Lanterns: Why We Love Hallmark Movies


Why We Love Hallmark Movies

Do you know why we love Hallmark movies? I’ve discovered the secret to the success of Hallmark Channel. 

Initially, I surmised the wholesomeness of the programming was responsible. After all, watching Hallmark means you don’t have to change the channel if your kids and their friends come in from playing outside. There’s nothing questionable about their films, they’re all family friendly. 

They also don’t shy away from incorporating faith into the narrative, and that surely accounts for some of Hallmark’s success. How many Americans believe in God? Well, answers range between 57% and 9 out of 10— it will suffice to say, a lot. We look for programming to which we relate. Seeing a child saying prayers before bedtime is nice for everyone, and kids get to see there are other kids just like themselves.

My husband and I find the explosion of gay and lesbian characters in network programming ridiculous. The rush to inclusivity means the LGBT are represented in everything, but their community is only about 5% of Americans. I don’t care about anyone’s sexual proclivities; to each his own. Primetime shows are incredibly sexualized, but people want to be entertained, not embarrassed. So far, Hallmark has resisted the urge to join the social justice warriors, and frankly, it’s refreshing. 

Hallmark is wholesome, traditional family entertainment. Certainly, their success must be rooted in family values. Often the stories are set in rural areas or include horses, dogs, and even sheep. Some are based on true life narratives of struggle, pain, and triumph. Yes, they’re sometimes formulaic. Within five minutes I can usually tell which characters will fall in love, but I find it never gets old. The stories are uplifting, and that’s why I tune in.

I’m Sad And I Can’t Get Up


Yes, the programming is all of the above, but the secret to Hallmark's success are stories with happy endings! Last evening, after my third Hallmark movie in a row, it came to me as clear as fine crystal. Generally, it’s not a good idea to deal with absolutes, but this case is an exception.  At the end of each movie, I’m inevitably sporting a big, goofy smile— always, it never fails.

Struggling with Major Depressive Disorder, holidays and social interactions are difficult for me at times. Dealing with some personal stuff right now is really knocking me down; I’m sad and can’t find a solution to improve the situation or move on. Hubby says I‘m like a bear with a sore bottom. Enter, the Hallmark Channel.

We come together in the evening to watch television, and it’s lovely when we agree on the Hallmark Channel. I actually feel relieved, because I escape my misery through these stories. They are made up of what we all want, theoretically; the guy gets the girl; the daughter saves the farm; the kid learns to love horses, dogs, or maybe even a cowboy. They are set on beautiful vistas or in cozy little towns with wonderful homes and neighbors. They’re the stuff our dreams are made of, and why we happily choose them. 

Hallmark…Escaping Real Life Drama Since 2001 


The world gets meaner and uglier, so I watch more and more Hallmark. It all started with the Christmas movies. If your Christmas reality isn’t what you’d wish, they’ve got you covered— nobody does Christmas like Hallmark. Years ago, I remember looking forward to binge-watching Hallmark Christmas movies. Fast forward, and it’s now my go-to channel all year long to withdraw from harsh reality or depression, and of course, for entertainment. There are two channels now, Hallmark Channel and Hallmark Movies and Mysteries, with a third coming soon, Hallmark Drama. 

To be clear, it can’t take major depression away, but Hallmark gives me two hours at a time for a mental break. Like a nap is sometimes just the ticket when one feels run down, Hallmark is a mental nap when life feels overwhelming. It may be the best antidepressant on the market, except for cats and dogs, of course.

Written by Julie Custer

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