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.
Pat Sajak Kicks Off Final Run on ‘Wheel of Fortune’ Season 41
The beginning of the end is officially upon us!
Wheel of Fortune Season 41 was set to kick off today, September 11, 2023, with a momentous premiere marking Pat Sajak’s final spin with the game show. Unfortunately, due to the Monday Night’s NFL Kickoff, the episode will not be airing in its regularly scheduled slot of 6:30 p.m. CT in some markets. Instead, episode 401 was preempted and scheduled on the lineup to air at 3:07 a.m. CT, while the second episode of the season, is set to air normally on September 12th at 6:30 p.m. CT.
The article has been updated to reflect this schedule change.
The longtime host announced his departure this summer. He has helmed the game show for 40 years alongside Vanna White, who is also set to return for the 41st season, though she will be away for a week as she came down with COVID-19 while filming, forcing her to miss a handful of episodes.
Still, it’s going to be a season to remember as things will never be the same again once Ryan Seacrest takes over, replacing Sajak in 2024. Sajak first joined in 1981, filling the spot previously held by Chuck Woolery and making the game show an American staple.
However, Sajak was ready to close this chapter of his life, previously declaring, “Well, the time has come. I’ve decided that our 41st season, which begins in September, will be my last. It’s been a wonderful ride, and I’ll have more to say in the coming months.”
Fans aren’t looking forward to the change, with many commenting that it’s the “last” season they will watch on the WOF Instagram and Twitter posts promoting the premiere.
Guess who's back?
Back again (for the 41st time)? pic.twitter.com/11U14KQjIk
— Wheel of Fortune (@WheelofFortune) September 5, 2023
Wheel of Fortune Season 41 will kick off with the theme “European Vacation,” airing episodes every night of the week at 6:30 pm CT on ABC.
It’s unclear if White, who hasn’t gotten a raise in 18 years, will continue on with the show once Seacrest takes over, but since she’s so iconic and integral to the show’s success, we hope that she gets what she deserves!
And we hope everyone enjoys the final season with the iconic duo of Sajak and White!
2023 Fall TV Schedule—Here are the 17 Shows That Need to Be on Your Radar
The 2023 fall TV season is going to look slightly different this year than in previous years amid the ongoing WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes.
Networks have been working overtime to overhaul the schedules and lineups to present the best content possible, so while new productions are currently paused, there are plenty of already-completed shows in the pipeline that are ready for their premiere, along with some “new-ish” shows that are either coming from streaming or Canada directly to your primetime network.
We’re breaking down all of the must-watch and highly-anticipated shows—new and returning—for the fall TV season below! You don’t have to look far to find something to enjoy, so let us know what’s making your list this season.
Wilderness – Sept 15 on Prime Video
Based on the 2017 novel of the same name written by B.E. Jones, the series focuses on a seemingly perfect couple who have it all whose dream vacation swiftly turns into a nightmare fueled by heartbreak and revenge. The cast includes Jenna Coleman, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, and Ashley Benson.
All Rise – Sept. 16 on Own
If you’ve been with All Rise since its CBS days, you’re going to want to catch the final third season for a proper goodbye and to see how it all ends following the shocking cliffhanger, while also digging into the last legal cases on the series.
American Horror Story – Sept 20 on FX
AHS: Delicate, the 12th installment of the horror franchise, arrives just in time for spooky season. And for the first time ever, a season is based on a novel by Danielle Valentine titled Delicate Condition, which gives plenty of Rosemary’s Baby vibes. The talk of the town is the casting, which includes Emma Roberts in the lead role alongside Kim Kardashian, The Resident’s Matt Czuchry, and Cara Delevigne. It will be split into two parts, with the first arriving on Sept. 20 on FX and streaming the next day on Hulu. There’s currently no premiere date for the second part, however, the AHS spinoff American Horror Stories will also return with a four-episode Halloween event on Hulu on Oct. 26. Get ready for the thrills.
