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Hallmark Channel Movies: Our Sap Brings in the Eyeballs!

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20 hours ago, TVFan17 said:

 

They used to air The Christmas Gift on the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Channel/formerly Hallmark Movie Channel (even as recently as the 2017 holiday season).  I remember encountering it as I switched channels, but I did not watch it all the way through.  I think it used to be shown slightly more often, and then it got reduced to just one showtime last year.   I thought that it had possibly moved to the Hallmark Movies Now streaming site, but that does not appear to be the case.  I don't see it there.   

They've got a page for it on the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries site, but no showtimes for it this year -- http://www.hallmarkmoviesandmysteries.com/the-christmas-gift-1986

It was shown on UP a couple of years ago.  It’s my all time favorite tv Christmas movie. (I was about the same age as the girl in the movie when it came out).  I haven’t seen it out anywhere this year either.

 

I was disappointed wit Christmas in Grand Valley.  How did Danica go from Crown for Christmas to this?  Thin plot, thin cast, just not much there.  I think the small cast and hardly any extras made it seem like something was missing. The leads chemistry was fine but they hardly spent anytime together before he was totally in love.

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14 hours ago, Happywatcher said:

Watching on DVR. I know TV/movie cameras demand women be 10-15 lbs lighter than normal weights, but I was thinking the lead needs to drink some ensure. In particular the opening scenes dress made her look half starved.

I was thinking the hair and eyebrows were a little much, but it turned out the makeup people matched the affect the actress used--hyper quirkery cute.

I believed the couple were in a real 'fake for marketing' relationship, so good job show, the team sold it

I don't usually like to comment on people's bodies, but yes- there were a few profile shots of her where I kept focusing on how skinny her arms were, and she did not look healthy. My husband's cousin has the same build and has thyroid issues so maybe it's something like that. I think she would look nice with darker hair to match the eyebrows or at least less of a platinum blond. I did like a lot of her outfits though- the red pants and white shirt was cute.

I liked the movie until the snooty ex-girlfriend showed up and then I stopped paying much attention. I did like that it poked a bit of fun at the fad self help books (I have a friend who latches onto each new trendy one as its released). 

About the articles...the only thing that kind of bugged me was that I felt like the writers weren't very kind about the audience for their movies, like saying there would be riots if they deviated from the Mad Libs writing approach. And I don't think that's entirely fair considering that I see plenty of comments about these movies being the same. I know there's a brand to protect and that there's never going to be a ton of drama or high stress plots to these movies (which as someone who suffers from an anxiety disorder is why I like them), but I think there's probably some wiggle room there for diversity of plot without going straight for rape/kidnapping/murder/addictions, etc. I mean, Hallmark has mystery movies where presumably bad things happen, right? I also wasn't a huge fan of the "we just write everything white" comment. I'd love to see more diversity on Hallmark. I've made it a point to watch the movies this year with black leads. But they acknowledge the problem, and then acknowledge they're doing nothing to change that. I know they probably don't have a lot of control over casting but it seems like they must provide some vision for the characters, so if they want to write black or Asian or latino characters, then do it. At least try and see if Hallmark would go for it. I think Hallmark would probably benefit from hiring diverse writers and not always going to the same stable all the time. 

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Watched Christmas at Graceland. I didn't think it was as bad as some posters here do. The actress wasn't great but I liked the music. Wouldn't watch again though.  I did laugh at the end though when her new boss was offering her a job "we leave at 5 everyday and never work weekends", let me finish that sentence for you, "but we do work on Christmas".  

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1 hour ago, Jenniferbug said:

 About the articles...the only thing that kind of bugged me was that I felt like the writers weren't very kind about the audience for their movies, like saying there would be riots if they deviated from the Mad Libs writing approach. 

Then again, if Hallmark is going by social network feedback & ratings, then I get why they'd think that. There's a vocal contingent of viewers that oppose the slightest hint of change or slightly risky situations and dominate the discussion online (heck, one of the biggest fanpages online, if not the biggest, has a very religious bias), and as far as ethnic diversity goes, this season's "black" movies didn't really lit the ratings on fire (the Tatiana Ali one did okay, but the Tia Mowry, Christina Millian & the Jerrika Hinton ones pretty much bombed). So (sadly) I get where they're coming from.

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2 hours ago, Jenniferbug said:

 

I liked the movie until the snooty ex-girlfriend showed up and then I stopped paying much attention. I did like that it poked a bit of fun at the fad self help books (I have a friend who latches onto each new trendy one as its released). 

 

I felt the real currentish/ex GF was doing a good job making us dislike her, but the writers let her turn human at the end, so that was nice. She had to be superior megabitch, otherwise we wouldn't have wanted him to end up with quirky.

Just now, Kaoteek said:

Then again, if Hallmark is going by social network feedback & ratings, then I get why they'd think that. There's a vocal contingent of viewers that oppose the slightest hint of change or slightly risky situations and dominate the discussion online (heck, one of the biggest fanpages online, if not the biggest, has a very religious bias), and as far as ethnic diversity goes, this season's "black" movies didn't really lit the ratings on fire (the Tatiana Ali one did okay, but the Tia Mowry, Christina Millian & the Jerrika Hinton ones pretty much bombed). So (sadly) I get where they're coming from.

In one of her recent murder movies they let CCB beat the bad person down with a chair in totally justified defense (being vague in case someone didn't see it). Plus they are going with ethic couples. So they are trying some stuff...

