HOW PREDICTABLE ARE HALLMARK MOVIE PLOTS?

Have you ever watched a Hallmark Channel movie? I won’t make you raise your hand since that’s something we still aren’t openly admitting to in society. It’s a fun little secret between you, your TV, and your cable provider. Similar to those who watch Lifetime and QVC. Or when we buy a pint of ice cream and tell ourselves it will be at least two servings when we know good and well it will be gone tonight. We’ve all done it, just maybe not publicly. 

If you’ve never seen a Hallmark Channel movie, you’re missing out on a whole amazing genre. The predictable dramance category. It’s truly an experience. An experience that can happen once and then you can use your knowledge to make highly educated guesses on all future endeavors into the category. In other words, if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. And everyone has seen a Hallmark movie. Or a Hallmark movie commercial. Or been friends with a basic who mentions watching a Hallmark holiday movie. One and the same really.

So it’s been established that everyone has seen, heard of, or had a general knowledge of the existence of the Hallmark Channel movies. Now, I love a good Hallmark holiday movie. They always have happy endings and what better time than the holidays to lie to ourselves about the only possible outcome for life – happiness. Also, their winter themes are on point. Kudos to the set team who always brings the magic of the holidays to the screen. Winter wonderlands, white Christmases, perfectly decorated Hannukahs, holiday lights, adorable children, courteous and caring adults, zero family drama, perfectly cooked meals, the protagonist working in their dream job making no money but living in a beautiful historic home with endless hours off work, a gorgeous, on the inside and out, character that they will fall in love with. Everything is so believable and realistic. 

Just in case you are not aware of the Hallmark movie experience, let me give you a quick run down. This plot can be taken and applied to every single movie shown on that channel. I’m guessing the writers cut corners and simply have a plot template where character names and backstories can be written in to create a “new”, “fresh”, and “unique” movie. Clearly they never worked part-time at Wendy’s or they would know not to cut corners. Square burgers are simply better. More surface area. More burger. Less bun. Does life get better? Yes! With sea salt seasoned fries. Ugh, fast food burger / fry combo perfection. I’ve made myself hungry and lost the direction of this post. My apologies.

Anyways, let’s break down the plot template. Protagonist has either just moved to town, or is a native. They either are working their dream job, or are struggling in their peasant job while constantly day-dreaming and others about their dreams constantly. They are single. They are looking for love. They are gorgeous. They are either in the holiday spirit, or have been traumatized by love around the holidays and now hate this season. They are always wealthy, despite the same job in real life barely meeting the poverty line. Supporting characters may be family, friends, older town residents (potentially former babysitters?), children, pets, or strangers. Antagonist is always the direct opposite of the protagonist. Have either just moved to town, or is a native. They either are working their dream job, or are struggling in their peasant job while constantly day-dreaming and telling others about their dreams constantly. They are single. They are looking for love. They are gorgeous. They are either in the holiday spirit, or have been traumatized by love around the holidays and now hate the season. They are always wealthy, despite the same job in real life barely meeting the poverty line. Supporting characters may be family, friends, older town residents (potentially former babysitters?), children, pets, or strangers. The set is always in a cute little holiday town where everyone goes all out and is just tickled for it to be winter. It always ends happily ever after for all characters involved.

There you have it! And despite the same story getting told over and over by simply changing character, and town, names we can’t get enough. It’s not the holidays in our house if you don’t watch at least one corny Hallmark movie. Because deep down we like that they all end in happily ever after. Especially during the holidays. There are no problems during the holidays. If there are, you aren’t drinking enough eggnog – know what I mean? Too much amazing food and drinks to not be able to put yourself in a good mood. It’s the best time of year after all! Put a smile on! Even if it’s fake.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this post and want to share it with them, that would be awesome. Sharing is caring, after all. Don’t forget to subscribe to get these in your inbox twice weekly and follow TRP on Twitter for frequent musings. Thanks for reading!


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I JUST WATCHED CHRISTMAS CHRONICLES TWO AND I HAVE QUESTIONS

THIS IS A SPOILER POST! If you haven’t seen Christmas Chronicles Two, and were planning on it, I would not recommend going through these observations. 