The Irrational – Sept. 25 on NBC
Alec Mercer is “the science guy,” who knows a thing or two about psychology and what makes people do certain things, which is particularly useful when trying to solve difficult and high-stakes cases and murders. Not only is the premise catchy and appeals to procedural fans, but its also got a stacked cast with Jesse L. Martin, Maahra Hill, Travina Springer, Molly Kunz, and more.
Sullivan’s Crossing – Oct. 4 on The CW
The Canadian series is making its way to The CW, and fans of small-town shows like Virgin River are going to love it!
The series, adapted from the bestselling novels by Robyn Carr (who also penned the aforementioned Netflix hit) stars Morgan Kohan, One Tree Hill’s Chad Michael Murray, and Gilmore Girl’s Scott Patterson as it follows the journey of a neurosurgeon named Maggie Sullivan who rediscovers her past after leaving Boston for the refuge of her childhood home in Sullivan’s crossing following some legal trouble.
Goosebumps – Oct. 13 on Disney+ and Hulu
Re-live your childhood with the Goosebumps live-action series based on R.L. Stine’s bestselling books. The first five episodes will drop on Friday, Oct. 13 (fittingly) as part of Disney+’s “Hallowstream” and Hulu’s “Huluween” celebrations, with the remaining 5 episodes premiering weekly. The first two episodes will also hit Freeform for “31 Nights of Halloween.”
Ghosts UK – Nov. 16 on CBS
Before there was the U.S. version of Ghosts, the U.K. version was the talk of the town. The critically acclaimed series, which inspired the CBS adaptation, will be filling the void this season as the network has acquired the episodes for a November premiere. See how it all started—and compare versions to figure out which one you like better, though I’ve heard the original is bloody brilliant. Ghosts UK ran for a total of 4 seasons, kicking off in 2019.
Virgin River Holiday episodes – Nov. 30 on Netflix
Virgin River Season 5 just hit the streaming giant on Sept. 7, but fans will be getting a holiday present in the form of two bonus episodes that will have you spending the Christmas season in your favorite scenic small town. Find out what’s in store—spoiler, it’s likely plenty of cozy vibes with a dash of drama.
Sex Education – Sept 21. on Netflix
The wait is almost over. Following a two-year hiatus, Sex Education is back and better than ever for its final season, consisting of eight total episodes, including a final that clocks in at 83 minutes. You can get all the necessary closure on Sept. 21.
The reboot of the popular 1990s drama is leaping back to NBC this October with two new faces joining the team—Queen of the South’s Peter Gadiot and The 100’s Eliza Taylor—as series regulars. It’s one of the few scripted projects hitting broadcast amid the strike and will feature plenty of incredible guest stars along the way Manifest’s Melissa Roxburgh and Blindspot’s Francois Arnaud.
Chucky – Oct. 4 on Syfy
The famous foul-mouthed killer doll is back to bring more nightmares straight to your screen. Jennifer Tilly and Brad Dourif will be reprising their roles in the slasher as Chucky infiltrates the nation’s capital in an attempt to take over the first family for murderous reasons.
— Chucky (@ChuckyIsReal) July 24, 2022
Lupin – Oct. 5 on Netflix
It’s been 2 years since we’ve last checked in on Assane Diop, now in hiding as he’s known as France’s most-wanted fugitive, but we’ll finally get to catch up with him this October when the third season drops. And a teaser revealed plans for his biggest, boldest, and most “insane” heist to date, setting his sights on the Black Pearl, which becomes the source of many problems after kidnappers take hold of his mother in exchange for the gem. The escapades will stretch a total of 7 episodes.
Loki – Oct 6. on Disney+
It’s an MCU world and we’re just living in it. You know when McDonald’s throws a whole promotion behind your show, it’s a big deal. The second installment will find Tom Hiddleston’s character trying to make sense of everything that transpired at the end of season 1. And don’t worry, he’ll still be slipping through time and space, pulled between the past, the present, and the future, as evidenced by plenty of trippy visuals.
