Last Updated on December 25, 2023
“Christmas at Pemberley Manor,” “Pride, Prejudice, and Mistletoe,” and “Sense, Sensibility & Snowmen” on The Hallmark Channel? It’s true! As part of the “Countdown to Christmas” line-up of originals, Hallmark Channel is airing television movies in 2022 that are modern-day takes on Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility.
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If you want some lighthearted romance Hallmark-style, and you’re okay with very (very) loose adaptations of the classics, you’ll be getting your dose of super sweet Christmas movies this season.
In the upbeat and playful “Christmas at Pemberley Manor,” Darcy (Michael Rady) falls in love with Christmas again – and falls in love with Elizabeth as well. From the cast to the on-screen chemistry, Jessica Lowndes (Elizabeth Bennett) says she loved the whole experience of making this movie, which was shot on location in Essex, Connecticut over a 15 day period. “This is a perfect Christmas movie because it’s based on two characters that are very famous in literature, which I love.”
Talking about the Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle adaptation, she said “I was a huge fan (of the period drama), growing up. My mom made me watch the six-hour special, and I loved it.” Us too, Jessica, us too. But “Christmas at Pemberley” has one magical addition that never made it into Pride and Prejudice: Santa. When “Pemberley” opens, we learn that Elizabeth has mailed off her letter to the jolly man, asking that he help her meet her true love. And like Elizabeth says, “Nothing is impossible at Christmas.”
A second Austen-inspired Hallmark special, “Pride, Prejudice, and Mistletoe,” is based on the book of the same title by New York Times bestselling author, Melissa de la Cruz. The book is a “sweet, sexy and hilarious gender-swapping, genre-satisfying re-telling, set in contemporary America and featuring one snooty Miss Darcy.” Sounds like our female Darcy (Lacey Chabert) may need a little help from her leading man if she’s going to come down to earth and find happiness.
There’s also a movie on the schedule that’s inspired by Sense and Sensibility, and a spin on Dickens. Read on for airdates and details about each movie — with spoilers — but can you really spoil a Hallmark movie?
Christmas on Hallmark 2022 for Period Drama Fans
Christmas at Pemberley Manor (2018)
Airs Monday December 26, 2022 at 2/1c
As in Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy get off to a rocky start. Event planner Elizabeth Bennett (Jessica Lowndes) just landed her first break organizing the holiday festival for Lambton, Connecticut, where Pemberley Manor resides. She has a sunny disposition, is strong-minded (and just a bit judgy), and she gets things done. Wealthy New York business tycoon William Darcy (Michael Rady) is lacking in Christmas spirit, and has just arrived in the small town by helicopter. It’s been years since he’s been back, and he’s there to sell Pemberley to someone who’s going to tear it down and build condos in its place. Gasp!
At the local cafe, Darcy’s nervous assistant cuts the line to get his boss’ coffee, and Elizabeth marches over to the car and takes Darcy to task for being hard to work for. Elizabeth won’t find out for a while that she has misread him, but right away Darcy has a sense that there’s something special about this woman.
George Wickham (Cole Gleason) is Lambton’s mayor. Elizabeth and Wickham have history – he asked her out in college by writing a dinner invitation inside a copy of Jane Eyre, because they shared a love of British authors. It was only one date, but George still carries a torch for her. Elizabeth is oblivious to his feelings, but they could still get in the way of Elizabeth getting her Christmas wish.
George and Elizabeth work to make the festival the best ever, but a water main breaks and she’s forced to find a new venue. Pemberley Manor was once known for its holiday cheer and Elizabeth thinks it would be the prettiest spot for the event.
Mr. Willoughby used to be the caretaker at Pemberley. Now he’s retired, and Kristofer, a man who bears a striking resemblance to Santa Claus, is running things at Pemberley. At first Darcy is reluctant to let Elizabeth use Pemberley for the event. But before long, he recalls childhood memories of holidays at the estate and Darcy’s all-business demeanor begins to wane and he feels the Christmas spirit — and an attraction to Elizabeth — wash over him. When they spend time together to prepare for the event, Elizabeth finds herself falling for Darcy.
As you might expect, things don’t go as planned, and Elizabeth’s boss Caroline Bingley shows up to take charge – and get in good with Darcy. On the night before Christmas, Elizabeth wishes for a way to save the festival, stop Pemberley Manor from being sold and revive her holiday romance. With a little help from Kristofer, whose resemblance to Santa might be more than coincidental, the young event planner just might receive the Christmas miracle she’s hoping for.
