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Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

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Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Old 10-27-21, 10:47 AM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

I watched Christmas In My Heart from Hallmark Movies & Mysteries and I felt it was one of the better films I have seen in quite some time. Once again, you can see that Hallmark continues to make in-roads into showcasing a cast that is not all a bunch of white actors (with the usual token African American/Asian cast as the BFF of the main character). You have Heather Hemmens, the daughter of Luke MacFarlane's character is African American, and it was cool to see Sheryl Lee Ralph in the film.

Also, with the GAC originals in the mix something will have to give. Even this schmaltzy Holiday original film watching fan only has so much time in the day in which I can focus on what I am watching. At best, some originals will become background fodder that I barely focus on while goofing on my tablet, while I will try to pay a bit more attention to the Hallmark/UP/Lifetime films, and I think the GAC films might end up more often than not as a background watch.

Finally, there was one of those promo bits with Danica McKellar (and I forget the name of the other actress) where in the run-up to the first Hallmark original to kick-off the Miracles Of Christmas block of films she mentioned something that I thought was funny and honestly a bit surprised she was allowed to say on air. She said that when she was filming one of the Winter films it was so hot that she poured Ice in her boots to try and get a bit of relief (and recommended this to her colleague as a tip to get through a hot film shoot). I loved that what has already been laid bare on the internet several years back (that many of these films with snow in them are filmed when it very warm outside throughout the year) was just casually brought up on air by a Hallmark regular.

ETA: Was googling to see if the promo I was talking about easily popped up in my search and learned the Danica McKellar and quite a few other Hallmark regulars are signing exclusives with GAC. I also learned that GACs new focus on seasonal original films comes from an ex-Hallmark executive, so that tracks. Oddly enough, this could be the shot in the arm that Hallmark needs as more regulars move to other networks it will mean we see more new faces in Hallmark Originals throughout the year.

I will say this, the article does not clear this up for me, it mentions the ex-Hallmark guy left during the time when Hallmark faced a backlash for refusing to air a commercial during a same-sex couple film, but did this hasten the execs departure because he was frustrated at Hallmark's decision to not air the ad and only relenting after the backlash, or was he hoping that Hallmark would have stuck to their guns and not caved in to the pressure? I am genuinely curious, but need to read up more on this news. I also learned that Cameron Mathison made the jump to GAC, so I guess that last Hallmark Movies & Mysteries film I watched was his last film for Hallmark.

All this behind the scenes drama, so very interesting.

Last edited by Inhumans99; 10-27-21 at 10:59 AM.
Old 10-27-21, 04:07 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

I did not know Hallmark had lost Cameron Mathison. He hosted their morning show for years and used to be one of their staples. Hallmark is likely feeling the pressure to go after younger audiences.
Old 10-27-21, 04:55 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Originally Posted by Inhumans99
This weekend’s film is Love Strikes Twice, which stars Katie Findlay, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this film. It helps that I am a big fan of Katie Findlay, but the film was also a pleasant watch. I think this film will have a long shelf life on the Hallmark channel.

There is nothing particularly original about the film (woman wakes up from an accidental bump to her head and ends up back in time allowing for a do-over of some key moments in her past), but there was just something about this film that drew me in. I think it is worth a watch.
I'll have to find that one sometime. I like Katie Findlay too. Met her two years ago, and she was as down-to-earth as you can possibly get. No attitude whatsoever. I even had to ask her to move because the door she was leaning against sometimes opened from the other side without warning and she was totally cool about it.
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Old 10-28-21, 08:38 AM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Originally Posted by PhantomStranger
I did not know Hallmark had lost Cameron Mathison. He hosted their morning show for years and used to be one of their staples. Hallmark is likely feeling the pressure to go after younger audiences.
He's on General Hospital now.

Cameron Mathison returns to daytime TV, checks into 'General Hospital' healthier, happier than ever - ABC7 Los Angeles
Old 10-30-21, 11:21 AM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Originally Posted by davidh777
Just watched an older Halloween-themed one called October Kiss with Ashley Williams. Like Sweet Carolina with Lacey Chabert, it uses the theme of “Will these kids ever like me?”, but this one was much lighter than the Chabertt drama. Some good funny moments too.
I just watched Finding Love in Mountain View, which uses the same theme yet again. It has Danielle C. Ryan, who is very young and pretty and who I don’t recall seeing before. Rise and Shine Benedict Stone had Tom Everett Scott getting a surprise visit from a niece he didn’t know existed, and who is clearly hiding some secrets. The kid was cute and annoying at the same time. One Summer was one of those “how can we overcome this tragedy?” stories, and the heaviest of this batch, but it worked for me, and like Benedict Stone it gradually revealed elements of its story.

