Radio Christmas: Secret Santa & a Little Town Called Bethlehem!

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What's a Christmas love story without a little misunderstanding?

One of Lifetime's Christmas movie queens, Keshia Knight Pulliam, was back for Radio Christmas, a cute holiday film about a radio DJ who got relocated to a little town called Bethlehem.

We're talking Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, for the record.

Kara - Radio Christmas - Tall

Kara was a joyous, bubbly woman in the holiday spirit 24/7 and all 365 days a year. How else can you describe a woman who runs a Christmas radio station all-year-round?

She would be the worst person to be around if you're one of those people who can't find the holiday spirit until 12:01 on December 25.

She's most certainly the type of person who has her Christmas decorations up by October.

Christmas DJ

But, according to the woman with two different names, she was a magnetic person whom everyone in town loved.

We'll have to take Nettie/Mary Lou's word for it since we didn't get to see Kara living it up in town with the regulars.

For a town with a rich history like Bethlehem, we barely got to experience it, or the close-knit community vibe discussed.

Kara and Andie Hug - Radio Christmas

We got hints of it here and there, and Mary Lou gave us some gossip, but not nearly enough of it.

Kara: I'm really beginning to get the feeling, and please tell me if I'm wrong, that you don't really like me, and I don't know what I did?

Kara's interactions were limited to Mary Lou/Nettie, Warren, and of course, Scott and Andie.

Warren and Nettie - Radio Christmas

Hmph. The cardinal rule is to show, not tell, people!

So, no, unfortunately, Radio Christmas did not take full advantage of its setting in a little town called Bethlehem, but what can you do?

We also didn't learn much about Kara outside of her being a Christmas-obsessed DJ with a dream of having a podcast of her own take off.

She also had a blinding smile with pearly teeth as gloriously white as fresh snow. She looked adorable in hats with the poofballs on top, and she adored Andie to pieces.

Kara - Radio Christmas - Tall

Andie was a sweet girl, and Kara found the young girl's many letters and pictures gratifying and touching.

Sure, everyone loves the romance in these films, but sometimes the best love stories are the unexpected ones that aren't romantic love at all.

Was anything cuter than Kara and Andie or even Kara and Mary Lou?

Fate isn't Kara winning over Scott and falling in love in the end.

New Buddies - Radio Christmas

No, fate came in the form of Kara's job sending her to the same town as her biggest fan, who happens to need a fulfilled wish.

It's crazy how a fire breaking out at their hub meant almost everyone at the radio station had to be shipped off all over. Like, wasn't one of the places Alabama?

How do you go from Philadelphia to Alabama? I would say "what about the snow on Christmas," but for some reason, it was never snowing in Philidelphia.

Snow coated all of Bethlehem, but Philly was sunny and bright every time they showed it.

Huge Snowstorm - Radio Christmas

Did winter storm Megan hit Philly at all? It didn't look like it.

Also, shoutout to Lifetime for continuity across movies. On Christmas Reservations, winter storm Megan hit them as well.

Kara: Seriously, everyone talks about this amazing nice guy that you are but I haven't seen him.

Scott: But I am a nice guy.

Kara: You haven't been to me. -

Kara had her eyes on Scott from the moment she met him, but he wasn't the most inviting and welcoming person. In fact, the entire movie other characters would mention how great he was, but we never saw it.

Scott's Sweater - Radio Christmas

Not to say he wasn't a great guy or scrumptious-looking, but they were trying to sell us on how he always does so much for others at the expense of himself.

But other than the Secret Santa reveal, we never saw it. I guess that was the point of him getting the tree together for the tree-lighting, but he's a lawyer and has this reputation, and I wish we saw it more.

His coldness with Kara was a bit much too. He kept mentioning this vague comment about commercialization and corporate businesses.

Scott and Andie - Radio Christmas

He was all about the small-town and small-business thing, but again, it would've been nice to see those small-businesses he supported.

Mary Lou/Nettie: She has a magnetic personality and people have really taken to her. And she's really beautiful too.

Scott: What are you up to?

He didn't like who Kara worked for, but he and his daughter listened to her radio station all of the time, and Andie wrote to Kara frequently.

It was a bit flimsy as far as their initial tension. It was so petty and incongruous to what we were shown or told, so we didn't need it.

