Monday, November 27, 2017

Fantasies Change with Age, Too

Candace Cameron Bure seems to be
in every other Hallmark movie.
TV ratings are down, but not at the Hallmark Channel.
In 2016, Hallmark saw a 10 percent increase in total viewership and a 26 percent increase among viewers 18-49. During the 2016 election week, it ranked No. 4 among primetime cable networks – even ranking above MSNBC.

...the Hallmark Channel has become a growing safe haven for those weary of the violence, conflict, and uncertainty churned out by both news broadcasts and apocalyptic-themed TV dramas.
There are absolutely no surprises in a Hallmark movie. The boy and girl (no LBGTQ romances ever) always meet in the beginning, surmount obstacles (different stations of life, disapproving parents, etc. etc.), and wind up in each others arms at the end, usually engaging in their first kiss.

...and Lacey Chabert seems to be
in the rest.
Children are not a barrier to romance; often they're the ones who encourage a single parent to start dating. They want Mom or Dad to be happy again and have an extraordinarily grown-up attitude about replacing the usually-deceased-not-divorced parent. Yes, that's why Hallmark movies are well-liked--they're fantasy.

The Christmas movie is a sub-genre that is especially popular.
Often there’s a struggling family business that needs saving, like the cozy inn in “Christmas at Holly Lodge,” the old-fashioned holiday shop in “Sharing Christmas,” or the theater that loses its lease in “Christmas Encore.”

A big-time star encounters small-town romance in “Marry Me at Christmas,” “A Song for Christmas” and “Rocky Mountain Christmas.” In “The Perfect Christmas Present,” the hero is a personal gift buyer known to his clients as Mr. Christmas—not unlike the nickname for the title character in “Miss Christmas,” whose job is finding the perfect tree for Chicago....

In addition to a feel-good finale, there’s an atmospheric checklist for every movie. “Buying a Christmas tree. Wrapping gifts. Thinking of gifts. Baking and cooking meals. Family gatherings. All of the things that you think of as traditional,” says Randy Pope, senior vice president of programming.
(For further study, here are 12 Rules of Hallmark Christmas Movies.)

I started watching the Hallmark and Hallmark Mysteries Channels a few years ago when visiting my mother. Now they're a favored way to relax, with G-rated happy endings, deus ex machina financial windfalls, and selfish characters always changing their ways.

I will go gently into that good night illuminated by the faint glow of the Hallmark Channel.

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