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Review: '12 Dates Of Christmas' Mouthwatering, Groundbreaking

by Noe Kamelamela
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Monday Nov 30, 2020
Review: '12 Dates Of Christmas' Mouthwatering, Groundbreaking

Not to be confused with the adorable blind date movie of the same name, "12 Dates of Christmas" takes three twenty-something single Americans and sets each of them up on twelve blind dates with a variety of equally gorgeous strangers. The end goal for all of the participants is taking their ultimate date home for Christmas.

Against the Austrian backdrop of snow-covered hills outside and the holiday-bedecked warmth of a castle inside, each of our intrepid heroes navigates first date conversations, first date fumbles, and sparks of attraction. While these cutie pies have good looks and wit aplenty, the connections are not always immediate, the flirty banter is not always cute, and the decisions are, as one would hope from reality television, enhanced for maximum drama.

The casting setup is unfair for everyone equally. These dating options are all near-equivalents regarding physical attractiveness, and if you are wondering, yes, every person on screen is mouth-wateringly delicious. The three leads, Faith, Chad, and Garrett are a beautiful woman and two handsome men who are hoping for romance. Each date seems also on the same page, or at least hungry for a lifelong relationship and not just on the show for potential fame. The leads and the dates all get to also see their dates interact with the other leads and dates, which generates strong emotions. When negative vibes pile up and threaten to derail the momentum of the show, Natasha Rothwell's peppy, comic narration, combined with the upbeat soundtrack, can shift a viewer back to a merry mood.

I am happy to note that there is a mixed race cast overall, which has been my personal bone to pick with dating reality shows since dating scenes can seem segregated even in major cities. Additionally, gay men and their loved ones also have the opportunity to see men kindle fascination and flirtation with other men. It is rare to be able to see men talking about how much they want to build a life with another man, as well as their desire to find one special man to bring home to his family. Chad and Faith are a straight man and woman, but having similar long walks and deep talks also presented between Garrett and his dates as deserving of the same amount of investment feels like another positive change.

"12 Dates of Christmas" serves up eye candy as an appetizer with a main course combination of mixed signals and straight talk. Hopefully, lasting love will be the real dessert.

"12 Dates of Christmas" premiered on HBO MAX Nov. 26.

Noe Kamelamela is a reader who reads everything and a writer who writes
very little.

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