#AWelcomeHomeChristmasHomecoming, #TheChristmasYuleBlog, and more – TV Reviews

Table of Reviews

A Welcome Home Christmas – Review

A Welcome Home Christmas – Lifetime – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Veteran Chloe Marquee counsels soldiers who need help transitioning into civilian life.  During the winter, she volunteers at the thrift store, soup kitchen, and every place else you can think of volunteering.  The holidays are Chloe’s busiest time of the year.  Her mother, Lynn, and boss, Colonel Cole, believe Chloe spreads herself too thin.  Lynn wants her to carve time for herself and find love.  But Colonel Cole wants Chloe to focus on her actual job.  She promises to give her job 100%, but she refused to reduce her volunteer work.  When she meets with General O’Toole about surprising her young neighbor, Savannah, with having her parents come home for the holidays, he adds a new duty to her volunteer list.  He wants Chloe to run and fundraise a toy drive.  The military has minuscule funds, so she will have to come up with them by asking neighbors and local businesses.  Chloe smiles and takes on the new job.  Then she sees a picture of a veteran with a group of children.  This veteran is a man she counsels named Michael Fisher.  He was on tour for ten years, recently came back, and retired.  He missed his appointment with Chloe, so she had to hunt him down.  At first, he didn’t think he needed help to transition into civilian life, but later, he changed his mind.  She drives to Michael’s house and asks him about the picture.  Overseas, he ran a toy drive for the local children.  She tells Michael she has a purpose for him, running their toy drive.  He agrees, and they decide to run the toy drive like a combat op.  They will name it, give it a new face, and add a touch of Santa magic.  While Chloe tries to deny it, Lynn can see the love between Chloe and Michael.  But Chloe won’t pursue it because the love of his life is still deployed, but she is not who Chloe thinks she is.

Typically, the movie is about a soldier coming home, falling in love, and deploying again.  This time, the movie is about two vets healing each other while helping the community.  This film touches on hardships veterans face while transitioning into civilian life.  Soldiers know their duties and the steps to follow them.  Civilian life is a bit more relaxed which can hinder a soldier’s sense of purpose.  You will never worry about the love of Michael’s life.  The film allows you to predict who he loves with a single longing glance.  With a sprinkle of Christmas magic, three soldiers will be returning home to people who love them.  And you will be enjoying all of it.

I give it 4 out of 5 stars

Oh, so you still have a paying job then – Lynn

Well, for starters, you could have shown up to your appointment – Chloe

Do I? I kinda like my social community – Michael

Are you married – Savannah

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The Christmas Yule Blog – Review

The Christmas Yule Blog – Lifetime – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Caroline works for the World Vista blog, and they placed third for the international travel award.  Her boss, Camilla, is happy for the team and gives the next group of travel assignments for Christmas, but she tells Caroline to stay after the meeting.  Camilla noticed Caroline’s writings lost their passion.  Caroline never strings her post together and leaves her adventures behind her.  Camilla wants Caroline to find her joy for writing and her love for Christmas.  Camilla assigns Caroline to go to Carte de Amor.  Caroline assumes it’s in South America or Spain; however, it’s a New Mexico B&B in Camilla’s hometown.  She hopes the town’s Christmas spirit will rub off on her and inject itself into her writing.  After a countryside train ride, Caroline meets Oscar, Camilla’s cousin.  Oscar gives her a ride to the B&B and tells her about the owners, Mama and Mr. C.  Caroline loves the decorations but hates the accommodations.  The B&B doesn’t have cell service, WiFi, nor TVs.  However, it does have Oscar and his son to show her around the town.

You can skip this movie.  Caroline is condescending and rude to the local town in her first post.  While the townspeople bend over backward to welcome her, she spits in their faces.  She does become a better person at the end, but you feel for the town.  The town expresses their hurt over her first article and lets their feelings known.  However, they don’t turn their back on her. Instead, they welcome her and invite her to join in the festivities.  You and the town deserve better.  