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I think in the end, they just don't have a choice, as far as "trying some stuff" goes : with more and more mainstream media (SNL, Fallon, etc) , websites & commenters jumping on the "Hallmark movies are a ratings success, let's mock them about their clichés, their lack of diversity, their conservatism, and so on" bandwagon, and with Hallmark's competition (Netflix, Lifetime, Up and so on) starting to really get into the game by offering what Hallmark doesnt, I think HM just has to change, or at the very least, to give the appearance of change. And if that doesn't pay off, they'll probably just slowly phase those underperforming black-centered movies out, by explaining "there's simply no audience for those diverse movies, but at least we tried. Oh, well.".

Edited by Kaoteek
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I wonder when this switch to the Hallmark formula started. They haven't always been that paint-by-numbers. It wasn't too long ago that their Christmas movies were quite similar to what was on Lifetime or Family (at the time) and there was a lot more variety. I was kind of in a mood for variations on A Christmas Carol, remembered one I liked called It's Christmas, Carol, and found it wasn't streaming anywhere other than available for purchase on Vudu, but found it on Tube of You, and was surprised to see the Hallmark logo in the corner of the screen. It pretty much breaks every rule in that EW article. The whole movie takes place in Chicago, and there's never a mention of moving to a small town or going to a small town. Location isn't an issue. Carrie Fisher, being very Carrie Fisher, plays a major role as the ghost who handles past, present, and future, and it's hard to imagine late-stage Carrie Fisher fitting the current Hallmark brand. There's a lot of drinking -- at the company Christmas party, and Carrie Fisher's ghost character snags a bottle of champagne at one of the parties and carries it with her through the rest of the visits, drinking straight from the bottle. In the past, it's made very clear that the heroine is living with her boyfriend. There are none of the usual Christmas activities mentioned in the article. There's actually not much romance. Most of the movie is the interaction between the heroine and the ghost. We see the relationship with the boyfriend start and end in the past, and at the end it looks like he might give her another chance now that she's changed. She doesn't have to give up her high-powered career. She just has to stop being a bitch and using her career as an excuse to be a bitch.

Really, the whole thing was rather refreshing, and a lot of fun, and it looks almost like Hallmark is trying to bury it. I looked to see when it was made, and it was from 2012, so not that long ago. So when did they go from this kind of thing being acceptable on Hallmark to today's sea of extruded Christmas movie product with such tight rules to make sure it's all more or less the same? That would have been a bit before the other networks temporarily caved to Hallmark's holiday domination and before the Christmas movie thing became the overall cultural juggernaut it is now.

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I found Christmas For The Books to be a pleasantish surprise.  I did think there were some holes in the story but that could be because I was somewhat distracted.  But overall, I liked how the relationship developed.

And I don't even think they waited until the end to humanize the ex-girlfriend.  I liked that they told her the truth right away and she was willing to go along with it. She was perhaps too obsessed with "rules" but I think it made the movie interesting. 

The only thing I would change is that I think they spent a bit too much time with the lead actress and the "robotic" producer to the point that I almost wondered if they were going to re-pair the lead man and his ex and the lead woman with the other dude.

But in spite of all that, I was hoping for a mild little gem on a random Thursday and this delivered.

The best part of Christmas in Grand Valley was the interracial romance between Danica's cousin and her friend.  I like Danica and Brennan but they just couldn't elevate what we've seen  36 times this season.  And I found it hilarious that in the middle of the movie, I thought "well at least they're flipping the switch a little and are going to have the man decide to move to the small town to be with the woman as opposed to the big city girl giving up the city for the small town man" but then the lead man decides to move to the small town and she decides to move back to the city for an incredible professional opportunity---only to move back to the small town to be with the man. Just oy.

Edited by Irlandesa
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I saw part of Candice Cameron Bure's 2013 Let It Snow this afternoon and immediately recognized the actors playing the older couple who owned the resort from more recent Cameron movies.  The actor just played her father in this year's A Shoe Addict's Christmas while the actress played a killer in one of the Aurora Teagarden movies. 

Edited by mikeb
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1 hour ago, Irlandesa said:

I found Christmas For The Books to be a pleasantish surprise.  I did think there were some holes in the story but that could be because I was somewhat distracted.  But overall, I liked how the relationship developed.

And I don't even think they waited until the end to humanize the ex-girlfriend.  I liked that they told her the truth right away and she was willing to go along with it. She was perhaps too obsessed with "rules" but I think it made the movie interesting. 

The only thing I would change is that I think they spent a bit too much time with the lead actress and the "robotic" producer to the point that I almost wondered if they were going to re-pair the lead man and his ex and the lead woman with the other dude.

But in spite of all that, I was hoping for a mild little gem on a random Thursday and this delivered.

The best part of Christmas in Grand Valley was the interracial romance between Danica's cousin and her friend.  I like Danica and Brennan but they just couldn't elevate what we've seen  36 times this season.  And I found it hilarious that in the middle of the movie, I thought "well at least they're flipping the switch a little and are going to have the man decide to move to the small town to be with the woman as opposed to the big city girl giving up the city for the small town man" but then the lead man decides to move to the small town and she decides to move back to the city for an incredible professional opportunity---only to move back to the small town to be with the man. Just oy.

 

For the most part, I agree with your opinions on both.    I agree that A Christmas for the Books was a pleasant surprise -- because I expected very little from it, most likely.  I thought that there were some slow scenes here and there (see my comments about slow scenes in movies over in the Holiday movie thread!  lol), but there were also some funny lines exchanged between the leads, and some cute moments.  It was pretty decent, although the people ranting about it on the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Facebook page are acting like it is the worst movie to ever be made.  It should have aired on the regular Hallmark Channel and not on HMM, but it was really not bad.

And I wanted to love Christmas at Grand Valley because I think Brennan is charming, as well as being a good actor in this kind of genre, and Danica is always likable.  The interracial romance was a surprise, and nice to see.   I also liked seeing Dan Lauria in another movie.   But the overall finished product did not fully win me over, especially when they got to the 'who is moving to which city' madness.  Something was just missing for me, from the whole movie, and I can't pinpoint what it was.

