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Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

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Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Old 02-09-23, 11:06 AM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Taking the Reins (Hallmark) 4.5 out of 5 - Excellent Nikki DeLoach romantic vehicle set in the world of horse riding. The set-up is a little unusual for Hallmark as Nikki's character falls back in love with her...ex-husband when they train together for a competition. Corbin Bernsen plays the dad.
Old 02-12-23, 10:03 AM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Speaking of DeLoach, the new Curious Caterer was pretty good. I like how they really lean into the absurdity of the amateur sleuth being part of the police investigation. They’ve started a few new mystery series lately, maybe because some of their standard ones have gone cold—no Crossword or Martha’s Vineyard in a while, while others like Mystery 101 have been shelved by the GAC defections.

I really liked Sweeter Than Chocolate, partly because I like Eloise Mumford, but I thought the story was pretty good too. One of the better 2023 releases for me.

I also have picked off some stragglers in the Hallmark app checklist (darn that thing! ). Two sequels in the Vineyard series with Rachael Leigh Cook (the go-by-feel winemaker) and Brendan Penny (the scientific grape grower) were fine. Valentine Ever After with Autumn Reeser as a city girl gone cowboy was good because of Autumn. I don’t think I’ve seen Erika Christensen since 24 and The Girl Next Door, but I actually liked Anything for Love, about two people meeting through a dating app and getting caught in some profile… “embellishments.”

In a similar vein, I watched The Noel Diary on Netflix. Justin Hartley (This Is Us, Smallville) plays a successful writer who through unexpected circumstances has to face some lingering family issues. It’s a drama rather than a comedy, but I thought it was effective.
Old 02-12-23, 03:25 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Originally Posted by davidh777
Speaking of DeLoach, the new Curious Caterer was pretty good. I like how they really lean into the absurdity of the amateur sleuth being part of the police investigation. They’ve started a few new mystery series lately, maybe because some of their standard ones have gone cold—no Crossword or Martha’s Vineyard in a while, while others like Mystery 101 have been shelved by the GAC defections.
Bearing in mind I've never enjoyed Hallmark's murder mysteries (honestly I've never enjoyed Murder She Wrote-style programs) and almost always avoid them, I gave Curious Caterer: Grilling Season a chance since it starred Nikki and Andrew Walker. I'm probably not the best barometer given my tastes, but Curious Caterer did nothing for me. I actually quit halfway through. Walker slips into the detective role fairly easily, I found DeLoach a touch over her head in that kind of material.
Old 02-12-23, 07:13 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

That’s fair. I watch a number of the mystery series and like them fine, but tend to avoid the ones with the leads who don’t do anything for me (CCB, Danica, Loughlin).
Old 02-14-23, 04:31 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Christmas In Pine Valley (Great American) 3.5 out of 5 - Just a solid Christmas movie, more of an ensemble-driven narrative than usual though there are two nominal romantic leads. A woman with a Christmas business lies on her blog that it's run by a family and hijinks ensue when a journalist wants to do a piece on them. I vaguely recognize the two stars, maybe from UP.
Old 02-15-23, 12:39 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

I watched Lori Loughlin’s Fall Into Winter on GAC. I never watched much of her stuff on Hallmark as a lot of it was before my time, but this one was fine. She’s paired with James Tupper, who played Aimee Teagarden’s dad in My Christmas Family Tree (he’s 57), so it’s kinda nice to have a middle-age-centric movie.

A Penavega in Paris, aka A Paris Proposal, takes the fake-dating trope a step further with a fake marriage, and as always you can see where the lies are going to come crashing down. This was also fine and a quick delete.

Last edited by davidh777; 02-15-23 at 03:39 PM.
Old 02-15-23, 03:07 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Time For Him To Come Home For Christmas (Hallmark) 5/5 - Maybe the best screenplay by Hallmark for their 2022 Christmas line-up. The female star is the redhead from MTV's Teen Wolf, paired with Hallmark vet Tyler Hynes. The entire narrative hinges on a deadly car accident and its impact on the people left behind. The stars share a very believable chemistry, even if Tyler is playing a character a bit younger than his actual age. Without spoiling things too much, there's a plot surprise which completely caught me off-guard...and I'm never surprised by these films.
Old 02-15-23, 03:40 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Yeah, I thought that was one of the better ones last year. I generally like the Time for… series.
Old 02-24-23, 06:10 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Welcome to Valentine was ok. I liked the lead actress, but her character was kind of annoying.

