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The Streaming Giant’s Quest for Christmas Dominance Begins With Netflix’s “A Christmas Prince”


You’ve been missing out if you haven’t seen Netflix’s “A Christmas Prince.” It’s not that the film isn’t entertaining. It’s fine; we’ll get to that in a minute. What matters is that this fairy tale rom-com has aided Netflix in its effort to rob cable networks of Christmas.

The Streaming Giant’s Quest for Christmas Dominance Begins With Netflix’s “A Christmas Prince”

While networks such as Lifetime, Freeform, Up, and Ion have produced holiday rom-coms and programming, Hallmark remains the undisputed king of Christmas television. The channel debuted its new original Christmas movies in October, reigned supreme over the five-day Thanksgiving weekend, and continues to make waves with films like “The Christmas Train” and “Switched for Christmas.” Despite Hallmark’s seeming domination, Netflix’s “A Christmas Prince” is the holiday season’s most buzzed-about title for a variety of reasons. For starters, it looks a lot like Hallmark movies and other rom-coms that have come before it. The narrative – an American woman wins the love of a European prince — continues America’s infatuation with instant royalty (see “The Princess Diaries,” “The Prince and Me,” and others). Grace Kelly pulled it off! And now Meghan Markle will, too, and the timing of their engagement couldn’t be more ideal for this film.

It also boasts white stars who are well-known to audiences; Rose McIver of “iZombie” understands how to elevate hilarious material, while Ben Lamb has mostly acted in period dramas, though he did have a role in “Divergent.” It also has everything a rom-com should have: a little deception, cartoonish antagonists, a fashion montage, a major outfit reveal, an 11th-hour breakup, and a happy ending. It’s also a little stupid and horrible, which makes it ideal for hating on and mocking on social media. “A Christmas Prince” has elicited a lot of heated reactions from viewers. The prince’s appearance has been criticised (not hot enough, oldish-looking). It’s also widely assumed that everyone with whom Amber (McIver) works is a jerk. Prince Richard (Lamb) should have ruled in his sister’s favour. Furthermore, “A Christmas Prince” isn’t really festive (although, to be fair, nothing is Christmas-y enough compared to Hallmark).

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