Netflix—or a very shrewd someone at Netflix—has wisely entered the holiday movie thunderdome, and honestly, it’s become a worthy rival to Lifetime, Hallmark, et al. with its wealth of extremely silly festive content. But will any of this year’s holiday titles be as memorable as 2019's Holiday In The Wild, aka the movie where Kristin Davis is abruptly dumped and heads off for a You Go Girl vacation where she falls for Rob Lowe’s pilot when they rescue baby elephants in ZAMBIA?! Let’s find out!
“Halloween Trees” have become a thing and everything else in this year is so stupid anyway, so why not start Christmas in fucking OCTOBER with Holidate, which premieres on October 28 and stars Emma Roberts and Luke Bracey, and actually seems fine:
Sloane (Emma Roberts) and Jackson (Luke Bracey) hate the holidays. They constantly find themselves single, sitting at the kids table, or stuck with awkward dates. But when these two strangers meet one particularly bad Christmas, they make a pact to be each other’s “holidate” for every festive occasion throughout the next year. With a mutual disdain for the holidays, and assuring themselves that they have no romantic interest in the other, they make the perfect team. However, as a year of absurd celebrations come to an end, Sloane and Jackson find that sharing everything they hate may just prove to be something they unexpectedly love.
See, that’s how Netflix gets you, though. It just eases you into these shenanigans with a vanilla-ass rom-com. The true terror begins on November 5 with Operation Christmas Drop, which sounds like Operation Dumbo Drop but with more blatant military propaganda:
Chasing a promotion, congressional aide Erica Miller forgoes family Christmas to travel across the Pacific at her boss’s behest. Upon landing at a beachside Air Force base, she clashes with her guide, Captain Andrew Jantz, who knows her assignment is finding reasons to defund the facility. The pilot’s pet project — Operation: Christmas Drop, a genuine, decades-old tradition where gifts and supplies are parachuted to residents of remote neighboring islands — has lawmakers wondering if his unit has too much spare energy. Despite their initial opposing goals, Erica softens once she experiences the customs and communal spirit of Andrew’s adopted home.
Holiday Home Makeover With Mr. Christmas is not an original film but a reality series with a description that sounds like Actual Hell. The short version: this guy is an interior decorator obsessed with Christmas and he’s about to fuck some living rooms UP.
Benjamin Bradley, best known as Mr. Christmas, is a veteran in the interior design industry with a healthy obsession with the holiday season. For Mr. Christmas, the holidays are all about celebrating love, life, family and friends through meaningful traditions. In the new Netflix series Holiday Home Makeover with Mr. Christmas, Bradley takes you behind the scenes as he puts his design expertise and vast Christmas collection to good use. Equipped with lights, garlands, and enough tinsel to blanket the North Pole, he and his team of elves work around the clock to bring holiday cheer to families and communities deserving of a home makeover for the most joyous time of year. Mr. Christmas invites viewers along for the ride to kick off the holiday season and get inspired to take their own home decorating and traditions to the next level.
Maybe the only thing you need to know about Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey (dear lord) is that Forest Whitaker plays a “legendary toymaker” named JERONICUS JANGLE. Honestly, this one could go either way—meaning it could be awesomely bad or genuinely kind of fun, and Keegan-Michael Key’s involvement tips the scales in the favor of the latter. This one premieres on November 13:
A musical adventure and a visual spectacle for the ages, Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey is a wholly fresh and spirited family holiday event. Set in the gloriously vibrant town of Cobbleton, the film follows legendary toymaker Jeronicus Jangle (Academy Award winner Forest Whitaker) whose fanciful inventions burst with whimsy and wonder. But when his trusted apprentice (Emmy winner Keegan-Michael Key) steals his most prized creation, it’s up to his equally bright and inventive granddaughter (newcomer Madalen Mills) — and a long-forgotten invention — to heal old wounds and reawaken the magic within. From the imagination of writer-director David E. Talbert and featuring original songs by John Legend, Philip Lawrence, Davy Nathan, and “This Day” performed by Usher and Kiana Ledé, Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey reminds us of the strength of family and the power of possibility.
The Princess Switch: Switched Again premieres on November 19, and you can probably figure out what that is based on the title. Royals! Switching shenanigans! The heavy-handed suggestion that this is a sequel! Will you watch the first Princess Switch? Probably not! What if we tell you Vanessa Hudgens has signed on for The Princess Switch 3???
When Duchess Margaret unexpectedly inherits the throne to Montenaro and hits a rough patch with boyfriend Kevin, it’s up to her double Princess Stacy of Belgravia to get these star-crossed lovers back together... but the course of true love is complicated by the appearance of a handsome royal who’s intent on stealing Margaret’s heart. Throw in the unexpected arrival of Margaret’s outrageous party girl cousin Fiona, a third look-alike who has ambitions of her own, and you have the recipe for Christmas triple trouble!
Finally, something good: Dolly Parton’s Christmas On The Square. Premiering on November 22, this exquisite gift from one of our most valuable national treasures stars Christine Baranski, Jenifer Lewis, and Queen Dolly herself—who provides 14 (!!!) original songs for the soundtrack.
A rich and nasty woman, Regina Fuller, returns to her small hometown after her father’s death to evict everyone and sell the land to a mall developer - right before Christmas. However, after listening to stories of the local townsfolk, reconnecting with an old love, and accepting the guidance of an actual angel, Regina starts to have a change of heart. This is the story about family, love and how a small town’s Christmas spirit can warm the coldest of hearts. Featuring 14 original songs with music and lyrics by Dolly Parton.
The Christmas Chronicles: Part Two arrives on November 25. Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn are Santa and Mrs. Claus. This gets a pass:
It’s been two years since siblings Kate (Darby Camp) and Teddy Pierce (Judah Lewis) saved Christmas, and a lot has changed. Kate, now a cynical teenager, is reluctantly spending Christmas in Cancun with her mom’s new boyfriend and his son Jack (Jahzir Bruno). Unwilling to accept this new version of her family, Kate decides to run away. But when a mysterious, magical troublemaker named Belsnickel threatens to destroy the North Pole and end Christmas for good, Kate and Jack are unexpectedly pulled into a new adventure with Santa Claus (Kurt Russell). Written and directed by Chris Columbus (Home Alone, Harry Potter) and co-starring Goldie Hawn, THE CHRISTMAS CHRONICLES 2 is an action-packed adventure for the whole family that’s full of heart, humor, and holiday spirit.
FINALLY, Christmas gets the Groundhog Day treatment. That’s how you know Christmas has truly made it. Coming December 3: Just Another Christmas (Tudo Bem No Natal Que Vem), which is really just begging for an Adam Sandler remake based on this synopsis.
After taking a very nasty fall on Christmas Eve, grinchy Jorge blacks out and wakes up one year later, with no memory of the year that has passed. He soon realizes that he’s doomed to keep waking up on Christmas Eve after Christmas Eve, having to deal with the aftermath of what his other self has done the other 364 days of the year.
And one last horrid treasure from this year’s festive pile of holiday programming: A Trash Truck Christmas, featuring the one true mascot of 2020—a giant truck filled with trash. This animated insta-classic debuts on December 11 and should be fun for the whole family.
When Hank finds out that Trash Truck doesn’t know what Christmas is, he sets out to show him and their friends what the magical holiday is all about. And luckily for Santa, the friends are up to speed just in time to help save Christmas.