The Good, the Bad, and the Hallmark

Emma Burgess ‘21

Each November, I start off the holiday season with one of my favorite traditions: the Hallmark Channel. While some may call my obsession with made-for-TV movies unhealthy, my constant intake of the festive films has led me to question: why do we all love Hallmark movies so much? Although the movies are full of predictable plotlines and sometimes cringeworthy writing, I, like many others, still find myself continually tuning in for this Christmas season staple and guilty-pleasure. 

What is it about Hallmark movies that makes them so addictive and makes us come back for more? I think our society’s addiction is not entirely our fault, as the Hallmark Channel has crafted the perfect formula for captivating us as the watchers. Hallmark movies play into being “cheesy,” and then mix this with a little Christmas spirit and a happy ending. As an avid consumer of the movies, I know I am always reassured by the fact that even when a new conflict is introduced ten minutes before the end of the story, there will be a happy ending. Additionally, the festive energy is something that I believe draws all of us to Hallmark movies. For me, Hallmark marks the arrival of the Christmas season and fills me with a little extra joy and excitement when anticipating the holidays. There is nothing better than turning on the TV to a Hallmark original while baking Christmas cookies and decorating the house to know that Christmas is here! Hallmark movies craft whimsical and idealistic Christmases and allow us to be transported to these scenes which we hope for in our own lives. Lastly, I think we all are able to have fun while watching Hallmark movies because of their lighthearted nature. Although not everyone in my family is as much of a Hallmark fan as myself, we are all able to watch the movies together and laugh about the silliness of some of the acting and writing. While we all know there are better quality options available for us to watch, we are sometimes (or always, in my case) in the mood for something with a guaranteed happy ending and a lighthearted tone. 

Hallmark movies allow us to live in the world of perfect Christmas towns and soak up all of the magic and cheer for our holiday season, even if it is only for two hours. Especially this year, when our real life Christmases may not look quite as perfect as the stories from the Hallmark Channel, I think we should indulge ourselves in a little “cheesy” TV and enjoy a Christmas watch with some friends or family!