Edited by TVFan17
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On tonight's premiere movie, Christmas Bells Are Ringing, I just heard the most awful rendition of The First Noel.  Disagree if you will, but I really dislike it when someone jazzes up a religious Christmas Carole to the point that it sounds nothing like it should.  I don't care one bit how someone sings a secular song, but a religious-based carole shouldn't be messed with. I feel the same when someone jazzes up the National Anthem.  Some songs should be sacrosanct.  

My sister pointed something out to me about these Hallmark movies.  When characters kiss, it's a very chaste, closed mouth kiss. No tonsil swabbing allowed. 

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On 12/20/2018 at 9:11 PM, Kaoteek said:

Ah, yes, the Hallmark hairdo. Funny thing is, I just finished Entertaining Christmas (awful, awful title, as usual), and I kept thinking that the hairdresser had a really heavy hand with Sweetin's hair, compared to her usual style. Aside from that, it was an okayish watch. I liked the lead couple, obviously, and Sweetin is always fun to watch, but I kept thinking there was something missing to make it really memorable, or to make the romance work.

It was just a little bit too flat, either in the dialog or in the overall pace (also, the rolls of fake snow on the floor with the fabric folds in plain sight... yeeesh).

Wow, you weren't kidding about the fake snow!  I think in most of these movies they use some sort of snow machine to make fake snow, don't they?  I have never noticed rolls of fabric standing in for snow before.  (Maybe I'm just not that observant?)  But in the last scene of this movie, when they're outside leading up to the big kiss... OMG!  They had actual white blankets draped all over the landscaping that were supposed to be snow, but didn't look like anything other than fake snow blankets bunched up on the ground!  (Plus they also had some trees covered up - I'm guessing they must have been blooming at the time of filming.)  Wow!  Just awful!  I'd rather see green grass than fabric draped on the ground like that.

The movie was pretty meh for me, even though I did like its "you don't have to be perfect" message.  I've loved Brendan Fehr since Roswell, so I'm always happy to see him, but I just wasn't really feeling the chemistry between him and Jodie Sweetin in this movie.  Then again, it may have had more to do with the cringey-ness of Jodie's character pretending to be something she's not, throughout almost the entire movie, and waiting for her to be found out.  It's not my favorite type of plot and had me on edge, plus it's hard for me to root for a character who isn't being honest, even if her reasons for being deceptive are understandable.

I recently watched A Christmas Kiss (2011), also featuring Brendan Fehr, this time with Laura Breckenridge as his love interest.  I overall liked A Christmas Kiss quite a lot, (it was more entertaining than Entertaining Christmas) but it was difficult to accept the idea that Brendan's character kisses his girlfriend's assistant in the elevator, (in her building!) and doesn't recognize her when he sees her the next day, in the same building and the same elevator!  How daft could he be?  Heavy, glittery makeup didn't make her look that different, nor did her Clark Kent glasses.  Other than that I liked the story, and Elisabeth Rohm as the villainous boss was fantastic.

Thank you everyone who reviewed Christmas at Grand Valley... It didn't sound appealing at all, and I decided to just delete it instead of wasting my time. 

Edited by AnnaRose · Reason: typos
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2 hours ago, KLovestoShop said:

On tonight's premiere movie, Christmas Bells Are Ringing, I just heard the most awful rendition of The First Noel. 

I was just watching the movie and when that song popped up, I laughed out loud because I had just read your comment.   Who was that person singing it?  I got the feeling that I was supposed to know that voice (or recognize the singer), but I couldn't place it from that.  

Edited by TVFan17

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On 12/21/2018 at 2:02 PM, AnnaRose said:

I just watched Trading Christmas again the other night for the second time, and liked it even more than the first time.  I particularly enjoyed Faith Ford's character's story and her love interest, who was very laid back and seemed like such a sweet and kind person.  All the couples had great chemistry, and all the storylines in this movie were enjoyable for me.

And there was kissing in the middle of the movie! Loved this one. 

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21 hours ago, Kaoteek said:

I think in the end, they just don't have a choice, as far as "trying some stuff" goes : with more and more mainstream media (SNL, Fallon, etc) , websites & commenters jumping on the "Hallmark movies are a ratings success, let's mock them about their clichés, their lack of diversity, their conservatism, and so on" bandwagon, and with Hallmark's competition (Netflix, Lifetime, Up and so on) starting to really get into the game by offering what Hallmark doesnt, I think HM just has to change, or at the very least, to give the appearance of change. And if that doesn't pay off, they'll probably just slowly phase those underperforming black-centered movies out, by explaining "there's simply no audience for those diverse movies, but at least we tried. Oh, well.".

They are trying. Holly's mysteries were a pretty big failure. I think because they had a major star everyone loves and skipped a bit on the scripts and on her love interest's chemistry with her.

Tia's Christmas move was really good. Good script, good supporting cast, and the only real failure was they didn't have the time or budget to make the house macguffins seem real.

I don't see how they fail with the winter ski lodge themed one coming out. The black best friend couple in Taylor's movie last year were already very likable, being center stage can only fail if the screenwriter's forget to follow the Hallmark script rules.

Interracial couples will probably keep rolling out. Carlos Pennavega was easy to start with, since in his first movie he was in with his real life wife. Kind of surprised there hasn't been a south asian actress yet as the city career woman who needs to learn about small town family...

