Screencap from the upcoming Lifetime movie "A Recipe for Seduction"

The KFC Lifetime Movie Isn’t Ridiculous Enough and Our Hunky Colonel Deserves Better

It sure is a recipe for something.

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**Spoilers for A Recipe for Seduction.**

About a week ago, I wrote about KFC’s fanfic-turned-Lifetime motion picture A Recipe for Seduction. The movie premiered on December 13th, but since I stick to streaming services, I washed my chicken crumb covered hands of it.

But love, and the Colonel, always find a way, because the movie’s just… right there on the KFC YouTube channel. Like. All of it.

I clutched a hand to my quivering bosom and prepared myself to be whisked away by Mario Lopez for… 16 minutes.

The movie’s only 16 minutes?!

That means if you watched the trailer (and I know you did, we all did), you’re already 1/16th of the way there, so might as well crank on the stove and set your heart ablaze with herbs and spices. Not ALL the spices, though, because for all the laughs we had about the premise the movie is not nearly as over-the-top as it could’ve (and should’ve) been.

So, let’s break down the entire thing.

We open the scene during what I assume is a holiday gathering. (I’m judging by the Christmas decorations, but at no point does anyone mention Christmas.) We see the who’s who of the fabulously wealthy dining on what we’re told is delicious fried chicken but we don’t see anyone take a single bite out of a leg, breast, or thigh.

Let me just say that if I ever reach the point where I can have fried chicken and wine under the gaze of a grandiose chandelier, I’m EATING and licking EACH of my fingers. This should’ve been the first sign of this movie not fully embracing its concept. Like, we don’t even get a finger lickin’ good comment, just the chicken is delicious and … that’s it.

The sides look bland as hell, though. Need to step your game up on those, Colonel (or, should I say, Harland).

The obvious foil of the movie, Billy Garibaldi III, smiles his “I’m a rich tool” smile at his girlfriend, Jessica. Jessica, who clearly hasn’t been satisfied for centuries, gives her gay Black bestie, Lee, an I’m in hell look. Lee, wondering if the straights are ok, gives the patented Gay Eye-Roll(TM) in an attempt to show solidarity for his loveless, orgasm-less companion.

It’s here that Billy decides to propose to Jessica, hoping that if he does it in front of an audience she’ll agree to take part in an unfulfilling marriage with a man who has more chemistry with her mother (more on this later). I’m actually not sure who these other people are at the table? We’re told later on that Billy’s parents were there but it’s not like we’re ever introduced to them. They don’t even say anything, nor do we see them again, because I’m assuming they decided to go be rich somewhere else.

Maybe they went to actually eat the chicken.

Anyway, Jessica says she needs some air and leaves. Her mother, Bunny, is furious, scolding her daughter the next morning because we’re apparently doing that plot thread where the girl is told to marry the man because the family needs money? Jessica’s father left them in a heap of debt, yet somehow Bunny’s able to hire a new chef and host elegant parties with plastic-looking vegetables and hired extras to make it look like a full dinner table?

No time for that! It’s time to properly introduce Harland Sanders, a man who used to be head chef at a restaurant we’ve never heard of but Jessica assures us that they’ve been trying to get a reservation there for years. It’s fine because now you can taste his cooking in your own home. Cue romantic ballad as the sparks fly between our two attractive leads.

The two enjoy a stroll around the property, Bunny glaring from the front entrance because, well, she probably wanted the new cook for herself as she forced her daughter together with Billy in an attempt to save the family finances or whatever (this would’ve been a more interesting plot thread than what we’re getting, trust me). Jessica and Harland have a conversation in an attempt to develop some chemistry since we’re at the 4-minute mark and there’s not much time left.

Conflict surfaces in the form of a temper tantrum named Billy Garibaldi III. He’s angry because Jessica had the nerve to ignore his call and walk out on him during dinner last night when he tried to place a marriage trap card on the field. He calls her his fiancée even if she ain’t, and Harland embraces his inner AC Slater and tells Billy to take it easy.

Billy responds by calling him a … crouton?

Ok, THIS is what I mean when I say that this movie doesn’t go far enough in its potential wackiness. It’s a KFC romance movie and this man called his nemesis a crouton. All the chicken puns ready for the taking and … crouton? No “quit clucking at me” or “beat it chicken gizzard” or “back off before I pluck your feathers” or … sorry, I’m just disappointed at the missed opportunities.

Jessica storms off and Harland warns Billy to NOT call him crouton. Yeah. You tell him, Harland!

We cut to a country club where Lee is getting ready for a date, and I’m instantly invested. Like. Ok y’all. He met this guy at the farmer’s market and the guy OWNS the country club? Like, WHAT?! Lee’s trying to get “country club ready” and I think he’s doing a great job! Bonus points for this movie just … having a gay character living his best life. He’s even at the dinner table with the rich folks, no one giving him grief for being gay and stylish.

Unfortunately, the movie doesn’t focus on him. We don’t even get to see him giving a nod of approval to Harland nor do we see his date with the guy from the farmer’s market who, from the 2.5 seconds we see him, looks cute as heck!

A screenshot from "A Recipe for Seduction"


I has a sad.

We could be watching gay country club boys but instead we’re watching the reveal of Bunny and Billy having an affair.

Wait what?!