I was trying to clear the DVR for more Christmas stuff and check off the dramas before the November comedy challenge starts, but three dramas in one day might’ve been a little much.
Old 11-01-21, 01:24 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

I watched all the Holiday originals that first aired over the weekend, and each film had something to it that made it a fun watch, but I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed Christmas Sail. The film stars Katee Sackhoff, and Terry O'Quinn, and having just read an ET article on the film I just learned that Sackhoff's husband wrote the film but that does not change that fact that it was a real pleasure to watch.
Old 11-01-21, 04:50 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Originally Posted by Inhumans99
I watched all the Holiday originals that first aired over the weekend, and each film had something to it that made it a fun watch, but I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed Christmas Sail. The film stars Katee Sackhoff, and Terry O'Quinn, and having just read an ET article on the film I just learned that Sackhoff's husband wrote the film but that does not change that fact that it was a real pleasure to watch.
Your recommendation makes me want to watch but not a huge fan of Katee Sackhoff. I can't remember a single thing I've liked starring the actress. Might give it a try only because O'Quinn is usually good.
Old 11-06-21, 11:10 AM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Saw my first GAC film, An Autumn Romance with Jessica Lowndes and Chad Michael Murray. It was pretty much a Hallmark movie, so I’m in for future movies, though that further strains my DVR. GAC also showed a 2014 film called Coffee Shop, with Laura Vandervoot (Smallvilke’s Supergirl), which I liked. GAC is also showing The Spruces and the Pines, which has been recommended in this thread, so I’m looking forward to it.

South Beach Love was fine. Interesting look at Cuban culture, but Taylor Cole, while beautiful, kinda stuck out like a sore thumb. The Vows We Keep was also fine. I deleted both of these after watching.

Originally Posted by Inhumans99
This weekend’s film is Love Strikes Twice, which stars Katie Findlay, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this film. It helps that I am a big fan of Katie Findlay, but the film was also a pleasant watch. I think this film will have a long shelf life on the Hallmark channel.

There is nothing particularly original about the film (woman wakes up from an accidental bump to her head and ends up back in time allowing for a do-over of some key moments in her past), but there was just something about this film that drew me in. I think it is worth a watch.
Originally Posted by Paff
I'll have to find that one sometime. I like Katie Findlay too. Met her two years ago, and she was as down-to-earth as you can possibly get. No attitude whatsoever. I even had to ask her to move because the door she was leaning against sometimes opened from the other side without warning and she was totally cool about it.
I quite liked the Katie Findlay film and would watch it again. I realized later that she had an arc (and sang!) in the most recent season of Zoe’s Extraordinary Playlist. She’s very appealing

Originally Posted by PhantomStranger
Your recommendation makes me want to watch but not a huge fan of Katee Sackhoff. I can't remember a single thing I've liked starring the actress. Might give it a try only because O'Quinn is usually good.
I liked Sackhoff in BSG. I think the only other thing I saw her in was some C-grade sci-fi movie.
Old 11-08-21, 11:35 AM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

I continue to enjoy the Holiday originals, however, I admit that they are starting to blend into each other and I can barely notice if I am watching something from GAC, UP, Hallmark, or Lifetime. So many of these films are being pumped out that we are probably at or very close to a point where die-hards like myself end up letting some of the weekend films pile up on the DVR so it gives me time to consider if I really want to spend all my waking hours catching up on every single Holiday original, the situation is starting to get nuts.

I suspect that at this time next year we will with see much less originals on the calendar around this time of year, or folks like Lifetime reconsidering if they want to keep pumping out Holiday films (maybe they will severely curtail the number of originals they produce, and UP might do the same). I guess it depends on the ratings, if the ratings start to slump this year because folks are starting to give up on watching everything released between now and New Years, than I guess the execs will throttle back, but if the ratings and the advertisers feedback to the tv execs is positive than I just need to accept that the schedule will always be crowded at this time of year.

Hallmark also needs to throttle back, between their films that start in October, the GAC films, and the handful from UP and Lifetime, I think well over 60 films are on the calendar between now and either Christmas or New Years!

I believe that if you count the Fall Harvest originals from Hallmark (and I kind-of do, as the October Fall Originals feed right into the massive amount of Hallmark Holiday originals that crowd out the weekend schedule), it is more like over 70 originals between October and the end of the year.

