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Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

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Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Old 01-04-22, 03:41 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Originally Posted by PhantomStranger View Post

Ghosts of Christmas Past ... The premise is goofy to begin with - a young woman is told by a fortune teller she'll never find true love if she doesn't seek out all the men she's "ghosted" on dating apps and apologize.
Didn't see it and probably won't, but I do have to say that (on paper) that's a really good premise for a rom-com in the digital dating age. Now if they F'd up in execution, that's on them, but I certainly like the concept.
Old 01-05-22, 04:20 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Originally Posted by Paff View Post
Didn't see it and probably won't, but I do have to say that (on paper) that's a really good premise for a rom-com in the digital dating age. Now if they F'd up in execution, that's on them, but I certainly like the concept.
Of all the Christmas movies I've watched the past month, it was definitely aimed at the youngest demo possible. No one in the cast was over 20-something and yes, one of the predominant themes was dating on apps. The Ghosting thing was mostly an excuse to inject some levity into the film and keep up the flimsy mystery of a mysterious suitor. I didn't like how they set up the male lead's job situation, which ends up affecting other plot elements.

Christmas At Castle Hart (Hallmark) - Aside from some obvious and cheap CGI faking Christmas decorations outside the very real Irish castle this new Lacey Chabert was filmed, another winning Christmas movie in her Hallmark canon. She's now made over 30 Hallmark movies the past decade. A woman on vacation pretends to be an event planner for a wealthy Irish Earl (played by former Hollywood bad boy Stuart Townsend) by impersonating her boss back in New York.

I wouldn't call it quite on par with Lacey's best Christmas movies but the smooth screenplay delivers laughs, love, and heartfelt family moments in equal abundance. The romance is there but doesn't overwhelm the plot. Half the fun of Castle Hart is finding out when her charade is discovered and the fall-out. Just a solid Christmas movie all around.
Old 01-05-22, 06:08 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Phantom, I really enjoy your posts that go into more detail on how you felt about all the Holiday (Hallmark or otherwise) films you watched. If only I had the discipline to do this myself. As far as I am concerned, I stand by what I said several posts up; I am done complaining about the overwhelming number of Holiday films that are produced each year. I now look forward to the deluge of 2022 Holiday movies to come later this year.
Old 01-06-22, 03:58 AM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

GAC has a new winter themed movie on Sat Jan 8, 2022

Danica now switched to GAC and this could be the equivalent of the old WWE vs WCW rivalry in family themed movies.

Maybe GAC can sign Lacey Chabert and Candice Bure and that would like signing Hulk Hogan and the Macho Man and weaken the Hallmark brand.

Maybe they will both air new movies every Sat at the same time





Last edited by JeffTheAlpaca; 01-06-22 at 04:05 AM.
Old 01-06-22, 10:21 AM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

It would be no big deal for me if Candace went to GAC, and I would watch GAC films with her in it but she is not someone I go gaga over when it comes to Hallmark films. Just an actress that I enjoy watching in a Holiday/seasonal themed film, regardless of what channel the film airs on. I am also not going to really miss Danica on the Hallmark channel, and it will be easy enough to see her in films on GAC anyway (I do like her as an actress/person though). Lacey Chabert would be a more noticeable loss for me when Hallmark rolls out its lineup of Holiday originals later this year (so around Oct/Nov), and she is not listed in any of them, but I would need to read up on the internet if GAC also poached her.

Hallmark still has a very deep bench of regular female actresses that are fun to watch in a Hallmark original so I suspect they are not too worried yet. Also, Hallmark has folks like Nazeen Contractor, and Christine Ko, so not only have they expanded their roster of folks they can turn to for originals, but ever since they started moving away from films that were mostly lily white with maybe a token African American or Asian actress/actor, I feel that in general their films have improved in quality (not all of them, but sometimes a Hallmark film borders on nearly good enough to have been released in theaters as a rom com good).

GAC has time to diversify, and as they are just starting to ramp up and build their pool of actors they can turn too for their films. I am cutting them a lot of slack, if most of their films are meh/forgettable on their third+ year of producing seasonal originals that is a different story.

