Cassie Belek: Hallmark films give the gift of sanity BY SAEED NASIR

The article writer is a ability booker and comedian in Chicago. She published this for the Washington Post.

I JUST was within an improv workshop, and we played out a game by which one individual stood in the center of the circle and stated an undeniable fact about herself. Everyone who identified with the actual fact was supposed to go out of the circle and turn places. When it was my turn, I declared happily, “I love Hallmark Christmas movies!”

One person stepped from the circle. One.

That circle was filled with liars.

The Hallmark Channel was the No. 1 cable connection network among women ages 25 to 54 in the fourth 1 / 4 of 2016, and its own ratings have seen even more expansion in 2017. While other cable networks have been sacrificing visitors, the Hallmark Route has been a success story.

Theories of the ratings spike range between viewers seeking an escape from the daily fresh pain of 2017 to viewers seeking to embrace the “traditional prices” of the country made great again.

But I understand why people in my workshop felt hesitant to acknowledge a love of Hallmark Xmas movies. Entertainment designed for women is devalued so easily and sometimes that no one remembers that “Gender and the town” had as much regarding the rise of HBO as “The Sopranos.” Even Netflix (creepily) judged its audiences when it lately tweeted, “To the 53 people who’ve observed ‘A Christmas Prince’ every day for the past 18 times: Who harm you?”

Women are shamed for enjoying entertainment made for them, entertainment then tagged a “guilty pleasure,” and Hallmark Christmas movies have grown to be a particular punchline to be cheesy and formulaic. There exists even a Tweets account dedicated to randomly creating Hallmark Christmas movie plots. (I admit that I’d watch a few of these.)

I arrived at my love of Hallmark Xmas movies slowly and gradually and undoubtedly. In school, if I wanted to spend time with my mom over Christmas chance, I had no choice but to view the Hallmark Route with her. But I started getting excited about “A Princess for Christmas” and “Northpole” and “Snow Bride-to-be.”

From there, it was a short leap to buying the cable program that included the Hallmark Channel therefore i could watch while i wasn’t home. Now I watch, and I watch, and I watch. And all the women in my own life are observing, too.

I am the first to confess that Hallmark Xmas films are flawed. Last year, I created a drinking alcohol game for my friends. Two of the guidelines were “have a drink when a person of color has a lines” and “finish your drink if the celebrities a person of color.” If not for the 20 other guidelines, we would have ended the overall game sober. Al Roker and Holly Robinson Peete’s deal with the network is an encouraging sign, but Hallmark has yet to address its diversity problems in meaningful ways and lags behind its rival Life-time.

But here I am DVR’ing four new Hallmark Christmas movies every weekend, dialling my mother to go over which ones we liked best, web host movie marathon watch celebrations with girlfriends, photoshopping my mind onto a Hallmark movie poster to send as a Xmas card and questioning why Ashley Williams is not a bigger star than she actually is.

 

I love these movies filled up with artificial snow, small cities, Folgers espresso cans, dead parents, Taylor Townsend from “The O.C.” and this one cafe that they keep using in multiple movies without changing the name, leading me to theorize that every movie is out there in the same distributed universe.

As divisive as 2017 has been, my female relatives and buddies of most races and politics beliefs have been discussing and enjoying Hallmark Christmas movies as part of your.

There’s a relief in writing entertainment about women made for women without fear of judgment or shame. So that different as I may be from my married cousin with children who voted in different ways than I did so, we can at least enjoy some Pinot grigio over the holiday season and talk about how “A Bramble House Christmas” was much better than it needed to be.

So yes, I tuned in to the beginning of the Hallmark Channel’s Countdown to Holiday when it was still Oct. And so does my mom and my aunts and my cousins and my friends. Because women desire a little Holiday in 2017. We need 90 minutes to sit down with the individuals we value and watch character types love, cry, learn, forgive and enter snowball battles while living in beautiful homes they can’t afford and building sophisticated gingerbread houses in impossible amounts of time.

Maybe that’s the true so this means of Christmas. I usually thought it was Jesus, but it could also be Hallmark Keepsake Ornaments. Whatever it is, I’ll discover the true so this means of Xmas with Candace, Lacey, Danica and everything the women I really like. Because this year, women don’t just desire a little Holiday. We need it.

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