Hallmark's Holiday Movie Roster Features Gay Adoption Story Starring Jonathan Bennett

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Thursday September 24, 2020

The Hallmark Channel has announced a slate of 40 holiday movies - among them LGTBQ-themed "The Christmas House," starring Jonathan Bennett ("Mean Girls"), about a same-sex couple hoping to adopt a child, reports USA Today.

Even as the couple, Brandon and Jake (played by Jonathan Bennett and Brad Harder), wait for news about their adoption, they visit Brandon's parents for Christmas. The official synopsis of the film says that Brandon's parents, played by Treat Williams and Ana Ayora, have hopes that "bringing the family together to recreate the Christmas house will help them find resolution and make a memorable holiday for the entire family and community," USA Today reported.

Reporting on "The Christmas House," the New York Daily News recalled that, "About two months ago, the Hallmark Channel announced that its 2020 holiday movie selection would include LGBTQ storylines, characters and actors.

"Now, the television cable channel is making good on its promise."

The Hallmark Channel's Michelle Vicary, vice president in charge of programming, told the media, "Our holiday table is bigger and more welcoming than ever," and added that the channel hopes to "bring our millions of viewers much-needed levity and holiday cheer at the end of a tough year."

The news comes on the heels of word that Lifetime has cast married actors Ben Lewis ("Shadowhunters") and Blake Lee ("Parks and Recreation") as two gay men who meet cute in that channel's first LGTBQ-centric holiday film, "The Christmas Setup." The film will also star Fran Drescher of "The Nanny" fame.

EDGE reported previously on the plot of "The Christmas Setup": "Hugo (Lewis), a lawyer from New York City who goes to Milwaukee with his BFF Madelyn ('GLOW' star Ellen Wong), to spend the holidays with his mom Kate (Drescher), who happens to be in charge of the local Christmas festivities."

When Kate engages in a little holiday matchmaking to bring Hugo together with Patrick (Lee), the two have to figure out if the holiday magic they're feeling might lead to something more.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.