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Inside the brand new crop of ‘raunchy as hell’ Christmas films shaking up TV

As the vacations rev into excessive gear, households in all places will collect to wrap presents, trim timber, sip eggnog and bathe within the glow of the reward that by no means stops giving — the made-for-cable Christmas film.

The annual downpour of peppermint-scented tales starring photogenic low- to mid-level celebrities has turn into a holiday-themed flood, boosting one of TV’s most reliable — and profitable — cottage industries. A minimum of 145 new movies are debuting this yr on Lifetime, Hallmark, BET+ and quite a few different networks.

Most of those titles — “Dancing By way of the Snow,” “Gingerbread Miracle” and “Nantucket Noel,” to call simply three — place the enchantment of Christmas because the treatment for all ills: grief, melancholy, monetary woes, loneliness and household estrangement. In these alternate realities, romances are chaste, political and racial conflicts are nonexistent, small-town values are sacred and there’s no such factor as a pandemic.

However this season, one community is giving the proverbial snow globe a vigorous shake.

Viewers switching the dial would possibly come throughout a good group of girlfriends debating the dynamics of “tossing the salad” and the extra delicate “consuming sweet” on their method to a Santa-themed amusement park, the place they take Ecstasy and different substances. Or a bunch of drag queens and proclaimed “sluts” dressed as dominatrixes competing in a Christmas carol competitors, singing an X-rated model of “The 12 Days of Christmas.” Or a well-known survivalist bragging throughout a chat present about consuming “bull testicles” to extend his sexual urge for food. Or a younger woman spying on a division retailer Santa having intercourse with one among his “elves.” (After their tryst, “Santa” plugs his sideline job dancing in “The Stocking Stuffers — A Triple XXXmas Spectacular.”)

These eventualities and others seem in tasks developed by Eva Longoria, Jamie Foxx, Nick Cannon and Kim Fields as they be a part of forces with VH1 for its new “Naughty or Good” vacation movie slate. Spiced with raunchy dialogue, rowdy characters and outrageous shenanigans, the tasks deliver a sharper edge to the tried-and-true blandness of the Christmas film style.

“We wished to interrupt the mould in a loud method,” stated Nina L. Diaz, president of content material for MTV Leisure Group, which is producing the movies. “Christmas films normally supply consolation meals, which is nice. However Christmas movies which are disruptive, edgy and extra numerous are lengthy overdue. We wished to have a contemporary, naughty-or-nice tackle the traditional style. We additionally wished to open doorways to contemporary voices and have a extra inclusive slate of films that you just haven’t seen earlier than.”

Rupaul co-stars in a free remake of Lifetime’s 2020 movie “A Very Charming Christmas City” in “The Bitch Who Stole Christmas.”

(VH1)

An undercurrent of sexual pressure simmers between a workaholic discuss present host and a well-known outdoorsman in “Adventures in Christmasing” (Nov. 29). RuPaul and 20 drag queens from his “RuPaul’s Drag Race” reality-competition sequence present mischievous mayhem in “The Bitch Who Stole Christmas,” set in a Christmas-obsessed small city (Dec. 2). Foxx is an govt producer of “Hip Hop Household Christmas, by which a distinguished household of hip-hop musicians tries to reverse its scandalous picture by collaborating in a stay Christmas particular (Dec. 6).

In “Let’s Get Merried” (Dec. 13), a heartbroken Christmas hater vows to get married throughout a bachelorette get together at Santa’s Hamlet, the place she and her posse speak about graphic intercourse and get excessive. And a gangsta rapper tries to show his life round in “Miracles Above a hundred and twenty fifth Avenue” (Dec. 20).

Fields, Longoria and others collaborating within the VH1 movies say they’re unabashed followers of the standard Christmas film. “It’s one cause why preserve doing them,” stated Fields, who reunited together with her “Details of Life” castmates for 2019’s “You Mild Up My Christmas.” “These films are feel-good magic. Our trade is infamous — in a great way — for offering that form of expertise.”

Added Longoria: “Thematically, they’re about bringing household collectively, whether or not it’s your chosen household or your born household. They’re about coming collectively and about love. like films that make you are feeling good and remind you what the Christmas spirit is about, however extra so what humanity is about.”