I give it 2 out of 5 stars

Is this because I took 3rd place – Caroline

Nobody said life was fair.  You either curl up or cope – Oscar

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Holly & Ivy – Review

Holly & Ivy – HMM – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Melody starts unpacking her car and meets her neighbors, Nina, and Nina’s daughters, Holly and Ivy.  Melody moved into a rundown home for a job opportunity.  However, after she bought the house, her job opportunity fell victim to budget cuts.  So, Melody will fix her house while looking for a new job.  She makes her first trip to the hardware store, and Adam sees her looking at doorknobs.  He tries to mansplain doorknobs to her but is taken aback by her knowledge on the subject.  He offers to help in the future if she ever needs it.  Later, while job hunting, Melody sees Nina, Holly, and Ivy at the library.  She helps several children find books, including Ivy.  Melody volunteers at the library because they don’t have a job for her.  Later, she sees Nina and her family return from Christmas tree shopping, and Melody extends to help Nina remove the tree from the car’s roof.  Then, Nina gets dizzy and Melody notices.  Later the women sit and talk.  But when Nina tries to leave, she collapses.  Melody won’t let this incident slide and quietly demands the truth.  Nina tells Melody she lost her nanny, and she doesn’t have the energy to keep up with everything.  Melody proffers to help three afternoons a week, and Nina proffers to pay.  After a while, Melody can see there is more to the story.  So she asks Nina again.  Nina admits to having lymphoma twice, and believes it’s coming back.  While Nina knows she will lose the fight, she worries more for her children.  Nina has no family and needs someone to watch Holly and Ivy after her death.  Melody makes a huge gesture and tells Nina she will take the girls.  She grew up in foster care and wanted a family of her own.  Nina thinks the idea is perfect, but the state will not.  Melody doesn’t have steady employment, and her home is not up to code.  If Melody doesn’t give her house in order, pun intended, she will never be able to adopt Nina’s girls, Holly and Ivy.  Melody will have some elves by her side.

After the credits roll, you will take a deep exhale.  This movie has every emotion possible while giving you a love story.  As Holly and Ivy spend time with Melody, they create a loving rapport with Melody and Adam.  While watching the movie, you know your heart will break, and waiting for it will be painful.  This film is sobering, and it captures the love of the season.  Watch with your family and Kleenex.

I give it 5 out of 5 stars

You shouldn’t let your budget overpower you – Adam

Well, you can talk to me – Melody

Elves.  You have elves in your home – Nina

Because sometimes dreams take a little time – Holly

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On the 12th Date of Christmas – Review

On the 12th Date of Christmas – Hallmark – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Jen is a talented game designer who refuses to stand up for her work or contributions.  She baked cookies for her boss, Tony, to thank him for recommending her for the promotion.  Stunned, Jen learns Tony left abruptly after finding a new job.  He never got around to recommending her.  A co-worker tells her to talk to Tony’s boss, Alastair, and recommend herself for the Head Game Creator position.  She walks to his office but chickens out.  Then, Alastair sees her on the stairs and calls her into a meeting with Wanda.  Wanda owns and runs a local hotel chain, and she wants a game to drum up new business before the soft opening.  But the ideas pitched by other companies are very lackluster and unimaginative.  Before Aiden and his partner, Bill, could sell their game idea, Bill’s wife went into labor.  He had to leave, so Alastair asked Jen to take Bill’s place.  Aiden pitches a scavenger hunt, but Wanda is unimpressed.  Under her breath, Jen comments that the scavenger hunt should lead to lesser-known holiday-themed places in Chicago.  And the hotel’s soft opening can be the last clue.  Wanda loves the idea of getting locals and out-of-towners involved by choosing areas known to only a few, and each clue will have a date night activity.  Instead of the 12 days of Christmas, it will be the 12 dates of Christmas.  Alastair tells them to come up with 36 possible clues by the next meeting, so they have plenty of options for Wanda.  Jen and Aiden take the assignment.  While Jen is ready to collaborate, Aiden wants to work alone and reconvene later.  Aiden wants to make a good impression because he wants the Head Game Creator job.  He can use the raise to fix his dad’s old home before his dad comes back from an overseas hospital.  After working apart, Aiden and Jen come together and come to two conclusions.  First, Jen hasn’t been in Chicago long enough to come up with ideas, and Aiden is too much of a loner to be romantic.  They will have to come together to create the game’s clues.  When they realize they are eyeing the same promotion, will love or the job come first?

With Vanilla Meltaways, Buche de Noël, Pear Cider, and Eggnog Cocktail, this movie will give you plenty of new food ideas for the season.  So, keep some food and drinks within reaching distance while watching.  Two people and one job, you would think someone would have to lose.  If that’s your thought, it proves you weren’t paying attention.  The foreshadowing in this movie is very subtle.  You will love Aiden and Jen clue creations while they fall for each other with cooking classes, wine tasting, and painting.  She helps him open up to the people around him, and Wanda gets Jen to speak up for her work.  This film is a fun movie for the holidays, not a favorite, but fun.

