Lifetime has a pretty standard formula for making holiday hits year after year. First, you have the traditional holiday setting, usually Christmas. Then, you have someone with a problem: a woman who’s had a rough go of it in the relationship department, a single parent with an overly rambunctious kid who desperately wants a second parent for Christmas, a small business owner with a financial burden that must be paid within 72 hours. Next is at least one, but maybe two, C-list celebrity (unless that celebrity is Dolly Parton). And finally, a Christmas miracle.
Though some may immediately toss around the terms “cheesy” or “cheap” when referring to Lifetime’s holiday movies, we prefer “classics” and “legendary.” And each year, LMN, delivers with a brand new batch of predictable hits that will live in the network’s repertoire, on steady repeat for year’s to come. This year, your DVR’s are going to be busy with six new holiday feature films. Here’s everything you need to know about them. Plan accordingly.
A Country Christmas Story
Premiere: November 9 at 8 p.m.
Description: This is it folks – Lifetime’s creme de le creme of 2013. Dolly Parton hosts a singing country music competition. A young girl enters against her mother’s wishes (Sister Act 2 anyone?) and connects with her long-lost father.
Nostalgic stars: Dolly Parton(!), Brian McKnight
Will they find true love?: Father/Daughter love. (Didn’t I tell you to be on the lookout for single parents.)
Will you cry?: 100 percent. We have a feeling this little girl can sang.
Does Santa save the day?: Dolly is the new Santa.
The Twelve Trees of Christmas
Premiere: November 16 at 8 p.m.
Description: Cheri enters a local Christmas tree contest in order to win money to save the local library. Cheri’s competition is a wealthy developer who hires professional decorator, to win the contest for him. The competition is on, but she naturally starts for fall for the egotistical jerk wad.
Nostalgic stars: Melanie Brown a.k.a. Scary Spice.
Will they find true love?: Duh. They always seem like badass jerks in the beginning.
Will you cry?: About as much a chance that you’ll cry to a Spice Girls song.
Does Santa save the day?: Negative. This one goes straight for the ole “I started out hating you and now I love you” trope.
Kristin’s Christmas Past
Premiere: November 23 at 8 p.m.
Description: 30-year-old Kristin is estranged from her family. After spending Christmas Eve alone, she wakes up Christmas morning seventeen years into her past to relive the worst Christmas of her life. The ability to change your past is scary when it can also change your future.
Nostalgic stars: Shiri Appleby from Roswell. So no.
Will they find true love?: Even though this one’s all about the family, the answer is still yes.
Will you cry?: 80 percent. Family drama + time travel = a pretty solid chance.
Does Santa save the day?: Not exactly, but there are Santa strippers, which is the best kind of Santa.
Dear Secret Santa
Premiere: November 30 at 8 p.m.
Description: After breaking up with her boyfriend, Jennifer moves back to the house where she grew up, because everyone knows when you break up with someone your entire life is over and you must return to your hometown in order to find yourself. She begins to receive Christmas cards from what she believes to be her childhood friend Jack who passed away.
Nostalgic stars: Tatyana Ali, Jordin Sparks, Della Reese
Will they find true love?: Yes, even if it’s with The Ghost of Christmas Love Life’s Past.
Will you cry?: 100 percent. Her dead best friend is sending her love letters!
Does Santa save the day?: Really, who needs Santa when you have Della Reese. We all know she’s been touched by an angel.
Christmas in the City
Premiere: December 7 at 8 p.m.
Description: A single mom and her daughter travel to NYC in attempt to make extra cash for the holidays. Seems logical so far. She gets a job at a toy store (where is her child?) and immediately becomes responsible for restoring Christmas spirit back into the world.
Nostalgic stars: Ashanti
Will they find true love?: No, she will regain kindness in her heart and help save Christmas, so it’s give and take.
Will you cry?: 85 percent chance. There’s a kid, so, yeah.
Does Santa save the day?: Yes! Both the real Santa and stripper Santas. What is up with all the stripper Santas?
A Snow Globe Christmas
Premiere: December 14 at 10 p.m.
Description: In an anti-Christmas rampage, a cynical TV exec tries to smash her formally favorite snow globe. Instead of breaking into a million pieces, the globe bounces back into her head, knocking her unconscious. She wakes up in a snow-covered small town with a new husband, new kids, new life. Pandemonium breaks out throughout the town as she battles between going with the flow and trying to get back to her big city life.
Nostalgic stars: Donald Faison from Scrubs and Christina Milian
Will they find true love?: Not sure how she’s going to sustain a life inside a snow globe, but at least she won’t be alone.
Will you cry?: 90 percent chance. Perfect (yet forbidden) love due to an unexplainable magic spell gets me every time.
Does Santa save the day?: Unnecessary, thanks to a pissed off snow globe.
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