For the moment, they are going after some low-hanging fruit by making enticing offers to Hallmark mainstays that they know will bring over an instant audience when these actresses/actors start showing up in GAC originals. I get it, and they have to start somewhere and trying to find 25-50+ regulars all at once is not realistic.
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Old 01-06-22, 07:28 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Unfortunately, my cable system only carries GAC Living and not GAC Family, the channel with all the movies. GAC Living is mostly home decorator shows and the like from a more rural/rustic outlook than say something like HGTV.

Debbie Macomber's A Mrs. Miracle Christmas (Hallmark) - The 2021 installment of this long-running Hallmark franchise stars the familiar Kaitlin Doubleday (her sister played Angela on Mr. Robot) and Canadian actor Steve Lund, who I mostly remember for that Syfy werewolf series Bitten. I think someone here already reviewed this one if I remember correctly. A lot is happening in this uneven Christmas movie with a jumble of several storylines. I found it mostly enjoyable until a certain twist in the final act is bungled. They go serious for an emotional twist which may have worked with better handling.

You have the recently widowed granny bitter they've hired Mrs. Miracle as her nanny, a husband hiding his decision to foster a child from his wife who is adamantly opposed, the wife attempting to stage a Christmas play for her school, and several other things. There's also a bizarre sub-plot with the parents repeatedly wondering if Mrs. Miracle is some kind of crook/suspicious person they need to send back to the caretaker agency.

There's too much going on in a movie which doesn't even run 90 minutes, but my biggest complaint is the very serious development in the final act which ultimately ends up getting treated very tritely in a neat bow. It's not a plot element which should appear in what is otherwise a light and fluffy Christmas movie, or handled in this rushed manner. I'm sure they were going for an emotional gut punch with it but the sloppy ending has to backtrack quickly in the final ten minutes. It's not a bad movie and several scenes are particularly cute. Doubleday shows a lot of range in this role, far more than I've seen from her before.
Old 01-06-22, 08:07 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

I think some of the GAC films are available on Prime Video free or at least free for Prime Members. Also believe these titles are free on Peacock TV. Had signed up for Frndly TV but this this is unnecessary to view GAC titles at least for now.

<b>A Lot Like Christmas</b> A Lot Like Christmas
is on Prime Video.
Royally Unwrapped is on Peacock TV.
A Kind Hearted Christmas is on Peacock TV.
Joy for Christmas Joy for Christmas
is on Prime Video.

Last edited by mk1; 01-06-22 at 08:31 PM.
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Old 01-09-22, 11:24 AM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

I saw a few solid if unspectacular new films: Tis the Season to Be Merry with Rachael Leigh Cook, Christmas at Castle Hart with Lacey Chabert, and Christmas at Tahoe with Laura Osnes. Kinda weird to have Osnes’ character in charge of bringing in random performers but not actually sing herself, especially when like everyone she knows joins the show. Maybe she wanted to do something different, or maybe her schedule didn’t allow her to rehearse a musical number (though I’m sure she could’ve knocked out a standard Christmas song in her sleep).

I saw (I think) the final GAC holiday film with Cindy Busby, and I thought that was one of their better ones. In general they’ve mostly been ok for me despite hijacking some of Hallmark’s biggest stars. I think it’s unlikely that they’d be able to steal someone like Lacey Chabert, who didn’t do anything for them this year, and I’m glad that some of the stars that did jump like Jen Lilley are still doing Hallmarks in 2022. As far as the comment about diversity, that’s bee noticeably absent on GAC compared to Hallmark, which provides further fuel to my earlier thought that GAC was founded specifically to escape the diversity that was becoming more prevalent on Hallmark. I hope that’s not the case, but it could be.

I had to laugh at the GAC ad touting themselves as the #1 new channel showing new Christmas movies. I have no doubt that’s true.
Old 01-09-22, 06:36 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Too Close For Christmas (Lifetime) - Jessica Lowndes and Chad Michael Murray headline this fairly bland, predictable Christmas movie. It's a new one for 2021 and found it mildly enjoyable, if formulaic and forgettable. The chemistry is okayish. I've never been a big Chad Michael Murray fan, who seemingly plays the same character in just about everything I've ever seen from him. I don't think Jessica filmed anything for Hallmark this year, or at least I don't remember seeing her in anything new.
Old 01-10-22, 12:48 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Jessica Lowndes is on Lifetime too, and with CMM besides? Yeah, I don’t think she did any Hallmark for this season, though I think I watched stuff from her in the spring and summer. She did the first GAC fall film, and a Christmas one with CMM. She’s not my favorite but she’s ok. I remember her a few years ago as “the other woman” before taking on lead roles.

