Before I even finish typing this first sentence, I can already feel the heat begin to emanate from my computer monitor from the blinding, judgy glare of a million Karens, pushing up the collective sleeves of their Christmas sweaters, mentally composing their “Can I speak to the manager?”- type comments about the hateful and Grinchy title of this essay.
So, I’ll double down and pile on: Hallmark Christmas movies SUCK. The entire twig and (holly) berries.
Yeah, I’m finally saying this out loud, after keeping it silently tucked away in my head for the past however-many years. The thing is, what’s really going to piss the people of the internet off is that I’ve never actually watched more than 60 seconds of a single fucking one.
How then do I dare dismiss this entire genre of feel-good holiday fluff?
Because 60 seconds is all I’ve ever needed to completely confirm what my soul feels when I simply hear someone describing a plot line or I force myself to be open-minded and attempt to watch one.
Death. My soul feels death.
OK fine, for the sake of argument or appeasement or whatever, I’m going to try it one more time. Wait right here while I go sample what’s currently airing. BRB … *Final Jeopardy music softly plays …
Yep, still death. Barely made it back.
I just lost three beautiful minutes of my life, and a bazillion brain cells, watching a couple scenes from a little gem called “A Dream of Christmas.” Spoiler alert, it was actually a nightmare. And in case you were not aware, the Hallmark Channel uses a random number generator to come up with the titles for these movies, utilizing only ten nouns: Christmas, snow, love, home, winter, holiday, magic, tree, heart, and Santa. (How “Dream” managed to slip past quality control, I’ll never – nope wait, I do know. There’s no QC at Hallmark.)
Anyway, here are several questions that just formed in my horrified mind before my eyes glazed over and my frontal lobe began to shrivel.
Is L.L. Bean the only wardrobe supplier for these movies? Are people of color ever allowed to act in them? Any LGBTQ characters? Do Jewish or Buddhist friends and neighbors ever get invited to the neighborhood gatherings? Is there a written Hallmark decree that every scene must include at least one person wearing a plaid scarf, sweater or gloves? Is the acting always so very dreadful? Is the music always so cheesy?
Am I the only damn viewer who wants to poke a sharp object into my forehead after watching this rubbish for less than a hot minute?
I do understand the reasons why the devoted fans love this shit. It’s an escape from reality. I get that, reality is scary AF these days. We all need happy places to mentally flee from the real-world monsters like asshole politicians, raging fires and melting ice caps. But these movies are the TV entertainment equivalent of unadorned, yellowy and flaccid celery stalks, with tiny clumps of dirt still clinging to them, the wretched losers of the veggie tray that should always be dumped straight into the trash can. People! You can do SO. MUCH. BETTER!
I would literally rather watch any of the following five offerings before I’d settle for a Hallmark Crap Show:
A documentary about serial killers. Because they are sneaky bastards and it’s always good to be reminded of their murdery ways and how best to avoid becoming a victim yourself.
Cat videos. Even though I detest the creatures in real life due to an extreme allergy, cats can be enchantingly entertaining and I’ve never seen one wearing a plaid scarf or fake laughing at being hit directly in the face with a snowball.
A National Geographic presentation about parasitic infections. Despite the fact that just typing those words freaks me out, science is awesome and it never hurts to be educated in the unlikely event you see a tiny worm wiggling out of your ear one morning. You’re welcome.
A 27th viewing of the movie “Crazy Stupid Love”. I know all the dialog by heart, but still – Ryan Gosling? Hot. Steve Carell after the makeover -also kinda hot. And, Kevin Bacon? Not my cup of tea, but always good to have another reference in your pocket should you ever be in a “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” situation.
A car repair show. I despise car shows of any kind, but I would rather watch two greasy dudes and their hairy ass cracks, bent over the hood of a car discussing carburetors and fan shrouds, because it would cause me to lie down from boredom and take a much-needed nap. Definitely preferable to jamming a fork between my eyes.
Any one of those ridiculous choices would be far more interesting, funnier, or helpful than a Hallmark movie with scarved women sporting perfect hair falling for sweatered men sporting perfect hair, while gingerbread bakes in the oven, flames crackle softly in the fireplace, and carolers sing harmoniously on the porch, patiently waiting for candy canes and red mugs of steaming hot chocolate. I am merely assuming these scenes play out year after year, but I will not be watching to see if that’s true. Plus, I DGAF what kinds of psychos have replaced the disgraced Aunt Becky.
But do hit me up if you’re going to play one of the many drinking games developed especially for Hallmark Christmas movie viewing. I will make an exception for the promise of genuine laughter and multiple shots of booze, which also will cause me to lie down and take an always-needed nap.
Merry Christmas and Bless your Holiday Heart, Karen.