Home Fashion Move over, Rudolph: Streaming adds to the flood of holiday specials

Move over, Rudolph: Streaming adds to the flood of holiday specials


Apple TV+ made information by buying the Charlie Brown specials, shifting them off of ABC (earlier than making them available via PBS). But that is simply the tip of a tinsel-topped iceberg of content material, with a number of cable channels (Freeform, Hallmark and Lifetime amongst them) closely turning their schedules over to vacation fare.

As for the relative newcomers to this annual programming onslaught, streaming companies — a few of which did not even exist final Christmas — have additionally gotten into the act, with a lineup of unique films and collection meant to woo subscribers.

The following is only a smattering of what is on faucet over the subsequent few weeks, together with just a few mini-reviews to assist separate naughty choices from the great ones, as programmers vie to seek out the subsequent perennial “It’s a Wonderful Life” (once more scheduled for Christmas eve on NBC) or “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” (Dec. 1 on CBS).

Given that these specials have been simply that — particular — after they rolled round yearly within the pre-DVR period, that is unlikely. But appropriately for the vacations, hope springs everlasting.

Music specials! This 12 months, everybody desires in on the old-time Christmas particular act, which incorporates: “CMA Country Christmas” (ABC, Nov. 30), Carrie Underwood (HBO Max, Dec. 3), Mariah Carey (Apple TV+, Dec. 4), Dolly Parton (CBS, Dec. 6), “High School Musical: The Musical: The Holiday Special” (Dec. 11, Disney+), Argentine pop singer Diego Torres (HBO Max, Dec. 18), and a Garth Brooks-Trisha Yearwood reside live performance (CBS, Dec. 20).

“Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey” (Netflix): Recently launched on Netflix, this energetic unique musical stars Forest Whitaker as a toy maker — robbed of his greatest concepts — who rediscovers the vacation spirit when his granddaughter enters the image.

“The Lego Star Wars Holiday Special” (Disney+): Spoofing the legendarily unhealthy 1978 “Star Wars” vacation particular, this animated hour celebrates “Life Day” — and 40-plus years of cinematic historical past — with the characters from the newest trilogy.

“Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square” (Nov. 22, Netflix): Featuring unique songs from Parton’s vacation album, the film maybe not surprisingly has an inordinately excessive sugar content material, with Christine Baranski because the Scrooge-like determine who intends to evict the inhabitants of a small city, earlier than discovering vacation cheer (and some different surprises). The songs aren’t particularly memorable, so the film — directed and choreographed by Debbie Allen — falls into the class of these you actually must be within the temper/spirit to observe.

Kristen Stewart and Mackenzie Davis in 'Happiest Season on Hulu.

“The Happiest Season” (Nov. 24, Hulu): A contemporary twist on the vacation film, as Mackenzie Davis (“Irresistible”) brings Kristen Stewart residence for the vacations, with out having come out to her household or informed them that they are a couple. Messiness ensues, with a supporting solid that features Mary Steenburgen, Aubrey Plaza and “Schitt’s Creek’s” Daniel Levy.

“12 Dates of Christmas” (Nov. 26, HBO Max): A courting present with a vacation twist, as singles search for love at a “fairytale castle” in Austria.

Godmothered (Dec. 4, Disney+): Jillian Bell is a fairy godmother-in-training on this film set across the holidays, making an attempt to help the only mother who had truly reached out for assist when she was a younger lady.

'Illumination Presents Minions Holiday Special' (Illumination and Universal Pictures)

“Illumination Presents Minions Holiday Special” (Nov. 27, NBC): An animated particular that includes the strange-talking characters from the “Despicable Me” franchise, consisting of 4 new shorts.

“Dear Santa” (Dec. 4, on demand): A documentary have a look at Operation Santa, the 100-year-old program of the US Postal Service to take needy youngsters’s letters to Santa and fulfill their needs.

“Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch Musical!” (Dec. 9, ABC): “Glee’s” Matthew Morrison stars because the irascible Grinch on this stage model of the story, being carried out in London.

“A Creepshow Holiday Special” (Dec. 18, Shudder): In the “something different” division, the horror anthology collection is bringing its personal spin to the Christmas-themed particular with an episode written and directed by its producer, Greg Nicotero, on the AMC Networks streaming service.

Yes, in 2020, even the vacations include a contact of horror.

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