Netflix recently dropped the sequel to everyone’s favorite Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn Claus family portrayal. And who doesn’t need more of Kurt and Goldie in their life? I mean really, they’re adorable! Anyways, like with all holiday movies, some things don’t fully add up to … well … reality. Here are all of my holly jolly hiccup moments with this movie:

  • In any movie with elves, there’s always an angry elf. At least one and this one happens to have the name Belsnickle … what is a Belsnickle?
  • Belsnickle plots his revenge in a dark cave. AKA, the South Pole living conditions
  • Interesting choice in location for the mere humans starring in the movie. Cancun: where the drinks are plenty and the memories are few
  • Kate is what, 12? And all her friends are throwing parties? Pause – where are their parents
  • Bob is just casually a great singer, ok sure aren’t we all?
  • For a teenager who clearly is worried about missing social events, standing on a beach talking out loud to Santa isn’t necessarily the way to up your popularity
  • 10 minutes into the movie and I can call the ending – Kate’s heart gets changed, she ends up loving Bob and they all have a very merry Christmas together
  • No child willingly admits to being a brat and can call an airline to change their flight. They would still be having a meltdown. This scene is fake news
  • So, let me get this straight, the parents willingly leave their kids alone at a resort in Mexico on Christmas and assume the teenage brother will “watch” them. Smart
  • Kate just trusts a random resort “worker” who says he can get to the airport in half the time with zero questions? She deserves to be kidnapped
  • Two pre-teens, who are dressed for a vacation in Mexico, end up at the North Pole and aren’t shivering? They’ll die before they find Santa – that’s very un-jolly
  • Is one of Santa’s superpowers supersonic hearing? Since when? How did he hear Kate and Jack’s cries for help?
  • In his free time, does Santa just hunt leopards in the tundra portion of the North Pole? Adds up to none of the stories
  • Let’s talk about basic physics where a sleigh traveling super fast would not stop within 10 feet of entering a barn
  • I’ve never been able to make any sort of warm drink in 5 seconds and yet here we are in th reindeer barn with a custom tea / herbal / medicinal / whatever ready immediately
  • Why are all the elves a cartoon mouse / rabbit hybrid looking thing? What is this based on? Furbies?
  • These kids supposedly wake up in the North Pole and don’t think they’ve maybe been roofied? Because my first thought would not be to hug the strange man who looks like Santa
  • Why are there cannons in Santa’s Village? Why? To get snow in? That’s a stretch
  • Nice diss on all the major shipping companies. Combine all their production, quadruple it, and it might be close to what Santa’s Village does in a day? Mmkay
  • Santa codes video games now? What copyright laws does that violate? All of them probably
  • If you had an employee who was eating the inventory, would you keep him on the candy cane production line? With all that temptation? No
  • Dinner is all desserts? That’s not the way to live 1700 years. Also, painting a cake green and calling it broccoli doesn’t make it broccoli
  • Even in the north pole Kate is being a bit of a brat – she better end up on the naughty list
  • Has no one else noticed there’s another human in the village? Or that head elf Mina is missing? Strong observation skills these elves
  • So Santa Claus and his forest elves travelled from Turkey to the North Pole? Seems doable
  • A little bit of the Hulk action going on with Belsnickle’s transformation into a human
  • Was there no security on the star? You know, the thing that protects ALL of Santa’s Village? Again, smart
  • Blue powder makes the elves bad? Similar to the Despicable Me 3 movie a bit? I think so
  • You ever break something super important? Like the Star of Bethlehem maybe? Whoops
  • Maybe the North Pole has different snow, but when I slow roll a ball it doesn’t pick up speed and get bigger
  • Why did the elves even own chainsaws? How did that come up? They’re magical. In what scenario would they need a chainsaw?
  • Apparently Santa also visited the Matrix at some point – dodging all those arrows like an f boy dodges the word relationship
  • If someone sends you on a quest, a time-bound quest mind you, would you casually stroll along the path to find the end? I would hope you would put some pep in your step
  • Why is Hocken thanking Santa? Santa has done nothing except hold the star while a “dangerous” beam lit it up
  • Belsnickle’s “reindeer” look like the hyenas from the Lion King
  • Please just leave your sleigh and reindeer on the tarmac of a major international airport. They’ll be fine, I’m sure
  • Just when you think it can’t get any better, surprise! It’s also a musical, because why not?
  • There happens to just be a stage and a choir and a band at Boston Logan all at the same time?
  • Another huge twist, there’s a Back to the Future reference! And Kate meets her dad when he’s a teen – what other movies are we going to pull from?
  • Two teens are able to break out of airport jail? Meanwhile, there’s a Christmas concert happening in the terminal? I can’t keep up
  • And just like that, the song ends and all flights are now on time … makes perfect sense
  • One way to make someone need therapy is to call them dad when you’re the same age while crying and hugging them like they’re dying
  • Are there a million elves in the village, or thousands? A bit inconsistent on our estimates here
  • Is the solution to shoot the elves one at a time with a Nerf gun? How … how is that going to work? At all? There’s an unknown number of them
  • Exploding gingerbread cookies, though – incredible invention!
  • Mrs. Claus has the hairstyle of a who, so there’s our Grinch reference
  • We need to talk about Nerf gun range, too, apparently, since it’s not however far Jack shot it at the drone
  • I think that Belsnickle really just needs a friend, or a therapist
  • How old do you have to be to get a sleigh license? Santa is 1700 and Jack is what? 11? That’s a wide gap and yet both get to “drive”
  • Forgetting someone from time to time is as it should be? Where? With who? Why? What?
  • I’m scared to jump off, but I’ll get over that by backflipping off a highly elevated flying surface
  • Who has a caroling party in front of the ocean with no spectators? Who are they singing to?
  • Why is Belsnickle the only fat elf?
  • As a surprise to no one, it ends happily ever after with everyone singing a christmas song from the dinosaur age