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22 hours ago, Shanna Marie said:

I wonder when this switch to the Hallmark formula started. They haven't always been that paint-by-numbers. It wasn't too long ago that their Christmas movies were quite similar to what was on Lifetime or Family (at the time) and there was a lot more variety. I was kind of in a mood for variations on A Christmas Carol, remembered one I liked called It's Christmas, Carol, and found it wasn't streaming anywhere other than available for purchase on Vudu, but found it on Tube of You, and was surprised to see the Hallmark logo in the corner of the screen. It pretty much breaks every rule in that EW article. The whole movie takes place in Chicago, and there's never a mention of moving to a small town or going to a small town. Location isn't an issue. Carrie Fisher, being very Carrie Fisher, plays a major role as the ghost who handles past, present, and future, and it's hard to imagine late-stage Carrie Fisher fitting the current Hallmark brand. There's a lot of drinking -- at the company Christmas party, and Carrie Fisher's ghost character snags a bottle of champagne at one of the parties and carries it with her through the rest of the visits, drinking straight from the bottle. In the past, it's made very clear that the heroine is living with her boyfriend. There are none of the usual Christmas activities mentioned in the article. There's actually not much romance. Most of the movie is the interaction between the heroine and the ghost. We see the relationship with the boyfriend start and end in the past, and at the end it looks like he might give her another chance now that she's changed. She doesn't have to give up her high-powered career. She just has to stop being a bitch and using her career as an excuse to be a bitch.

Really, the whole thing was rather refreshing, and a lot of fun, and it looks almost like Hallmark is trying to bury it. I looked to see when it was made, and it was from 2012, so not that long ago. So when did they go from this kind of thing being acceptable on Hallmark to today's sea of extruded Christmas movie product with such tight rules to make sure it's all more or less the same? That would have been a bit before the other networks temporarily caved to Hallmark's holiday domination and before the Christmas movie thing became the overall cultural juggernaut it is now.

I'm not sure if they were bought out or passed the torch but I notice in the Larry Levinson and Halmi family days, they did take more risks with their movies. They had sprawling epics like The Odyssey, Jason and the Argonauts, and Merlin. I remember they used to have Rough and Ready Saturdays where they had some really good western dramas on Saturdays including one called Mail Order Bride with Daphne Zuniga about a woman trying to escape her con artist boyfriend (I think he was Greg Evigan) and becomes a fake mail order bride to a lonely rancher in the woods. It was so good (and kinda gritty) and that's also on the app. Even with all these movies, they still showed the heartwarming dramas that people usually associate with Hallmark. LL started learning more toward romantic dramadies but Crown Media seems to have gone whole hog into romantic comedy territory in the past two years or so while LL went off to put his stuff on Pixl (what the heck happened to that channel btw? No new movies since forever).

The movie you mentioned is one of my fave renditions of A Christmas Carol for the reasons you mentioned. It's a hilarious gem and Carrie's character really puts Carol through the ringer. It was banished to the app like the other ones that took chances and I also agree with you that Hallmark (or, Crown Media now) is probably trying to hide those so people won't easily associate it with their brand. I don't know, that seems to be a big thing with media companies these days. I notice the same thing happened with The Christmas Choir which is nowhere to be seen (except the Tube of You) and is one of their excellent classics. I mean, come on, Rhea Perlman as a nun who smokes and is still totally Rhea Perlman who runs a shelter for homeless men. Hallmark of today would never!

 

As for the new movies, I skipped them but was going to see Danica's movie. Now I'm a bit skeptical because it seemed to miss the mark with most everyone here but I am intrigued about the interracial couple. I may watch it sometime later when I'm not Hallmark'd out.

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3 hours ago, MissyPoo said:

 

As for the new movies, I skipped them but was going to see Danica's movie. Now I'm a bit skeptical because it seemed to miss the mark with most everyone here but I am intrigued about the interracial couple. I may watch it sometime later when I'm not Hallmark'd out.

In Grand Valley the secondary couple is white guy, black woman, their end of movie kiss kicks off the leads kiss

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Has anyone else hit the wall with holiday movies? I have a bunch backed up on my DVR, and I'm recording only the ones I want to see (because there are a ton I'm not interested in watching), but I feel like I'm at a point where I just can't sit through another Christmas movie. And I'm talking on any of the stations, not just Hallmark, although the Hallmark ones are (I think) the ones that burned me out. 

I'm seriously considering deleting all the ones I have DVR'd, and just not bothering with them until next year, but then of course Hallmark will probably have 45 or 50 or some other ungodly number of new movies that I'll want to see, and then I'll have those PLUS all the movies from this year I didn't see, and it'll just be a never ending spiral of holly-jolly bland cookie-cutter-ness, and I can't believe I'm saying this because I love Christmas movies, but PLEASE, Hallmark, go with fewer new movies next year because I am completely burned out! 

Edited by kirinan
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7 minutes ago, kirinan said:

Has anyone else hit the wall with holiday movies?

I've hit multiple walls but I keep powering through because that is my own little obsession.  But my biggest challenge is giving myself permission to just give up on movies that don't appeal to me....even as an "in the background" type of thing. 

And in writing this post, I am going to give myself permission to delete Christmas Bells Are Ringing from the DVR.  I think I'm fine with the cast but it was too serious and the plot wasn't unique enough. 

10 minutes ago, kirinan said:

PLEASE, Hallmark, go with fewer new movies next year because I am completely burned out! 

Or at least shake up the plots a bit. 

But I have started watching a lot of True Crime TV shows/listening to podcasts to counteract the sweetness of the holiday movies and I suspect I'll be watching quite a bit of mystery shows over the time I have off.

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I'm at the point in my Christmas movie watching that if a movie doesn't grab me quickly, I'm deleting it (burn out). A Majestic Christmas was one, unfortunately. I'm happy to see diversity, but it just bored me.