I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars

My friend, Jennifer hallway, doesn’t speak up at work – Carla

Not everybody is who you think they are.  And that’s a good thing – Aiden

What? This is just my face – Shannon

No, I know I’m good at this – Jen

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The Christmas Aunt – Review

The Christmas Aunt – Lifetime – 2 hours and 0 minutes

While at work, Rebecca gets a call from her sister.  Their mother broke her leg, and she will not be able to watch the kids, so Rebecca’s sister asks if she can do it.  Rebecca knows her sister’s trip to Africa is non-refundable, and the kids, Maddie and Dan, need someone to look after them.  So she agrees to go to Nashville early and stay for two weeks.  Rebecca’s boss, Blake, has concerns about the impromptu trip.  The gallery has a lot of time-sensitive deliveries and a critical meeting with a generous art buyer.  Rebecca promises to come back for the client meeting and handle everything else via phone until then.  The kids are excited to see their aunt and shocked she is staying for two weeks.  But it’s Rebecca that’s taken for a loop because her sister’s house has 0 Christmas spirit: no lights, no tree, no decorations of any kind.  Seeing it’s affecting her niece and nephew, Rebecca comes up with an idea.  Over the next 12 days, she will leave a card for Maddie and Dan from Santa.  Each card will have a Christmas event to get them in the spirit.  Her mom thinks it’s a great idea, but first, the kids have to go to bells practice.  Before she can walk the kids into the Nashville Arts Center, Rebecca gets a call from Blake.  She lets the kids go inside and handle work.  After her phone call, Rebecca walks inside the center and sees all their magnificent art and community outreach.  She has always wanted to do community outreach at her gallery, but Blake always vetoes her ideas.  She finds Maddie and Dan after their bells practice and meets their instructor.  It’s her old friend, Drew.  They never dated, but he broke her heart when he chose his fiancé over her.  Now, he is single and living in Nashville.  He wants to make up for old times and help her with the kids’ Christmas events.  With their connection growing, Rebecca’s mother reminds Drew that Rebecca has a problem with change.  He will need to fix the past to gain her trust.  As Rebecca gets closer to her family and Drew, work keeps calling.  She will have to decide between the life she left behind in Nashville or the life she left behind in LA.

The writer tried to create some tension when Maddie and Dan’s parent’s flight gets grounded due to fog, but this is a Christmas movie.  So you know how that will end.  Lots of foreshadowing settles all the conflicts in Rebecca’s life before the script presents the obstacles to the viewer.  The standout in this movie is the letters from Santa.  It will give you a few ideas for things to do with your kids during the pandemic.  This film won’t be a favorite or require much of your attention to follow.

I give it 2.5 out of 5 stars

Yeah, we were like two awkward peas in a pod – Drew

I just like giving you a hard time, that’s all – Rebecca

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Killer Competition – Review

Killer Competition – LMN – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Sitting in front of her computer, Nicole doesn’t know what to write for her Westbridge college essay.  The selective school accepts 300 students a year and never from the same school.  It’s her parents’ alma mater, and she wants to live up to the family name.  At her locker, Nicole gets a peek inside Victor’s school locker. He has a Westbridge pendant inside.  She is dumbstruck.  He never said he wanted to go, but Victor applied after he heard her talk about it.  She is furious. If he gets in, her chances of getting into Westbridge goes to zero.  He laughs and walks away.  Nicole airs her frustrations to her best friend, Sarah, then looks at the GPA print out.  Nicole is still in a 4-way tie for valedictorian with Victor, Ryan, and Jenna.  Sarah presents Nicole with an idea.  They can swap Victor’s midterm with one they created with a lower grade.  He will be out of the running for valedictorian and lose his shot at Westbridge.  Nicole agrees to do it.  In the dead of night, they break into the school and switch the test for Mr. Shepard’s English class.  After a few days, Victor gets his English midterm grade, and he can’t believe it.  He charges at Mr. Shepard’s desk and demands to retake the test.  A B+ is not acceptable.  Mr. Shepard tells Victor that retaking the midterm is against school policy.  Seeing Victor is hurt, Nicole wants to confess, but Sarah convinces her not to do it.  The next day, the school gets devastating news.  Victor committed suicide, and a horrified Nicole believes it’s all her fault.  Sarah tells Nicole if she confesses, the school will blame her, and her college prospects will go down the drain.  A few days later, the police ask questions.  They believe someone forged the suicide note and murdered Victor.  Nicole and Sarah must hunt for the killer before the detective finds out about the midterm swap and suspects them.  And their suspect list matches the killer’s victim list: the valedictorians.

This mystery has plenty of misdirects and a host of wild characters to follow.  Keep your scorecard closeby because you will need to take notes.  Just when you think you are right, you’re proven wrong.  And when you think you are wrong, you may be right.  With a well-written mystery, this film covers legacy enrollment, college admission practices, and student loan debt.  It is worth watching to the very end.  

