Radio Christmas (2019 Lifetime)
Synopsis (via Lifetime)
When her Philadelphia radio station is closed for repairs during the holidays, DJ Kara Porter (Keshia Knight Pulliam) is forced to broadcast from the small town of Bethlehem. Desperate to increase her numbers and get promoted outside of Radio Christmas – a year-round Christmas station, Kara seeks to uncover the identity of the town’s Secret Santa, an anonymous benefactor that saved all of Bethlehem’s Christmas festivities. Along the way, she discovers the true meaning of family, community, love, and of course, Christmas.
Kara Rogers is a Christmas music DJ. She gets fan letters from a little girl and has 300,000 listeners. Kara wants more and pitches her boss a podcast idea. (Something about Barista’s saving animals.) Her boss doesn’t even hear the pitch. She approves it. Things don’t go according to plan after an electrical fire shuts down the station. DJ Kara gets relocated to Bethlehem, PA, and if it goes well, she is going to get promoted.
At the North Star Inn in Bethlehem, Kara is welcomed by a white lady, Mary Lou, in an interestingly wrapped red scarf. (She is a former movie star.) She tells DJ Kara the town history and about a mysterious benefactor to the town. This benefactor donated enough money to the town to keep it running for a hundred years. A Secret Santa if you will. The town already has a handsome DJ named Scott, who knows everyone in the town. He is not excited about DJ Kara coming to town.
Meet cute happens when DJ Scott loses his key in a Christmas tree. DJ Kara helps him find them. He goes to pick up his kid from hockey practice, and she goes to a diner to eat freshly baked apple pie.
On her first day at the radio station, DJ Kara talks to the owner (Warren) about wanting to play Christmas music but also do some investigative reporting. Her idea is to report on the town Secret Santa Benefactor and sets up interviews with town people. When DJ Kara tries to get DJ Scott on her show, he declines because he doesn’t like BIG radio monopolizing all the small-town stations. His kid shows up and is the little girl who was writing her. Andie wants her dad to date because her mother is in Hong Kong, and he has no one to take care of him. (I guess she abandoned them?)
DJ Kara sees DJ Scott in a store. (Like Target, not an antique store.) She helps him pick out a present for his daughter. She asks him why he is so mean to her and then plugs her podcast Hometown Heroes with Kara. DJ Scott apologizes and asks her to get coffee with him. She thinks about it and tries to get him to interview for her podcast. (all this podcast talk so triggers me.) Then they get a Christmas Tree for the studio and decorate it. DJ Kara tells them about The Christmas Pickel. #Ad (A family tradition, which I also celebrate.) After trimming the tree, they record sound bites with NO EQUIPMENT. DJ Kara literally has the kid talk at a laptop with headphones on.
DJ Kara goes to one of Andie’s hockey games and talks with Scott’s dad (Played by Tim Reid.) He tells her that he has never seen his son so happy. After the match, DJ Kara goes to check on Andie, who is taking a long time to come out of the locker room. Andie stepped on her shirt with her skate and ripped it. She has to go to a holiday party and now doesn’t have anything to wear. DJ Kara trades clothes… with a child.
DJ Scott makes DJ Kara dinner, and they get to know each other a little bit better. We learn that DJ Kara grew up without a hometown and traveled a lot. She celebrates Christmas after the 25th because of her sister being an ER nurse. DJ Scott grew up in Pittsburg, and he also sends his daughter to Hong Kong to be with her mom after Christmas.
DJ Scott finally comes on her podcast. Instead of recording in the studio. They record at a desk in the studio with her laptop again. (This woman’s podcast is going to fail because of bad sound quality.) He admitted to being the Secret Santa and was very wealthy and sold his father’s business against his father’s wishes.). He doesn’t want anyone to know because he doesn’t want them to think of him different or feel they owe him something. They almost kiss but are interrupted by a phone call.
DJ Kara accidentally left the laptop recording on and emailed it to her boss without listening to it. Her boss is very excited and has put together a whole marketing package together. DJ Kara asks her to hold off on releasing the interview until she gets permission. When she asks him and apologizes for everything, he demands that she does not release it, and she promises not to even though she kind of wants to. (She calls her boss to tell her no via voicemail.) DJ Kara asks him is they are good, and he pinky promises that they are.
A snowstorm happens, and everyone in the town gets out their shovels and snowblowers to get the town square ready for the Christmas Eve Festival.
The Christmas Festival happens and tells the story of the town of Bethlehem, PA. Everyone is dancing to generic Christmas music when the next track starts to play the interview. (which is played so out of context, it honestly wouldn’t matter to anyone.) DJ Scott is so angry with DJ Kara, and they have a DJ battle!!! (Just kidding they argue and DJ Kara cries.)
Tim Reid makes a speech to his son. He tells him that he was never disappointed in him. The business meant a lot to him because he built it from the ground up with his deceased. He couldn’t be prouder of him.
DJ Kara finds out that her boss and assistant didn’t release the audio of the interview. It is Andie who dragged the interview into the playlist. She wanted everyone to know about how great her father is. Community is important; there is no deed too small. DJ Scott apologizes to her, and he is impressed with the response from the town. He wants to tell her all his secrets. (In bed!) DJ Kara will move to the town and who cares about the promotion. They kiss as the camera pans out, and the townspeople walk around them in two lines. So strange.
Minority Report: DJ Kara, Ariel. Kara’s Boss and co-workers, DJ Scot, his daughter Andie. Scott’s dad.
For a movie about a radio station, this movie had very little Christmas music.
Bethlehem, PA, is a real place. It is the seventh-largest city in Pensivalina.
I Hate Rudy Huxtable; this movie was OK.
🎄🎄🎄(3 Christmas Trees)
🍷🍷🍷 (3 glasses of wine required)
*Photo Credit: © 2019 Lifetime