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I can easily picture Hallmark going for 40 Christmas movies next year, if they don't stick with another 38 again.  I mean... at this rate, why not go for 40?  They almost had 39 movies this year, if Christmas Camp had made it on the schedule instead of just sitting idly on the Hallmark Channel website with no premiere date.  Forty should be a piece of cake.

I think the only way Hallmark is going to cut down on the new movies is if they've seen clear evidence of a significant, steady dip in ratings or loss of viewers throughout this whole season.  But this year they made the whole event bigger than ever before, not just in terms of the number of movies but also in terms of the radio station on Sirius XM, the app to remind people of the new movies, the official Hallmark podcast, etc.  So it doesn't look as though they are ready to scale anything back quite yet -- especially not when other networks and streaming services are adding more movies to their own line-ups.

Personally, I am OK with the number of new movies because I know I don't have to watch all of them if it gets to be too overwhelming, and I'm happy that they're there when I am ready to watch.   "Too many new movies with similar stories" is a delightful problem to have, and I wish that all problems in life were that easy and pleasant to deal with!  lol   I have done a pretty good job of keeping up with most of the new Hallmark movies this year (Christmas and non-Christmas), minus a couple and not really counting the mysteries, but I am not stressing now if I miss something.    I'll see it at some point down the road.   And whatever it is that I may not be interested in watching, someone else will be interested in seeing it.  

Edited by TVFan17

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Man, I totally forgot about Christmas Camp. I think it aired a few days ago, here in France, I'm gonna try to check it out.

As for the overall schedule, since i'm getting pretty good at guessing whether a movie will be worth my time or not (spoiler : most are not ^^), I've managed to comfortably reduce my global Christmas movies intake to something more manageable. I only have a couple of them left, and I'm all done for the year. (spoiler² : I'm skipping the PenaVega movies)

That said, as much as Hallmark upping the number of movies on a yearly basis doesn't necessarily bother me, I'd rather have them keep that number low, and dedicate more ressources to that smaller number of movies (rather than produce even more movies, but cheaper/lazy ones). Also, don't start those before Halloween, it's pointless.

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Yep, stick to starting after Thanksgiving like they used to and that will help with the burnout. I don’t know how those of you with the other Hallmark channel are doing it- I’ve had enough and just have the regular channel. Cut it to 20 next year Hallmark!

Sorry to hear Danica’s Christmas movie is a no go this year. Her movies have been my favorite the past two holiday seasons. 

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6 hours ago, treeofdreams said:

Jingle Around the Clock. 

Michael Cassidy. 

Hallmark needs to make him one of their regulars in their movies.

 

Yum.

 

I'm just sayin'.

I did enjoy him and would love to have him in other movies. I did not enjoy the female lead's character, so I was frustrated by a lot of other aspects of this movie. But he was most certainly the best part.

I actually enjoyed Christmas Bells are Ringing. I liked how they approached certain storylines compared to other movies and I liked the leads. And another interracial relationship (in the background, of course)! 

It has definitely been hard to keep up with so many movies, especially on so many channels. Yet I've somehow managed to like a decent amount this year. I think I've liked more than I did last year, between all of the channels. Even a few on Hallmark. 

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We did Hallmark brunch and drinking game. Started with Royal Christmas. I am the only one still up.Left Christmas Bells are Ringing running for some reason.

They did pimp Ruby Herring mysteries about a half hour ago. Finger crossed Taylor Cole can act in mysteries. I am recording Bells so I can actually watch later on

Forgot to say: Bells has another interracial couple as tier three friends couple. So Hallmark is rolling this out for sure

Edited by Happywatcher
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So, Christmas Camp.

Pros : unusual setup & story, not that tropey, decent snow outside, numerous supporting characters, cute dog.

Cons : bland romance between a somewhat bland lead, and a somewhat bland love interest. Which kinda killed the movie for me. Can't help but think the same movie with someone like Maggie Lawson would have been stronger.

Overall, a forgettable outing, that doesn't totally fits the HM guidelines (which is good) but isn't dynamic or original enough to be memorable.

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I’ve been binge watching all of the Hallmark, UP, ION and Lifetime movies while home on staycation to the point where they’ve all morphed into one movie. I can’t remember which is which and I have another week to go through.  In speaking about diversity there was one movie, I’m pretty sure it was on Hallmark where there was a gay biracial married couple with an adopted baby - not lead roles but they were featured several times in the periphery of the story.  Made me think how far we’ve come!

Edited by Koalagirl · Reason: Spelling.
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4 minutes ago, Koalagirl said:

I’ve been binge watching all of the Hallmark, UP, ION and Lifetime movies while home on staycation to the point where they’ve all morphed into one movie. I can’t remember which is which and I have another week to go through.  In speaking about diversity there was one movie, I’m pretty sure it was on Hallmark where there was a gay biracial married couple with an adopted baby - not lead roles but they were featured several times in the periphery of the story.  Made me think how far we’ve come!

That was Lifetime's Christmas Around the Corner.

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A Christmas For The Books was okay and reminded me so much of Pixl’s Romantically Speaking where a radio show host who spoke on air about her perfect boyfriend has to find a fake boyfriend when the supposedly perfect one dumps her.  Except her best friend was the fake boyfriend in that one.  There was also Hallmark’s  The Convient Groom where a blogger who specializes in romantic advice needs a fake fiance when her guy breaks up with her minutes before the very public engagment announcement.   The Convient Groom is the one I like best of that bunch.  I didn’t like Romantically Speaking.  