Nevertheless, they agreed that the style was due for a vacation makeover.

benefit from the style, however particularly take pleasure in pushing the envelope within the style,” stated Fields, who stars in and govt produced “Adventures in Christmasing.”

“The vacation films are sometimes overly magical or overly staged,” stated Longoria, an govt producer of “Let’s Get Merried.” Our film is raunchy as hell and hilarious, nevertheless it’s additionally down-to-Earth, nearer to actual life. These are actual girls with actually sophisticated relationships and in several levels of their lives. simply love that all of it takes place in a Christmas world.”

A lot of the technique behind “Naughty or Good” is to deliver extra multicultural taste to the style, which has been criticized for spotlighting predominantly white casts. Hallmark and Lifetime have responded lately, and the casts for his or her movies have turn into extra inclusive.

Tia Mowry, Kelly Rowland, Tatyana Ali, Roselyn Sanchez and Rekha Sharma are among the many stars featured on this season’s “It’s a Fantastic Lifetime” schedule on the cable channel, as an illustration, the place lots of the movies’ romances are interracial. The community can also be selling its first lesbian romance vacation film, “Below The Christmas Tree.”

However Longoria says the networks have a number of catching as much as do. “You possibly can’t simply examine the field and throw the Black or brown individual up on a poster,” she stated. “There must be illustration behind the digicam as properly.”

The VH1 movie taking essentially the most pointed jab on the tropes of the standard cable yuletide film is “The Bitch Who Stole Christmas,” which seems to be a spoof on Lifetime’s 2020 “A Very Charming Christmas City.” In that movie, a cynical journalist visits Solvang (“essentially the most Christmas-y city in the usA.”) to show the “true story” however winds up falling in love after being breathlessly overcome by its vacation attraction.

“The Bitch Who Stole Christmas” stars Krysta Rodriguez (“Smash”) as journal reporter Olivia Lapelle, dispatched by heartless editor Hannah Contour (RuPaul) to get the “actual filth” on Tuckahoe, “essentially the most Christmasiest city in America.”

Nick Cannon as a glamorous gangsta rapper in a Christmas movie.

Nick Cannon star, author, director, govt producer in “Miracles Throughout a hundred and twenty fifth Avenue.”

(VH1)

Moments after she arrives, the townspeople erupt into an elaborate manufacturing quantity, “It’s a Tuckahoe Christmas.” Mayor Coont (Anna Marie Horsford) oversees the Winter Ball. The city’s head of safety, Huge Russ (Andy Ridings), retains taking his shirt off, exposing his toned physique and washboard abs. His flirtation with Olivia is messy, as a result of he can’t cease speaking about his useless spouse.

The script is filled with double-entendres (“If by development you imply dealing with heavy pipes with my fingers, then yeah, I do development.”) The ensemble consists of longtime “Drag Race” judges Michelle Visage, Carson Kressley and Ross Matthews.

“I’m a sucker for Christmas films — the cheesier the higher. However we’ve had sufficient of that common, boring formulation,” Visage stated in a telephone interview. “This film has essentially the most drag queens ever, and so they’re doing what they do — bringing the enjoyable. It’s a Christmas miracle, and a lot enjoyable to observe. “

Cannon (“The Masked Singer”) has a unique agenda with the rowdy musical “Miracles Above a hundred and twenty fifth Avenue.” The movie stars Cannon as a former gangsta rapper searching for redemption as he returns from rehab to assist out his father’s struggling church.

Mentioned Cannon: “I wished to do the story of the Prodigal Son as a musical. The flicks embodies hip-hop tradition — the nice and the dangerous. It exhibits the journey of a person who actually is searching for peace, household and love. I feel everybody can relate to that.”

Cannon wrote, directed, govt produced and composed unique music for the movie: “I noticed an actual void. As a musician, I wished to deliver gospel music to the forefront. These early morning Christmas providers are actually what Christmas is all about for my household.”

Diaz stated the community will proceed to provide offbeat and numerous films to tackle different holidays, equivalent to Valentine’s Day and Halloween. “We need to preserve doing films which are sudden and disruptive and have a novel spin on these timeless occasions.”

Ho ho ho.

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