Part of this gripe is that y'all know me (lol!), and I wish there was more time to watch all the films, but since there is not would the Holiday Original film gods please listen to me and slow their roll, too much to watch in too short a period of time.
Old 11-09-21, 03:57 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

I largely agree but I don't think it's ever slowing down. Christmas movies simply get better ratings than their regular programming, so they are going to run them into the ground. It's basically impossible now to catch all of them, or even a majority, so I will often give up on a movie if they don't look interesting within the first 15 minutes.
Old 11-09-21, 04:40 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

I posted this in the YouTube TV thread, but if you have YouTube TV, they added all three Hallmark channels to the basic tier for no added fees.

Old 11-10-21, 12:21 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Wait, I think my Brother's subscription to YouTube TV gives me access to share his account, I could store up the films on the YouTube Cloud DVR and not worry about running out of room on my xfinity DVR. That would be sweet, and I could watch some Christmas films in June/July if I felt like it. Have to talk to by brother.

I was thinking about this, if Hallmark and other channels were bold, they could stop crowding each other out at this time of year and release some Christmas films in say July. It might help take your mind of the heat if you are watching a film with lots of snow in it, lol. I was thinking about when my favorite film, Die Hard was first released, and it was in July. Lethal Weapon, another "Christmas" film, was released in March, so it would be neat if this started happening. I think the ratings for Christmas films released in the Spring/Summer months might not suffer as much one might think, but then again, I have no real insight into how accurate my statement might be.
Old 11-10-21, 04:37 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Hallmark has been running Christmas movies in July for a couple years.

Interestingly enough, I happened to come across the following book on Hallmark's Christmas movies while checking out at Barnes & Noble - I'll Be Home For Christmas Movies: Deck The Hallmark Podcast Guide To Your Holiday TV Obsession. I flipped through it quickly though it seemed a touch glib and glossy for my tastes.

Amazon Amazon
Old 11-10-21, 04:48 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Originally Posted by Inhumans99
Wait, I think my Brother's subscription to YouTube TV gives me access to share his account, I could store up the films on the YouTube Cloud DVR and not worry about running out of room on my xfinity DVR. That would be sweet, and I could watch some Christmas films in June/July if I felt like it. Have to talk to by brother.
In case you didn't know, YouTube TV recordings are only kept for 9 months. They are deleted after nine months.
Old 11-10-21, 06:30 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Originally Posted by Inhumans99
Wait, I think my Brother's subscription to YouTube TV gives me access to share his account, I could store up the films on the YouTube Cloud DVR and not worry about running out of room on my xfinity DVR. That would be sweet, and I could watch some Christmas films in June/July if I felt like it. Have to talk to by brother.

I was thinking about this, if Hallmark and other channels were bold, they could stop crowding each other out at this time of year and release some Christmas films in say July. It might help take your mind of the heat if you are watching a film with lots of snow in it, lol. I was thinking about when my favorite film, Die Hard was first released, and it was in July. Lethal Weapon, another "Christmas" film, was released in March, so it would be neat if this started happening. I think the ratings for Christmas films released in the Spring/Summer months might not suffer as much one might think, but then again, I have no real insight into how accurate my statement might be.
If you have Netflix, they just released a Hallmark-type romcom called Love Hard with a main character who considers Die Hard the best Christmas movie ever, and it becomes a bit of a running gag. I liked the movie.
Old 11-11-21, 10:30 AM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Yes, it stars Nina Dobrev so it caught my eye. I am at the part where the dweeby fake boyfriend proposed to her to put the spotlight back on himself, and while I am not a fan of that scene so far the movie has been a pleasant enough viewing experience.

Last edited by Inhumans99; 11-11-21 at 01:13 PM.
Old 11-12-21, 03:04 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Caught Forever Christmas on Lifetime and found it very enjoyable. The leads had fantastic romantic chemistry. I actually recognized the male lead from other Christmas films but couldn't place the female star. A Mr.Christmas type who celebrates Christmas all year falls for the reality show producer following him.
Old 11-14-21, 10:23 AM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Finally got around to watching Crashing Through The Snow, Amy Acker's movie from Hallmark's Christmas In July. The premise is a bit odd about an ex-wife (Acker) tagging along on Christmas vacation with her ex-husband and his new girlfriend, but somehow Amy makes it work. She was made for these Christmas movies, it's right in her wheelhouse as an actress. Brooke Nevin is in it but isn't really given much to do. You may not know the name but I think most here would recognize the male lead from other projects, Warren Christie. Amy and him make a very believable couple. One of her better Hallmark films.
Old 11-16-21, 02:49 AM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Vudu has a $0.99 Sale on Lifetime Christmas Movies.

