I’m not the most sentimental of people. The running joke with my friends and family is that I’m dead inside. Although, that may not be completely true as I’m not totally devoid of emotion. I will cry along with a friend that’s hurting, at funerals and oddly enough when people say nice things to me. (I know, I need more therapy.) But I don’t usually cry at movies, TV shows, etc.
I’m also a voracious reader, but I veer away from anything overly romantic or sentimental. I prefer historical fiction, detective novels, character driven literature and even dabble in the fantasy realm. I veer away from Nicholas Sparks, Jody Picoult and writers that like to pull at your heartstrings because I just can’t get into them. I read to be educated, transported into another time or place, and basically distracted from the realities of life in the 21st century, not cry my eyes out and bask in the happy endings of the characters in romance laden books.
Knowing all of that about me, may make what I’m about to say a little puzzling. You see, I have an addiction, that I’m afraid may take over my life. I’m addicted to the Hallmark Channel.
It all started a few years ago when I watched a couple of their Christmas movies with my daughter. They were sweet and corny and a great way to destress from all the holiday preparations. Sure there’s only about 4 different types of plots, but they’re just harmless fun. The next year a friend posted the schedule for the upcoming holiday Hallmark movies on her Facebook page. I looked it over and picked out a few to watch when they started. That year my daughter was ill over the holiday season so what started out as a few to watch turned into several as I tended to her over her Christmas break.
The next year I went looking for the schedule and ended up watching about half of their new movies for that year with a few of the older ones peppered in for good measure. I only recorded a couple of them that I was going to miss when they aired, but my DVR was full of lots of other things as well. Then came October of 2016. Yes October. There was at least one new entry into the Hallmark holiday movie collection that aired in October. Of course I had to record it to watch when the girl came home for a visit from college. After all, it’s our girl time. In November, they aired a new movie every night during the week of Thanksgiving. And then a new one every Saturday for the duration of the Christmas season. Needless to say, our DVR cup runneth over with Hallmark Christmas movies by the time January 1 rolled around.
Over the next couple of months, during her visits home, the girl and I managed to burn through most of the movies. I’m sure the DVR sighed in relief thinking it was done with Hallmark until fall. Sadly, its relief was to be short lived. You see, about the time the school year ended and my college kid came home for the summer, I discovered that the Hallmark channel makes movies all year long. Stupid, schlocky, mindless, but somehow appealing movies. There’s a new one every Saturday night. So my DVR has a date every Saturday at 8. Whether it wants one or not.
I wish I could say that was the worst of it, but it isn’t. While watching the recorded movies, I began to see ads for a returning series that starred a couple of actors I like. Actors I like on my guilty pleasure network? How could I resist? I couldn’t. So I recorded the pilot movie, then quickly burned through Season 1 on demand in time for the new season premiere.
And that’s how I got to where I am today. Turns out that there’s a Hallmark double feature every weekday afternoon. And on the weekend, the air movies all day long. I started out just stopping on them as I flipped through channels if I needed the noise while I worked on other things, to actively changing the channel if the TV was on at the right time, to turning the TV on specifically to watch, to finally recording them on occasion. And now? Well, I won’t be surprised if my DVR eventually starts recording the channel 24/7. Either that or burns out in protest.
If I were a stronger person I’d say I’m done with the Hallmark Channel and its low budget, simplistic, yet somehow irresistible, stable of movies. But I’m not. And I really don’t have any intention of giving them up anytime soon. Instead I will embrace my addiction and lovingly feed it. Speaking of which, you’ll have to excuse me, some poor little shop girl is about to meet her prince charming…