Why Are We Still Watching Hallmark Movies?

Should we really feel guilty about guilty pleasure movies?

Nothing says winter more than snow, hot chocolate and fuzzy blankets. So, if there’s a movie along the lines of „A Very Merry Mix-Up“ or „Once Upon a Christmas Miracle“ playing on TV in the background, what’s the harm in taking a look? 

Hallmark movies – we all know them, we all like to make fun of them, yet we all still watch them from time to time. What is it about the holiday season that makes us return to these cheesy Christmas flicks? And is their bad reputation maybe undeserving?

Sure, they have their faults, over the top acting, unrealistic plotlines and too many predictable happily ever afters to name a few, yet there seems to be something wholesome about them we can’t get enough of. Lovely decorations, pretty scenery and jolly music easily transport us into a sense of peace and security we can’t help but enjoy. And here’s why.


It’s about the emotional journey

Watching rom-coms can sometimes be formulaic, even more so when they’re purposfullly made in a way where we know the outcome even before starting them. However, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Knowing what to expect when consuming media gives us a feeling of familiarity. There’s something comforting about diving into a story in which we know exactly what’s coming – especially if it’s a hopefull one. 

When we’re feeling stressed or under the weather, there’s nothing that can cheer us up or calm us down as much as watching a feel-good movie. If we know the kind of emotional journey we’re going to go through in the next hour and a half, it’s much easier to relax, blow off some steam and take a break from whatever we’re going through. 

Nothing is as reliable as a Hallmark movie. They’ll always have our backs when we need them, ready to take us on an emotional journey that’s comforting rahter than tiring. From time to time, but especially during the business of the holiday season, they warm us up like a hot cup of tea. 


If they can get a happy ending, why can’t we have one too?

Another thing Hallmark movies have going for them is their approach to relationships. While you do need at least a little suspension of disbelief while watching titles such as „The Christmas Promise“, they still have their fair share of realistic family drama and heartaches. 

Even though some scenarios the characters go through seem unbelievable at times, there’s always a kernel of thruth in them that echoes in our own lives as well. We see them quarreling, fighting, having issues with their relatives, friends and romantic interests, not so different from the ones we go through ourselves. Yet, it’s in their way of making all that trouble seem managable that make them so approachable when we need reassurance. 

Maybe some of the solutions they portray are too straight forward and maybe it’s not going to be as easy to fix our problems in real life, but they give us hope that even the worst disappointments are something we can let go off. The feeling of relief we get when finishing them is undeniable. 


The nostalgia factor

It’s not hard to loose ourselves in our memories when watching a feel-good holiday flick. Seeing the lavish ornaments, elaborate family dinners and cozy, snowy locations, Hallmark movies have a way of transporting us back to our youth, when winter break was the most important event of our lives and presents were patiently waiting under the tree. 

Nothing screams nostalgia as much as a picture perfect Christmas, even when it’s one we get to experience through the eyes of fictional characters. After all, the sugar coated atmosphere and the different side plots, which usually centered on familial relationships, have a way of reminding us of our own childhoods.

Every year, the Hallmark channel announces 20 to 30 new Christmas titles to prepare us for the season. Starting in December, it’s easy to find them on a variety of channels playing all day long. So, next time you bump into them when you’re browsing for something to watch on TV, throw away the idea that you’re about to endulge in a guilty pleasure movie and just enjoy the ride. There’s no harm in that and the fun is guaranteed.

Picture: Shutterstock / ID: 1531882634

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