gotten a big promotion — in London. Ultimately, Hugo must make the decision of what is most important to him: love or success.

We can’t wait to see such a gay love story (on-screen and IRL) this holiday season. And combined with Clea DuVall’s “The Happiest Season,” we’ve got a real queer Christmas coming our way. Now that’s something to celebrate!


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