"It's Christmas on heat."
How it took until 2020 for a reality dating series centered around the most wonderful time of the year is beyond us. But HBO Max's 12 Dates of Christmas filled that void, focusing on three singles—Chad Savage, a 28-year-old straight man; Faith Fernandez, a 25-year-old straight woman; and Garrett Marcantel, a 29-year-old gay man—trying to find someone to bring home for the holidays. Oh, and they are doing it while living in a gorgeous castle and going on seasonally-appropriate dates straight out of a Hallmark Channel movie.
Like whipped cream and chocolate shavings on your cocoa, 12 Dates of Christmas felt a little over-the-top and decadent, which is exactly what showrunner Sam Dean was going for when creating the whimsical world.
"We're not the most serious show in the world," Dean explained to E! News. "We wanted to wink and nod to the audience and to not take ourselves or the experience so seriously because there is a sense of ridiculousness about it. There's so much Christmas."
But for fans of cheesy holiday rom-coms and lovers of seasonal peppermint mochas, it was the perfect amount.
The eight-episode first season came to an end on Dec. 10, with—spoiler alert!—all three leads finding their own version of a happily ever after in the grand finale.
Faith and Anthony Assent professed their love for one another and she committed to moving across the country, while Garrett ended up happily single and more than ready to mingle. But it was Chad who delivered the biggest surprise of all when he proposed to Kate Steinberg.
As an early Christmas gift, we got Dean on the phone to answer all of our burning questions about 12 Dates of Christmas and give us an interesting tease about the upcoming reunion special, which will premiere on HBO Max on Thursday, Dec. 17.
12 Dates of Christmas is streaming on HBO Max and the reunion special will drop on Thursday, Dec. 17.