Cure your burnout with these new festive shows | Arts + Culture

It’s the season of Charlie Brown’s Christmas trees, tough and tense holiday dinners with your drunk loved ones, eggnog and mediocre holiday movies. With the finals just around the corner, it’s hard to get into the holiday spirit by rushing for a chemistry exam that can make or break your mark. But those movies and TV shows just might cure you of your semester college burnout. So kick back with your hottest cup of hot chocolate (or vodka) and skip all your school obligations with this new vacation movie theater.

‘Love hard’

The holiday season can easily seem like the loneliest time of the year. And do you know what that means? Online dating. Netflix’s original romantic comedy “Love Hard” kicked off the holiday season early with an online dating love story that for some college students is perhaps all too relatable.

Natalie (Nina Dobrev), an LA-based writer who gets paid to talk about the woes in her sex life, flies to the East Coast to meet the dream man she met on a dating app. It turns out that the brooding, dark, tall and handsome man is actually a nerdy guy named Josh (Jimmy O. Yang) who lives in his parents’ basement. There is a silver lining, however, as Josh agrees to pair Natalie with the guy of his dreams (aka the real guy) if she “pretends” to be his girlfriend.

Yes, the whole “pretend dating” plot is cliché and has about as much depth as a fanfiction written by a 12 year old, and yes, some of the actors are so out of date you’d like them to be. each actor is Ryan Reynolds instead. But this cookie-cutter hot trash can, like most holiday romance comedies, is entertaining enough to keep your heart from shrinking like the Grinch.

silent night

‘Silent night’

While the holidays are a time of horrible love, joy and song, upbeat movies and cheesy romantic comedies can get boring. Fortunately, Hollywood almost always releases a thriller horror film like the upcoming “Silent Night” to counter the glaring joy of the holiday season.

The apocalypse is in the air when a couple invite family friends to a Christmas dinner in the deceptively idyllic English countryside. Reunions for the holidays are going like any old Christmas, but as the trailer suggests, not everything is as normal as it seems. The world outside the country house faces impending doom and no amount of eggnog or roasted chestnuts can save humanity from its impending extinction.

Starring Keira Knightley and Lily Rose Depp, “Silent Night” adds a whole new meaning to vacation survival.

“Silent Night” is slated for release on AMC Plus and in theaters on December 3.


‘Home Sweet Home Alone’

Any fan of ’90s holiday classics like “Home Alone” should have learned that forgetting your child at home puts your child in danger. But as Disney’s new version of “Home Sweet Home Alone” announced, some parents never learn.

This year’s film features the same childish antics as its predecessors, except for a Briton playing the troublemaker role. When a family flight to Tokyo separates them, Max (Archie Yates) is left behind, armed with a water pistol, and must defend his home against invaders who attempt to steal a precious family heirloom.

At this point, after five previous features, “Home Sweet Home Alone” doesn’t have much new to offer. There’s only a limited number of times you watch a boy use the guerrillas to defend his house until you realize you’re watching the same movie, but hey, that’s showbiz. Like “The Lion King” and “The Jungle Book” from Disney, this plays out like another cheap scam.

But for avid “Home Alone” fans looking for some PG-level violence, this might be the nostalgic trip you’ve been looking for.

You can now stream “Home Sweet Home Alone” on Disney +.

Hawk Eye

‘Hawk Eye’

As we pull on our ugly pajamas and Christmas sweaters, Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) hugs his Hawkeye costume for his first indie show. That’s right, our boy finally got the recognition he deserved – even if that recognition involves a ton of annoying Christmas music.

“Hawkeye” follows Clint after Thanos, on a New York vacation that turns sour after witnessing the abomination that is “Rogers: The Musical” (a Broadway superhero musical). After a confusion with shady Russian black arms dealers flirting with his past, Clint is brought back into the action world with a new protégé, aspiring archer Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld).

In many ways, this six-part series embraces the holiday spirit we all long for. It’s not only released in the weeks leading up to Christmas, but it’s also one of the first times the MCU has revolved its plot around a specific time of year (with the exception of “Iron Man 3 “). Between the fake snow, the holiday season and the musicals, it works like any other Christmas movie.

But make no mistake about it. “Hawkeye” has enough action and Christmas references to entertain Marvel and vacation enthusiasts.

“Hawkeye” is now airing on Disney +.

a boy called christmas

“A boy called Christmas”

Have you ever wondered about the epic origin story of merry old Saint Nicholas? Over the centuries, the origins of Santa Claus have taken many forms, but “A Boy Called Christmas” takes the most traditional form of folklore for Santa Claus.

Based on Matt Haig’s bestselling book, “A Boy Called Christmas” follows a young boy named Nikolas (Henry Lawfull) as he ventures to find his father in a forest of mythical elves. Accompanied by his reindeer, Blitzen, and his trusty pet mouse Mika, Nikolas embarks on a whirlwind adventure filled with bears and trolls, tyrannical despots and wicked aunts.

It’s a familiar story, stuffed with enough seasonal meanings and upbeat messages to make your eyes roll. But even if you’re not in the holiday spirit, “A Boy Called Christmas” delivers stunning visuals, much more visceral than your view of a parking lot out of a dorm window.

“A Boy Called Christmas” is available to stream on Netflix now.

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