The Hallmark channel is at its apex right now:
They have their niche, and this is it. I just read that they have increased their Hallmark Christmas movie output this year. Last year they released
THIRTY-SEVEN CHRISTMAS MOVIES
In 2018, they have released thirty-eight. Because people are watching.
I’ll cop to it. I watch the Hallmark Christmas movies. At the end of an exhausting day, I find it relaxing to watch a woman and her friends walk around in the daylight drenched snowscapes.
…None of these women commute to their ephemeral ‘job.’
For these modern dramas, there is a spirit that is the biggest character. Just like my Lit professor in college told me about Shakespeare’s plays, the character of England flavored all his plays. The Spirit of Christmas is the BIGGEST character in the Hallmark movies.
But while many of the characters in the movies undergo a transformation–often realizing that they should be grateful for their family/blessings/recently discovered monarchist family line–the spirit of Christmas will NOT change.
The goal is for Christmas to BE. It will BE the best Christmas ever. It will BE the Christmas that the children/husband/grandparent SHOULD have. Christmas is the perfect almost attainable state of being that we are all aspiring towards:
A tableau to place ourselves and our loved ones in.
Come in closer! Lean in! Smile! No, that’s not right, SMILE!!!
A science fiction TV series quite a while back made a big impression on me. I’ll admit it, I loved Babylon 5. I know sci-fi isn’t for everyone. But neither are hallmark movies.
In Bab5, the space station was grappling with two alien cultures that seemed the classic Good-Bad polarity. The one asked the characters: “Who are you?” and the other asked, “What do you want?”
When it was airing, I asked myself those questions in the mirror every day.
Spoiler alert: the “who are you?” aliens were creatures who demanded a sameness. They did not tolerate change, and therefore repressed growth.
The “what do you want?” aliens were willing to experiment and destroy sometimes.
I watched the show, and asked myself the questions; I wondered how perfect I was willing to be.
As it happened, I was not willing to be that kind of perfect anymore. I was ready to break out of the perfect image and grow into something new.
But we all know the lure. Hallmark knows the lure of one tiny day of choreographed perfection.
Just once to get it right
We can destroy it all the day after. Shucks, it will destroy itself anyway. But the one day will be for the scrapbook, when we can look back and tell ourselves who we are.