The year 2020 has certainly highlighted the diversity of the word “strange.” From the unexplainable appearance of a series of mysterious monoliths, to the rise of the murder hornet, to the conspiracy to "Save Barron Trump," this year feels like we are living in a sadistic game of Mad Libs. So it should come as a shock to absolutely no one that Lifetime has partnered with Kentucky Fried Chicken to create a Lifetime Original Mini-Movie, aptly named A Recipe For Seduction, starring none other than Mario Lopez. Because at this point, why not, right?
In case you arrived at this and thought: The writers of SNL have gone too far, you are mistaken. This is a 100% real, not at all fake, 15-minute long thriller with a plot and everything. A Recipe For Seduction centers around a young heiress, who “contends with the affections of a suitor handpicked by her mother.” Enter a handsome chef named Harland Sanders (Lopez) who, armed with a sacred fried chicken recipe and a dream to take over the culinary world, wins the affections of said heiress and uncovers a devious family plot. If that doesn’t scream a 2020 short film, we don’t want to know what does.
In the trailer (yes there is a trailer and it is as glorious as you’d imagine), you see Hot Sanders, who rivals Hot Santa (Kurt Russell) and Hot Pope (Jude Law) — tight-fitting shirt at all. You're also served murder! Intrigue! Affluent white people with perfectly coiffed hair! Cropped shorts! And, of course, the lust-filled gaze of “the chicken man,” as Lopez’s character is referred.
And while we’re not above a good guilty pleasure, we do have some questions about this, um, entertainment decision. For starters, is Mario Lopez OK? Is he in some kind of precarious situation that would bring him to make such an interesting life choice? A quick google search shows that in 2019, Lopez left Extra for NBC’s Access Hollywood and in 2020, he reprised his famous role as AC Slater on the Saved By The Bell reboot. As an actor, television host, and author, he has amassed a net worth of $25 million. So this project wasn’t an act of desperation, it appears, but a gift that is surely going to keep on giving.
And that brings us to the Lifetime Network. Are the powers that be doing alright over there? Yes, the cable channel and subsidiary of A&E Networks is known for their deliciously clichéd, feel-good holiday movies and romantic comedies, but perhaps there’s an executive who has relied on KFC to cope with the ongoing pandemic and decided, “Hey, there’s a movie here!” to the pushback of literally no one.
“Recipe for Seduction combines all the fun elements of a Lifetime movie—romance, drama, intrigue, edge-of-your-seat excitement, and a wink, of course,” said David DeSocio, EVP, Ad Sales Marketing and Partnerships, A+E Networks. “Throughout the pandemic, we have been doing all we can to help our partners in innovative ways. In this case, we have found a perfect marriage between our Lifetime movies and KFC!”
As for KFC, well, they know exactly what they’re doing. Per a KFC spokesperson, “At KFC, we take our food seriously but like to have fun and not take our marketing efforts too seriously. We always want our brand to show up in interesting and unexpected ways in popular culture. The KFC and Lifetime mini-movie event is a perfect way to bring fans a fun opportunity to enjoy the holidays with family, friends, and loved ones while celebrating their love of KFC.”
At this point, as 2020 comes to an end, it’s best to not ask questions and just accept what has been so gingerly (and strategically) gifted to us: a (holiday?) thriller about a young, hot Colonel Sanders starring a former 90s heart-throb sponsored by fried chicken.
The film premieres Dec. 13 at noon so, you know, clear your schedule. For now, here's a peek at the trailer: