“Well, this is completely insane.”
Genre: Romance With Extra Schmaltz
Streaming: Netflix, Amazon Prime, Tubi
Synopsis: Dr. Tasha Mason is a pediatrician in a small hospital in the woods. So when Prince Alexander – Tasha’s brother’s BFF and her high school nemesis – gets a broken leg at a nearby ski resort? Let’s have him stay in Pedes for the next few weeks! And whoa, it’s almost Christmas. Looks like Alex and Tasha are going to get cozy. Because of course they are.
Unwrap or regift? Based on the Harlequin romance book “St. Piran’s: Prince on the Children’s Ward”, by Sarah Morgan, this over the top romance almost gave me diabetes with the way it hits you over the head with its sweetness.
Oh jeez this prince dude. Fake tan, overly whitened teeth, smarmy tone of voice… Just ugh. Yeah, once I got used to it, it wasn’t so bad. But that first moment of WHUT? Killed my vibe. But Charles Shaughnessy as the King! I was a huge Days of Our Lives stan back in the day, so it’s always nice to see him.
And I needed that nice to balance out the heavy-handed use of the most egregious romance tropes known to screenwriters:
- Less than twenty minutes in, and Dr. Tasha is absolutely smitten. And the Insta-Love is real, y’all. Prince Playboy has an ongoing spat with his dad, because the King doesn’t think Alex is royal material.
- The surveillance that drives the beginning of the plot being borderline stalky.
- Kids in the chemo ward opening up the playboy’s heart.
- Getting To Know You Again montage set to an upbeat holiday-themed love song.
- A “you clean up nice” coming down the stairs reveal.
- 3rd act surprise that throws a wrench into the romance our leads are building up to.
- Money buying happiness. (Okay. So this one I’m not mad at. Because I’m a sap for “surprise, your family is here” and “presents for all the kids” moments.)
There’s more, but those are the greatest hits… Fine, one more that really stuck in my craw. The “Big Bad” – the Head of Medicine – is a typical Pureflix villan, complete with correcting Tasha’s “Merry Christmas” with a “We say Happy Holidays”. *eyeroll* It’s a completely irrelevant comment that was a record scratch for the overall romance vibe.
The good? There’s a sibling chemistry between Tasha and Jeff that blends snark and heart nicely. And I loved Melinda Shankar – aka the “villainous” Talvinder from Slasher season two – as the Prince’s stuffy attaché.
For those days before the holidays when you’re wrapping gifts and want some holiday mush playing in the background. And there’s a sequel (available on UPtv), for those all-nighters.
Score: 2.5 out of 5 Hos.