I give it 4 out of 5 stars

Enjoy life at your second choice – Victor

So, let’s ruin it for him – Sarah

Listen, maybe we should just forget about this – Nicole

There’s nothing more infuriating than unfulfilled potential – Mr. Shepard

Watch your back, unless you don’t have to – Ryan

Don’t.  We’re both too smart to play dumb – Jenna

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A Very Country Christmas Homecoming – Review

A Very Country Christmas Homecoming – UPtv – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Zane and Jeannette finish up their honeymoon with some horseback riding.  They want to return to Jeannette’s daughter, Quinn, but they don’t want to return to their actual lives.  Zane is a famous country singer, and he gets recognized everywhere he goes.  While he’s happy to entertain, he doesn’t want Jeannette and Quinn to fall prey to the paparazzi.  Once they get home, Zane tells Jeannette, I have a special surprise for Quinn.  He has legally adopted her and wants to give her the paperwork for Christmas.  Jeannette is over the moon with joy.  As they prepare for the holiday, a familiar face comes through their door.  It’s John, Quinn’s paternal grandfather.  After his son, Oliver, died 11 years ago, John disappeared from Quinn’s life and never looked back.  Now, he wants a second chance to connect with Quinn.  Jeannette and Zane welcome John into their home, but John and Zane quickly bump heads.  John agonizes over Zane’s job and the unwanted attention it will bring on Quinn.  John knows a world of online trolls, body shamers, and incels are waiting to rip their lives apart with the sound of a camera’s shutter.  Zane promises to keep Quinn safe, but after a trip to the farmer’s market, everything changes.  A paparazzi spots Zane with Quinn and starts to take pictures.  Zane asked him to stop, but he wouldn’t.  Zane grabs the camera and smashes it on the ground.  The paparazzi claims assault, and Zane is on the cover of every gossip magazine and tabloid show.  Zane has to balance his career under the spotlight while being a good dad and husband.  All under the judgmental eye of John.  To get Zane’s life on track, he will need Cake, a car, and a song.

Give Cake a chance. She is the annoying, out-of-touch pop star we all know today.  But she is a decent person in the end.  Just to let you know, you will cry when you hear Quinn’s song for Oliver.  But it’s a good cry.  She connects the three men she loves with her awe-inspiring tribute.  Don’t write off Jolene and Chris.  They help bridge the gap between the past and the future while being the voice of reason.  Based on His Country Cinderella by Karen Rose Smith, this movie will be a favorite of the season (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer).    

I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars

The only thing I want for Christmas is to be home with you – Jeannette

In the history of forever, did calling someone crazy ever fix a situation – Chris

No father should have to outlive his son – John

For your old people fans – Cake

I’m definitely taking 5 – Jolene

What did you say – Zane

What’s taking so long. You want me to grab a tree and haul it home all by myself. Because I will – Quinn

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Cranberry Christmas – Review

Cranberry Christmas – HMM – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Pamela Franks interviews Dawn, lifestyle guru, about her ideas for Christmas.  Then, Pamela starts to asks questions about Dawn’s husband, Gabe.  Dawn smiles and tells Pamela that Gabe is busy working on their cranberry farm.  After the interview, Dawn heads home but not with a smile.  Months ago, Dawn and Gabe separated.  Now, they will be face to face and will have to deal with their issues.  To avoid going home, Dawn visits her sister Laurie first.  Laurie wants their grandmother to live with her, but their grandmother said no.  Laurie wants Dawn to convince their grandmother to move.  Gabe works tirelessly at the farm and worries about Dawn coming home.  He keeps information from her and dreads telling her.  He made an offer that will expand the farm and create more work.  When Dawn gets home, they are out of step and stepping on each other’s toes.  The next day, Dawn sees Gabe at the Cranberry Festival.  She assumed Gabe would be too busy, and he thought the same.  They decide to work on the Cranberry Festival together, but keep their distance.  Then, Dawn gets a call from Pamela.  She looked into the Cranberry Festival online, and wants to feature it in her Christmas special with Dawn and Gabe.  She will be sending a camera crew to record Gabe and Dawn before she flies into the small town.  Dawn wants to say no, but the Festival needs the publicity.  So, Dawn asks Gabe to pretend they have a good marriage until the camera crew and Pamela leave.  Seeing how much good the show will do, Greg agrees.  While they pretend to have a good relationship, the old flame start to spark.  When their dreams don’t fall in line, will they fall out of step again?