Edited by Luckylyn
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I can't recall if it was last year or 2016, but I remember reading an interview with Michelle Vicary from Crown Media, and she indicated that they hoped to produce 110 new movies (of all themes -- not just Christmas) in 2019, and that number would include everything on both channels as well as all Christmas movies.   So, since 2019 is just around the corner, I was curious to count out how many movies premiered in 2018.     (Of course, some movies have gone into production this year but they won't air until 2019.  I am not counting those.  I am only counting the number of new movies that actually premiered on each Hallmark channel this year, to see how far we are from that goal of "110 in 2019.")  

 

***In 2018, there were 56 new movie premieres on the Hallmark Channel, including the ones that still have yet to air (34 non-Christmas movies of various themes + 22 Christmas movies)

***In 2018, there were 34 new movie premieres on the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Channel (18 mysteries + 16 Christmas movies)

 

So, as we can see, Hallmark premiered 90 new movies across both channels in 2018 -- which is pretty much what they said they were going to do way back at the Winter TCA party in January.  They actually stuck to one thing they said they would do, which is very surprising!!

Also, we can see that almost half of the new movies they premiered on the Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Channel this year were Christmas movies.  As much as some people want that to be an all-mystery channel, clearly Christmas is a big deal for HMM too.

 

To get to the "110 in 2019" number they will have to crank out 20 additional movies (of all themes) to be distributed between both channels.   That seems like a rather lofty increase, and I wonder if they can do it.  That would mean increasing the number of mysteries, as well as tacking on extra movies to the other themed events too.   And whatever they add to Christmas would come from that extra 20 as well.

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39 minutes ago, anniebird said:

Every single Hallmark Christmas movie starts with an aerial view of a city, usually New York, occasionally Chicago.

You forgot Seattle and its Space Needle.

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On 12/15/2018 at 7:29 PM, Kaoteek said:

Time to Come Home For Christmas. Meh. I tend to like Megan Park, and I've nothing against Josh Henderson (also, a Paul McGillion cameo never hurts), but "meh" is about all I can come up with to describe this one. Country Christmases just don't do it for me.

I just watched Time to Come Home For Christmas because the description kind of looked interesting. I was rolling along kinda enjoying it until they went to the cabin belonging to the friend Josh's character admitted to rarely seeing. Those cabin scenes were overly sappy so much so that I muted them a few minutes in. During that intermission I read here and elsewhere while occasionally checking to see if they had escaped from that place and gotten away from those annoying kids. Not all kids are annoying in these movies but those two annoyed me. The one time I un-muted during those cabin scenes they were still singing about Jesus. I wish they had spent more time at the individual parents homes or better yet ended up at his Mom's home sooner so his Mom and her Dad could get to know each other better. The couple of scenes they were in together made it seem like the characters would have gotten along well.

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Okay, my Christmas movie spirit is on the way to being restored. I just caught Once Upon a Christmas Miracle, and I feel all warm and fuzzy. This was a good movie. 

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Christmas Made to Order is like weird fandoms colliding for me...the guy from Mean Girls, plus JR Chandler from All My Children is married to Lori Trager from Kyle XY (which was apparently a lot longer ago than I realized)... I'm having a hard time focusing because I'm trying to wrap my brain around how long its been since I've seen any of them and barely recognized them!

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2 hours ago, Luckylyn said:

reminded me so much of Pixl’s Romantically Speaking where a radio show host who spoke on air about her perfect boyfriend has to find a fake boyfriend when the supposedly perfect one dumps her.  Except her best friend was the fake boyfriend in that one

And that movie stars Jonathan Bennett who is the lead of the last non-series holiday movie airing tonight, Made To Order.  I like Alexa better than her husband and I like Jonathan so I watched tonight's Made To Order.  I liked the comedic elements more than the family elements so I wish there had been more of those.

But on top of the many other tropes I've grown sick of, I'm uber sick of people quitting their damn jobs like it's nothing.  And I'm also sick of fake jobs.  Holiday decorator?  Really? 

Quote

I actually enjoyed Christmas Bells are Ringing. I liked how they approached certain storylines compared to other movies and I liked the leads. And another interracial relationship (in the background, of course)! 

So I should give this movie another shot?

Quote

To get to the "110 in 2019" number they will have to crank out 20 additional movies (of all themes) to be distributed between both channels.   That seems like a rather lofty increase, and I wonder if they can do it.  That would mean increasing the number of mysteries, as well as tacking on extra movies to the other themed events too.  

They could aim for every weekend but I wonder if they'll eventually start moving some of the movies over the Hallmark Drama. 

Edited by Irlandesa
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15 minutes ago, Koalagirl said:

Thanks!  How do you keep them all straight!!

I definitely don't keep them all straight. I just remember this one because it's one I liked this year. I was listening to the podcast I mentioned earlier in this thread and they said the name of the movie they were reviewing. The name didn't sound familiar and I wondered if I missed it. But nope - when I looked it up, it was one that I saw. That one clearly didn't stick with me.  

 

1 hour ago, Irlandesa said:

 

So I should give this movie another shot?

 

Up to you. I seem to like some that others don't and dislike some that others like. I liked this one somewhat early on in the movie and continued to like it for the most part, but that doesn't mean you will. 

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18 minutes ago, Koalagirl said:

Thanks!  How do you keep them all straight!!

You're not talking to me but I find that one kind of easy to remember--although we'll have to see if I still remember next season.  But it had an interracial gay couple in it where one half of the partnership is a religious figure.  It kind of stands out.  But in addition, it has a bookshop element as well as an Around The Corner element. I don't know about anyone else but You've Got Mail, where both Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks own bookstores, is based on Shop Around The Corner (which has no bookstores).   But there's enough of an association that my mind goes there.

Speaking of titles, people earlier in this thread hated Entertaining Christmas as a title but I thought that was a better one than many Hallmark titles since Jodie Sweeten and her mother run a Martha Stewart-type operation which in many ways is about entertaining. No one does that stuff just for themselves. 