Interesting that The Wedding Veil which debuted over the weekend is being billed up front as the start of a trilogy, I assume because it’s based on a book series. Stacked cast with Lacey Chabert, Autumn Reeser, and Alison Sweeney. Kevin McGarry is prominent in the ads but can’t get a name drop.
Old 01-10-22, 01:45 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

The Wedding Veil was just a fun and easy to watch film. I will say that the Veil which is supposed to be as old as the one in the painting in the movie (if not the actual veil as the one in the painting that is discovered in the museums storeroom) sure looked mighty white and clean and not at all at risk of falling apart if it was not stored away from direct sunlight, but hey, realism is not the point of these films. This film was a good one to kick off the New Year, just a fluffy film that was not heavy at all and it gave the Hallmark regulars rolls that they could just coast through in the course of the film. It was fun to see the three lead actresses in one film.

Another Hallmark original on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries was on Sunday, North To Home, and that was also an enjoyable watch also helped by having three lead actresses in the film, Erica Durance, Kimberley Sustad, and Lyndsy Fonseca. The subject of the film (losing your parents in a natural disaster) is not lightweight, but the film was entertaining enough to not be a complete downer.

I am seeing promos for what could be some interesting/fun Hallmark originals coming up in the next month or two.
Old 01-10-22, 03:13 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Lilley announces multi-pic deal with GAC

Old 01-19-22, 02:11 AM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

People asked Jen Lilley on instagram if the GAC deal means she won't do Hallmark, and she said she's only doing GAC for the next two years at least. Her New Year's Day film Where Your Heart Belongs kicked off 2022 and bid goodbye to Hallmark at the same time, and it landed... with a thud. It was OK at best for me, and I like Lilley and Kristopher Phillips. I guess part of it is that her character is pretty obnoxious--intentionally so to serve the plot, but it was still annoying.

Much better was The Wedding Veil, which Inhumans mentioned above. Earlier ads touted the trio of Lacey Chabert, Autumn Reeser, and Alison Sweeney, but SPOILER ALERT (but not so serious that I'll use actual spoiler tags) the actual film (and some running ads) spotlighted Chabert and credited Reeser and Sweeney with "special appearances." Yep, you know what that means: Just like the Sister Swaps, Chabert ran lead on this first movie with the other two popping in, and now we know why it was advertised from the beginning as the start of a trilogy. That said, I really liked this one. Chabert and Kevin McGarry worked well together, and the writing was good. There was one early scene with the three actresses together in which they're saying they need more time to catch up, and Reeser says there's so much to talk about... with an awkward look on her face. Sweeney side-eyes her and says "Care to... elaborate?" I dunno, but her delivery was so funny that I reran it again. That particular moment was because of Sweeney, but maybe I should pay more attention to the writers of the movies (this was credited to a couple people with the same last name, who I assume are sisters). Generally I'd credit the source material, but this one said it was "inspired by" a book called There Goes the Bride by Lori Wilde, which has apparently been rebranded as Long, Tall Texan, one of a series of books with cowboy abs prominently displayed on the cover. I'm not going to seek out that book, so I'll just give credit to the TV writers for producing a good movie. I'm looking forward to the second and third installments, which air in February, even though I don't like Reeser and Sweeney as much as Chabert, and she was really good here.

Old 01-19-22, 06:08 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Frankly, Hallmark needs to produce more Reeser films. She may be their most underrated lead.
Old 01-21-22, 11:39 AM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

I only discovered Reeser a couple years ago but have liked everything she’s done. I even sought out her old Thanksgiving film last year.
Old 01-21-22, 04:40 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

She's been around making television films for years but has never been particularly prolific. Like one or two movies a year.
Old 01-25-22, 10:06 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Alicia Witt posted a statement on her Facebook page:


Old 01-28-22, 04:12 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

That happening with Alicia Witt is sad and mystifying. Methinks we probably aren't learning the full truth about the situation but hope she finds peace about it.