If only all break-ups could be this mature.  When Gabe and Dawn tell each other their dreams, neither laugh nor ridicule; both offer helpful suggestions and builds on the other’s dreams.  The love is there, but they need to find it.  Working on traditions and reliving the past helps them look towards the future and each other.  As they build each other up, you want them to find their admiration for one another.  And Gabe’s final gift to Dawn will make you cry.  This movie is a hit, and perfect for a Christmas date night.  

I give it 4.5 out of 5 stars

It’s not about being perfect, it’s about being perfectly you – Dawn

I only ask you because I know you miss it – Gabe

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One Royal Holiday – Review

One Royal Holiday – Hallmark – 2 hours and 0 minutes

Anna does some last-minute Christmas shopping and finishes her rounds at Boston General Hospital.  Before she drives to her father’s Kentsbury Inn, she decides to grab a cup of coffee.  Anna orders a donut, and the cashier tells her it’s a two for one special.  She offers her free donut to the man behind her.  He declines because he doesn’t take food from strangers.  Plus, he doesn’t believe it will be as good as the food in his home country.  Hearing his objections, Anna introduces herself to him, and he introduces himself as James.  She thinks he is attractive but cold.  Then Christopher walks in and gives James unfortunate news.  The airport is closed due to snow, and they can’t go back to the hotel because the roads to Boston are at a standstill.  Then Gabriella, James’s mother, walks in, and Anna offers a solution.  They can follow her to her father’s inn, and her father, Ed, can make arrangements for them.  Their driver refuses to take them to Connecticut because he will miss time with his family, so Anna offers a ride instead.  James tries to say no again, but Gabriella won’t hear it.  She graciously accepts Anna’s offer.  When they arrive, Anna goes inside to help while Ed comes outside and introduces himself.  Then Christopher lets their secret slip.  Gabriella and James are royalty, queen and prince respectively, and Christopher is their head of security.  Stunned, Ed doesn’t know what to do with himself but promises to keep the secret from Anna.  That promise lasts 5 seconds because Gabriella sees Ed’s horrible poker face and tells Anna the truth.  Anna can’t believe James never told her.  As they get settled in, Anna runs into her friend, Mayor Sarah.  Sarah made the Kentsbury Inn the headquarters for the town’s Christmas festivities, including a pajama ball.  Then Sarah, who follows royal hashtags, sees James and Gabriella and recognizes them.  She wants to put it in the town’s feed, but Anna begs her to stop.  Sarah stops and focuses her attention on Christopher.  As Sarah spends more time with Christopher, Anna spends time with James and learns all the pressure he is facing.  Last year, James gave a speech that fell flat.  He was able to use his father’s recent death as an excuse, but now he can not.  James has to give a heartfelt speech to his people but doesn’t know how to connect.  Good thing he has Anna to guide his heart.

Be prepared to laugh and clutch your pearls as Gabriella spills the tea.  Gabriella is a woman of the town with a crown, lets her feelings and instincts known, and she never apologies.  You will fall in love with her wit and charm.  Every character is necessary and given a full backstory to invest your time and energy.  While Anna and James’s romance takes a front seat in this story, it’s done correctly by interweaving it in smaller subplots.  You hold your breath for the big reveal at the end.  You will beg Hallmark for a part two next Christmas.

I give it 5 out of 5 stars

You literally just described this – Anna

I don’t generally accept food from strangers – James

Now, that I can understand – Gabriella

I’ll give them extra towels – Ed

Distance isn’t an excuse to give up on happiness – Sarah

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Categories: A Very Country Christmas Homecoming, A Welcome Home Christmas Homecoming, aaron tveit, Bea Santos, Ben Ayres, Bradley Rose, Brandon Quinn, Charlene Tilton, christmas, Countdown to Christmas, Craig Morgan, Cranberry Christmas, Cristine Prosperi, Greyston Holt, hallmark, Hallmark Movies and Mysteries, Hateful and Grateful, HMM, holiday, Holly & Ivy, Its A Wonderful Lifetime, Jacqueline Scislowski, Jana Kramer, Janel Parrish, Jarod Joseph, Jeremy Jordan, Kate Watson, Keshia Knight Pulliam, Killer Competition, Krystal Joy Brown, Laura Osnes, lifetime, lifetime movie network, lmn, Made for TV, Mallory Jansen, Marisol Nichols, Merry Movie Christmas, Miracles of Christmas, movie, Nikki DeLoach, On the 12th Date of Christmas, One Royal Holiday, review, Sara Canning, The Christmas Aunt, The Christmas Yule Blog, Tim Reid, Tom McGowan, Tyler Hynes, UPtv, Victoria Clark, Zak Santiago

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