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.
I don’t like Hallmark Christmas Movies, but not for the reasons you mention. I feel these movies (other than being set during Christmas time) have very little to with Christmas . There is nothing “Christmasy” about them. No mention of the real meaning of Christmas- God, Jesus, etc. Very few if any feel like they are about the Holiday itself. It’s just romance and overdone formulas that appeal to women. I don’t think that’s a bad thing. I don’t mind Romantic Comedies . But I would like to see movies that have more message of the real meaning of Christmas in them. Something that isn’t as shallow. They are just basically Rom Coms with snow in the background. We don’t need LGBTQ or other political agendas in the movies, thanks!
Christmas means different things to different people – and being gay is only political if you’re a homophobe
There are gay people in the world. They exist. It is a fact. It’s just as “normal” to be gay as it is to be straight. There is no “agenda” in having LGBT representation in movies and shows. Step outside the tiny, homophobic bubble you live in, and take in what reality really looks like. Hint: it looks nothing like these garbage movies.
As a Mexican I thought that the worst stories and performances were in Mexican soap operas, years later I discovered Bollywood low budget films and in recent years Hallmark Channel. Terrible stories, predictable scripts. Totally trash!!
Thank you! I despise the d*m things. Only seen the commercials and those are way too much. Get P O ed cause The Golden Girls are off for three and a half months! That length of time spent on xmas movies, regardless of quality, seems slightly demented to me!! The actors look like department store dummies with saccharine sweet smiles living in a WASP fantasy.
Agree. Not to mention the same actors.
I HATE HALLMARKS CHRISTMAS MOVIES. TOO MUCH MUSIC AND IT’S NOT EVEN REALISTIC. TOO MUCH FLUFF. I HAVEN’T GOTTEN THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS SINCE THE PANDEMIC AND THIS CHANNEL DOESN’T MAKE IT ANY BETTER.
The movies are so White America Bullshit. This is alot of why our country is so screwed up. The people wake up every morning and think it’s there fucking birthday. Or think it’s Christmas every day. Wake up people this is not the way it is….except for a limited American population.
I am sick and tired of these Christmas movies. I used to love Christmas and all that it stands for, but Hallmark has soured me on it with all these cheesy movies. Bah Humbug.
This is the best essay I’ve ever read. You just hit the nail on the head. This should be published in a big magazine. I never knew so many people also hated Hallmark Movies. Thank you for sharing this beautiful post.
I couldn’t agree more. My wife lives for these shit movies and it drives me crazy. The acting is horrible and overly cheesy feel-good moments makes me want to punch a baby.
I do stand up comedy on the side. I try to do more topical humor on the side. I done a set at a wing joint in North Carolina last week and I decided to do Christmas themed jokes. One of the targets I went into were Hallmark Christmas Movies. Of course I had a Karen make a face during a bit, but I had a few loving it. It was a good set and the Hallmark stuff really helped out in that one. BTW, here’s a quick question:
Q: What is the ONE sentence that a Hallmark Christmas Movie actor will never say in their career?
A: “I would like to thank the Academy for this Oscar!”
I can humbly agree. Hallmark movies just suck. Unoriginal plots and of those so over used. 2 plots in totality and it drives me crazy. People just dismiss it thinking I’m a bahumbug person but no I’m not. Just don’t over saturate it with over use and fakeness.