I have a Hallmark Movie Checklist app on my phone.
Yes, I am that serious about Hallmark movies. The app allows me to check off the ones I’ve seen and sends me a reminder notification when the next one will air.
When the Hallmark Channel officially launched in 2001, I was beside myself. Back then the programming was limited to just a few reruns and older Hallmark movies.
Unknowingly, we needed Hallmark more than ever. When 9/11 hit, Hallmark was rerunning episodes of “I Love Lucy.” So many people said watching the shows helped us heal. The channel gave us small-town hopefulness with a dash of romance and always a storyline with a happy ending.
At first, original Christmas movies were aired during the traditional holiday season. That was until 2012 when Candace Cameron Bure’s “Christmas Under Wraps” gained 5.8 million viewers, which tipped off Hallmark that maybe they had found a bigger audience than they had expected.
As soon as Hallmark advertises its official Christmas Countdown, I start planning my movie-watching time. I am not ashamed to say that Hallmark movies make me feel relaxed and happy.
Since I was a kid, I have been a lover of Hallmark. I would wait with anticipation when the Hallmark Hall of Fame movie would be released, which was around a major holiday. And I especially loved that the movies were always bookended with those tear-jerk commercials. They only really did one Christmas movie a year during those Hallmark Hall of Fame years.
This year, Hallmark will have 25 new original movies, with 16 new movies on its sister channel Hallmark Movies & Mysteries. That’s up from 22 and 15 from last year.
Even though they are popular and I love them, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be winning any prizes. I’d like to say it doesn’t bother me, but my boyfriend would disagree. Last year, he had the chance to sit with me and my one sister while we watched a new movie.
Although we enjoyed it, my sister and I had to point out the flaws in the storyline such as how the job wouldn’t ever allow her to do such-and-such and we groaned over that stupid fake foam snow that stuck to everything.
We applauded them finally adding more African-American leads in the last couple of years and this year they added Hanukkah-themed movies such as “Holiday Date” (Dec. 14).
My boyfriend also learned that night what the term “Hallmark hot” meant when it came to the casting, especially for guys. Yes, they’re good looking, but not overly good looking i.e. “Hallmark hot.”
He’s urged us to do a podcast. We’re thinking about writing our own script that is slightly more sensical.
For this year of Hallmark nights, I have ordered a T-shirt that reads: “My Hallmark movie watching shirt.”
I was just notified that they’ll be a new movie on tonight, which means I’ll be on the couch, wearing my shirt and finding comfort in knowing that at the end of the movie the boy gets the girl and at least for two hours, all is right with the world.
Oh, and that will be one more movie to check off on my app.
Follow Crystal Schelle on Twitter: @crystalschelle.