There’s nothing better during the holiday season than curling up under a blanket, sipping on hot cocoa (or gluhwien), and plopping in a Hallmark movie.
Watching Hallmark films, despite their predictable, cheesy, and unrealistic plots, has become a Christmas tradition in the same way that leaving cookies for Santa and opening presents on Christmas morning have.
There’s just something so comforting about getting lost in the romance set in a charming small-town.
Hallmark movies have become such a holiday staple for people of all ages that other broadcast channels and streaming services like Lifetime, Netflix, and Freeform have begun investing in their own “Hallmark-esque” films.
But why do we love Hallmark movies so much? Well, there are a few reasons that keep us coming back for more!
For starters, it’s cozy. Holiday films have a feel-good message and theme. They’re filled with joy, hope, and love — all things that we want to feel and experience during the holidays! Seeing the romance pan out between two incredibly good looking people, even when it’s cliche and predictable, warm our hearts during the cold winter months. It makes us believe in love! Who doesn’t want that?
The comfort of these films is what draws people in and keeps them coming back.
Hallmark films tend to gravitate towards the same actors and actresses each year. Usually, these actors have a nostalgic pull (like Christmas queen Candace Cameron Bure from Full House/Fuller House) or the cast of One Tree Hill, which has starred in several Hallmark and Lifetime movies through the years. And we can’t forget about Mean Girls‘ Gretchen Weiners aka Lacey Chabert. Watching a movie with familiar faces feels like a family reunion or catching up with old friends during the holidays. They also help those who may be experiencing loneliness feel a sense of family and community.
While romance may be a focal point of most Hallmark Christmas movies, it’s always PG and fun for the whole family. I like to call them grown up fairytales because they always end with a “happily ever after” as soon as the protagonists overcome a few hiccups that were standing in their way of true love. The films are suitable for the whole family as they teach some pretty important life lessons about following your heart, being honest, the importance of second chances, and prioritizing family over career… to name a few.
They Provide a Wintery Escape
Since the films are so unrealistic, they provide audiences with a mindless escape from reality. You’re sucked away from the big city to a simple, charming, and quaint wintery town with good looking people and a lot of romance. The jobs are always involved with the media, so that seems to be every person’s fantasy, but along the way, we learn that having a successful career isn’t everything.
However, the films touch on the desire many overworked Americans have to just unplug from the stress of their everyday jobs. They encourage audiences to spend time with their loved ones, to slow down, and to embrace the holidays and all of its magic. They’re an annual reminder that it’s okay to take a break from the hectic life we’ve all become so accustomed to while straying away from up real issues like socio-economic differences, presidential elections, or worst of all, COVID.
Every Hallmark film looks and feels the same. It follows the same formula, which has been proven to work. In that way, you know exactly what you’re signing up for before you even begin watching, and you know you won’t be disappointed.
They’re Making Progress
Hallmark movies have been criticized for their lack of diversity, but in recent years, they’ve been making headway. The network is adding films with people of color to better represent the fanbase and 2020 marks the first LGBTQ-friendly film with a same-sex couple in the lead. Of course, it’ll star Mean Girls actor Jonathan Bennett along with One Tree Hill’s Robert Buckley, who will play his brother.
Slowly but surely, the films are becoming a reflection of our society while still keeping things light, fluffy, and romanticized.
Are you excited for Hallmark movies this holiday season? What have been some of your favorites? Let us know in the comment section below! Don’t forget to buy your official Hallmark Christmas wine for a jolly good season.
The 5 Best and the 5 Worst of 2021 TV, So Far
The 5 Best of 2021 TV:
Even with the pandemic shutting down the production of many current shows, 2021 still managed to pull off some darn good TV. Give it up for streaming services that totally blew cable television out of the water.
Here are 5 TV shows you NEED to add to your watchlist.
1. Hacks (HBO Max)
HBO Max’s Hacks deserved every Emmy it received and every Emmy it didn’t receive. The talented Jean Smart stars as Deborah Vance a fading comedian who teams up with canceled comedy writer Ava (Hannah Einbinder). An unlikely pairing eventually finds their connection and their way in this hilarious series.
