The First LGBT Movie From Lifetime Is Groundbreaking — But Flavorless

For the first time in its 36 year history, Lifetime will air an LGBT love story as an original movie. It’s groundbreaking but still dull.
Ben Lee Blake Lewis
Black Lewis and Ben Lee will star as a married couple on Lifetime, and in real life. | Source: Instagram
  • Lifetime has announced that they’ve cast their first LGBT love story.
  • “The Christmas Setup” will star Ben Lewis and Blake Lee, two actors who are married in real life.
  • While it’s great that the women’s network is breaking ground this way, they need to consider different representation for LGBT people in their movies in the future.

Lifetime watchers can expect their first LGBT love story this Christmas.

For the first time in the network’s 36 year history, a cheesy Christmas love story will feature two gay men. “The Christmas Setup,” which will star married couple Ben Lewis and Blake Lee, is your standard network fare of a meet-cute, mildly perilous hijinx, and Fran Drescher.

And while it’s great that the network has decided to end its embargo against LGBT folks, it also needs to realize that LGBT folks don’t neatly fit into one box.

Lifetime Has Mostly Received A Positive Response

Aside from the right-wingnuts that tweet random Bible verses in response to the film’s impending promise of Sodom and Gomorrah, Lifetime has mostly received a positive response to this announcement.

Ben Lewis — who met Blake Lee at the world premiere of the film “Scott Pilgrim vs. The World” — shared his excitement for the upcoming movie on his Instagram page.

There’s good-weird and bad-weird. 2020 has been bad-weird…but starring alongside my husband @blakeleeblake (not to mention my old friends @ellewongster, @chadjc and the ICON @officialfrandrescher) in Lifetime’s first gay Christmas movie (directed by @patkmills) definitely qualifies as good-weird. In fact, it’s the most surreal, wonderful early-Xmas gift I could ask for.

Lifetime
Congratulations to Ben Lewis and Blake Lee for helping Lifetime bring their cheesy Christmas love stories into the 21st century. | Source: Twitter

Now that Lifetime has joined us in the 21st century, will they add a bit more flavor to their progressive story next time?

One Size Does Not Fit All

As many people, correctly, pointed out on Twitter, this Lifetime film — like many that the network typically airs — is bland and homogeneous. It features a nearly all-white cast in an upper-middle-class setting and no other “struggles” outside of the social constraints of being homosexual in a not-quite-accepting society.

Lifetime
Lifetime still finds a way to be predictable. | Source: Twitter

But just as one size doesn’t fit all in straight relationships, one size doesn’t fit all in gay relationships, either. When will Black LGBT people get representation on the network? LatinX LGBT people? Asians? Trans folks? Gender non-binary/non-conforming folks? Asexual folks?

Slow and steady wins the race, but to Lifetime’s credit, at least they’re running in the right direction.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of CCN.com.

Aaron Weaver edited this article for CCN.com. If you see a breach of our Code of Ethics or find a factual, spelling, or grammar error, please contact us.

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Bernadette Giacomazzo

Bernadette Giacomazzo

Bernadette Giacomazzo is an editor, writer, and photographer whose work has appeared in Teen Vogue, People, Us Weekly, The Source, XXL, HipHopDX, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Post, BET.com, and more. She is also the author of The Uprising series and is the CEO of the acclaimed G-Force Marketing & Publicity firm, which has been featured in The Hollywood Reporter and has scored film, television, radio, and print placements for celebrity clientele worldwide. Reach her via email. , her MuckRack profile here, or her LinkedIn profile here.

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