https://www.vudu.com/content/movies/...Lifetime/12354

Anyone have some recommendations?
Old 11-16-21, 06:50 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Originally Posted by PhantomStranger
Caught Forever Christmas on Lifetime and found it very enjoyable. The leads had fantastic romantic chemistry. I actually recognized the male lead from other Christmas films but couldn't place the female star. A Mr.Christmas type who celebrates Christmas all year falls for the reality show producer following him.
Originally Posted by TheBigDave
Vudu has a $0.99 Sale on Lifetime Christmas Movies.

https://www.vudu.com/content/movies/...Lifetime/12354

Anyone have some recommendations?
Forever Christmas is in the sale. If the dollar means nothing to you, worth a buy. Lifetime's Christmas movies tend to be hit or miss. When they are going well, they are on par with Hallmark's best. However, they produce the occasional dud.
Old 11-16-21, 06:57 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Finished up Gingerbread Miracle from Hallmark with Merritt Patterson. Passable but mildly disappointing. I liked the small nods to Mexican-American traditions for Christmas but the tortured script is a mess and barely romantic. Stupid love triangle sub-plot that goes absolutely nowhere and is a big waste of screen time.

Which pains me as Merritt Patterson has been in good Hallmark productions before. I would not have even finished Gingerbread Miracle if it had been a different actress. Most of the blame goes to the tepid love story and dull male lead.

Last edited by PhantomStranger; 11-18-21 at 08:38 PM.
Old 11-17-21, 10:58 AM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Phantom, you hit the nail on the head as to why Gingerbread Miracle was a surprisingly meh film, considering I am also a big fan of the films that Merritt Patterson stars in (she was great in that film where she played a violinist, Chateau Christmas). It was missing that special something that could have made it a charming film.

I watched A Holiday In Harlem this past weekend, and it turned out to be quite an enjoyable viewing experience. Not a super awesome film, but just a pleasant watch and it helps that it was not the same 4 faces you see in every Hallmark movie, lol.
Old 11-17-21, 11:50 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Originally Posted by PhantomStranger
I largely agree but I don't think it's ever slowing down. Christmas movies simply get better ratings than their regular programming, so they are going to run them into the ground. It's basically impossible now to catch all of them, or even a majority, so I will often give up on a movie if they don't look interesting within the first 15 minutes.
Yeah, I don't see them slowing down. The fact that I'd never heard of GAC and now have watched three of their movies is kind of an indication of how people know these things attract audiences. And Hallmark isn't going to back away from the competition.

Originally Posted by Inhumans99
I believe that if you count the Fall Harvest originals from Hallmark (and I kind-of do, as the October Fall Originals feed right into the massive amount of Hallmark Holiday originals that crowd out the weekend schedule), it is more like over 70 originals between October and the end of the year.
I mean, if you're going to count the harvest movies, you might as well also count the winter ones that immediately start in January. It never stops.

Originally Posted by TheBigDave
Vudu has a $0.99 Sale on Lifetime Christmas Movies.

https://www.vudu.com/content/movies/...Lifetime/12354

Anyone have some recommendations?
I've seen a few Lifetime movies, but I think they're not included in that particular sale. I think I might've seen the one with Lindy Booth, as I like her.

Originally Posted by PhantomStranger
Finished up Gingerbread Miracle from Hallmark with Merritt Patterson. Passable but mildly disappointing. I liked the small nods to Mexican-American traditions for Christmas but the tortured script is a mess and barely romantic. Stupid love triangle sub-lot that goes absolutely nowhere and is a big waste of screen time.

Which pains me as Merritt Patterson has been in good Hallmark productions before. I would not have even finished Gingerbread Miracle if it had been a different actress. Most of the blame goes to the tepid love story and dull male lead.
Ugh, that lead guy was like watching paint dry. I understand that Hallmark's business model is to pay their female stars and save money on unknown Canadian dudes, but with some of them, you really do get what you pay for. I like Merritt too, so I agree that one was a disappointment.
Old 11-18-21, 08:50 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Caught Christmas At Rosemont on UPTV and found it interesting because of how different it was from most of these holiday movies. A young, pregnant college-age woman and a snowboarder get snowed in at an isolated ski lodge by a blizzard on the verge of the baby's birth. The elderly caretakers, including always reliable character actor Brad Dourif, have their own struggles. UP actually bleeped "whore" out when one of the characters used it. The movie ends on a positive note but explores darker themes than regular Hallmark fare.

Not a bad movie at all, if a little more grounded and realistic than most of these seasonal Christmas films. Recommended if you want something a little off-beat.
Old 11-19-21, 12:46 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

I hope I can find a way to watch this without cable. I'm sure it'll show up on YouTube.

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