Why 'A Little Daytime Drama' May Be 2021's Best Hallmark Movie

A Little Daytime Drama Ryan Paevey Darin Mitchell Jen Lilley Maggie Coleman Hallmark
 Hugh Tull / ©2021 Crown Media United States LLC

If you believe that Hallmark movies are the bedrock of happy content, then you are undoubtedly aware of “A Little Daytime Drama.” The recently released gem stars Hallmark superstars/daytime favorites -- Jen Lilley and Ryan Paevey -- as estranged exes who are thrown back together again. As the title suggests, things get “sudsy,” making the movie one of 2021’s best Hallmark movies yet, and here is why.

“A Little Daytime Drama” centers on Jen Lilley’s Maggie, the soon-to-be head writer of a struggling daytime drama. Hence, the title. The suits are concerned about the sliding ratings and urge Maggie to bring back Ryan Paevey’s fan-favorite actor, Darin Mitchell. Darin left the soap for a stage production that turned out poorly, and he has been trying to recover ever since.

Uncertain if Darin will agree, Maggie sweetens the deal with creative control and a brief four-week contract. With that, the two are back in business, and so are their lingering feelings for one another. Jen Lilley once again lights up the Hallmark screen with her effervescent Maggie. In addition, the chemistry and connection between Lilley and Ryan Paevey lights up the screen, making it one of their best Hallmark pairings.

Why You Will Love It

There is so much to love about this little movie. Like “My Christmas Love,” the romance is well-executed, and the story is pleasantly respectful to soaps while acknowledging the “fun” parts of the genre. Thanks to soaps, there are no shortages of inside winks. For instance, Ryan Paevey got his big break on “General Hospital,” playing detective Nathan West, and his “A Little Daytime Drama” character has a similar trajectory.

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In a wild bit of trivia, Jen Lilley and Ryan Paevey have both starred in the daytime drama “General Hospital” at different times. Lilley temporarily played the role of Maxie Jones for a time on “General Hospital,” taking the reins over from Kristen Storms. After Lilley finished filling in, Storms’ Maxie later met and eventually married Ryan Paevey’s Nathan West.

While Lilley and Paevey were like ships crossing in the night on “General Hospital” in “A Little Daytime Drama,” they share the screen to the max. Jen Lilley and Ryan Paevey have never been better. Lilley brings the best out of Paevey and vice versa. The script is funny, sweet, and big-screen worthy with a welcomed break in romantic suspense in light of the most recent “Mystery 101” installment.

One More Trivia Tidbit

In another bit of trivia, “A Little Daytime Drama” has two “cast members” from the fictional soap celebrating a milestone wedding anniversary. A potential reference to “Days of Our Lives” veterans Bill Hayes and Susan Seaforth Hayes, who are as married as their on-screen counterparts, Doug and Julie Williams. Connecting it all back, Jen Lilley starred on “Days of Our Lives” for a few years, starting in 2013.

The more you know soaps, the more there is to pick on, and Judith and Sandra Berg’s script underscores the struggles the industry has undergone in the last decade. Hopefully, it engenders some empathy and curiosity from viewers. If you have ever watched, you know the clichรฉ of “soap acting” is just that. As Jen Lilley and Ryan Paevey illustrate, many soap actors are worthy of any stage or medium.

“A Little Daytime Drama” is the early Hallmark movie Christmas gift you need. So, if you can, please catch it. The movie is airing on the Hallmark Channel, which you can watch via cable or cut the cord and watch via Philo. That is how I have managed to keep up with my favorite channel(s): Hallmark Channel, Hallmark Movies and Mysteries, and Hallmark Drama.