Takeaway: if you have young children they’ll probably think it’s cute. If you have kids over the age of say, 7, this might out-age them. Interesting story line, but the first one was way better. A good background Christmas movie while decorating – not a must-see however.

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this post and want to share it with them, that would be awesome. Sharing is caring, after all. Don’t forget to subscribe to get these in your inbox twice weekly and follow TRP on Twitter for frequent musings. Thanks for reading!


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I JUST REWATCHED TWILIGHT AND I HAVE QUESTIONS

Have you ever sat at home on a cold, rainy day and thought to yourself ‘wow, I’m basically in a Twilight movie’? Me neither, but when the weather sets the mood, you have to just go with the flow. Full disclosure: I’m not really a Twilight saga fan. Pretty much not a fan of anything that deems itself a saga because we all know that saga and drama go hand in hand. Anyways, I decided to rewatch the start of all our vampire fantasies and I have so many shiny questions and observations:

  • Could it start in a more depressing way? ‘I’ve never given much thought to how I would die, but dying in the place of someone I love seems like a good way to go’ as a deer gets chased and murdered. Also Bella is moving from Phoenix to Washington – sunny to rainy I mean come on
  • Nice little Southwest plug at the beginning. No assigned seating and bags fly free – is this foreshadowing of some kind? Probably considering the Cullens sit wherever they want while flying and they don’t take bags
  • The city of Forks is the size of a high school, and yet there’s people everywhere. At all hours of the day. All days of the week
  • Do you know any fathers who play fight with each other in the middle of the street while their kids get acquainted? No? Well that’s how Bella and Jacob meet! They’re adult men. Play fighting in the street. One of them is in a wheelchair. What even is this scene?
  • What’s the best way to stand out at a new school? Roll up in an old rusted truck
  • Let’s talk about character names: Bella Swan – elegant, delicate, clearly fragile and in need of a man. Jacob Black – mysterious, dark, and clearly an antagonist. Edward Cullen – sophisticated, strong, smart, rich and clearly looking to protect someone
  • Is there a male character in this film that isn’t in love with Bella? That’s realistic, thanks again Hollywood for setting expectations
  • Does anyone else think that the Cullens are actually just a cult? They “adopt” children, encourage relationships among them, and convince them that they’re vampires who kill creatures and drink blood for nourishment
  • What does Bella see in Edward? He’s only a solid 6, has an accent that changes throughout the movie, and has a staring problem. What a stud. She’s an idiot, example 1
  • Um, the car “accident” scene … let’s break that down: everyone makes a big deal out of Tyler almost hitting Bella with his car. Maybe if Bella didn’t just hang out in parking lots with her headphones in this wouldn’t have happened. Also, why does no one care about the giant dent in Tyler’s van? Since he didn’t hit anything with his passenger door? Another thing, Charlie’s reaction is way overkill – ‘you can kiss your license goodbye’, calm down, sir, your daughter is fine
  • What public high school has a salad bar? 
  • Is everyone in town a good liar? Or only the vampires and the wolves?
  • When you Google something, do you scroll past all the top hits to find an actual book to go buy and hope it contains the information you need? No and yet Bella searches for Quileute legends and her first choice from the Google results is to go buy a book #lies
  • Of all cars to roll up in to save your girl from a bunch of horny men, a Volvo would not be in my top 10 options. Also, this is Forks, WA, not Fury Road – someone should re-administer Edward’s driving test
  • A list of major red flags that Bella ignores: someone who says they can read minds, someone who willingly admits to stalking you, someone who likes to give vagues answers when asked questions about their behaviors, someone with no friends, someone who comes across as super rude constantly, someone who doesn’t wear a seatbelt while driving, and someone who admits they’re a vampire. She’s an idiot, example 2