6 hours ago, VMepicgrl said:

And another interracial relationship (in the background, of course)! 

So far in the background that I missed them.  Of course, at some point I started fast forwarding because even though I gave it another chance and I liked the leads, it just didn't work for me. I should have trusted my instincts. Although I was amused by the subliminal gayness of the lead proposing to the mustachioed snowman while taking silly pictures. 

For those wondering whether or not to skip Christmas In Grand Valley, that interracial couple, at least, actually had a story arc where they decided whether or not they were going to get together. 

2 minutes ago, VMepicgrl said:

Up to you. I seem to like some that others don't and dislike some that others like. I liked this one somewhat early on in the movie and continued to like it for the most part, but that doesn't mean you will. 

I was replying above at the same time you posted this.  And yep, I still couldn't get into it.  But that's no surprise as I don't think there has really been a consensus movie this year.  Usually there's at least one or two Hallmark movies that is overall well received here but this season it feels very split.

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6 hours ago, Kaoteek said:

That said, as much as Hallmark upping the number of movies on a yearly basis doesn't necessarily bother me, I'd rather have them keep that number low, and dedicate more resources to that smaller number of movies (rather than produce even more movies, but cheaper/lazy ones). 

That's exactly how I feel, Kaoteek!

I only watched a little bit of A Christmas for the Books before I deleted it.  Seemed too same ole', same ole' and the leads didn't appeal to me.

Then I watched Christmas Around the Corner, and although I wasn't particularly feeling the romantic relationship, I loved the kind, energetic, confident and feisty heroine and the actress that played her - Alexandra Breckenridge, who I would never have recognized from her role in this episode in the final season premiere of Buffy (even though I watched the entire Buffy series many times.)  She looked so different in Christmas Around the Corner.  My favorite part of this movie was her relationship with the teenage girl who she caught trying to shoplift a book.  Everything about it that was so well done.  I probably would have found fault with the premise of the vacation rental/manage a bookstore if I hadn't seen the link to its real life counterpart in Scotland before watching this movie.

After that I watched Mingle All the Way, and the entire thing just really worked for me.  I loved both the male and female romantic leads.  Jen Lilley was fantastic (as she was in Spirit of Christmas) and I will try to catch any of her future movies.  Although I have seen the whole pretend relationship thing before in other movies, I loved the set up in this movie, especially because I would love an app like that.  (I have had to attend many fundraising events, parties and galas over the years and it would be so nice to not worry about finding an appropriate date when I'm not seeing anyone.)  Lindsay Wagner played her mom, and the whole family aspect was also very well done for both main protagonists.  And the business partner and best friend getting together was another nice touch.  Bonus points for no widows, widowers, single parents or dead parents!  (Actually... I have to double check on the male lead's side - we saw his sister, her husband and her daughter quite a bit, and I don't think their parents were deceased, but I could be wrong.  It wasn't a major plot point though, if they were, since I don't even remember any details.)

24 minutes ago, Koalagirl said:

Thanks!  How do you keep them all straight!!

I use a spreadsheet that also has a brief description and the lead actors, but I still have to look a lot of them up.

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23 hours ago, Crs97 said:

This is a sweet little story about the making of a Hallmark movie:

https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/really-set-hallmark-christmas-movie-170000096.html

I was impressed that not only did Jonathan Bennett praise Alexa PenaVega, which is to be expected since they are co-starring together in Christmas Made To Order, but also praised Danica McKellar, Lacey Chabert, Rachel Boston, and Jen Lilly.  He described the five of them as helping him out of a dark time after his parents passed away.

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HMM is currently showing a 'countdown' of all it's 2018 Christmas movies and are currently up to #5 - does anybody know how they are ranking them? It does not appear to match the ratings on the Hallmark Movie wikipedia page, as Memories Of Christmas is #5 but had 2nd lowest ratings.  My onscreen guide shows Christmas On Honeysuckle Lane airing at 3:00 pm, which would make it #1 but Danica McKellar tweeted yesterday that Christmas At Grand Valley will be re-airing 3:00 pm today.

Edited by mikeb

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Christmas at Grand Valley. Same old, same old. And what's weird is that I liked the leads, I liked the fact that their relationship felt more adult and mature than in most HM movies, I liked the kids, I liked the lodge, I liked the supporting characters' interracial romance... but it just left me mostly cold, and it ended up running on fumes. Not much to say about it, and instantly forgotten.

On another note, looking at the overall ratings, 2018 hasn't been a great holiday season for HM, so far, with lower lows than usual, and a much lower ratings average... HMM movies ratings, though, seem steady, if not a tad stronger than in previous years.

Edited by Kaoteek · Reason: Edited for added thoughts
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4 hours ago, mikeb said:

HMM is currently showing a 'countdown' of all it's 2018 Christmas movies and are currently up to #5 - does anybody know how they are ranking them? It does not appear to match the ratings on the Hallmark Movie wikipedia page, as Memories Of Christmas is #5 but had 2nd lowest ratings.  My onscreen guide shows Christmas On Honeysuckle Lane airing at 3:00 pm, which would make it #1 but Danica McKellar tweeted yesterday that Christmas At Grand Valley will be re-airing 3:00 pm today.

 

Maybe they switched the two movies' places in the "rankings" at the last second.   Who knows?

I don't think their rankings are based on anything other than arbitrarily trying program the channel and put a different spin on it.   For the finales of the Summer Nights and Fall Harvest events, remember they tried ranking movies and keeping a surprise element to it by not announcing the specific movies they were going to air at specific times?   They kept it a mystery.   People would have had to actually tune IN to see what was going to be on, because it was a surprise.  It was a different way of presenting the same movies they had already been showing and would show again, but with a tiny element of surprise.    (But there was no explanation of exactly how the movies were ranked.)