The show manages to be everything and more even though the concept is pretty basic. So, despite what you might think from the trailer, you won’t be disappointed.
2. Only Murders in the Building (Hulu)
It’s been forever since Steve Martin and Martin Short teamed up together to bring quality entertainment. And this time they’ve teamed up with Selena Gomez on Only Murders in the Building! Truly an unusual group, but one that works surprisingly well.
In this comedic mystery, the three come together to create a podcast in which they work to solve a murder in their building. When they dig deeper, stories are unraveled, and trust wavers. Although, the one thing that stays constant is the humor and overabundance of Steve Martin’s dad jokes.
3. Mare of Easttown (HBO Max)
Kate Winslet. Need I say more?
In this murder mystery, Mare is the police officer tasked with solving a murder in her small Pennsylvanian town. The twist at the end will leave you speechless, and reeling in awe. Mare of Easttown has A+ acting and a storyline that will have you coming back for more.
4. Squid Game (Netflix)
You’ll have to put subtitles on for this one unless you speak Korean, but I promise it’s more than worth it. Squid Game received widespread recognition over Tik Tok and is now No. 1 on Netflix’s trending list and potentially its biggest show ever.
It is gory and well-produced. And you’ll want to binge it all at once! A group of people who are in debt fight to stay alive and to win the grand prize of ₩4.5 billion. Who will prevail and who will die?
5. Firefly Lane (Netflix)
This one might be an unpopular opinion since Rotten Tomatoes didn’t like it, but I did. Two best friends Kate and Tully have known each other since high school. Kate has lived in the shadow of Tully their entire friendship but is living the life Tully ultimately wants.
Drama ensues throwing a wrench into their decades-long friendship. Firefly Lane is an easy watch and verges on cheesy, yet it’s entertaining and you’ll be left wanting a season 2 to answer important questions.
The 5 Worst of 2021 TV:
And while there is good TV, there is certainly bad TV. Many of these either had unbearable plots, endings that tanked the entire show, or were downright boring.
Here’s a list of 5 shows you should avoid at all costs.
1. Nine Perfect Strangers (Hulu)
Ouch, even Nicole Kidman couldn’t save this show. Nine Perfect Strangers is based on the book of the same name, but in order to provide a fresh and new perspective, it refrains from repeating the novel’s storyline.
Each episode dragged a bit, and while the characters were interesting and given depth, the plot and resolution failed. And sorry, but Nicole Kidman’s attempt at a Russian accent made everything a bit tacky. In short, it’s about a healing retreat that strives to help a group of visitors heal from their past traumas.
2. Cruel Summer (Freeform)
Initially, this show had great potential. However, its ending completely ruined everything it was doing right. Cruel Summer is a thriller about a young girl who goes missing and the nuances within her abduction.
It plays into some obvious tropes and many of its twists are predictable. Watch at your own risk!
3. Genera(t)ion (HBO Max)
There were some good characters and decent storylines, but altogether this show just didn’t work. A majority of the characters were unlikable and it tried too hard to push the boundaries.
Genera(+)ion brings to life a group of high schoolers, some of whom are figuring out their gender and sexual identities. It attempts to dig deeper into the lives and minds of Gen Zers and how the internet affects and shapes their adolescence.
4. Gossip Girl 2021 (HBO Max)
Let’s just say the original Gossip Girl deserved to stay untouched. The Gossip Girl 2021 reboot was terrible and so obviously created by an out-of-touch group of adults that were trying to appeal to Gen Z.
The only thing I can applaud is the diversity within the casting. But other than that, the storyline about teachers creating a troll Instagram account to try and keep their students inline? Implausible and downright ridiculous.
5. Solos (Amazon Prime)
With big names like Anne Hathaway, Helen Mirren, Morgan Freeman, and Constance Wu, you’d think this show would’ve done better. But, Solos goes to show that good actors can’t save bad writing.
