November 27, 2015
One of our favorite December traditions is the annual deluge of original made-for-TV holiday movies. Many channels enter into the fray, but we’d like to propose no one pushes the boundaries of plot synopses quite like ABC Family. Generally their original holiday movies fall into one of three categories. The first is a movie that could easily just be a normal romantic comedy or family drama that is sprinkled with juuuust enough Christmas elements to qualify as a holiday movie. The second is taking a holiday classic and trying to put an original spin on it, either by replacing a plot point — or combining it with a second or even third film for a festive Frankenstein monster. The third category results from what we’d suspect is loading up on some hallucinogenics, blasting some Bing Crosby and seeing what lands on the page.
To celebrate the kickoff of ABC Family’s annual 25 Days of Christmas, we’ve put together this list, a celebration of the ridiculous plots that drive these movies, each their own little beautiful cinematic snowflake. All of them are available for streaming or download on a service of your choosing, while many of them will be airing on ABC Family this month (I’ll make a note of those for your DVR convenience). Now, without further ado, the most implausible ABC Family holiday movie plots, in increasing order of nuttiness.
Spoilers abound below. All times listed are ET.
11) Christmas Bounty
Let’s start with something relatively simple. Tory (Francia Raisa) is a former bounty hunter from a family of New Jersey bounty hunters. When a criminal from her past threatens her family, Tory’s temporarily pulled out of her life as a teacher in Manhattan and back into the fray along with her rich, upper-crust boyfriend, who’s not aware of her previous profession. Christmas Bounty also features former Real World housemate and WWE champion The Miz as Tory’s ex-boyfriend (nicknamed “Mikey Muscles,” obviously) and a Die Hard-level of gunfire for a holiday film. There’s no particular reason this film has to be set during the holiday, but it gives the whole thing a nice red and green hook.
Is it airing this month? Unfortunately, no.
10) The Mistle-Tones
Basically it’s Pitch Perfect, or any movie where a ragtag group of performers goes up against an established group — plus Christmas. Holly (Tia Mowry) is denied a spot in the Christmas pop music group the Snow Belles by the evil Marci (Tori Spelling) despite the fact a) Holly is a great singer and b) Holly’s late mother founded the group. Holly decides to start her own ensemble to compete with the Belles, and is surprised to find that her uptight boss Nick is secretly a talented vocalist and a crowd favorite at the local bar (think Duke Silver). She blackmails him into joining the group with a video of his karaoke performance and the two eventually begin falling in love while whipping their group of singers into shape. This movie also features the common made-for-TV holiday movie trope of “Choosing between a big promotion at work and family/love,” but receives bonus points for casting Holly’s dad with the All-Time Great TV Father, Reginald VelJohnson.
Is it airing this month? Many times. December 7 at 12:00 a.m., December 8 at 1:00 p.m., December 18 at 12:00 p.m. and December 23 at 7:00 a.m.
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