I liked Something from Tiffany’s on Prime. Zoey Deutch was super charming.
Old 03-15-23, 01:02 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

The Love Game tries to jump on the popularity of board games, but as much as I like both Kimberly Sustad and Brooks Darnell, this one was just ok for me.

Made for Each Other is a fantasy about a woman whose sculpture of the perfect man suddenly comes to life, and then she starts developing a relationship with a real human. Kinda funny, I guess, and a non-holiday Jewish-centric movie. Ending was a bit different from what I expected.

The Love Club: Nicole’s Pen Pal has Brittany Bristow trying to find a college pen pal. The “club” is a group of four women conferring about relationships, and the other three characters each have their own movie… but only on the Hallmark service. This one was ok so I don’t feel the need to chase down the others. Only one of the other characters had a distinctive personality here.
Old 03-15-23, 03:12 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

I had no clue that there were other Love Club Pen Pal films, but I guess only on Hallmarks paid streaming service (which I do not pay for). Like you, I enjoyed the film but do not consider it to be such a great film that I want to chase down and watch the other films in the series.

If they were trying a marketing experiment to get people to consider purchasing their streaming service by offering up just one film in the series for free on their regular basic cable channels, they probably should have went with trying out this experiment using The Wedding Veil series, due to the fact that those films had much more recognizable lead actresses.
Old 03-16-23, 02:10 AM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

The Wedding Veil definitely came to mind as a comparison. They probably didn't want to lose the ratings that all that star power gave them, though. I assume they went well considering how often they replay them.

I can see the strategy of teasing out an unknown property (with unknown-to-me leads except Bristow, sort of) on the network then seeing if viewers follow for the rest, but I don't recall fast-forwarding through ANY ads pitching these other movies in the series. I only knew about them because a friend mentioned them, and later I saw them in the app.

I remember a couple years ago they did something similar with a Laura Osnes movie that premiered on their service. I later saw it when they released it to the network. They could try it again with one of their bigger stars, though. Don't even need to have a series but just advertise that the new Busby or Penavega or whoever movie is only available there and see what happens.
Old 03-27-23, 11:45 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

New Hallmark sale on Vudu.com starts tomorrow. E
Old 03-28-23, 10:30 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Originally Posted by mk1
New Hallmark sale on Vudu.com starts tomorrow. E
Here's the link. Lots of stuff I haven't seen on sale before. And some really cheap bundles.

https://www.vudu.com/content/movies/...ove-Sale/17369

There's also a sale on Hallmark shows.

https://www.vudu.com/content/movies/...ies-Sale/17199
Old 04-15-23, 10:29 AM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

A Winning Team has Nadia Hatta as a pro soccer player who gets suspended for attitude problems and has to return to her home town to cool off. She gets involved with her niece's soccer team only to butt heads with the coach, Kristoffer Polaha (with weird, "everyman" hair, I guess). This one was OK.

Slightly better was A Picture of Her, in which Tyler Hines takes a candid photo of Rhiannon Fish, which then goes viral and he tries to keep it a secret in order to not jeopardize their relationship. Hot tip: Not telling the truth is never a good idea in a Hallmark movie!

Watched a couple mysteries: The Cases of Mystery Lane turns out to be an awkward title, because the husband-and-wife amateur sleuthing team is named Birdie and Alden Case. With Paul Campbell, it's the kind of light humor you'd expect. Also randomly watched the original Garage Sale Mysteries. As I've mentioned before, Lori Loughlin was mostly before my Hallmark time so I don't have strong feelings about her either way, but this was fine. I'd watch more of the series if only to get my checks in the Hallmark app.

