Hallmark’s Surprise Substance
I have a horrible confession to make. I watch Hallmark movies when I need to have noise in the background. I know I could just put in headphones and listen to music, but when I’m home alone I try not to have headphones in my ears so no one can surprise me. I know the criticisms about their movies. They all have the same plot, all of the characters are white, and they don’t actually talk about anything important.
I would agree with all of these criticisms for the majority of their films. They usually go like this: A young woman who is white, with either blonde or brown hair meets a man who typically is their lifestyle opposite. An example of this would be a successful lawyer, who is about to make a partner in their firm, meets a beet farmer.
The beet farmer agrees to help the busy city lawyer, but usually, they have to spend a few days together. The next few days involve them getting to know each other, and the big city lawyer thinks about shifting her priorities. Then usually she gets a visit from someone who is involved in her life in the city. This could be a boyfriend she left or her boss. The beet farmer would see them hugging after he decided to confess his feelings for her. He is heartbroken and just goes back to his beet farm. The beet farmer is cold to the lawyer, and the lawyer leaves heartbroken to go back to the city. Then someone who is close to the beet farmer would explain that the lawyer didn’t intentionally break his heart.
The beet farmer travels to the city to get his lawyer back. He finds the lawyer just as she is about to leave her city life to join him on the farm where she realized she is truly happy with him. They share a kiss, and you see one more shot of them being happy on the beet farm.
Hallmark took those criticisms to heart, and actually had some films that featured both interracial and LGBTQ+ couples. The newer movies also tackled subjects such as the foster care system, adoption issues, cancer, and class differences. The stories still turn out well for the main characters, but the outcome is more realistic.
An example would be if the beat farmer was offered a distribution deal that would cause him to have to visit the city often. The couples are talking more so the misunderstandings are more understandable.
I appreciate the growth the network has made to keep up with the times. Television shows that were considered progressive for their time did not address their criticisms this quickly if at all. I look forward to seeing the new movies for this year even if it is only for background noise.
Featured Photo by Free-Photos, courtesy of Pixabay