Each episode of this seven-part series attempts to provide a groundbreaking meaning behind humanity. Almost like it tried to one-up Black Mirror, but got it all wrong. Since it was shot during COVID it kept every character isolated to one room, which was a cool concept in theory. However, the monologues were dry making the length of each episode excruciating to sit through.
Disney+ Announces ‘Hallowstream’ Lineup – See the Full List of Movies and Shows
Disney+ is getting ready for spooky season with a slate of shows and movies for audiences big and small.
The Halloween-themed content is hitting the streaming service on September 24 as part of their “Hallowstream.”
It will include new originals like LEGO Star Wars Terrifying Tales, eight-part anthology based on the stories of R.L. Stine titled Just Beyond, and Muppets Haunted Mansion. And yes, The Haunted Mansion will also be available.
But don’t worry, those beloved classics will take you back, including Hocus Pocus, Halloweentown, and James and the Giant Peach (cause you now you still have nightmares after watching that in second grade!)
I’m personally excited about this Disney Channel classic: Mom’s Got a Date With a Vampire!
OG Disney fans can even tap into Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie, The Suite Life On Deck, and Twitches!
Movies and Series
LEGO® Star Wars Terrifying Tales (Friday, October 1)
Muppets Haunted Mansion (Friday, October 8)
Just Beyond (All Episodes Streaming Wednesday, October 13)
Bride of Boogedy
Can of Worms
Don’t Look Under the Bed
Girl vs. Monster
Halloweentown II: Kalabar’s Revenge
James and the Giant Peach
Maleficent: Mistress of Evil
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
Mom’s Got a Date With a Vampire
Phantom of the Megaplex
Return to Halloweentown
The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad
The Ghosts of Buxley Hall
The Haunted Mansion
The Scream Team
Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas
Wizards of Waverly Place
Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie
The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror (I – XXX) and The Simpsons Horror Collection
Shorts and Specials
Captain Sparky Vs. The Flying Saucers
Mater and the Ghostlight
The Legend of Mor’du
Toy Story of Terror!
Trick or Treat
Vampirina Ghoul Girls Rock!
WandaVision – “All-New Halloween Spooktacular!”
What If…? – “What If…Zombies?!”
The Muppet Show – “Vincent Price”
Behind The Attraction – “The Haunted Mansion”
The Wonderful World of Mickey Mouse – “Houseghosts”
The Wonderful World of Mickey Mouse – “Once Upon An Apple”
Prop Culture – “The Nightmare Before Christmas”
Earth To Ned – “Night of the Living Ned”
The Incredible Dr. Pol – “Pol-Tergeist”
America’s Funniest Home Videos – “Scared Silly, Trick or Treat, and a Home Wrecking Rodent”
America’s Funniest Home Videos – “Tricks & Treats, Costume Party and Baby Monsters”
America’s Funniest Home Videos – “Halloween Classics, Magic Mishaps, and Spiders”
America’s Funniest Home Videos – “Halloweenies and Creepy Crawlies”
America’s Funniest Home Videos – “Halloween, Instant Karma, and Scared Stupid”
America’s Funniest Home Videos – “Halloweenies 2012 and Second Guy Bites It”
Disney Channel Halloween Episodes
A.N.T Farm – “Mutant Farm”
Big City Greens – “Blood Moon Part 1 / Blood Moon Part 2”
Bunk’d – “Camp Kiki-slasher”
DuckTales (2017) – “Terror of the Terra-firmians!”