“Christmas at Pemberley Manor” was inspired by Mr. Darcy’s Night Before Christmas by Julie Petersen: Clement Clarke Moore’s Christmas classic meets Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice when Mr. Darcy gets his own visit from St. Nicholas. In this parody of the beloved original poem, Santa teaches Darcy the true meaning of the holiday and helps him get what he’s always wanted—a wife!
Watch the TRAILER
“Christmas at Pemberley Manor” is AVAILABLE to STREAM
Starring Jessica Lowndes, Michael Rady, Cole Gleason, Maddie McCormick, Ben Estus, Steve Larkin, Elaine Hendrix.
Pride, Prejudice, and Mistletoe (2018)
Airs Thursday December 22, 2022 at 10a/9c & Wednesday December 28, 2022 at 4/3c
In case you didn’t catch this in our opening sentences above, you should know that the new Hallmark movie is adapted from a Pride and Prejudice variation of the same name, by Melissa de la Cruz. In the book (and in the movie) Darcy is a woman, and the Elizabeth role is filled by a male character named Luke.
Darcy (Lacey Chabert) has always worked hard to prove herself and be successful on her own terms, even choosing to start her own company, rather than work with her father. Returning to her hometown for Christmas, Darcy reconnects with an old rival, restaurant owner Luke (Brendan Penny), and they are forced to plan a charity event together. As Darcy spends time with her family and Luke, she starts to realize what matters most in life and sets out to mend her relationship with her father, and possibly fall in love.
In the book, Darcy Fitzwilliam is “29, beautiful, successful, and brilliant. Darcy’s never fallen in love, never has time for anyone else’s drama, and never goes home for Christmas if she can help it.” This time she’s only off to spend the season with her family in Pemberley, Ohio because her mother is sick.
In the movie, Luke is in the restaurant business, and in the book he’s a carpenter. In both he’s someone who values the simple things in life, like spending time with family, and his Lizzie-like-prejudice that he’ll need to shake centers around preconceived notions of big-city girls. Now if only Darcy can let go of her pride we might get our happy ending.
Watch the TRAILER
“Pride, Prejudice, and Mistletoe” is AVAILABLE to STREAM
Starring Lacey Chabert, Brendan Penny, Genevieve Kang, Ali Hassan, Catherine Thomas.
Sense, Sensibility & Snowmen (2019)
Airs Wednesday December 21, 2022 at 2a/1c
In this Hallmark Movies & Mysteries original movie, Christmas enthusiast party planners Ella and her sister Marianne clash with client Edward a not so jolly toy company CEO.
After inheriting the family party planning business, frivolous Ella (Erin Krakow) attempts to prove her mettle to her sensible sister, Marianne Dashwood (Kimberley Sustad) by taking on a new client less than two weeks before Christmas. The uptight, all-business Mr. Edward Ferris (Luke Macfarlane) challenges Ella every step of the way, that is until he realizes her charm and playfulness have not only won him over to her way of thinking but are also capturing his heart.
Watch the TRAILER
“Sense, Sensibility & Snowmen” is AVAILABLE to STREAM
Starring Erin Krakow, Luke Macfarlane, Kimberley Sustad.
Airing Tuesday December 27, 2022 at 2a/1c, catch “A Dickens of a Holiday!” (2021): To make the 100th anniversary of her hometown’s Victorian festival a success, Cassie invites action movie star and former high school classmate Jake to play Scrooge in “A Christmas Carol.” Stars Brooke D’Orsay, Kristoffer Polaha. AVAILABLE to STREAM
The 2016 Hallmark movie “Unleashing Mr. Darcy,” a modern-day spin on Pride and Prejudice, has some wintery / Christmasy scenes: When Elizabeth decides to show her dog in competition, she clashes with the arrogant, complicated judge Donovan Darcy. Airing Tuesday January 10, 2023 at 12/11c.
And while not inspired by the classics, fans of period-set movies and contemporary-set Hallmark movies might enjoy “A Timeless Christmas” (2020): Charles Whitley travels from 1903 to 2020 where he meets Megan Turner and experiences a 21st Century Christmas. Stars Erin Cahill and Ryan Paevey. Starring Erin Cahill and Ryan Paevey. Based on a Hallmark Publishing original novel. Also try “The Spirit of Christmas” (2015): 12 days before Christmas, Kate is trying to close the sale of a historic inn, only to find Daniel, the ghost of a man who died a century ago, and he needs her help to unravel the mystery of his annual holiday haunting.
If you enjoyed this post, you’ll want to wander over to The Period Films List. You’ll especially like the Best Period Films: Christmas Classics list. You’ll also want to see the review of Hallmark’s A Christmas Memory.