The big news is that I took advantage of this forum's February Romance Challenge to finally burn through all of Signed Sealed Delivered, and it was really great. I started with the TV season, then all the movies that I had recorded in a July marathon. For whatever reason, they didn't include the original movie in that marathon, and it's not available for stand-alone purchase on Vudu. However, it was in a two-pack with Garage Sale Mysteries (hence my mention above) so I got it that way just to finish the circle, even though I'd watched everything else already. The characters were fun, I was invested in the relationships, and the stories were generally good too. I have one friend who watches even more Hallmark than I do, and she's a big SSD fan, but partly because of the faith element. That's not really my thing, and it's there in SSD, but felt pretty light to me, so that didn't really affect me one way or another.

For whatever reason (rights, I assume), this series is treated differently by Hallmark. They're not often rerun, and Vudu doesn't include them in their usual sales (even the recent "Hallmark series" sale didn't have them alongside When Call the Heart, Chesapeake Shores, and even long-gone stuff like Cedar Cove and Meet the Peetes). Fortunately Vudu does have movies 2-9 in four-packs that are only $19.99 so I went ahead and bought them all. Now it's a matter of waiting to see if the others ever go on sale or if I just get them to have them, as I can definitely see myself revisiting the series.
Old 04-19-23, 02:16 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Love in the Maldives was eye candy and nothing else: Great scenery, pretty people in bathing suits. The lead guy had some of the most stilted dialogue delivery I’ve ever heard, and apparently they’re married IRL.

The Professional Bridesmaid stars Hunter King as an undercover bride’s assistant/wedding planner for hire. Basically you add her to your wedding party to make everything run smoothly. Kind of a different concept, and not a bad movie, though yet another fake-identity-lots-of-lying scenario.

The Wedding Cottage has Erin Krakow and Brendan Penny and is pretty much carried by star power. Some funny moments.
Old 04-19-23, 04:31 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Leave it to Hallmark stalwarts Erin Krakow and Brendan Penny to deliver an enjoyable film.

I wish that in The Professional Bridesmaid they did not go the hide who she is route, and just leaned into letting everyone know who she was and why she was part of the wedding party. Otherwise, an easy enough to watch film.

I had to Google to remind myself who was in Love in the Maldives, and yes...it was not anything particularly special but another easy breezy watch. I will say that Jocelyn Hudon looked particularly lovely in this film. I also liked the friendship that sprung up between her and the older woman in the film who was skittish about learning to dance.
Old 04-21-23, 12:19 AM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

It is not a Hallmark movie but looks like a movie that should be on Hallmark

Did Rachel Lee Cook do a lot of Hallmark movies?

Old 04-21-23, 10:16 AM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

I am putting this in this thread, but I have noticed that the stigma around Lori Loughlin has seemed to worn off, as Hallmark recently starting airing re-runs of her Garage Sale Mysteries films, in fact they aired a 1 day marathon of these films back to back I believe this past weekend or the one before that. I am guessing that there are advertising dollars to be had with the commercials they can run during each airing. I am fine with that, she has put enough distance between now and when she screwed the pooch that I do not see it being an issue to start airing her films again as it is win win for her and Hallmark, she gets residuals, and Hallmark gets fresh ad dollars.

If Hallmark could even get the Garage Sale primary cast back-together, I would be down for a new film or two in the series. I would hazard a guess that most of the cast in these films would not be uncomfortable working on a series with Loughlin, they would arrive to set, do their lines, do a bit of acting and then retreat to their trailers if they wanted to get away from Loughlin as quick as possible (although she did not physically abuse her cast members like the guy who was kicked off of Criminal Minds, so why not get back into the swing of hanging out with your work colleagues). There is a snowball's chance in hell of this happening, but if it did I am sure lots of folks would watch a new film in the series. However, Loughlin seems to have migrated over to GAC.
Old 04-25-23, 10:15 AM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Big Hallmark sale at Vudu.com started this morning.

There are a lot of new releases in this sale.

I picked up Cooking with Love, Love on Ice, High Flying Romance and may also pick up Always Amore and A Tail of Love.

Been waiting for a lot of these titles to go on sale. E
Old 04-25-23, 11:59 AM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Originally Posted by mk1
Big Hallmark sale at Vudu.com started this morning.

There are a lot of new releases in this sale.