  • What on Earth is the weather in this movie? In one scene they’re wearing tank tops and in the other they’re wearing coats. What time of year is it? Is it spring? Is it winter? Nobody knows
  • Say, hypothetically you’ve just discovered someone shows undead characteristics. Would you still pursue them? Would you encourage them to follow you into a foggy forest? Would you keep your back turned while confessing to them that you know their secret? Would you tell them you aren’t afraid that they’re a vampire? The correct answer to all of these questions is, of course, no. She’s an idiot, example 3
  • Heaven forbid that the boy sparkles in sunlight … that is the most disappointing lead up of every movie ever made. I’m a disco ball killer. Poor you
  • Bella doesn’t care that he’s killed people before and that he wants to kill her? She just trusts him? What the actual eff? Are all serial killers really just vampires? She has a lot of unwarranted faith that he can control himself around her. She’s an idiot, example 4
  • Maybe if the Cullens had just gotten 6 kids none of this would have happened? Just give Edward someone, that’s clearly all he wants
  • If Edward comes to pick Bella up for school, right after she’s gotten out of bed, how long does he have to stand outside waiting for her to get ready?
  • Nervous about meeting your significant other’s family? Don’t be! Just watch the scene where Bella gets introduced to the Cullens. It’s cringeworthy. Likewise, their first kiss has got to be as bad as anyone else’s, if not worse. Edward literally jumps across the room
  • I can’t say that spidermonkey is a nickname I’ve been hoping to hear in a relationship
  • Imagine how rich we would all be if we didn’t have to spend money on food? No wonder the Cullens are rolling in the dough
  • Could Charlie be a more American father when he meets Edward for the first time? Shotgun next to him, beers on the table, flannel on. Instill some semblance of control
  • When you think baseball, do you also think vampire drama? Me neither, and yet here’s another Twilight gift for all of us. The Cullens just wanted a nice family outdoor outing. Bonding, staying in shape, enjoying the thunderstorm. Enter the rogue vampire clan and their desire to kill Bella
  • I’m no expert, but I don’t think the best way to throw a vampire off your scent is to ruin your relationship with your father? Honesty, I think, would be more ideal here. ‘Hey, dad, FYI, that animal you’ve been chasing is actually a vampire and now they’re after me, how fun!
  • Isn’t the number one rule of hostage negotiations not to negotiate with terrorists? Is that just a TV show rule? Either way, this is on TV and she’s negotiating with a vampire terrorist. And surprise! Her mom isn’t even there who could have seen that coming?
  • Who actually thought that pepper spray would work against a vampire? She’s an idiot, example 5
  • Poor Mimi is going to open up her Dance Studio and have zero idea what happened to all her mirrors and the floor. Pretty sure insurance won’t believe her and she’ll have to pay for all the repairs out of pocket. Sad day for Mimi
  • Bella apparently tripped, fell down 2 flights of stairs, and went through a window at a hotel? And her mom believes this? No. Absolutely not. Her mom is more naive than she is
  • Edward doesn’t want Bella near him because he can’t control himself, but she just screams no and he changes his mind? Is that what I’ve been doing wrong in relationships?
  • Didn’t Bella break her femur? And yet she has a lower leg cast on at prom? Hmmm
  • Is Mike not wondering why all of a sudden Bella is able to make it to prom despite having a non-refundable ticket to Jacksonville for the weekend? He’s still friends with her despite very clearly being friend-zoned and rejected? That’s not real
  • How does Bella still have friends even though she never hangs out with anyone but Edward?
  • There’s a lot of humans in the world. Why can’t James and Victoria just move on already?

Alright, jumping off my pedestal for now. If you know someone who would enjoy this post and want to share it with them, that would be awesome. Sharing is caring, after all. Don’t forget to subscribe to get these in your inbox twice weekly and follow TRP on Twitter for frequent musings. Thanks for reading!


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