Lifetime is slowly catching up to the 21st century, one gingerly progressive step at a time: Last year, the network included its first-ever same-sex kiss in one of its holiday movies. This year, it’s taking it up a notch and actually featuring a full same-sex romance. Get ready, senescent America!
The plot of The Christmas Set Up sounds very sweet, actually. According to the Hollywood Reporter,
The movie will follow Hugo, a corporate lawyer in New York who heads home to Milwaukee for the holidays, where his mother arranges for him to run into his secret high school crush, Patrick. As their mutual attraction grows, Hugo is faced with a decision to accept a promotion in London or remain in Milwaukee.
Lifetime plans to air a total of 30 new movies during its annual holiday block, and The Christmas Set Up is just one of its many stabs at diversity: Another will feature a Chinese American family, and still another will star Ali Stroker, who uses a wheelchair. Tiffany Haddish is also on board to executive produce a movie called Christmas Unwrapped.
“We are thrilled to continue our legacy of creating a holiday destination that is welcoming to all at Lifetime,” Amy Winter, the network’s head of programming, said in a statement. “With more new movies than any one cable network for streamer, I couldn’t be prouder of the incredible talent joining us in front of, and behind the camera, on these new holiday movies.”
Lifetime seems to have picked up the baton where it was dropped last year by its rival, the Hallmark Channel. In January, Hallmark ousted CEO Bill Abbott after the network came under fire for banning (and then un-banning) a Zora commercial featuring a same-sex wedding. Hallmark is expected to show up with its own diverse lineup in an attempt to make up for its past sins, but it hasn’t announced anything yet.