Even Stevens – “A Very Scary Story”
Girl Meets World – “Girl Meets World of Terror”
Good Luck Charlie – “Scary Had a Little Lamb”
Goof Troop – “Hallow-Weenies”
Gravity Falls – “Summerween”
Hannah Montana – “Torn Between Two Hannahs”
Jessie – “The Whining”
K.C. Undercover – “All Howls Eve”
Kim Possible – “October 31st”
Lab Rats – “Night of The Living Virus”
Liv and Maddie – “Haunt-A-Rooney”
Lizzie McGuire – “Night of the Day of the Dead”
Mickey Mouse (Shorts) – “Ghoul Friend”
Phil of the Future – “Halloween”
Phineas and Ferb – “Terrifying Tri-State Trilogy of Terror” (Part 1 and 2)
Raven’s Home – “Switch-or-Treat”
Recess – “Terrifying Tales of Recess”
Shake It Up – “Haunt It Up”
Sonny With A Chance – “A So Random Halloween Special”
Star vs. The Forces of Evil – “Hungry Larry/Spider with a Top Hat”
Rapunzel’s Tangled Adventure – “The Wrath of Ruthless Ruth”
That’s So Raven – “Don’t Have a Cow”
The Proud Family – “A Hero for Halloween”
The Suite Life of Zack & Cody – “Ghost of 613”
The Suite Life On Deck – “Sea Monster Mash”
Wizards of Waverly Place – “Halloween”
Disney Junior Halloween Episodes
Doc McStuffins – “Boo-Hoo to You! / It’s Glow Time”
Doc McStuffins – “Hallie Halloween / Don’t Fence Me In”
Doc McStuffins “Mirror, Mirror on My Penguin / Hide and Eek!”
Fancy Nancy – “Nancy’s Costume Clash / Nancy’s Ghostly Halloween”
Goldie & Bear – “Witch Cat is Which? / Trick or Treat Trouble”
Handy Manny – “Halloween / Squeeze’s Magic Show”
Henry Hugglemonster – “Halloween Scramble / Scouts Night Out”
Henry Hugglemonster – “Huggleween Moon”
Imagination Movers – “A Monster Problem”
Imagination Movers – “Haunted Halloween”
Jake and the Never Land Pirates – “Escape from Ghost Island / The Island of Doctor Undergear”
Jake and the Never Land Pirates – “Night of the Golden Pumpkin / Trick or Treasure!”
Jake and the Never Land Pirates – “Phantoms of Never-Nether Land / Magical Mayhem”
Jake and the Never Land Pirates – “Pirate Ghost Story / Queen Izzybella”
Jake and the Never Land Pirates – “Tricks, Treats and Treasure! / Season of the Sea Witch”
Little Einsteins – “A Little Einsteins Halloween”
Mickey and the Roadster Racers – “Goof Mansion / A Doozy Night of Mystery”
Mickey and the Roadster Racers – “The Haunted Hot Rod / Pete’s Ghostly Gala”
Mickey Mouse Clubhouse – “Mickey’s Monster Musical” (Part 1 and 2)
Mickey Mouse Clubhouse – “Mickey’s Treat”
Miles from Tomorrowland – “Ghost Moon / Stormy Night in a Dark Nebula”
Muppet Babies – “Happy Hallowocka!/The Teeth-Chattering Tale of the Haunted Pancakes”
Out of the Box – “Trick or Treat”
Puppy Dog Pals – “Return to the Pumpkin Patch / Haunted Howl-oween”
Sheriff Callie’s Wild West – “The Great Hallow”
Sofia the First – “Cauldronation Day”
Sofia the First – “Ghostly Gala”
Sofia the First – “Princess Butterfly”
The Lion Guard – “Beware the Zimwi”
Vampirina – “Hauntleyween / Frankenflower”
WATCH: ‘Nancy Drew’ Season 3 Trailer Teases Nancy and Ace Romance
The season 3 trailer of Nancy Drew is finally here, and we’ve never been more excited for October 8!
In addition to a possible Nancy and Ace romance (there’s so much chemistry there, it’s insane), the trailer picks up a week after the Nancy Drew Season 2 finale.
Fans can expect plenty of new dark mysteries and murders to continue haunting Horeshoe Bay, along with a deadly new game brought upon by the spirit of Nancy’s relative Temperance Hudson, who is all too eager to cause mischief.
The rest of the Drew Crew — including Nancy’s biological father, Ryan Hudson, and her adoptive dad, Carson Drew — can expect to be dragged into the cursed world of the supernatural.
Watch the trailer below and get ready!
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