The Fall of the House of Usher – Oct. 12 on Netflix
Netflix is taking a bite out of the horror genre with a series inspired by Edgar Allen Poe’s work, an 1839 short story of the same name. Roderick Usher (played by The Resident’s Bruce Greenwood) is, fittingly, the CEO of a corrupt pharmaceutical company, who has to face his past when his children, the heirs, begin to perish mysteriously. There are elements of pure horror mixed with dark comedy for an offering perfect for spooky season.
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Frasier Revival – Oct 12. on Paramount+
Original series star Kelsey Grammer is Dr. Frasier Crane and embarks on a new chapter in a different city that forces him to face new challenges, relationships, and more. There’s definitely a nostalgia angle at play, but it’s nice reconnecting with a familiar face after all these years.
Fear The Walking Dead – Oct. 22 on AMC
The Walking Dead spinoff is gearing up to air its final set of episodes, with a focus on the core original characters including Madison and Strand’s reunion. And there’s even a resurrection for a character long presumed dead as a teaser shows Tory Otto is very much alive and ready for sweet revenge. I guess it’s to be expected for a show about zombies, right? See how it all ends this October.
NCIS: Syndey – Nov. 13 on CBS
NCIS and NCIS: Hawai’i may be on hiatus, but NCIS: Sydney, the highly anticipated spinoff series, will be entertaining fans this fall. The franchise is expanding, offering plenty of gorgeous new scenery for fans to take in, while keeping in line with what they’ve come to expect in terms from the elite group, including signature uniforms and action. The cast will include Brit Olivia Swann, leading the NCIS part of the team as NCIS Special Agent Michelle Mackey, with Aussie Todd Lasance as her 2IC AFP counterpart, Sergeant Jim “JD” Dempsey.
When Will the Holiday Episodes of ‘Virgin River’ Premiere? See the Trailer Now
Virgin River is giving a holiday gift of two bonus episodes.
After all 10 episodes of the fifth season arrive on Sept. 7, fans can look forward to two additional holiday-themed episodes streaming a few months down the line as “part 2” on Thursday, Nov. 30. It will be the show’s first-ever Christmas offering, bringing the episode count to 12 in total for season 5.
The 10th episode, the unofficial “season finale,” even included a time-jump four months into the future, setting the scene for the additional episodes as Mel and Jack can be seen gearing up for Christmas by decorating their cabin with wreaths and lights.
Mel is chatting with her sister, Joey, as Jack asks if she and the kids are excited for their first Virgin River Christmas.
A few days after the fifth season premiered, Lauren Hammersley, who plays Charmaine, shared the first look at the holiday episodes, revealing what fans can expect—and yes, Christmas in Virgin River looks just as magical as you’d expect.
As the town goes all-out for the Christmas tree decorating competition (the grand prize is a Yule log and bragging rights), Mel, who is sporting some chic new bangs, explains that she’s looking for her biological father as she wants to know “what happened.”
By the end of the brief trailer, she informs Jack that they’ve located him, with Preacher noting that he’s “still in Virgin River.” There are a handful of possibilities as to who it could be, which we break down in full right here!
Lizzie’s pregnancy is also addressed as she has doubts about whether she’ll be a good mom as Hope (likely) gears up to give her some incredible advice.
And speaking of pregnancies, one of the longest in TV history is finally coming to an end as Charmaine begins experiencing contractions at Doc’s practice and Mel jumps in to help.
As for Brady and Brie shippers, there may still be hope for their reconciliation after all as she approaches her ex and accidentally meets him right under the mistletoe. One fan in the comments suggested that she’s now doing the chasing, though a later scene, which seems to be a holiday dinner with everyone in town, sees her cozying up to Mike, so it seems she’s still very much conflicted on matters of the heart.
The only upsetting storyline includes Preacher, who may have found love with Kaia, but whose life might also blow up now that they’ve located Wes’ body after the fire.
“This thing is about to blow,” Mike tells him over the phone as Kaia inquires if he can clue her in on anything.
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We have to wait till Nov. 30 to see how everything unfolds, but remember, despite the drama and love triangles, it’s still the most wonderful time of the year!
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