I picked up Cooking with Love, Love on Ice, High Flying Romance and may also pick up Always Amore and A Tail of Love.

Been waiting for a lot of these titles to go on sale. E
I’ve been waiting to pick up The Baker’s Son and Color of Rain. I chuckle at the thought of getting something like Love on Harbor Island when they rerun it every week, but I do buy the ones I rewatch so I don’t have to skip the ads. I think the picture quality is better too.

I believe there are additional titles in their weekly $4.99 sale as well.
Old 04-25-23, 03:35 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Originally Posted by davidh777
I’ve been waiting to pick up The Baker’s Son and Color of Rain. I chuckle at the thought of getting something like Love on Harbor Island when they rerun it every week, but I do buy the ones I rewatch so I don’t have to skip the ads. I think the picture quality is better too.

I believe there are additional titles in their weekly $4.99 sale as well.
The additional titles in the weekly sale began last week as part of a Royal Movies sale. I was really surprised to see another bigger Hallmark sale this week. I also buy the movies so that I can watch without commercials.

For those that don't want to buy the movies hoopladigital.com (with your library card if your public library participates) currently has 170 Hallmark movies to borrow. The selection continually changes.
Old 04-29-23, 01:28 AM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Originally Posted by davidh777
The big news is that I took advantage of this forum's February Romance Challenge to finally burn through all of Signed Sealed Delivered, and it was really great. I started with the TV season, then all the movies that I had recorded in a July marathon. For whatever reason, they didn't include the original movie in that marathon, and it's not available for stand-alone purchase on Vudu. However, it was in a two-pack with Garage Sale Mysteries (hence my mention above) so I got it that way just to finish the circle, even though I'd watched everything else already. The characters were fun, I was invested in the relationships, and the stories were generally good too. I have one friend who watches even more Hallmark than I do, and she's a big SSD fan, but partly because of the faith element. That's not really my thing, and it's there in SSD, but felt pretty light to me, so that didn't really affect me one way or another.

For whatever reason (rights, I assume), this series is treated differently by Hallmark. They're not often rerun, and Vudu doesn't include them in their usual sales (even the recent "Hallmark series" sale didn't have them alongside When Call the Heart, Chesapeake Shores, and even long-gone stuff like Cedar Cove and Meet the Peetes). Fortunately Vudu does have movies 2-9 in four-packs that are only $19.99 so I went ahead and bought them all. Now it's a matter of waiting to see if the others ever go on sale or if I just get them to have them, as I can definitely see myself revisiting the series.
Signed Sealed Delivered is probably Hallmark's best show/series. Nothing amazing but it's just a likable premise.
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Old 05-02-23, 11:47 AM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Vudu’s “two bundles for $14.99” sale includes the Chesapeake Shores six-season pack, the Good Witch five-move pack, the original Wedding Veil trilogy (all of which I already have, unfortunately), and some random two- and three-packs. Too bad they don’t have the When Calls the Heart bundles in there.

The WCTH single seasons ARE in the “two seasons for $9.99” sale, which is a great deal considering their current price is… $4.99 each.

Too bad I bought the Chesapeake bundle for like $30 not that long ago.
Old 05-14-23, 10:50 PM
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Re: Hallmark Channel's Countdown to Christmas

Just caught up with four on the DVR. The best was probably Hearts in the Game because of Erin Cahill, though it has very little baseball compared to, say, Polaha’s recent soccer movie. They actually got MLB rights to use the Mets logo, which was kind of a surprise.

I guess When Love Springs was pretty decent too, with Rhiannon Fish during her usual goofy comedy (and the ever-popular fake-dating trope). Her sister was pretty fun, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see that actor in something else..

Pinch of Portugal was just dull, and Spring Breakthrough had a super annoying lead character who was trying to sabotage her daughter’s wedding.

Regarding the Rachel Lee Cook movie Jeff mentioned earlier, it was totally a Hallmark movie but on Netflix. Nothing special but a great ad for Vietnam tourism.

Regarding Lori Loughlin, I mentioned earlier that I don’t have strong feelings for her either way, but she’s definitely in the GAC club now.

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