I caught Winter In Vail starring Lacey Chabert from a couple years ago. Vail looks like a great place to visit and I'm surprised they haven't made a Christmas movie there for Hallmark. Anyway, excellent supporting cast and a warmly romantic story make this non-Christmas movie a winner. Lacey needs to keep the hair stylist from this project close - her hair looks incredible in this movie, like I've never seen it. One of her better movies from the past few years.
Old 01-28-22, 04:48 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Geez, that’s a sad story.
Old 02-01-22, 06:21 AM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Hallmark Destination 10-Movie Collection - $14.99

This bundle includes Paris, Wine & Romance, A Summer To Remember, Love On Iceland, Rome In Love, Pearl In Paradise, Winter Castle, Forever In My Heart, Destination Wedding, Stranded In Paradise and Royal Hearts.

https://www.vudu.com/content/movies/...ection/1972169
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Old 02-01-22, 02:57 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Also there is a big Loveuary Sale

Old 02-01-22, 06:46 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Originally Posted by TheBigDave View Post
Hallmark Destination 10-Movie Collection - $14.99

This bundle includes Paris, Wine & Romance, A Summer To Remember, Love On Iceland, Rome In Love, Pearl In Paradise, Winter Castle, Forever In My Heart, Destination Wedding, Stranded In Paradise and Royal Hearts.

https://www.vudu.com/content/movies/...ection/1972169
That's one of the better Hallmark deals I've come across. Several very good movies with many featured Hallmark regulars.
Old 02-01-22, 07:04 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

A Furry Little Christmas (UP)

A vet from NYC falls for a handsome doctor in Vermont. Lots of great romantic chemistry between the leads - they simply look like two people who belong together. Animals play less of a role than the title implies. The storyline felt more polished than usual for UP, clearly copying the Hallmark formula. One of the more watchable Christmas films aired by UPTV last month. The female lead, who I believe is new, is a star in the making.
Old 02-02-22, 04:08 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Yeah, the nice thing about the destinations collection is that it’s newer films compared to the other 10-title sets. I already bought the Rome/Paris pair, but not the others, so I’ll probably get that.

Doesn’t look like the Loveuary sale has any of last year’s movies, but it again has the $6.99 pricing for two-packs.

I just watched Butlers in Love, which from the ads looked pretty goofy (and let’s admit it, the title leans into that), but I liked it. I learned a few things about the butler world, and it was a change from the usual “stressed-out big-city climber returns to hometown to run the seasonal festival and reunites with old flame” plot.

I also watched Love on the Road on UP tv with Erin Cahill as a Robert Irvine-type host of a restaurant-makeover reality show. I liked that one too.
Old 02-11-22, 05:25 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

I probably shouldn’t admit to being excited about Wedding Veil 2 tomorrow.

Just watched a couple of the new winter films. The Perfect Pairing has Nazneen Contractor as a wine critic who happens to fall and lose her memory just when she happens to be at the winery that she ripped in a recent review. (Hallmark does so many wine-related films because I assume that’s their demographic.) I mentioned recently that I like amnesia plots when there’s a mystery to unfold, but in this case we knew who the person was before she lost her memory. So instead we just cringe and wait for the wheels to come off. I really like Contractor, though, so I liked it.

North to Home (which takes place in Alaska so I constantly had the “North to Alaska” song (title song for an obscure John Wayne movie) running through my head. As was mentioned upthread, the theme is a little heavy, and emotions run hot, but I thought it was well done. I know Kimberly Sunstad and Erica Durance (more from Smallville than her earlier Hallmark movie), but wasn’t familiar with Lyndsy Fonseca as I still haven’t watched her Christmas movie.

Randomly watched a 2020 fall film, Follow Your Heart, about a woman who returns to the Amish community she left years ago. So emotions get raised in this one too. Another unfamiliar lead in Galadriel Steinman (yes, she had nerd parents) opposite her real-life husband. I liked this one too!

Last edited by davidh777; 02-11-22 at 05:32 PM.

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