Episode 3 – | Review Score – 2/5
Netflix have a good record when it comes to Christmas-themed TV shows. Dash and Lily was pretty enjoyable while Three Days Of Christmas, Over Christmas and Home for Christmas all offered a different side helping of Xmas cheer, complete with all the trimmings. And with Netflix determined to push the envelope this year, releasing 23 different holiday movies and shows across the next month or so, Christmas Flow is the latest to hit the platform. But unfortunately it’s not very good.
To backtrack though, the story revolves around two star-crossed haters who slowly grow to love one another. On the one hand you have Marcus, a big hip-hop rapper who’s getting sued for insulting and incitement for violence against women. Fast forward three months and Marcus’s career is a mess. People are angry about his lyrics (have these people never listened to hip hop?!) and he now needs to put out a watered down Christmas album to calm the masses.
Around this time he meets Lila, a journalist and enthusiastic feminist. She also has her own site, Les Simones. Marcus decides to use this young woman to clear his image, which obviously doesn’t go down well. And thus, this tale of romance and drama ensues.
The trouble is, Christmas Flow feels noncommittal right the way through its run-time. It’s so focused on hitting those conventional romcom beats and feel-good Christmas vibes that it forgets to actually inject some personality into this. Christmas Flow is certainly not funny enough to be considered a comedy and the drama across the three episodes – mostly stemming from family issues for Lila and Marcus – wastes way too much time building up the families and not enough time developing Marcus and Lila’s relationship.
That is ultimately where Christmas Flow lacks, well, flow. It’s a real Christmas misfire, failing to tap into what makes romantic dramas so endearing and dragging out its run-time to an unnecessary three episodes. There’s also an absolutely bonkers final episode that completely misses the point (more on that in a separate post.) This should have been a 90 minute movie in truth, and the decision to drag this out across three chapters is an odd one and feels unearned.
Christmas Flow isn’t a difficult watch but it is a difficult one to recommend. This show fails to capture its characters effectively and push the issues between them, dancing in that weird gray area that operates between romcom and melodrama. You may really enjoy this French series but I’m going to have the play the Grinch on this one; there’s no holiday cheer in this.
Verdict - 4/10