Something snapped yesterday when Starbucks brought back pumpkin-spice lattes for 2021. But perhaps nothing exemplifies this tilt toward fall-weather cheug more than today’s announcement that food-media personality Ree Drummond, a.k.a. the Pioneer Woman, will star in Food Network’s first-ever original scripted movie, Candy Coated Christmas. Food Network making its own Christmas movie is frankly genius, as Pioneer Woman’s existing aesthetics and audience are already barely a step removed from Hallmark and Lifetime’s whole holiday vibe. It will be exciting to see a non-scripted network try its hand at fiction, starring a non-actress. Variety’s announcement included this line: “The movie marks Drummond’s first attempt at acting.” The key word being “attempt.”
Candy Coated Christmas will tell the story of a young woman “who returns to her mother’s home town of Peppermint Hollow after her plans to launch a business are derailed by circumstance.” You know a TV Christmas movie is gonna be good when it centers around a career woman returning to a small town named after something Christmasy. Drummond will play a local bakery owner “who befriends the woman and introduces her about town.” Curiously, this Food Network original won’t actually air on Food Network, but will instead stream on Discovery+ in November. “Ree is the epitome of a female-skewing Food Network talent,” the streaming service’s chief lifestyle brands officer told Variety. “We put her and all these fun ideas into a pot and came up with this fun idea.” Putting female-skewing talent and fun ideas in a pot to get another fun idea is literally the reason for the season, ask anyone.