Now that December is upon us, it’s officially considered to truly be the holiday season. With that comes a (completely welcomed, in my opinion) barrage of decorations, music and of course, Christmas movies. There are the classics, like “Elf,” “A Christmas Story,” “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and so many more. But hidden away on a channel in deep cable is a whole other unique sub-genre of Christmas movie: the Hallmark Channel Christmas movie.
I couldn’t tell you what airs on the Hallmark Channel any other time of the year but once the holiday season hits, it becomes an endless marathon of specially made Christmas movies. Two hours at most, they often give off the vibe that the writer simply pulled several rom-com tropes and a Christmas-y thing out of a bag and just went with it. With names like “Christmas List,” “A Christmas Detour” and, I kid you not, “Fir Crazy,” they lean heavy on the cheese factor, full of romance and charming small towns. Not entirely surprising for a network named after a greeting card store. There’s even one, called (of course) “A Christmas Melody” directed by and co-starring the voice of Christmas herself, Mariah Carey.
Are they good? Well, not exactly. They’re almost always way too predictable and it’s pretty obvious why you rarely see their revolving cast of stars in other things. And yet I find myself watching them more and more. I think it’s something about the mindless entertainment of it all. So much of TV these days requires you to really focus and pay attention. And while I love the more cerebral stuff (I wouldn’t be obsessed with “Mr. Robot” if I wasn’t) sometimes it’s nice to find something that can just drone on in the background while you decorate the tree or wrap gifts. Something that you can lovingly make fun of with your friends and family. Something that will always have a predictable and corny happy ending in a time where the outcomes of real-world events often feel so uncertain. The more classic Christmas movies can easily do that but if you’re looking for something even more saccharine, a Hallmark Christmas movie can easily do the trick.
So if you find yourself flipping through the channels in the next few weeks, looking for an hour or two of escape, might I recommend the Hallmark Channel? It won’t change your life or give you a new worldview, but it’ll at least give you something to laugh at. And sometimes, that’s all you really need.
What do you think? Do you enjoy the mindless entertainment in a Hallmark Channel Christmas movie? Do you know what airs on the Hallmark Channel when it’s not Christmastime? I’m dying to know. Sing a carol in the comments. And, as always…