So now Hallmark is trying this ranking gimmick again on HMM, as you said -- BUT this time there is no element of surprise at all.    All the showtimes and titles are right there for all to see.   So, basically, it's just another day of showing the same movies that have already been shown, with no explanation of how the movies were ranked, and with no suspense or mystery.

I think that Hallmark possibly caved in and took away the element of surprise because people on Facebook and Twitter (Hallmark's pages) stomped, pouted, whined, shouted and generally acted like giant babies about not knowing exactly which movies were going to air at which times at the end of the Summer and Fall events.     They simply could not grasp the whole point of the "rankings."    I think that, in their minds, they believed that Hallmark was going to bust out some surprise new movies that had never been seen before, and that they were going to miss something important if they didn't record.   I don't think they realized that the movies Hallmark was including in the Summer and Fall rankings were the same movies that had just been shown on the previous weekend, or even the previous day, and that they'd already seen them.   All the complainers could see was "You didn't show what movie is going to be on at 6 p.m.!  How will I know if I should set my DVR to record??"

I just don't understand people on social media sometimes.  It makes me think... is this how people are behaving in their real lives?  Are they acting like giant babies who can't function unless they know what is going to happen for every second of the day, even for frivolous things like surprise rankings?  lol

Edited by TVFan17 · Reason: typo! always lots of typos!!! And clarification!
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13 minutes ago, TVFan17 said:

I think that Hallmark possibly caved in took away the element of surprise because people on Facebook stomped, pouted, whined, shouted and generally acted like giant babies about not knowing exactly which movies were going to air at which times at the end of the Summer and Fall events.     They simply could not grasp the whole point of the "rankings."    I think that, in their minds, they believed that Hallmark was going to bust out some surprise new movies that had never been seen before, and that they were going to miss something important if they didn't record.   I don't think they realized that the movies Hallmark was including in the Summer and Fall rankings were the same movies that had just been shown on the previous weekend, or even the previous day, and that they'd already seen them.   All the complainers could see was "You didn't show what movie is going to be on at 6 p.m.!  How will I know when to set my DVR to record??"

I didn't stomp, pout, whine, or shout, but I was a little annoyed by the way they handled those countdowns. I did set my DVR to record every movie of each countdown--and in a couple of cases had to forego recording something else because my DVR is very limited in how many things I can record at one time. Then I ended up deleting 90% of the movies I'd recorded unwatched because they weren't ones I cared to watch again. Which wasn't difficult to do, of course. Just...annoying.

I don't care how they rank them, because rankings are subjective anyway, but it doesn't bother me in the least if they show the titles on the cable guide.  

Edited by kirinan
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30 minutes ago, kirinan said:

I didn't stomp, pout, whine, or shout, but I was a little annoyed by the way they handled those countdowns. I did set my DVR to record every movie of each countdown--and in a couple of cases had to forego recording something else because my DVR is very limited in how many things I can record at one time. Then I ended up deleting 90% of the movies I'd recorded unwatched because they weren't ones I cared to watch again. Which wasn't difficult to do, of course. Just...annoying.

I don't care how they rank them, because rankings are subjective anyway, but it doesn't bother me in the least if they show the titles on the cable guide.  

 

 

They way they did it in Summer and Fall was simply a way of showing the same movies with a bit of mystery by withholding the titles so people would have to tune in.  Those same movies had just been shown and were going to be shown again, probably within the next week. 

But now they're just showing the same movies with no mystery at all.  That so-called "ranking" -- subjectivity aside -- doesn't even matter or mean anything because no one knows how or why anything was ranked.  The only thing that made the event stand out as different was maintaining some mystery about which titles were going to be shown, and that's gone.    I tuned in when there was mystery to it.  I have not tuned in for these rankings at all, yesterday or today, because everything has been revealed and there is no surprise!   lol  There is no suspense when I can see what is on the schedule.

What's different about "Christmas on Honeysuckle Lane" airing today versus when it aired 2 weeks ago, or when it airs again on December 28th, or in early January?  Nothing.  Same movie.   It's the same with all the other new HMM movies too, which is why I didn't understand the great need to DVR everything (which I saw people carrying on about back in Summer and Fall).   Most of the movies had just been shown hours or days before and were probably scheduled to be shown again... but that's just me, and my wacky way of looking at things.  

I can understand recording if the movies had been new, or if new viewers had not seen them before, or if existing viewers had somehow missed seeing them during previous showtimes. 

Edited by TVFan17
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27 minutes ago, TVFan17 said:

I can understand recording if the movies had been new, or if new viewers had not seen them before, or if existing viewers had somehow missed seeing them during previous showtimes. 

 

That was my issue with the fall countdown; for the most part, I wasn't able to watch those movies as they aired because of prior commitments and travel. And my DVR was already pretty full with the fall episodes of weekly shows and other movies my husband and I watch. But in the summer, which was the first countdown I remember noticing, it was just because I was hoping to see some older summer movies I liked. I wasn't aware at the time that it was mostly just recent movies. Now I know better.

Edited by kirinan
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Christmas on Honeysuckle Lane is number 1.  A Godwink was number 2.  I don’t think these rankings mean a thing.  I really didn’t like the Godwink movie mostly because Kathy Lee Gifford can’t act.  Every line was delivered like she was talking to Hoda on her TV show.  

There are some older Hallmark Christmas movies that I really like that have gotten the short end of the stick.  Some didn’t play at all, while some were on once or twice at 2 or 3 or 4am.  They seem to prefer CCB movies over all else. 

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