Scott's Sweater - Radio Christmas

Kara was drawn to Scott instantly, and it seemed her attraction to him was solidified once she realized he was the same man Andie spoke about her letter.

She wanted her father to find love, and our girl Kara was applying for the position.

Once she was able to win him over with her effervescence and skillset with tween girls, not much was going to get in their way.

Scott: I was going to cook dinner for one tonight but I would much rather cook for two.

At some point, Kara had an assignment that went from determining who was the secret Santa who saved the town's Christmas activities for the next century (yeah, they said that), to maybe revealing that Mary Lou was a famous actress named Nettie.

Nettie - Radio Christmas

Then she thought about doing a story on Warren anonymously wooing Nettie. None of it made much sense, and it was mostly background fodder for the big conflict.

Kara wanted to know the identity of Bethelem's Secret Santa. It would've been the perfect chance for her to explore the town more, but it didn't happen.

After the barest hint of an investigation, she learned the truth at dinner with Scott.

Scott - Radio Christmas

He was the one who saved the town, but he didn't want anyone to know about it. He was a humble guy.

He didn't want the town and community to feel indebted to him. He also wanted Andie to know that money doesn't solve everything, and all acts of kindness, however minute, matter.

It was fair, and it was a lovely message.

Scott: Hey, Kara.I got something to tell you.

Kara: What?

Scott: I'm the secret Santa.

It especially was to this girl whose parent raised her on the importance, beauty, and necessity of acts of kindness, small or big, or random.

Huge Snowstorm - Radio Christmas

Every act counts.

Scott's connection with Kara meant he was compelled to tell her the truth, but he also trusted she wouldn't share it.

And in some ways, she wanted to share. Not only would it help her out with her promotion, but it was a beautiful and inspiring story.

Plus, she wanted the man of whom she developed feelings to be acknowledged the way he deserved.

Kara and Andie Hug - Radio Christmas

She was honest with him about what happened, too. Somehow, their talk was recorded and sent to her boss. She could've lied and told Sheri that Scott didn't sign the waiver, but Kara is honest all around.

So, it sucked when the loudspeaker at the event they saved was blasted for all to hear, and he blamed Kara.

She never hid anything from him before, so why did he assume she would've betrayed him now?

Christmas DJ

Little did any of them know, it was Andie who was behind exposing her father. It's always a precocious child with pure intentions.

Who knew Kara teaching her how to make sound bites and piece together her playlists for the radio show would come back and bite her in the butt?

Kara: Anyone would be lucky to --

Scott: Anyone would be lucky to what?

Kara: Anyone would be so lucky to have you in their lives.

Andie was determined for her wish to come to fruition. She wanted her dad to be happy and she had to know Kara made him content and captured his heart.

Scott and Andie - Radio Christmas

It makes you wonder what things are like when she's in Hong Kong with her mom and stepfather. She must spend a lot of time worrying about who will be there for her father when she's away.

Was anyone else curious about how her mother ended up working in Hong Kong and when Scott and her separated, and how he ended up with full custody of his daughter?

But another issue was Scott's decision to save the town meant selling the family business, and his father wasn't happy about it, but they never discussed it.

Scott's Dad - Radio Christmas

It was another one of those random storylines thrown in for padding, but you can't complain when it involved Tim Reid, right?

The guys hashed it out in the end, so it worked out for the best.

Radio Christmas had a lot of things thrown in, and some of them weren't necessary.

Sometimes it didn't follow through with any of the typical tropes they tossed at us.

Warren and Nettie - Radio Christmas

Kara and Scott came up with a way to save the town's Christmas performance, but it was hard to get attached to the event. They didn't build it up, or show it, or show the community.

Nettie's identity as a former actress was random with no real purpose. She and Warren were cute, but it wasn't as adorable as the two side couples in the previously reviewed Christmas movies.

The movie gave us some of the cutest staples, but they didn't develop or flesh them out.

But alas, it was cute, regardless.

And, Keshia Knight Pulliam is beautiful, and the best, and she and Michael Xavier were cute together.

They also had good chemistry, and did I mention they were cute together? Because they were.

Over to you, fellow Lifetime Fanatics. On a scale of 1- piping hot chocolate on a frosty night, how warm and fuzzy did Radio Christmas make you?

Feel free to hit the comments below.

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Review

Editor Rating: 4.2 / 5.0
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Jasmine Blu is a senior staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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