Yes, it turns out that Bunny is having an affair with Billy and promises more long weekends if he does something about Harland. First of all, I could tell from the trailer that they were clucking between the sheets. Second of all … um … why doesn’t Bunny just marry Billy instead? Why does he have to marry Jessica? This … is never explained, but the most egregious moment of all is how Bunny insists on being shocked about Jessica being attracted to MARIO FRICKIN’ LOPEZ.

Billy, seduced by the lure of continuing to bang his not-fiancée’s mom, does minimum digging through the kitchen to find Harland’s bag which contains, gasp, his plans for his secret recipe! I’m just going to go ahead and spoil the end of the movie here and say that nothing comes of this. Billy doesn’t tear up the paper, doesn’t fry it up in chicken grease, or do something outlandish like give it to a rival chicken cook who goes on to make Raising Cane’s or something. Nope, he just tucks it back where he found it and offers Harland $500,000 to stay away from Jessica.

Ok, not that I advocate for being paid off to not pursue the love of your life, but … Harland, you just met Jessica yesterday. Are you sure you don’t want to … right right, true love and all that.

This scene is a mess because Harland should immediately wonder why his bag is on the counter AND open (it was in a drawer before). Billy proceeds to say that he and Jessica are actually getting married (ha!) which Harland believes for some reason even after Billy offered half a million dollars for him to leave? What upsets Harland the most, though, is the implication of Jessica telling Billy about the recipe he shared with her and only her.

While Harland and his beautiful biceps are sulking, Lee confronts Bunny about what he saw at the country club. I forgot to mention that he caught Billy and Bunny making eyes at each other. I was too upset that we didn’t get to see whether or not Lee’s date went ok. You already know, while watching this scene, that Bunny’s going to knock Lee out because there’s a convenient blunt object by the stairs.

I’d be scared about the gay, Black guy being killed off, but this movie doesn’t have the budget.

Jessica and Harland see each other again, Harland planning on leaving, his heart shattered over the fact that Jessica tweeted about his recipe. (I’m exaggerating, something the movie with a premise like this doesn’t do enough of.) To my surprise, they actually … talk to each other to clear up any miscommunication. It HAS to be solely because there’s only about 5 minutes left. We all know cheesy romances HAVE to have an entirely frustrating miscommunication arc. The two share a kiss, and Bunny is appalled because she can’t remember the last time she was embraced by someone who didn’t have a name like Billy Garibaldi III.

Screenshot of Billy from "A Recipe For Seduction"

This man? Versus Mario Lopez? PFFT!

The next day, Jessica announces that she can’t marry Billy, she only has chicken tenders for Harland. Bunny tells Jessica that Harland left late last night as if I’m supposed to believe that Jessica didn’t take a dip in Harland’s sensual herbs and spices last night. That’s another thing about this movie. For something with seduction in the title there isn’t a lick of sensuality, not even a fade away to black as Jessica invites Harland to her room for a 10 piece with a side of biscuits. Jessica runs off, upset, because she actually thinks Harland left, but then she hears a distressed sound coming from … a storage space in her backyard?!

Hold up hold up hold up.

Are you telling me that Bunny and Billy kidnapped Harland and tied him up AT THE HOUSE?! They didn’t even take him off the property?!?! AND THEY LEFT THE DOOR OPEN SO JESSICA COULD JUST WALK IN?!?!?!

Billy comes out of the shadows to reveal that he’s behind the kidnapping, and I’d like to know how this man defeated Colonel Beefcake. Bunny comes running in to reveal that Lee’s escaped, which also reveals to Jessica that her mother is in on all this. Lee gets to be the hero (hell yeah) and knocks Billy out. (And go off with the country club owner, I hope, just, is there going to be a second date???)

I’ve got to say, I do appreciate that Jessica doesn’t do some how could you do this to me mother dialogue and instead just knocks her the hell out to go and make out with Harland. Smart girl.

A year later, Jessica and Harland get married with Lee officiating the wedding, and WHERE is the country club owner like are y’all still in touch PLEASE TELL ME!

And the movie, I kid you not, has the nerve to end on a cliffhanger where Bunny is in a wellness center. Billy visits her, says that he’s found them, and eats a piece of chicken. Because … the taste of the chicken alerted him to their location? How the ending isn’t Billy walking into a rival chicken eatery to try to hatch a scheme against Harland is BEYOND me. At least have Billy reveal that his full name is Billy Garibaldi fil-A III or something.

This movie is such an anomaly to me because it’s not nearly as bonkers as I expected. The Internet was so perplexed over the trailer, and I was so ready for it to have the same energy as the KFC dating sim (yes, really) or the mascot fanart or something. Instead, it’s just a Lifetime movie with the occasional mention of chicken and secret recipes.

I’m sorry, Internet. This isn’t the weirdness we collectively foresaw.

(image: Lifetime)

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Image of Briana Lawrence
Briana Lawrence
Briana (she/her - bisexual) is trying her best to cosplay as a responsible adult. Her writing tends to focus on the importance of representation, whether it’s through her multiple book series or the pieces she writes. After de-transforming from her magical girl state, she indulges in an ever-growing pile of manga, marathons too much anime, and dedicates an embarrassing amount of time to her Animal Crossing pumpkin patch (it's Halloween forever, deal with it Nook)