Home For Christmas (Netflix) isn’t as funny or as dramatic as it would like and is too slight to leave much of an impact, but it’s a charming effort nonetheless.
Home for Christmas (Netflix) debuted on December 5, 2019. This review is spoiler-free.
Per-Olav Sørensen has already made an impact on Netflix with his ripped-from-the-headlines teen drama Quicksand, though his latest effort, six-part dramedy Home For Christmas, is unlikely to be as attention-grabbing. In it, Ida Elise Broch plays Johanne, a young woman whose single status is a point of contention for her family and friends. So much so, in fact, that she lies about having a boyfriend and then has no choice but to try and find one before Christmas, a relatively unoriginal setup that sees her cycling through potential suitors who include Felix Sandman (also of Quicksand fame), Mads Sjøgård Pettersen and Kingsford Siayor.
Some of this is quite charming, a lot of it feels a bit contrived, and none of it is as funny or dramatic as it would like to be, in large part thanks to a very slight season order of six 30-ish-minute episodes. It also doesn’t help that the show makes its point about Johanne’s singleton status all too obvious, kicking the series off with a rather tedious and unlikely sequence of events and conversations which all revolve around people either assuming she has a man already or encouraging her to find one. Because the show’s so truncated these events have to occur one after another, which makes the picturesque and extremely Christmassy setting feel as if it’s populated entirely by people who have never met someone who wasn’t in a relationship before.
Still, this is nitpicking. The heart of Home For Christmas is addressing expectations, especially those placed on women, and particularly around this time of year. That’s a welcome theme and the show is a likable if unmemorable exploration of it. It might hold your attention this weekend if you’re in the market for something of this sort.
Jonathon is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has been Senior Editor and Chief Critic of the outlet since 2017.