Have you ever spent some time watching the Hallmark Channel? It is the most syrupy, sickening sweet, wholesome, tear-jerky pile of goo I’ve ever seen…and I can’t get enough of it.
Now, I cannot explain this new addiction. It may be the result of a fall I had, or some mental disorder I’ve developed or who knows what. All I will admit to is having an uncontrollable nightly impulse to check in with the latest holiday movie running on the Hallmark Channel.
Details? No problem. The Hallmark Channel is headquarters for Christmas television. Hallmark has produced some 40+ full-fledged Christmas movies, plus one for Chanukah. These movies are jam-packed with holly and mistletoe from start to finish and they are all constructed with so much consistency that you can easily predict what will happen practically scene by scene. While there are variations in storyline, people and locations for each movie, there are basic elements common to all:
- You will not hear the f-bomb ever, let alone a hell or damn; maybe one or two golly-gee-whiz’s.
- The locations usually start out in the big city, often New York, and quickly transition to a small, Rockwellian town decorated to the hilt with Christmas paraphernalia.
- Major transitions between scenes usually feature drone-shot footage of the town or its main street.
- All the actors are decent folk, wholesome and good looking, especially the primary couple.
- The movies all run the same sequence of storyline:
- Young, vivacious, career-building girl is busy parking her workload at the office and packing her bags so she can leave the big city and venture home for the Christmas holiday.
- Said young lady has endearing parents welcoming her home in addition to other family members and close friends. Her parents usually own a business or retail operation of some sort—often a quaint old inn with scads of happy holiday guests and fireplaces.
- Soon, past, present and future suitors begin showing up, each hitting on the young lady as various conflicts develop.
- There are always events (dances, festivals, family affairs) going on and the leading lady is usually the organizer faced with last-minute no-shows by the caterer or leading performers. Count on a count-down for the Christmas tree lighting, the same tree the couple cut down and decorated a half-hour earlier.
- A key element occurs in every movie when there is a major falling out between the lead couple caused by a misunderstanding. One of them packs up and heads for the airport. At the peak of teardom, both by the movie characters and the audience, the dilemma is resolved—hallelujah!
- Lovers kiss, friends and families gather around smiling wide with I-told-you-so grins as the camera slowly pulls away and The End blends in for a very brief appearance and before you can finish wiping your eyes and blowing your nose, the very next movie begins. You don’t even have time to pee before you are snagged into yet another two hours of the same cycle all over again…and you will stay.
So, that’s how it all plays out. Ah, the romance…ah the humanity! Go ahead, tune into a Hallmark Christmas movie tonight and you will see it pretty much follows my play-by-play. Don’t forget to have a dish of Christmas cookies to munch on and a cup of hot cocoa…you will find both are plentiful in every movie. And, oh yeah, if indeed you find yourself coming back for more the next night…well, your secret is safe with me.