REVIEW: The Hallmark Sequel "Haul Out the Holly: Lit Up" Is as Silly as the First One

Emily and Jared are looking forward to celebrating the holidays together as a couple, and they prepare to work with their neighbors on Evergreen Lane to make this year's Christmas celebrations the best yet.  When a house on the block goes up for sale, the soon-to-be-neighbors are holiday royalty, but they are so competitive that they nearly ruin Christmas for everyone. Starring:   Lacey Chabert, Wes Brown, Stephen Tobolowsky, Ellen Travolta, Melissa Peterman, Seth Morris, and Jennifer Aspen Image:  Hallmark Media Haul Out the Holly:  Lit Up Has a Moral When the residents of Evergreen Lane learn that their new neighbors are the Jolly Johnsons--famous holiday reality stars--they are thrilled to welcome them to the block.  Everyone assumes the Johnsons will fit right in since they share their same affinity for elf culture. Emily, Jared, and the rest of the holiday crew quickly realize that the Johnsons aren't interested in joining in on the fun--they plan to take over. Image:  Tw

Hallmark's "The Royal Nanny" Is a Fun, Modern Spin on Mary Poppins

An MI5 security service agent goes undercover as the royal nanny and must overcome the challenges of her assignment, like resisting the charms of Prince Colin, while keeping the family safe at Christmas.

Starring:  Rachel Skarsten and Dan Jeannotte

The Royal Nanny Movie Poster
Image:  Hallmark Media

Hallmark Introduces a Spy Movie!

When The Royal Nanny premiered in 2022, it broke the Hallmark romcom mold.  

Unlike all previously formulaic movies, this movie focuses more on action and intrigue than the warm fuzzies of new love.

Intelligence gathers that the royal family, particularly Princess Rose and her two children, could be in danger.  The best way to protect them is for Claire to go undercover as the nanny so she can keep the children within arm's reach.  Evidence emerges that someone inside the palace is involved in the plot against the royals, but multiple red herrings throw viewers off the scent, making the outcome a little less predictable.

There are actually bad characters in this movie who lack regret for their unsavory actions--the polar opposite of most Hallmark movies where antagonists ultimately change for the better.

Viewers can expect an abduction and watching thugs get their butts kicked, which is highly irregular for Hallmark, although no scene is remotely violent or disturbing.

The Royal Nanny is a much-needed change-up for Hallmark!

Claire Champion is a Kick-Ass Mary Poppins

The Royal Nanny pays homage to Mary Poppins, and you'll never look at an umbrella the same way again!

Similar to Poppins, Claire is given charge over two children--Princess Elle and Prince Robert--and despite feeling ill-equipped to manage the task, she quickly learns to take the job in stride and even manages to win them over.

Elle and Robert are quite mischievous and known for driving away most nannies.  With her spy background, Claire isn't easily duped by their trickery and turns the tables on all their pranks.  The children are impressed, and Claire earns their respect.  When she proves she also knows how to how fun, she is officially welcomed into their Royal Fun Club, orchestrated by their uncle, Prince Colin.

The irony of it all is that Claire grew up an orphan--she doesn't know the first thing about taking care of children.  When Ms. Lansbury is given 24-hours to transform Claire into a reputable nanny, it seems like mission impossible. 

Ms. Lansbury is known as "Scary Poppins."  Not only is she a strict taskmaster and drill sergeant when it comes to training nannies, she is also part of an extensive nanny spy network.  

The best lesson Claire learns is that a nanny "always plans for rain."  Who knew an umbrella could double as a lethal weapon?

The Royal Nanny
Image:  Hallmark Media

Where Does the Romance Factor In?

Prince Colin initially finds himself at odds with Claire, but as she ingratiates herself with his sister and the children, he is charmed.

In no time at all, Claire finds the family she has always wanted, and her life becomes supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!


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