December 17, 2015

15 Things I've Learned About the Hallmark Christmas Movie Universe

It's been two years since I first wrote about made-for-TV Christmas movies. It was slim pickings back then, with The Hallmark Channel trying it's very best to churn out cheesy holiday goodness starring actors who were relevant 20 years ago (Dean Cain, I'm talking to you).

Since then, watching these has become some sort of a trend. Lifetime, TV One, and Ion have all jumped into the mix, making "original" (the use of that term is highly debatable) holiday movies, and Hallmark has expanded into it's "Movies & Mysteries" network with movies that are still Christmas-themed, but attempt to be more dramatic. Even the pool of actors has exploded. Now, for every movie starring Lacy Chabert or Candace Cameron-Bure, there is one with someone who is still acting in things besides TV movies.

Through 3 seasons of nightly Christmas fare consumption, I've learned a few things about the Hallmark-version of life.

1. Both ice skating and picking out a Christmas tree are extremely romantic, but only if one of the two people on the quasi-date are completely inept at the activity. I'm not sure how anyone can be inept at picking out a tree, but this somehow makes for lots of prolonged eye glances and coyly ducking behind trees.

2. Speaking of Christmas trees... only real trees are acceptable. Having a fake tree is the mark of a soulless individual who absolutely cannot sustain a relationship. Real trees are part of the "magic of Christmas."

3. Really rugged men cut down their own tree, but just picking a pre-cut tree off a lot still qualifies as being "super into Christmas" for women and men in office jobs.

4. Sexual harassment is totally ok in the workplace if your boss is cute.

5. Stalking: also ok if you are attractive.

6. All women work the same three jobs: advertising, journalism, or owning a bakery. Her job determines her personality: corporate jobs = single and too busy to date or make more than one friend. Bakery = warm and kindergarten teacher-ish.

7. All men are either slick advertising/finance executives with little time for basic human decency, or down-to-earth guys who do "manly" work like furniture making or construction. Basically, they get the same characteristics as the women, except they get paid more for their jobs--just like real life! *snap*

8. If the main character works in an office, she/he is always up for a promotion--but only if they nail the Christmas story/deal.

9. Someone always has a secret passion for something artistic but lacks the self-confidence to pursue it.

10. There are always kids or animals involved. Someone is always a single parent, aunt, or volunteers at a shelter to help amp up their dating appeal by seeming maternal or nurturing.

11. There are only two ways people are single: recently dumped and bitter about it, or widowed. No one ever gets divorced.

12. People in relationships do not kiss. Nor do people who are basically dating but haven't had "the talk" yet. In fact, no one kisses until a dramatic moment presents itself.

13. It's not weird at all to tell someone you love them after only knowing them a few days. They totally won't panic or be weirded out.

14. Only white people celebrate Christmas. Visible minorities are relegated to friends, co-workers, and the occasional extra. (Seriously. There is never more than 2 black people in a single movie unless it's starring Christina Milian.)

15. It always snows on Christmas. It doesn't matter if it's LA or Seattle or Tennessee.

Don't miss my follow-up post, 10 More Things I've Learned About the Hallmark Christmas Movie Universe

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